With power utility Eskom struggling to keep the lights on in SA, renewable energy can provide some answers to the parastatal’s woes.
According to the Department of Energy (DOE), SA has a high level of renewable energy potential and presently has in place a target of 10 000GWh of renewable energy. The department has a goal of bringing 3 725MW to be generated from renewable energy.
Early this month, the DOE gave the go-ahead for SolarReserve and Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power to build a 100MW solar power plant in the country. The companies’ offer was accepted under the nation’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPP) that requires applicants to bid on the level of tariff, as well as value to the local and national economy.
“South Africa has made a very bold move forward with respect to clean power sources, in terms of the integrated resource plan (IRP) and its implementation in the form of REIPPP, and will achieve a renewables share of more than 5% within the next two years by introducing the already contracted new renewables capacities.
“That is a steep ramp-up rate. By 2030, as the IRP 2010 plans, the renewables share will grow to 14%.”