Press 2018


Government has today re-confirmed its commitment to the renewable energy sector and will continue its intended partnership with the private sector in mutual pursuit of diversifying South Africa’s power mix in support of energy and economic security.

The conclusion of duly procured power purchase agreements (PPAs) signal a reawakening of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).  The programme was born out of government’s vision for an expansion of South Africa’s energy mix to include renewable power from independent producers with a range of clear developmental imperatives.  The REIPPPP has been recognised as a winning public-private partnership model and the achievement of this final step in the duly completed procurement process represents an important milestone for good energy governance in South Africa.

The renewable energy industry can now further add to its contribution to the South African economy through rural development, job creation, advancing the transformation agenda and attracting further foreign direct investment.

“We welcome the Department of Energy’s determination to unlock rural development and much-needed jobs particularly in the construction and manufacturing sectors, to provide assurance to the employees of the Industry and to regain investor confidence,” said Brenda Martin, CEO of SAWEA.

The signing process was enacted by the Department of Energy and the ceremony itself was presided over by the Minister of Energy, Mr Jeff Radebe. The ceremony marked the conclusion of 27 power purchase agreements under Bid Window 3.5 and 4 of the REIPPPP.

South Africa’s manufacturing and construction industries, in particular, stand to benefit immediately from the conclusion of these PPAs as equipment orders can now be placed and construction contracts can now be concluded. The recovery of the domestic manufacturing industry is necessitated by the effects of the delay which saw several manufacturing facilities having to retrench staff due to a lack of further component orders. Growth of this industry is particularly critical, given its potential to attract further investment, create significant numbers of jobs and drive down the price of locally available technology.

In closing, SAWEA and its members reaffirm the Industry’s commitment to realising the great contribution that wind and renewable power can make to South Africa’s ongoing social, environmental and economic development.


The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) has responded to the court’s ruling today, which has found against NUMSA/Transform SA’s application to bring an urgent interdict against the signing of the procured Renewable Energy (RE) Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs).READ MORE


The South African Wind Energy Association is concerned that the arguments cited by NUMSA and Transform SA in their interdict application against renewable power purchase agreement (RE PPA) conclusion, are misleading. Job losses must be avoided wherever possible, but false claims do not enable sound decision-making.

“The attempt to halt conclusion of 27 duly procured Renewable Energy PPAs by NUMSA and Transform SA this week is based on questionable data and does not sufficiently take into account the long-term interests of South Africans”, said Brenda Martin, CEO of SAWEA.

Eskom power failures and unprecedented tariff increases over the past 12 years have taken a toll both on the economy and jobs. South Africa’s over-reliance on coal fired electricity clearly creates significant risks that can no longer be underplayed.

“The imminent closures of Eskom’s old coal fired power stations are inevitable and unrelated to the renewable energy procurement programme. The coal plants have reached the end of their useful lives and are now directly stranded by the new coal-fired capacity being brought online by Medupi and Kusile,” explained Martin.

Furthermore, it’s important to consider that Eskom’s older coal fired stations are currently exempt from meeting South Africa’s relatively lax environmental standards and negatively impact public health and environment of local communities. The reduction of fossil fuels is also critical for reducing our country’s disproportionate contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

“In addition to growing economic effects, South Africa cannot continue to ignore these large negative impacts on human health and the environment when much cheaper and cleaner job-creating options are now readily available, added Martin.

The global growth of low cost, clean renewable energy technologies provides a critical opportunity to reduce the economy’s exposure to the risks of job losses, of long-term tariff increases and of human and environmental health effects.

Bearing in mind that closures of older stations are not caused by renewable energy, SAWEA points out that NUMSA’s suggestion that “30 thousand working class families will suffer because of job losses” is clearly an error.  Publicly available information on Eskom’s power station employment figures shows that this figure is overstated by an order of magnitude.

NUMSA further claims incorrectly that IPP roll-out will raise the cost of electricity. It is noteworthy that the statement offers no reliable evidence in support of this falsehood. “The new IPPs will cost substantially less than the cost of Eskom’s new coal fired power from Medupi and Kusile, and are also expected to cost less than Eskom’s current average sales price of electricity,” stated Martin. From meticulous scientific research available publicly it is now also known that when the true economic, health-related and environmental costs of coal power is taken into account the cost-saving from new renewable IPPs is even greater.


Today was meant to mark the reawakening of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), first initiated in 2011.

