South African engineers call for more renewables

Article by Amanda Doyle

THE South African Government has been urged to restart its renewable-energy procurement programme by the trade association Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA).

According to Engineering News, Sugen Pillay, newly-elected President of CESA, told a media briefing that the CESA was particularly keen for the programme to be initiated. “In addition to its value as a short-term intervention towards addressing our electricity crisis, it will also inject, albeit small, much-needed project opportunities for consulting engineers and contractors.”

South Africa’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which is the policy on “least-cost” electricity development up to 2030, was finally updated in October 2019 following the initial IRP release in 2010. The IRP includes the provision for new renewables, although new capacity is restricted to 1,000 MW/y for photovoltaic solar power, and 1,600 MW/y for wind power.

The latest bidding round for new renewable power, which is known as the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), was originally supposed to be announced in November 2018. For the procurement under the IRP to be initiated, Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe needs to publish a document in line with the Electricity Regulation Act, according to Engineering News.

The CEO of South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA), Ntombifuthi Ntuli, and the chair of the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA), Wido Schnabel, also urged Mantashe to publish the document for the much-needed new capacity, according to Engineering News. South Africa has suffered regular rolling blackouts over the last decade, as energy supply cannot keep up with demand.

Article by Amanda Doyle

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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