SA’s renewable energy output to double

Energy Minister Dipuo Peters said on Monday the National Energy Regulator of South Africa had given her the go-ahead to increase the country's baseload energy capacity, renewable energy capacity, and extra energy for risk mitigation by 1 200MW.

The big elements of this would be an extra 2 500MW sourced from coal by 2024, 2 652MW from gas by 2025 and 2 609MW from hydro power by 2024.

But the biggest news comes for independent power producers. They are currently given an allocation of 3 725MW of power to produce, which is being determined through bidding phases. This will nearly double by an extra 3 200MW.

The small size of the first power allocation, given that it was to be divided between dozens of producers, had created controversy. Richard Worthington, manager of the World Wide Fund for nature's climate change programme, said it made it hard for independent producers to compete. And it also meant the scale was too small to sustain local industry, he said.

Most of the new allocation will come in the form of offshore wind power generation – 1 470MW – and solar – 1 075MW – which will be allocated after the current bids to provide independent power generation are finalised.

The contracts for the first of these, for 1 400MW between 28 winning bidders, will be signed next week, said Peters.

"I am pleased to announce that South Africa is ready to conclude about R47-billion of renewable power generation," she said.

This comes after months of delays in the process – the winners of this first phase were announced in December last year – which Peters put down to all the administration that had to occur. The preferred bidders for the second window have been chosen, and these would be formalised by March next year, she said. R28-billion has been set aside for this.

The window for the third phase has been delayed until next year.

Eskom will sign a power-purchase agreement with each of the winning bidders, with the phases expected to cost a total of R100-billion and contribute 3 725MW of power by 2016, and 3% of the 16% Eskom applied for in a price-hike request last week is to cover the costs of independent power producers.

PW Botha wagged his finger and banned us in 1988 but we stood firm. We built a reputation for fearless journalism, then, and now. Through these last 35 years, the Mail & Guardian has always been on the right side of history.

These days, we are on the trail of the merry band of corporates and politicians robbing South Africa of its own potential.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Sipho Kings
Sipho is the Mail & Guardian's News Editor. He also does investigative environment journalism.

SABC sued over ‘bad’ clip of Ramaphosa

A senior employee at the public broadcaster wants compensation for claims of ‘sabotage’

Soundtrack to a pandemic: Africa’s best coronavirus songs

Drawing on lessons from Ebola, African artists are using music to convey public health messaging. And they are doing it in style

In East Africa, the locusts are coming back for more

In February the devastating locust swarms were the biggest seen in East Africa for 70 years. Now they’re even bigger

Western Cape Judge Mushtak Parker faces second misconduct complaint

The Cape Bar Council says his conduct is ‘unbecoming the holding of judicial office’

Press Releases

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world

SAB Zenzele special AGM rescheduled to March 25 2020

New voting arrangements are being made to safeguard the health of shareholders

Dimension Data launches Saturday School in PE

The Gauteng Saturday School has produced a number of success stories