jueves, marzo 23, 2023

South Africa welcomes over 20 GW in new renewable energy projects

South Africa gained positive responses from investors for its renewable energy procurement project as it identified a total of 20 gigawatts of technologies under its renewable energy feed-in tariff program and 4 GW of cogeneration technologies.

South Africa’s feed-in tariff program was established to stimulate the country’s renewable industry and make it reach a target of 10,000 gigawatt-hours of renewable capacity by 2013, said Ompi Aphane, the Department of Energy’s acting deputy director general.

The department began the procurement process last October, releasing a request for information for renewable energy independent power producers to assess the readiness of the private sector for participating in such projects as well as the readiness of the market to enter into intensive procurement and fast-track negotiation processes.

Six weeks after the release, the department received a total of 384 replies, which indicated a substantial interest for investing in renewable energy in the South African market.

Investments in wind power and solar photovoltaic projects each made up one-third of the replies, accounting for 70 percent and 15 percent, respectively, of the total capacity in the request for information. Meanwhile, concentrated solar power accounted for nearly 10 percent of the proposed capacity, while the remainder was made up of mostly biomass projects, with some hydro, landfill gas and biogas.

In addition, there were 20 responses to cogeneration technologies totaling 4 GW of capacity, which enable a method of producing electricity and heat in one single process.

By February next year, the department will send out invitations to bidders and will establish terms and conditions of contracts for wind, solar, biomass, biogas, small hydropower and landfill gas projects as well as cogeneration projects.

Despite abundant renewable energy resources, South Africa still has not yet been able to tap its high renewable energy potential due to lack of electricity grid connection, Thus, the government is currently looking at infrastructure and future grid planning to accommodate renewable energy projects through initial discussions with Eskom, the country’s electric utility. The government aims to secure connection capacity for renewable energy projects until 2016.

Also, evaluation of a project’s environmental impact continues to be a crucial barrier for the deployment of renewable energy projects, as only a few projects in South Africa has approved environmental impact assessments.





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