- South Africa has announced a slew of measures it plans to undertake to improve the country’s power generation supply
- Part of plans include increase renewable energy procurement amount from 2.6 GW to 5.2 GW under REIPPPP, and adding battery storage
- Rooftop solar adoption is to be encouraged by both residential and commercial establishments with FIT
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has said his government will increase the amount of new generation capacity to be procured through window 6 of the auction procurement program. It will be doubled to 5.2 GW, from 2.6 GW, as part of measures to improve the country’s power supply.
The Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) is the country’s flagship scheme to procure renewable energy capacity, and window 6 was opened in April 2022 with 1.0 GW solar PV and 1.6 GW onshore wind energy capacity (see South Africa: 2.6 GW REIPPPP Round 6).
A request for proposals (RFP) for battery storage will be launched by September 2022, to be followed by another one for gas power. Newer bid windows will be launched on an ‘expedited basis’.
The government is also reviewing its Integrated Resource Plan 2019 to add more generation capacity, and mobilize private investment in the field.
Ramaphosa made these promises in his address to the nation that’s been battling long duration power outages for long now as its sole electric utility Eskom faces the problem of aging infrastructure.
The country currently has an installed power generation capacity of 46 GW, but only 60% of it is available due to ‘planned maintenance’ and ‘unplanned outages’. “Eskom has to implement load shedding to prevent the electricity grid from collapsing, and to ensure that we never experience a complete blackout,” said Ramaphosa.
To encourage uptake of rooftop solar by residential and commercial segments, Eskom has been directed to develop rules and pricing structure — namely feed-in-tariffs (FIT) — on its network. It will enable people to feed surplus power generated to Eskom’s grid.
“We must join in a massive rollout of rooftop solar and contribute to the solution,” called out Ramaphosa, and added. “The measures we are announcing this evening, together with the steps we have already taken, will hasten the end of load shedding. They will put our country on a clear path towards reliable, affordable and sustainable energy supply.”
The Ramaphosa administration will also do away with the need for licenses for embedded generation to enable private investment in electricity generation; but such projects will need to register with the regulator and comply with technical requirements for grid connection and environmental legislation.