|SA takes first bold step towards much-anticipated green energy|
The Department of Energy’s announcement at the end of 2011 of the preferred bidders to become South Africa’s first Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers (IPPs) marked the start of an exciting new leg of the country’s journey towards a truly green economy. And the second phase of REIPPP bidding recently reinforced the momentum created by that announcement.
While the second phase is still in progress, the mere fact that 53 qualified bids were received in the first-phase bidding – representing about 2 100MW of potential renewable energy capacity – speaks volumes about South Africa’s readiness to enter the much-anticipated era of alternative-power provision.
As a partner to 11 of the successful first-round bidders, Nedbank Capital gained first-hand insight into the quality and depth of commitment in South Africa’s burgeoning renewable-energy sector.
Despite some lingering reservations about the REIPPP initiative’s economic viability and sustainability, all indications are the foundations have been laid on which a robust, green South African economy can be built.
The government, in collaboration with public and private sector stakeholders, is clearly committed to realising its vision of a future South Africa powered significantly by renewable energy, as set out in its blueprint for energy procurement under IRP2010.
But there is far more to such a green economy than the establishment of renewable-energy infrastructure and capacity.
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