Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

The government has approved an application by Eskom to buy more renewable power from independent power producers, the Department of Public Enterprises said on Friday.

The deal ends years of investor uncertainty for projects awaiting financial closure and delaying an estimated R58bn worth of new investment into the economy.

"I have requested Eskom to work expediently to implement the decision and avoid further delays," minister Lynne Brown said in a statement.

In May, the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) agreed to investigate Eskom’s refusal to sign power purchase agreements with independent power producers, the South African Wind Energy Association (Sawea) said.

At the time Sawea said Eskom’s unwillingness to finalise agreements had delayed the production of 2,942MW in new solar and wind projects.

"We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint," Brown said on Friday.

Eskom generates most of the electricity in SA using coal-fired power stations, and is the continent’s biggest emitter of harmful greenhouse gases.