South Africa has just launched a new program to build new power plants with a combined capacity of 11,813 MW. The power stations, which will mainly consist of wind and solar power, will be built from 2022 in order to strengthen national electricity power.

In South Africa, the national regulator of the solar sector (Nersa), has just approved the decision of the Ministry of Energy to install additional power stations by private producers. These new capacities will have a combined capacity of 11,813 MW.

Their implementation is part of the integrated plan for electrical resources, which is the national energy program for the next ten years.

Among the plants to be built, 6,800 MW of power will consist of solar and wind power plants. The gas-fired power plants will supply 3,000 MW and the coal-fired plants 1,500 MW. Finally, 513 MW will have to be supplied from storage capacities. The implementation of these new capacities will start in 2022. “  Work has started with the various stakeholders, in order to put in place the essential framework for the banking feasibility of the program,” said Gwede Mantashe, the South African Minister for Energy.

Eskom has always been the acquirer of the capacities put in place in government programs. However, the last phase of acquisition of renewable energy plants by private producers was suspended in 2016 when the company unilaterally refused to sign the power purchase contracts, arguing a production surplus. A blockage that lasted until 2018 when the contracts for the 27 projects were finally signed. However, this incident has shaken investor confidence in the South African energy market, mainly for the renewable sub-sector.

The company returned to serial power cuts last year, due to the chronic failures of its old and poorly maintained coal-fired power plants. This recently led it to launch a risk limitation program which will allow the emergency installation of 2,000 MW of capacity by next year.


Source: Agence Ecofin