Massive pressure on wind energy in South Africa as power crisis deepens

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The government has announced that it has increased the wind power allocation for the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program (REIPPPP) bidding window six to 3,200 MW due to the urgent need for more capacity in the power system.

The procurement allocations now stand at 3,200 MW for wind energy and 1,000 MW solicited from solar energy suppliers.

The REIPPPP aims to urgently address the country’s energy needs and deficit by adding more megawatts to the grid by purchasing and adding renewable energy sources to the grid.

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According to a government statement, the increase is in response to steps announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa to address South Africa’s energy challenges.

“Due to the urgency needed to resolve the electricity crisis, the government has decided to continue increasing wind allocation… in line with the Second Regulation of 2020.

“Instead of delaying this RFP [Request For Proposals] in order to approve all applications, the government has chosen to issue the current RFP for 4,200 MW, rather than delaying the entire bidding window.

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“A further announcement, regarding the remaining 1,000MW of solar PV, will be made after the completion of the NERSA [National Energy Regulator of SA] process regarding the concurrence of the new provision,” the statement read.

The total amount of capacity that the government now plans to add to the grid after bidding window 6 is approximately 5,200 MW, which will be added over the next 24 months.

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“The government, through the ongoing urgent work of the National Energy Crisis Committee, remains on track to end load shedding and achieve energy security,” the statement said.

South Africa has been dealing with energy supply uncertainty in recent months, leading to an unprecedented phase six in June and July.


Read: Why load shedding is back this week – and it’s not looking good