“The delayed investment of over R59 billion, the creation of over 13 000 construction jobs and a further 2000 operations jobs was meant to be unlocked today,” said Brenda Martin, CEO of the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA).READ MORE


The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA), together with the broader renewable power sector, are today celebrating Minister Radebe’s confirmation that the country’s renewable procurement programme will resume. The Energy minister has set a firm date for the conclusion of duly procured power purchase agreements (PPAs): Tuesday March 13th, 2018.



“South Africa should urgently restart its large scale renewables industry in order to benefit from the continued decline in renewables prices achieved globally and grow its green economy industrial base”, says Brenda Martin, CEO of SAWEA.

While South Africa’s renewables programme has been stalled over the past three years, falling prices for renewable power has led to exponential growth in investment and an accelerated Energy Transition globally.

The Energy Transition is punctuated by two critical tipping points. The first being when new renewables become cheaper than new thermal generation technologies.  South Africa has already moved past that point: the Department of Energy confirmed that the November 2015 Expedited Round bids for wind and solar power were 62c/kWh (2016 ZAR), significantly cheaper than new coal IPPs at around R1.03/kWh (2016 ZAR).  In fact, the costs of new wind and solar PV power is even lower than Eskom’s 2016/17 average price of electricity, by 20%.

The second tipping point happens when new renewables become cheaper than running existing thermal plant. Big energy hubs like the US, China and Germany are expected to reach this point by the early 2020s. A recent study published by leading national consultancy Meridian Economics concluded that Eskom’s growing surplus capacity accelerated the transition in relative energy economics and that the country has already crossed over this tipping point: it will be cheaper to close Eskom’s older power stations and rely on a combination of power from its newer (and more efficient) coal plant and new renewables. “South African electricity consumers would thus be better off if between three and five of Eskom’s oldest coal stations were shut down as soon as possible, rather than operated to their scheduled end-of-life, and the country’s energy needs were instead met by new renewable power producers” Martin pointed out.

The government’s REI4P has also contributed to the decline in renewables prices, through its competitive auctions, a successful model that has been implemented in SA since 2011. This national competitive auction programme has resulted in the procurement of 6.3 GW of independent renewable power projects, of which half had been connected to the grid by the end of 2017.  As a result of this consistent procurement, an entirely new green economy industry was spawned in South Africa, creating thousands of new jobs.

The tired, old critique that renewable power will reduce power system reliability is now completely debunked by sophisticated computer models run by both Eskom and numerous independent analysts. These models optimise the mix of generation choices to ensure a level of security of supply that is equivalent or even superior to what is currently achieved. The results consistently confirm that on a least-cost path most of South Africa’s new capacity will be renewable, with some system support from gas turbines, and a growing role for energy storage.

“In addition, it is worth considering that the CSIR and other research institutes have conclusively demonstrated that the option of new wind, solar PV and flexible generation capacity in South Africa delivers the least-cost electricity price trajectory in the years ahead to 2050 and beyond, as well as least water consumption, lowest carbon emissions and the most jobs,” concluded Martin.


21 February 2018

The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) has issued a statement applauding the newly appointed President’s commitment to stabilising state owned enterprises and Minister Gigaba’s reiteration of these sentiments, in today’s Budget Speech.

“We applaud President Ramaphosa’s unequivocal commitment in the State of the Nation Address to intervene decisively to stabilise and revitalise state owned enterprises for the benefit of our country’s economic future,” said Brenda Martin, CEO of SAWEA.

The industry is similarly pleased that the Minister of Finance acknowledged the Minister of Public Enterprises instruction to Eskom to conclude all Power Purchase Agreements (PPA’s) with independent power producers

SAWEA has also confirmed support for President Ramaphosa’s emphasis on nation building, through restorative measures grounded in consultation, transparency and accountability.

“We support the call to place youth at the centre of the economy, to enable their inclusion in the economy and welcome the incentives that will be provided to businesses to contribute more, direct opportunities to young entrants to the Industry,” added Martin.

SAWEA appeals to President Ramaphosa and the Ministers of Finance, Energy and Public Enterprises to ensure the achievement of a firm date for duly procured Renewable Energy Power Purchase Agreement conclusion, by no later than March 31st, 2018, when key legal documents will expire.

The industry continues to anticipate Eskom’s co-operation on all related requirements for the conclusion of PPAs, which will allow the country’s renewables programme to get back on track.

Certainty is also required around the future scale of the South African renewables programme so that the full value chain benefits of clean power supply, investment growth, manufacturing sector recovery and development, further job creation and rural socio-economic benefits can be realised as soon as possible, in the South African economy.

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