Mmamoloko Kubayi. Picture: BUSINESS DAY
Mmamoloko Kubayi. Picture: BUSINESS DAY

Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi’s announcement that the independent power producer (IPP) power purchase agreements will be concluded by the end of October, will bring much-needed investment and will secure current jobs — and create new ones — in the sector.

This is according to the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (Sapvia).

Following months of uncertainty over SA’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, Kubayi announced on Friday that Eskom would sign the agreements by end-October.

However, the power utility has been given the green light to renegotiate the tariffs to not more than 77c per kilowatt hour (KWh). Kubayi said the current prices were unaffordable for Eskom.

"By confirming dates for the financial close of the round 3.5 and round 4 projects, government is sending out a signal that indeed, as President [Jacob] Zuma stated last week, ‘SA is open for business’. The delays in the programme have endangered longterm investor confidence, investment and more specifically, job creation and retention in this market," according to Sapvia.

The association also said the signing of the power purchase agreements would fast track the delivery of employment opportunities, local manufacturing opportunities, social development programmes and the benefits of community ownership.

"These announcements send a positive signal to the market that the government is committed to ensuring renewable energy plays its part in the future energy mix in a manner that ensures economic transformation of the sector, and ultimately broader economic participation of South Africans in renewable energy." © Business Day

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