This follows Wednesday’s conclusion of power purchase agreements (PPAs) with 27 independent power producers (IPPs). The signing of the agreements had been delayed after Eskom refused to sign them, citing current electricity overcapacity and the cost of the renewable power.
According to Minister of Energy Jeff Radebe, the 27 IPP projects would result in R56billion of new investment in the economy over the next two to three years and create 61600 full time jobs. The projects had a combined capacity of 2300MW.
Radebe on Wednesday said that the signing of the agreements re-confirmed the government’s commitment to renewable energy. “Through this programme, we have proved that we can provide sustainable clean electricity at an affordable price to our communities and the people living around these projects, ensuring their health and well-being as one of our highest priorities.” He said the renewable energy procurement programme would provide real economic growth through direct investment and job creation.
But the admiration of renewable energy is not universal. “Renewable energy is a disaster. It is an absolute waste of money,” said energy analyst Andrew Kenny yesterday. He questioned claims that the country was not in a position to proceed with a nuclear programme because of lack of funds and overcapacity.