26 November 2008 – More than 100 renewable energy project proposals have been received by South Africa’s department of minerals and energy.  The total capacity of the projects amounts to 5 000MW of potential.

The Department confirmed that 45% of the applications were wind related, 34% biomass and 8% for small hydro, spread across all nine provinces of the country.

The government has set a target of 10 000 GWh by 2013 and in its Renewable Energy Framework, outlines plans for a mix of grid connected and non grid connected projects as part of this 10 000 GWh target.

All generated electricity will be sold to Eskom’s Single Buyer Office, which was also responsible for conducting the procurement process under the auspices of the DME.

The ‘overwhelming’ local and international response has reaffirmed South Africa’s suitability for renewable energy projects says the DME and proved that potential independent power producers are becoming more proactive.

Experts and industry observers believe however that large scale projects will only become more feasible once there is clarity on the feed-in tariffs which will encourage the adoption of renewable energy.  The tariff is proposed at between 50c/kWh and 80c/kWh for all renewable energy types.