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.
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.
The Global Solar Council (GSC) held its general assembly at last week’s Solar Power International (SPI) in California, where it announced new board members and said it will work towards crafting a unified message for the solar industry. All five working committees of the council are expected to contribute to this new task.
After signing the 27 outstanding renewable PPAs assigned in previous rounds in April, the South African government believes the new procurement round may raise investment of more than $3.1 billion.
The South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) has called on the country’s government for more PV support. Energy specialist, Chris Ahlfeldt comments on the five point PV plan, which envisages 1.5 GW of new installs annually, and the creation of 55,000 jobs. He also discusses the ongoing issue of the 27 unsigned PPAs, and the bottlenecks in the market.
The South African solar market registered 509 MW of new PV installations in 2016. The country’s cumulative PV capacity reached 1.47 GW as of the end of December. Meanwhile, the price of solar power has dropped significantly over the past five years.
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