Eskom to boost South Africa’s renewables sector with 2.3GW of projects

South Africa’s public utility Eskom has provided a timely boost to the renewable energy industry with the news that it will sign 27 power purchase agreements (PPAs) for projects totaling 2.3GW.

The long-awaited decision to green light the wind, solar PV and concentrated solar projects comes after bids were accepted as far back as 2015 in South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Procurement Programme (REIPPP).

However, new energy minister Jeff Radebe announced at parliament that the projects would be signed with Eskom early next week.

Radebe said the R56 billion investment in the economy will create over 60,000 jobs, 95% of which will be for South Africans.

“Our people need energy; we require cleaner energy. We have our commitments in terms of the National Development Plan.

“Our own commitments in terms of our international obligations. Our people deserve better and this project I believe, will assist us to reignite our economy and to get those much-needed jobs for our people.”

South Africa has a total installed power capacity of 48.27GW, 7% of which is provided by renewables, according to website Climate Scope 2017.