General Electric’s hybrid
power plant which would
be capable of using
renewable energy sources
such as wind and solar, as
well as conventional energy
sources like natural gas,
to produce a total of 530MW
of power 
Johannesburg, South Africa — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 02 August 2011 – The South African Department of Energy has called on investors to submit proposals to build the country’s first renewable energy power plants.

In an advertisement in the “Sunday Times” newspaper, the department said the bids could cover energy produced from wind, solar, hydro, bio-gas, bio-mass or landfill gas.

The government is aiming to purchase 1,000 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy by 2013 and 3,800MW by 2016, according to a cabinet briefing last week.

Upon registration, bidders must pay US$15,000 for every megawatt of installed capacity they propose to build, the department said. A mandatory briefing session for project developers would be held on 14 September.

The National Treasury is looking at other incentives to encourage investment in the renewable energy industry, including a levy of 2.5 cents per kilowatt hour on electricity generated from non-renewable sources, a tax on carbon dioxide emissions, and tax concessions for bio-fuel producers, according to the minister of finance.