Green light for renewables bids

17 January 2011
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Government procurement to go greener

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A sustained approach

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 co-generation.

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.

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