Sumary of How the rollout of South Africa’s renewable energy plan is failing communities:
- South Africa’s over-reliance on coal-fired power plants places the country among the world’s top carbon emitters and does huge damage to the health of its citizens.
- The country has also struggled to maintain a stable energy supply since 2007. Power cuts are now a regular feature of South African life.
- A developmental priority is therefore a transition from highly centralised energy production that depends on diminishing reserves of fossil fuels towards decentralised production of renewable, clean energy.
- Ten years ago the government introduced a programme designed to enable the procurement of renewable energy from companies that are independent from the country’s monopoly electricity supplier.
- Known as the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, it has, by some measures, been remarkably successful.
- The designers of the programme recognised that in the country’s transition to a cleaner, greener economy, it would be important to ensure that communities were not left behind.
- Companies that bid were thus required to meet a set of economic development criteria.
- This “economic development scorecard” counted 30% of the evaluation of companies’ bids to become independent power producers (IPPs) alongside the technical and financial aspects of proposed energy production.