HomeNewsSAWEA applauds govt steps to stabilize growth of renewable power sector

SAWEA applauds govt steps to stabilize growth of renewable power sector

The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) has applauded the South African government for the massive progress made in policy over the last 12-months, beginning with the gazetted 2019 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) and all the very hard work done, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure its commitment to the stabilisation of future growth of the renewable power sector.

“We started the year with a firm commitment from President Cyril Ramaphosa during his SONA, to take measures to rapidly and significantly increase generation capacity outside of Eskom in order address the energy crisis, which prefaced a number of Ministerial Determinations and other clear statements of support for the sector,” said Ntombifuthi Ntuli, CEO of SAWEA.

Two Section 34 Determinations were issued this year, one for the procurement of emergency power and other for the procurement of power from different technologies as outlined in the 2019 IRP. The Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme Request for Proposals was issued in August, procuring emergency power from various technologies.

The industry has noted the gazetting of regulations allowing municipalities in good financial standing to procure their own power from Independent Power Producers (IPPs). Another progress witnessed is the recent announcement by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) that the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy has approved that they may process licence applications for self-generation facilities of projects above 1MW, even if they are not in compliance with the 2019 IRP.

Also Read: TANESCO PPA agreement signed with 6 IPPs in Tanzania

In June, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) announced in parliament that it intended entering into agreements with existing renewables IPPs to procure 128 MW of additional energy that wind and solar farms could supply over and above what is currently allowed under their existing Power Purchase Agreements, which has not yet materialised.

Bid Window 5 REIPPPP

More recently, during a debate on the country’s economic recovery plan, the DMRE Minister, Gwede Mantashe, confirmed that Bid Window 5 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) would be issued in December 2020.

Alongside all this policy progress, in July, Minister Mantashe agreed to the creation of the Renewable Energy Engagement Forum, to support regular engagement between the renewable energy sector and the DMRE, thereby cementing a way to forge a more positive relationship, based on trust and improved communications.

Further evidence of positive change comes from Public Enterprises Minister, Hon. Pravin Gordhan’s recent keynote address on governments’ intent and commitment to implement an Independent Transmission Grid System and Market Operator (ITSMO) in South Africa.

 

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Dennis Ayemba
Country/ Features Editor, Kenya

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