Globeleq bought the solar plants — which are part of a bigger portfolio that includes wind farms — from an affiliate of Brookfield Asset Management. It said that in the coming weeks it will also reach financial close on another 66 MW solar installation, pushing the PV portion of the acquired portfolio up to 119 MW. It currently holds 238 MW of combined solar and wind capacity in South Africa.
The nation appears ready to join the ranks of global solar protectionists but any fears about its energy transition may be dampened by the introduction of one of the world’s first true carbon levies – provided emitters are not afforded too many loopholes.
The complaint was submitted to the country’s International Trade Administration Commission by domestic module maker ARTsolar, which points out South Africa does not have anti-dumping duties to protect its manufacturers.
As national utility Eskom faces a financial and operational crisis, rumors are spreading that the government may ask independent power producers to renegotiate the tariffs of PPAs awarded in the first two rounds of its renewable energy program. South African solar association SAPVIA has already given short shrift to the idea.
As utility Eskom starts load shedding due to power plant failure, the 4 GW of wind and solar in the country are helping reduce energy shortages. Blue Horizon Energy Consulting Services’ Chris Ahlfeldt tells pv magazine renewables – rather than Eskom’s plans to expand conventional generation capacity – would provide a safer, cheaper solution to the power crisis.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced a plan to rescue state-owned power company Eskom by separating it into three units. According to consultants Frost & Sullivan, although that may not be enough to completely address the utility’s financial crisis it may further encourage investment in renewables.
Norwegian developer Scatec has upped its holding in three operational PV projects in South Africa. Each of the plants is operating under a 20-year PPA with utility Eskom. Scatec’s investments in the country are secured by guarantees from the World Bank Group.
An Africa power sector scorecard shows that solar will make inroads into the African energy sector over the next two years, accounting for 9% of new capacity additions, as renewables uptake across the continent continues to grow.
Canadian Solar Inc. and ET Energy will deliver EPC services to two large-scale solar PV projects totaling 132 MWp for South Africa’s BioTherm Energy.
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