Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

Eskom will sign the independent power producer (IPP) power purchase agreements by the end of October, Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi announced on Friday.

However, the power utility has been given the green light to renegotiate the tariffs, which cannot cost more than 77c per kilowatt-hour.

The minister said the current prices were unaffordable for Eskom.

Kubayi said the matter of the signing of the power purchase agreements was complex, with no easy solutions.

Once billed the most successful public-private partnership in Africa in the past 20 years, SA’s renewable energy independent power providers’ procurement programme has been in limbo as the power utility flatly refused to sign further power purchase agreements with independent producers, whose bids had been approved as part of the programme in 2016.

The South African Renewable Energy Council (Sarec) recently suggested that large-scale deployment of renewable energy and gas was very likely to significantly reduce Eskom’s dominance by 2050, which explained the utility’s foot-dragging to sign the contracts and fully embrace renewable energy technologies.

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