According to Bloomberg News, South Africa seeks to increase the use of renewable power, adding 3,725MW of electricity to the grid by 2016, as it simultaneously aims to cut the use of coal produced power in meeting the country’s energy demand. The Department of Energy is said to ‘intervene’ in the commissioning of renewable energy projects to ensure that fair opportunities are created for local renewable firms in the tendering process.
The Energy Minister said: “For the next round we want to intervene so that local players do have a fair share … Obviously we can do nothing about those that have already been decided on,” reported Bloomberg.
The preferred bidders for the fourth round of contracts will be announced on November 24th later this year. In the first round, 20-year contracts were given to companies with only ‘a small percentage of localization’, said Joemat-Pettersson stating that there was value in the model ‘but there are obviously some weaknesses’.
The energy department will be looking at new models with reference to potential nuclear bids with plans to construct nuclear facilities expected to be in operation in 2020.
As it stands, state utility Eskom has 21 renewable-energy projects by independent producers, connected to the grid, with a collective generating capacity of 1,076 MW, 467 MW of which is available to the system.