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South Africa planning tenders for 6,800MW of new renewable energy capacity this year

January 26, 2021


South Africa plans to launch three procurement rounds for 6,800 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy over the next year, as well as a combined 5,000 MW of new coal, gas and storage, a presentation by the governing African National Congress (ANC) showed.

Africa’s most industrialised nation is heavily dependent on coal-fired power but plans to move towards a more diversified mix of generation sources. It regularly suffers outages because of faults at ailing state-owned utility Eskom that have deterred investment in the country and hobbled economic growth.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has pledged to fix Eskom and add generation capacity, but progress has been slow.

The presentation, made at a three-day meeting of party officials and allies that ended on Sunday and shared with Reuters by two sources, showed the ANC planned to launch the first renewables round in January or February for 2,600 MW of wind and solar, with another 2,600 MW round in August and a third for 1,600 MW in January or February 2022.

A procurement round for roughly 500 MW of energy storage would start around September, followed by rounds for 1,500 MW of coal and 3,000 MW of gas around December. The coal is contentious as the country is a major polluter, and banks are increasingly reluctant to lend to coal projects because of environmental concerns.

The capacity envisaged by the ANC is in line with the country’s Integrated Resource Plan, a government document that lays out the power mix until 2030.

[Alexander Winning]

More: S. Africa plans three renewable energy rounds over coming year

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