Wind power could breathe new life into Africa’s energy economy

by Aug 23, 2016Climate Change, Energy, Green Building0 comments

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MORE than 50 years ago British prime minister Harold Macmillan angered the apartheid government when he told its parliament that the wind of change was blowing through Africa. Now a new, revolutionary wind could blow away energy poverty as an obstacle to the continent’s aspirations.

The International Energy Agency estimates that 625-million sub-Saharan Africans are without power. The World Bank says 25 countries in the region face a crisis of weak energy capacity, poor reliability, and high costs.

In just five years, 92 independent power producers secured contracts in SA with a combined nameplate capacity of 6,327MW.

The Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) seeks clean energy with societal benefits, using a level cost of electricity as a metric that divides lifetime costs of production by electricity produced.

Siemens’s new yardstick — society’s cost of electricity — includes job creation, employment effects, health and geopolitical risks, and security of supply.

Since 2011, renewable projects have attracted R193bn of private investment; R19.1bn has been committed to socioeconomic development over 20 years and R6bn to enterprise development. The total projected value of goods and services procured from broad-based black economic empowerment suppliers is more than R101bn.

The energy centre at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) determined that the two terawatt-hours (TWh) generated from solar and wind facilities during the first six months of 2015 contributed a net benefit to the economy of up to R4bn.

REIPPPP stipulates local community ownership of 2.5%, but their actual shareholding across the procured portfolio is 10.5%.

South African equity shareholding across bid windows one to four is 47% of R65.8bn.

Renewable energy production has cut the equivalent of 4.4-million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

The state’s 2010 Integrated Resource Plan calls for 17,800MW of renewable energy by 2030 — a fifth of predicted demand. The Department of Energy has committed to 13,225MW of renewable energy generation by 2025.

Read full story: BDLive

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