The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA), together with the broader renewable power sector, are celebrating the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy’s (DMRE) announcement to open a new procurement round (Bid Window 6) as another step towards addressing energy security and further stimulating the role of the wind sector in South Africa’s development objectives.
The Department published the announcement of the opening of Bid Window 6 (BW6) of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), which will procure a further 2 600MW of renewable energy from Independent Power Producers (IPPs), of which 1.6 GW is wind energy, in line with the gazetted IRP2019.
“The announcement to open BW6, calling for proposals from IPPs, adds vitally needed power capacity to the country, which continues to struggle with strangled energy supply that is preventing the necessary economic recovery that South Africa so badly needs. This also adds impetus to the sector’s push for industrialisation, which relies on rolling procurement in order for the industry to attract the necessary market investment and reduce risk,” said Niveshen Govender, CEO of SAWEA.
This announcement comes off the back of Bid Window 5, which was opened a year ago and is expected to reach financial closure by the end of this month (April 2022), heralding the rebirth of the wind energy industry, following a hiatus of almost seven years. The wind energy industry is dependent on policy tones set by government, hence the Association is grateful to the various government departments for implementing a number of procurement enabling policies over the last few years.
Policy shifts indicate a clear direction in terms of plans to procure new generation capacity on an ongoing basis, in line with the energy roadmap, which sees 14.4 GW of new wind power over the next decade. With consistent procurement facilitated by supporting regulations, the opportunities to increase local manufacturing is hugely positive.
“South Africa can address fundamental challenges of energy access, energy security and climate change through the deployment of renewable energy. We can harness our abundant potential of increasingly cost-competitive renewable energy to service the growing demand for electricity and avoid a potential fossil-fuel lock-in, in addition to local and foreign investment. Furthermore, renewable technologies present potential for the creation of new industries, job creation and localisation across the value chain,” added Govender.
The Department has set a firm date for the closing date for Bid Submission as 11 August 2022.
This announcement comes just a week after the DMRE’s confirmed postponement of the signing of power purchase agreements for the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP), which is now scheduled for the end of this month.