Independent Power Producers programme reaping rewards

Saturday, September 2, 2023

The Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) is having a positive socio-economic impact on the industry and the economy.

This is according to the Minister in the Presidency for Electricity, Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, who was speaking during a media briefing on the Energy Action Plan on Saturday.

Thus far, some 134 IPPs have been selected as preferred bidders, 11 904MW have been procured with 6180MW already operational and investment of R334.5 billion has been attracted for energy infrastructure.

Ramokgopa said that through the programme, “about R85 billion…has been placed in the hands of black business”.

“This is significant if we talk about the deracialisation of the South African economy. We are able to use our transition towards cleaner forms of energy to ensure that they provide significant meaning on this agenda of the deracialisation of the South African economy and we are having new participants, new entrants in the form of black players so that the democratic dividend is equitably distributed to all South Africans.

“[The programme] has been able to produce over 72 153 job years. It is a computation that we are using for us to be able to account for the number of employment opportunities that have been created in the South African economy as a result of the interventions of the Renewable Energy Programme. This speaks to the areas of during construction and also during operations.

“The Rand value of about R3.2 billion is what has been accumulated to the South African economy and this has got to significant impact in relation to socio-economic development and the areas of enterprise development so that we are able to expand the floor of opportunities to local communities, we are able to provide new skills that helps them to participate in this energy transition,” he said.

Ramokgopa revealed that some R69 billion actual spend has been spent on local content.

“There’s been a significant industrialisation on the back of the localisation of the components that are necessary to help us to decarbonise and transition. Our view is that on the back of this transition, on the back of this crisis, we must be able to expand the industrial base of the country.

“And on the back of this decarbonisation, on the back of this resolution of this crisis, we are also able to address the challenge of unemployment, we are able to address the challenge of structural unemployment in the form of the skills that are required to support the kind of economy that we are constructing and this economy will be underpinned by renewable energy sources,” he said.

On the environmental side, the Minister said REIPPPP projects have been able to offset some 97Mton of Carbon Dioxide with 114.7 million kilolitres of water saved.

“This is meaningful. There’s a multiplicity of matrices that underpin the renewable agenda. It’s not just only on the complexion of the generation mix, on the reduction of the emission levels but it also plays an important role on the deracialisation of the work that we are doing,” Ramokgopa said. –