South Africa: Renewable Energy Sector Investment Set to Boom

  • Speaking at South Africa’s Investment Conference today, Minerals and Energy Minister, Hon Gwede Mantashe emphasised that the country’s energy sector is open for business.  
  • In line with the country’s commitments to reduce emissions, the Integrated Resource Plan 2019 (IRP) allocates the biggest growth to renewable energy for the period between now and year 2030.

“We will soon publicly share procurement timelines for the REIPPPP, 11 813 megawatts Determination, that is beyond bid window 5 of renewable energy,” the Minister announced.

Related news: REIPPPP Round 5 set to open in December 2020

“The  IRP also recognises the challenges posed by Eskom plant performance and hence “Decision 1” directs that “we must undertake a power purchase programme to assist with the acquisition of capacity needed to supplement Eskom’s supply.” 

We have initiated a number of interventions to implement Decision 1. These include the following: 

Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme: 

This is targeted at procuring two thousand megawatts (2000 MW) from a combination of technologies. The deadline for submission of response to request for proposals is 22 December 2020. 

Procure Additional Power from Existing renewable energy IPPs: 

The Head of IPP Office will talk to this in detail, including Risk Mitigation Programme. 

Short Term Power Purchase and Demand Side Management: 

This is an initiative by Eskom which is supported by the Department. 

Generation for own use: 

We have enabled generation for own use by removing the licensing requirements for certain category of generation facilities under one megawatt (1 MW). 

We have also eased the licensing of generation for own use above 1 MW. The IRP 2019 now makes provision for distributed generation for own use above 1MW, which takes away the need for a Ministerial approval for deviation from the IRP before NERSA can process a generation license application. NERSA is reviewing their processes to ensure quick turnaround times. 

Municipal Generation 

In line with pronouncements by the President in SONA, the Department has amended New Generation Capacity Regulations and clarified requirements from municipalities when they apply for Section 34 Determinations from the Department.”

The Minister concluded,  “Recognising Eskom’s role in the electricity sector Government under the leadership of Deputy President Mabuza is working tireless to achieve significant systems improvement through the Eskom maintenance programme. Work is underway to achieve operational and financial stability at the entity. We are therefore on track to resolving our energy challenges and South Africa is open for business.” 

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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