Currently, 6 377 MW of renewable energy capacity has been procured under the REIPPPP, with bids for a further 1 800 MW currently under evaluation [NUS, 2016-07]. The REIPPPP has helped stabilize power supply and seeked to reduce South Africa’s dependence on coal and diesel, and, through the connection of 43 IPP projects delivering 2 000 MW to the national grid [NUS, 2016-07]. Compared to other countries in Africa and even Europe, the IPP content in the renewables sector can be seen as a global flagship programme. The Department of Energy reported that the renewables programme has, to date, brought in $14-billion of foreign direct investment and created over 20 000 construction and 35 000 operational jobs [NUS, 2017-02].
Renewable energy sources have become financially viable, not only on a national level but also on a global level, when compared using the levelised cost of energy (LCOE) – a globally accepted indicator to evaluate energy generations technologies [Sager, 2014; Lazard, 2014] .
Figure: Renewable energy power plants map [Earthworks]
Lazard (2014) Lazard’s levelized cost of energy analysis, version 8.0
NUS Consulting, (201x-xx), ‘South Africa Market Energy Report’, NUS Consulting,
Sager, M. (2014) ‘Renewable Energy Vision, WWF-SA (World Wide Fund for Nature), South Africa