South Africa moving towards more renewable electricity generation

Submitted by: Margaret McKenzie, Monday, February 13, 2012

The recent announcement by the government of the 28 preferred bids from independent power producers to generate electricity from renewable sources is a major step forward for renewable energy.   The bidders need to finalise the financing arrangements for their projects by June 2012 and start generating in 2014.    In total the projects have a generation potential of 1,415.52 MW.  

The breakdown by technology is shown in the graph below:

Over the next few years the government is aiming to secure a total of 3,625 MW of renewable energy generation potential.    The planned breakdown by technology is shown in the graph below:

Currently Eskom has a net generation capacity of 39,794 MW.  The majority of Eskom’s generation capacity is made up of coal-fired plants.  Currently about 1.4% of Eskom generation capacity is derived from renewable energy. The addition of 3,625 MW of renewable energy generation potential through independent power producers will mean that over 9% of South Africa’s generation potential will be derived from renewable energy.  However, this percentage will be diluted when Eskom brings further coal-fired plants on-line.

Margaret McKenzie