South Africa’s renewable energy programme a ‘resounding success’

South Africa’s renewable energy programme a ‘resounding success’

South Africa’s renewable independent power producer (IPP) programme has been a ‘resounding success’, according to an international advisory firm.

The Renewable Energy Power Producer’s Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) has spurred investment into South Africa’s energy sector and across the continent into different markets said Scott Brodsky, partner and energy lawyer at Macfarlanes.

The international law firm are currently advising a number of clients across sub-Saharan Africa on project financing and bankable power purchase agreements for their renewable energy projects.

“The effect of load shedding on life, on businesses and the wider economies is devastating. Although South Africa is having temporary respite from load shedding, some countries in the region are experiencing 12 to 16 hours per day with no electricity,” said Brodsky.

“The good news is that IPPs are helping tremendously and the need for new generation has translated into significant new opportunities.”

At the end of 2015, 6376 MW of power was successfully procured from 102 IPPs in four bid rounds of the REIPPPP. This 6376 MW of power procured represents an extraordinary 92.1% of the target 6925 MW renewable energy to be operational by 2020.

Sandra Coetzee, head of strategy at the Department of Energy’s IPP Office, outlined the importance of REIPPPP and how effective it is in reducing new fossil fuel projects.

“Launched in 2011, the REIPPPP is bringing about a tangible transformation to our country’s power sector and economic and physical landscape. The competitive bidding approach clearly demonstrates that renewable energy options, and specifically onshore wind and solar PV power, can already be delivered at lower costs in energy terms, than new build fossil fuel solutions,” said Coetzee.