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17 January 2011 | Nick Martindale
The South African government is set to begin the procurement
programme for the country’s long-awaited renewable energy project next month.
The move follows the completion of a request for
information, which resulted in 384 potential suppliers outlining proposals that
collectively represented 20,000MW of renewable energy capacity and 4MW of
But fewer than 30 were likely to take part in a full
procurement process, the Department ofEnergy (DoE) said, with environmental impact
assessments a major stumbling block.
Around a third of the proposals were for wind power
projects, and these accounted for 70 per cent of the total capacity. Solar PV
programmes accounted for another third of submissions, but made up only 15 per cent of the
potential energy capacity.
The tender process will be co-ordinated by the DoE and the
public/private partnership unit of the NationalTreasury after concerns were raised over a possible
conflict of interest regarding the role of the state provider Eskom as a
potential procurer and supplier.
South Africa wants at least 16 per cent of its energy to be
generated from renewable sources within the next two decades.