• Government is aware that the country’s economic growth performance needs to be improved in a sustainable manner and has therefore made the resolution of the energy challenge an immediate priority.
• Progress has been made on stabilising the energy supply, in particular, maintenance practices have been improved; short term power purchase programme contracts of 1 350MW of electricity has been approved for 2015/16; and request for proposals of 2 500MW of coal-fired power has been issued.
• Efforts to increase and stabilise energy supply have produced positive results. The first unit of Medupi has come online in 2015, adding 800MW to the grid.
• The permanent appointment of the CEO and the CFO for Eskom have brought stability in the governance of the institution. Government recapitalised Eskom with R23 billion from the sale of none core assets. This brings financial stability and allows Eskom to keep the lights on.
South Africa and the renewable energy programme
• South Africa is succeeding in diversifying its energy mix through its Renewable Independent Power Producers Programme.
• Private sector investment in clean energy has seen more than 6000MW of renewable energy projects awarded under the government’s REIPPP. Thus far, 1800MW of renewable energy power has already been connected to the national grid. Further determinations for the rollout of renewable energy will see an additional 6300MW being procured as well as new determinations for gas to power, co-generation and coal based load. The 2014 United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) put South Africa among the top 10 countries for renewable energy investments.
• Notable achievements include the commercial operation of the SERE wind farm in the Western Cape, which saw 100 megawatts added to the grid.