The South African utility has issued a 20-strong tender for 50 kW solar inverters and mounting structures, to be used in four power plants. Although it is unclear whether the tender marks the energy company’s first step into solar energy, the procurement follows the recent publication of South Africa’s Integrated Resource Plan. Eskom is reportedly developing a renewables-linked large scale storage project which may explain the need for inverters.
With power production up 133% year-on-year, revenues and EBITDA also rose significantly.
That would take the country to 8.28 GW of generation capacity by the end of the next decade with the government stating up to 6 GW of small scale capacity could be required on top. By that stage, however, coal would still amount to 43% of generation capacity and gas and diesel a combined 8.1%, under the new Integrated Resource Plan.
Power purchase agreements may be voluntarily renegotiated by extending the 20-year deals or enabling independent power producers to add more efficient PV components, thus increasing plant generation capacity.
A team of researchers modeled the country’s energy future, finding that the drought plagued municipalities could benefit massively from large scale renewables deployment. The current reliance on coal-fired power stations causes immense water consumption, worsening the problem.
An investor tool examining the coal fleets of major global power companies has offered up analysis which flies in the face of arguments solar and wind generation could help turn around the debt-saddled South African utility.
The Chinese state-owned infrastructure investment fund, which already has strong ties to the Saudi power company, will be a major shareholder in a Middle East and African clean energy portfolio that adds up to 1668 MW of generation capacity.
A representative of South Africa’s energy regulator said deals signed between 2011 and 2013 must be subject to lower tariffs to ease the financial crisis at national utility Eskom. The suggestion failed to convince delegates at an Africa Energy Forum panel discussion in Lisbon, however.
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