THE chairman of Eskom’s board has written to the energy minister, stating that Eskom will not sign any further power purchase agreements with independent power producers (IPPs) after the current round of renewable energy projects are concluded. The potential consequences could be devastating for private investment in SA’s power sector, and could terminate the government’s most successful public-private procurement programme.In the past five years, the Department of Energy has procured 92 privately funded power projects totalling R193bn. No other government-initiated programme rivals the scale of investment achieved, or the degree of transparency.Despite intense competition — there were almost 400 bids over multiple tender rounds — there have been no legal challenges or accusations of impropriety or corruption. The programme has also resulted in economic development benefits in domestic manufacture, job creation, ownership and community development.ALSO READ: Eskom cuts off private p...

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