PV panels manufactured in South Africa to play a key role in REIPP Programme Round 4

The final round of projects awarded by the Department of Energy have turned South Africa into one of the most dynamic markets worldwide, and its local PV energy modules are expected to play a key role in its development. According to Enertis, an international firm specialised in providing consultancy, technical assessment and engineering services to the solar PV energy sector, the South African solar market has become a mature industry, making a robust contribution to the creation of much-needed energy capacity, local employment and a competitive renewable energy environment, thereby attracting investment from major international players.

South Africa’s DoE has recently taken steps to address the energy supply crisis in the country and has boosted the allocation of renewables projects. According to Enertis, in the specific case of solar PV energy, if the first three rounds had resulted in the allocation of 1,484 MW, only a further 813 MW have been selected for round 4. In addition, an accelerated or extraordinary round has been announced which will secure a further 1,800 MW from various technologies ahead of the anticipated round 5.

The evolution of the REIPP Programme has followed a path where projects selected have grown in size (75 MW projects are now the norm whereas almost 50% of the projects in Round 1 ranged from 5 to 20 MW). They have also become very competitive in terms of price and local content. Round 4 prices have reached some of the lowest levels hitherto seen worldwide, and local content values stand at an average of around 64%. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY October 2015