In a bid to promote the use of renewable energy in South Africa, the Department of Energy has announced that the country’s major cities – Johannesburg and Cape Town – will purchase electricity directly from Independent Power Producers (IPPs).
The decision to allow major cities in the country to source power from IPPs will serve to reduce the country’s reliance on coal and participate in carbon-reducing initiatives. Sourcing power from IPPs will also reduce dependence on state-owned Eskom.
Additionally, the city of Johannesburg plans to source electricity from solar power plants and landfills, where gas from decaying waste can be used to generate electricity. Meanwhile, Cape Town plans to build a 300MW photovoltaic solar power plant by 2023 with the objective of being carbon neutral by 2050. The city of Cape Town will publish its upcoming climate action plan, which involves important components of renewable energy generation and IPP power procurement.
“If all the clarity is achieved and the plans move forward, we could start to see greater diversification of our energy resources as a city in about three to five years,” says Kadri Nassiep, Executive Director for Energy and Climate of the City of Cape Town Municipality.