ON THE MONEY
STUART THEOBALD: Renewable energy plan hits the skids despite power crisis
Is the renewable energy independent power producers’ programme (REIPPP) dead? It’s hard to believe that the ground-breaking programme came to life in the Zuma era but has foundered under Ramaphosa. Having been the one bright light in the energy sector, it is dimming, despite the electricity crisis being as severe as before.
The obvious symptom of the dysfunction is that not one project has reached financial close since the fourth bid window. That was conducted in 2015, though a spirited fight from coal-vested interests delayed financial close to 2018. But all projects procured since — especially the urgent “risk mitigation bidding round” that included Karpowership’s floating gas generators, and the fifth bid window — have so far failed to reach financial close, the point at which all contracts are signed and construction can begin...