- South Africa is entering its fifth round of bidding and proposal for renewable energy.
- The project will cost as much as $4 billion and will result in a 1.8 gigawatt (GW) capacity infrastructure
- The bidding is expected to come to fruition on November this year.
Things have been a little complicated in South Africa in the recent past due to its seemingly ongoing inner struggle to open its doors to renewable energy. Now, it appears that they are finally ready once more to take advantage of renewable energy, and for the sake of the country, as well as the continent, hopefully, they succeed this time.
This time around, the responsibility fell to the lawmaker to keep things on track for South Africa’s progress towards renewable energy. These types of energy include solar power, wind, hydroelectric, and other types of energy that are not reliant on fossil fuels. Of course, solar power is one of the most common and readily available energy types, so it would only make sense to pour most of the efforts towards this, what with their weather too.
Big spendings for energy
South African and its law-making bodies also seem to not want to skimp on any aspect regarding the projects related to renewable energy. The cost expected for the infrastructure needed to sustain renewable energy in South Africa amounts to as much as 50 billion rands or a staggering $4 billion when converted.
Of course, this could be tentative and might cost more or less depending on how the bidding goes. For those who have not kept track of the complicated progress of South Africa’s renewable energy plans, it has been the country’s fifth time trying to bid the $4-billion-project, which could have meant that a lot of bumps were hit along the way.
Regardless, the new window for bidding on the said renewable energy project is planned to kick off during November, where the results could either hinder or advance the progress of South Africa’s renewable energy plans. As for the scope of the project, the projected output is about 1.8 gigawatts (GW) of energy, enough for a small city.
More than just energy
South Africa being quite a sizable country with a population of approximately 56 million people, this project could bring about a lot of positive progress for the country. The benefits of the renewable energy project are definitely not limited to energy and electricity alone, and investment that big would have been a quite wasteful otherwise.
Apart from more affordable electricity for South Africans, the huge renewable energy project is also expected to provide more jobs for the population. More jobs could lead to better economic stimulation and would eventually contribute for the betterment of South Africa’s economy.
“The intention is to enhance local manufacturing to ensure investment and economic growth as well as the opportunity to encourage opportunities for black industrialists and the development of black independent power producers,” explained South African Energy Minister Jeff Radebe.
Of course, the project would still have to face the challenges of undergoing the bidding procedure, which might prove troublesome given the difficulties it faced in the past. Back in 2015 to 2016, the same project was stalled because its program-holder, the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Program (REIPPPP) had hit a roadblock with South Africa’s state utility, Eskom.
It was a rather untimely and disadvantageous corruption scandal and allegation from Eskom which contributed to the hindrances South Africa faced for its renewable energy project. Hence why the current and outstanding bidding phase in November is the fifth one ever since the project was first conceived.
This trouble has blown over after a change of administration and figureheads, though the same obstruction could still be there. All that is left for South Africa is to wait until November for the results of the bidding for the project.
Hopefully, the project goes through and the people of South Africa are given more options and opportunities for energy and jobs. Meanwhile, the solar industry in the said country could soon begin to rise depending on the future of the renewable energy project in question.