What happens after the third round of bidding closes next week?
At first glance, South Africa appears to be on the brink of an explosion in solar installations. While 2012 installations amounted to only 40 megawatts, a combination of high levels of solar irradiation, high electricity costs, and a government push toward more renewable energy generation is likely to quickly expand solar power generation. While the largest chunk will come through the established government Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Program (REIPPP), developments outside of the procurement program may be opening up the addressable market for solar PV, where solar is being looked at as an alternative to the high price of retail electricity.
The REIPPP is the government’s only tender for renewable energy. It is responsible for the majority of existing solar installations. The REIPPP has successfully closed on two rounds of bidding, with a total of R28 billion ($2.83 billion) in investment and 1,043 megawatts of capacity allocated. The REIPPP is set to close its third round of bidding on August 19 and is expected to allocate 400 megawatts of capacity to solar PV projects. Numerous developers are submitting bids for the third round, and it will likely be a very competitive round. Read on Green Tech Media