Green en­ergy plans slump

The Times (South Africa) - - Business - By ROBERT LAING

● BMI Re­search low­ered its fore­cast for the re­new­able en­ergy ca­pac­ity it ex­pects South Africa to have in­stalled by 2026 to 8.5GW from 9.9GW, due to the gov­ern­ment’s chaotic poli­cies.

“The lat­est cab­i­net reshuffle, which saw a new en­ergy min­is­ter ap­pointed — the third in less than a year — has done lit­tle to re­duce pol­icy un­cer­tainty in the sec­tor. We be­lieve these fac­tors will weigh on in­vestor sen­ti­ment across the coun­try’s power sec­tor,” BMI said yes­ter­day morn­ing.

Pre­vi­ous rounds of the gov­ern­ment’s re­new­able en­ergy in­de­pen­dent power pro­ducer pro­cure­ment pro­gramme were ex­tremely suc­cess­ful at at­tract­ing pri­vate­sec­tor in­vest­ment to re­duce Eskom’s mo­nop­oly.

“How­ever, sig­nif­i­cant de­lays of around two years to the sign­ing of power pur­chase agree­ments be­tween in­de­pen­dent power pro­duc­ers and Eskom has de­layed the ex­pan­sion of the in­dus­try.”

BMI said though Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma ap­peared to re­main strongly com­mit­ted to build­ing 9.6GW of nu­clear ca­pac­ity by 2030, “the high cost of the deal makes it un­vi­able and that it is un­likely that any new nu­clear ca­pac­ity will be de­vel­oped within our 10year fore­cast pe­riod”.

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