May 2015

SA’s bidding model facilitates big fall in renewables tarriffs

Engineering News
19 May 2015

Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson reports that South Africa’s competitive-bidding model for the procurement of renewable-energy projects from independent power producers (IPPs) has delivered major cost reductions since its introduction in 2011.

Speaking to lawmakers on Tuesday, the Minister said that, in April 2014 terms, the average per kilowatt hour tariff for onshore wind had declined by 55% to an average of 62c, while the solar photovoltaic (PV) tariff had declined by 76% to 79c.

Following four bidding rounds under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), 5 243 MW had been procured, with 37 projects, or 1 827 MW, already connected the national grid.

The programme had also secured capital investment commitments of about R170-billion.

“On average, 15% of this energy was delivered to the power system during system peak periods, alleviating pressure on the power system. The energy contribution should grow to approximately 7 000 Gigawatt-hours per annum with the first 47 renewable-energy IPPs fully operational and producing at full capacity by mid-2016,” the Minister said.

By 2022, 17 000 MW of IPP capacity would be added to the South African electricity mix from renewable-energy, cogeneration, coal and gas sources, with the Department of Energy (DoE) set to procure the capacity at a rate of 2 400 MW a year.

The department had submitted new determinations to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to enable the procurement of an additional 6 300 MW under the REIPPPP, while a request for proposals (RFP) for an additional 1 800 MW from existing bid submissions was on course for release by June 2015.

The DoE was also seeking Nersa’s concurrence for a determination relating to the procurement of 1 800 MW from co-generators, to be procured under a revised model.

A co-generation RFP would be issued soon and an announcement of the preferred bidders was expected during the third quarter of 2015. “The new approach will ensure that the approval process is expedited and financial close accelerated.”

Global Wind Day 2015

Global Wind Day is a worldwide event that occurs annually on 15 June.

It is a day for discovering wind, its power and the possibilities it holds to change our world.
It is also a day for discovery of the work that has already begun by pioneers around the world.
In more than 80 countries around the world, wind farms are in operation, generating energy from a clean and renewable source.
Thousands of individuals are involved in the production of energy from the wind, but for many people, wind energy is a mystery.

South Africa proudly celebrates 7 years of Global Wind Day with 7 amazing wind energy facts


As the world celebrates Global Wind Day 2015, South Africa proudly showcases its wind energy industry with a short film that shares its immense achievements since 2011.

In appreciation of Global Wind Day being in its seventhyear, the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) has produced this film which highlights seven amazing facts about wind power in South Africa, along with footage from some of the outstanding community projects already underway as a result of funding from our wind farms.


Fact 1: It’s here

South Africa has gone from having just 8 wind turbines in 2012 to 294 – just 3 years later.

Fact 2: It empowers communities

More than ZAR 7 Billion has already been allocated to community uplift and socio-economic development from wind farms being developed under the Government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). This figure will increase significantly over the next three to four years as thousands more megawatts of wind energy are built.

Fact 3: It creates jobs

19, 414 person years of jobs were created by wind farms given the go ahead in REIPPPP Rounds 1 -3.  93.5% of those jobs were/are being carried out by South Africans and locally trained technicians.

Fact 4: It avoids load shedding

Wind energyguaranteed that 117 hours of load shedding were avoided in 2014 – this equals 9 Gigawatt hours and an equivalent value of ZAR 800 million. Wind energy also saved ZAR 1.7 billion in coal and diesel fuel in 2014.

Fact 5: It’s cheap

Newest prices for wind power under the REIPPPP are 40% cheaper per electricity unit than the newest coal (based on latest estimates for Medupi Coal Power Station, currently under construction).

Fact 6: Right now, it’s free

Wind power in 2014 saved more money than it cost: it was cash positive by ZAR 300 million (that's cash benefit for Eskom directly) and it avoided ZAR 800 million worth of unserved energy.

Fact 7: It’s all built with private money

ZAR 55 billion of private funding has been invested in the wind industry over the last 3 years. South Africa only pays for the power produced.

One final thought to share: If 294 wind turbines on the ground can do this for our country and our people, think what 2,500 will do by 2020 – that’s the plan!

We hope you will join us in celebrating our flourishing industry by sharing our film with the world to ensure everyone can share in our success.


Editor’s notes:

For further information or to interview SAWEA CEO Johan Van den Berg, please mail: or call +27 (0) 11 2140664.

Follow us on Twitter @_sawea

SAWEA is a non-profit, industry organisation representing the wind industry in South Africa. Its members include both national and international entities active in the entire wind energy supply chain. Its aim is to promote the sustainable use of commercial wind energy in South Africa; to contribute knowledge and human resources to the streamlining of the policy and regulatory framework for wind in SA; to facilitate synergy between the growth of the industry and the achievement of the broader socio-economic aims of Government (including training, job creation and localisation); to disseminate information; to act as a focal point for discussion between members, government, the media and the public.
For more information visit:

Windaba 2015

Join us at our annual conference in association with the Global Wind Energy Council: Windaba 2015 on November 4-5 in Cape Town




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UWC launches energy storage laboratory

By Natalie Greve

The University of the Western Cape (UWC) has launched an energy storage innovation facility that aims to create an interface between energy storage technology development projects, innovation partners and potential industrial customers in need of advanced energy storage solutions, to cross the so-called “innovation chasm”.

The university said the strength of the Energy Storage Innovation Lab (ESIL) lay in the development, validation and localisation of wide-range energy storage systems for the South African industry and community.

According to ESIL head Professor Bernard Bladergroen, the facility was the culmination of years of research, development and innovation at the UWC’s South African Institute for Advanced Materials Chemistry in the field of lithium-ion (li-ion) and sodium-halide batteries, battery modules and integrated energy storage systems.

ESIL would support an existing research programme aimed at driving the local production of li-ion batteries at a competetitive cost through the use of local raw materials.

A primary output of this programme was the development of a li-ion battery cell production line, where battery modules suitable for automotive and renewable-energy system battery packs could be manufactured on a pilot scale.

The laboratory also boasted an extensive network with energy storage developers, manufacturing and system integrators from South Africa, China, India, the US, Germany and other countries.

It would further develop low-cost thermal cells for grid-scale stabilisation and energy storage.

Bladergroen added at the launch of the facility on Wednesday that, with the current strain on the electricity grid and the growing deployment of renewable energy, there was a clear need for reliable and cost-effective energy storage systems.

“It is the right time for customers, innovators, researchers and entrepreneurs in the energy storage arena to get together and work towards sustainable solutions.

“Energy storage can mitigate the negative effects of power outage, assist in improving national grid stability and enable South Africa to tap into its vast renewable-energy potential, specifically from wind and solar sources,” he commented.


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