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Jun 23, 2009

SA targets 400 MW of wind energy within three years

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South Africa would seek to ensure the commissioning of 400 MW of wind power by independent power producers (IPPs) within the next three years, Energy Minister Dipuo Peters said in Parliament on Tuesday.

Speaking during her Budget Vote, Peters also revealed that government was working with the Clinton Foundation for the development of an “Industrial Energy Park” concept, focusing on concentrated solar power (CSP).

The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) recently approved a renewable energy feed-in tariff, or Refit, for wind, landfill gas, CSP and mini-hydro schemes in support of a stated policy objective of having 10 000GWh of renewable capacity in place by 2013.

Peters also promised that, over the next few weeks, she would pronounce on the future energy mix, particularly with regard to the role and responsibilities of Eskom in relation to IPPs.

This announcement would be eagerly awaited, especially given that frustration levels among potential IPPs, renewable and conventional, was rising.

Anxiety levels were particularly acute around the requirements for the procurement of power purchase agreements, in a context where Eskom had been designated as the ‘single buyer’ and where the rules were still evolving.

In March, Eskom extended its postponement of the release of a request for proposals for its base-load IPP programme, saying that it required greater certainty on the regulatory framework before it could proceed. Its cogeneration programmes had also stalled, supposedly for Nersa to finalise its power purchase cost recovery guidelines.

“It is our intention to enhance the attractiveness of our energy space as an investment destination for renewable and nonrenewable energy by independent power producers,” Peters said.

“This is important given the reality that Eskom is not in a position exclusively to meet our power needs going into the future.”

Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter
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