South African Renewable Energy Sector Enjoys Huge Victory with New Contracts

The South African government today signed power purchase agreements for renewable energy projects that have been delayed for years.

The SA Department of Energy said that the Minister of Energy, Jeff Radebe, signed agreements for 27 Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Projects worth 55.92 billion rand (US$4.7 billion) in new direct investment in the energy sector. The department said that the projects are located throughout the country and are mostly rural.

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“The department reached this milestone following a long period of uncertainty, but with this important milestone government reconfirms its commitment not only to renewable energy, but also to a solid partnership with the private sector as it pursues energy’s core position in the South African economy,” the SA Department of Energy said in a statement.

The contracts had been delayed under former President Jacob Zuma. President Cyril Ramaphosa took office in mid-February.

“The conclusion of duly procured power purchase agreements signal a reawakening of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Power Producer Procurement Program (REIPPPP),” the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) said in a statement. “The program was born out of government’s vision for an expansion of South Africa’s energy mix to include renewable power from independent producers with a range of clear developmental imperatives.”

SAWEA noted that South Africa’s manufacturing and construction industries will realize immediate benefits from the conclusion of the power purchase agreements through placement of equipment orders and the conclusion of construction contracts.

“The recovery of the domestic manufacturing industry is necessitated by the effects of the delay, which saw several manufacturing facilities having to retrench staff due to a lack of further component orders,” SAWEA said.

Lead image credit: SAWEA

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Jennifer Delony, analyst for TransmissionHub, started her career as a B2B news editor in the local and long-distance telecommunications industries in the '90s. Jennifer began covering renewable energy issues at the local level in 2005 and covered U.S. and Canadian utility-scale wind energy as editor of North American Windpower magazine from 2006-2009. She also provides analysis for the oil and natural gas sectors as editor of Oilman Magazine.

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