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Ben Martins, South African Energy Minister

The South African Department of Energy will this month start the process of procuring 800 megawatts of cogeneration, while it will procure 2 500 megawatts of coal generation in May 2014.

Energy Minister Ben Martins has determined that the South African economy requires additional generation capacity in the form of cogeneration and coal generation.

“This determination is made under the Independent Power Producer (IPP) programme and will complement the capacity that is generated by the IPPs licensed in Window 1, 2 and 3,” said the minister in a statement.

At the end of last year, the department announced preferred bidders under Window 3 of its flagship Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Programme (REIPP).

In November 2013, the department signed agreements with 17 new preferred bidders in Window 3 of REIPPP, which is set to boost the country’s power supply. The programme is aimed at bringing additional megawatts into the country’s electricity system through private sector investment in wind, biomass and small hydro, among others.

The department had indicated that it would consider allocating additional megawatts due to the fact that the prices offered by the bidders were competitive and reflected a downward trend compared to the prices in Window 1 and 2.

“The inclusion of additional bidders will therefore increase the number of IPPs, contributing towards the department’s effort to ensure that renewable energy forms a significant part of the energy mix,” said Martins.
Due procurement process, which will include additional bidders under Window 3, will be followed.

In Window 3, a total of 93 bids [for solar photovoltaic, wind, concentrating solar power (CSP) and landfill gas, amounting to 6 023 MW, had been received by the department.

Martins also announced that submission for Window 4 of the REIPPP, which entails the procurement of 1 000 MW, is on track to close in August 2014.

Revamp of solar water heaters scheme

On the issue of the solar water heaters (SWH) programme, government’s effort to introduce a new procurement model for the SWH programme is at an advanced stage.

This as government took a decision to stop subsidising imported SWH systems in favour of local manufacturing to increase job creation, industrialisation and the socio-economic impact of the programme.

“The department has concluded the evaluation of the potential manufacturers of the SWH systems. The list of compliant manufacturers will be announced as soon as the South African Bureau of Standards has completed due diligence and independent verification of manufacturers, which will be in April,” said Martins.

The rollout of the new model will start in the current financial year.

In 2009, the department said it would ensure that one million solar geysers are installed in households and commercial buildings over a five-year period.

With regards to the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2010, its review process was on-going Minister Martins said.
The IRP 2010 is a 20-year projection on electricity supply and demand.

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