Featured image: Stock

The South African Independent Power Producer Association (SAIPPA) welcomes the statement by Energy Minister Jeff Radebe, regarding the  Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme.

SAIPPA appreciates the context created by the Minister during a media briefing on 24 February, and the chronology of events that shed some light on the inclusion of IPPs and of renewable energy in the South African energy mix. Read more:SA Energy Minister demistyfies the coal vs. renewables debate

It is clear from the media statement that the government and its alliance partners followed an inclusive process of consultation before adopting the White Paper on Renewable Energy in 2003.

This inclusive process was also followed with the inclusion through Nedlac of social partners before the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) was promulgated on 6 May 2011, SAIPPA explained in a statement.

While finalising the IRP 2010, social partners were consulted on all matters relating to the REIPPP programme.

Similarly, the Green Economy Accord (Accord) was negotiated with all parties involved and signed on the 17th November 2011 in Parliament.  Present when signed, and also consulted beforehand, were 12 Cabinet Ministers, some of South Africa’s largest companies, small and medium enterprises from the Green Energy Associations, all three labour federations, namely COSATU, FEDUSA and NACTU, and community representatives drawn from the youth, women, co-operatives and civic formations.

SAIPPA reiterates the statement by the Minister that the renewable energy IPPs are cost neutral to Eskom.

SAIPPA concurs that the assertion therefore that Eskom incurs losses as a result of the REIPPP programme is without foundation, misleading and false.  Since 2013, Eskom has not incurred a cent in buying electricity from IPPs which they have not been able to recover through the tariff allowed.

SAIPPA supports the Minister’s view that Eskom’s actions, since 2015, in refusing to sign PPA’s for further renewable energy projects resulted in manufacturing capacity of goods and services in the value chain closing down. This created a negative investment environment and contradicted government policy – which was corrected in 2018.

SAIPPA and its members are committed to local content in the value chain and will work tirelessly to ensure positive impacts on the economy, job creation, community upliftment, economic transformation and climate change. 

SAIPPA calls on Minister Radebe to publish the IRP during March 2019 as promised, and to make determinations regarding the procurement of more electricity from IPPs early in 2019 and procure electricity from IPPs during the latter part of 2019.

This will ensure South Africa expands its electricity generation fleet to minimise load shedding and the related negative impacts on investment and growth.

SAIPPA also calls on Minister Jeff Radebe, in his capacity as Minister of Energy, as well as Government, Eskom, the Labour federations and all South Africans to engage in good faith to chart a way forward in timely decommissioning of the old Eskom coal fired power stations in a planned approach in which more jobs can be created as a result of a just transition to a green energy future.