The National Electricity Regulator of South Africa and the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy agree that NERSA can process licence applications for self-generation facilities above 1MW even if they don’t comply with the IRP 2019. At the same all the signs point to bid window 5 for the REIPPP programme opening before the end of 2020. Also, the DMRE Minister gazetted on 16th October 2020 amendments to the Electricity Regulations Act of New Generation Capacity (2011), allowing municipalities in good financial standing to procure from IPP’s and generate their own power.

All the stars are aligning, pointing to a potential boom in renewable energy projects, from small to large scale. These will either tie into the country’s master plan for electricity procurement and generation capacity or support self-generation that is either consumed behind the meter or fed into the grid and wheeled to Eskom customers on private PPA’s, under agreed to wheeling arrangements of all parties.

How then does South Africa’s regulatory organs of government and financing institutions intend to maximise the opportunity in a sustainable manner for the South African economy with respect to local South African industry providing manufacturing and services?

  • Apart from reduced Environmental Impact Assessment timeframes, what are the potential further benefits for local manufacturers in SA’s 11 Renewable Energy Development Zones (REDZ) and transmission corridors?
  • How then does South Africa take the lessons it has learned from previous REIPPPP bid windows and the current RMIPPPP to increase and maintain sustainable localisation?
  • Should the South African regulatory organs of government incentivise and promote local EPC companies and Consulting Engineering companies or focus on symbiotic manufacturing companies whose processes are part of the RE Industry?
  • Could a FIT tariff for partial localisations (meeting threshold for localisation) or a FIT tariff for maximum localisation be possible?

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