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The signing of 27 Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) in April, worth R56 billion has resolved the lengthy renewable energy impasse in South Africa and demonstrates renewed impetus in the country’s clean energy journey. 

This is according to Herman Kriel, group managing director for Brand Engineering, who also stated that it is the initial step of the Department of Energy’s new, clear renewable energy roadmap, which has brought much needed certainty to national energy policy.

Kriel added that this move will fast track investor confidence and boost growth in the economy. Read more: NERSA withdraws its draft for small-scale embedded generation rules

Brand Engineering is a specialist electrical engineering contractor, which operates in southern Africa and the African continent, together with its BBBEE company, Besamandla.

It is responsible for the generation of 472MW of power for the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) projects and related renewable energy initiatives.

“An integral element of the DoE’s REIPPPP is the generation of local employment opportunities.  Furthermore, it serves to promote transformation, ensure participation by Black industrialists and increase Black business ownership,” said Kriel.

“The signing of the PPAs and ensuing long awaited implementation of bid windows 3.5 and 4 will create approximately 60,000 new jobs over the next three years.  The new, clear RE roadmap will help leverage a key objective of the National Development Plan which is to grow an inclusive economy,” he added.

Renewable energy projects

The majority of the projects are expected to reach financial closure in the coming few months, with some having closed shortly after the PPAs were signed.

In terms of other developments in the renewables space, Kriel noted that battery storage is a game changer.

“The use of battery storage systems to provide consistent solar power output and manage peak loads is a big game changer for RE. The decreasing costs of these batteries and other RE technologies are in turn further reducing RE costs.”