South Africa’s Energy Minister, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, on Monday, announced a new power procurement project in the Northern Cape to deliver 1 500 MW of solar energy. The additional procurement is a Department of Energy legacy project to mark the SA International Renewable Energy Conference taking place in Cape Town this week.
South Africa has seen a steady increase in momentum of renewable energy which has caused many to hail its IPP programme. The IPP office has successfully attracted much-needed investment in the renewable energy sector and has set a target of 5 000 MW of solar energy and 5 000 MW of wind energy by 2030 in place.
This new power procurement project is the first step in a process that will seek bids from independent power producers (IPPs) and will likely only feed into the grid between 2019 and 2020.
In April, the minister approved 13 new renewable IPP bids. This means that here will now be 79 IPP projects with 5 243 MW being added to a national grid desperately in need of power. According to the minister, more than 6 000 MWh of electricity have been procured from 37 renewable-energy IPPs.
“To date, renewable energy projects in South Africa have resulted in 20 000 job years for South Africans and attracted R192.6bn in investment,” she said. “The IPP office is a success story that we would like to duplicate in other countries. The reshaping of the office has started in earnest and will have a larger mandate.”
She continued: “We would like to invite businesses and stakeholders to comment on what it is they appreciated in the office and what we could do better. The success story is because we pulled together a sound group of skills, which allowed us to work effectively and efficiently to meet time frames.”
“Policy certainty around the programme and integration with other demands has allowed the programme to be sustainable. We must build on the success of this innovation, but look at transferring skills and technologies,” she concluded.