Shifting priorities reflected in latest renewable energy procurement

Issue 265 - 07 Nov 2013 | 3 minute read

The incomplete and low-key bulletin announcing the selection of 17 new power plants for South Africa’s renewable energy independent power producer procurement (REIPPP) programme on 29 October demonstrated not only the government’s shifting energy focus, but also conflicts underlying the process itself. Recently appointed minister Dikobe Ben Martins comes with a reputation for implementation, and there is no doubt that the energy sector needs it. With delays at all three of Eskom’s new power plants – which are shut down for a safety inspection following the deaths of six contract workers at Ingula pumped storage plant – and nuclear, gas and cogeneration plans that are behind schedule, Martins’ efforts are likely to be directed away from the REIPPP in the short term.

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