The Minister of Energy of South Africa, Dikobe Ben Martins, has announced several infrastructure programmes in the electricity, gas, petroleum and nuclear sector.
Key announcements made by the Minister are the following:
- Additional generation capacity under window 3 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers (REIPP) programme.
At the end of 2013, the Department of Energy announced preferred bidders under Window 3 of the REIPP programme. The Minister also announces that a submission for Window 4 of the REIPP programme, which entails the procurement of 1000 MW, is on track to close in August 2014.
- Procurement of generation capacity through cogeneration and coal technologies.
In April 2014, the Department of Energy intends to start a process to procure 800 MW of cogeneration to be followed in May 2014 by a 2 500 MW of coal generation. This determination is made under the IPP programme and will complement the capacity that is generated by the IPPs licensed in Windows 1, 2, 3.
- Solar Waters Heaters (SWH) Programme.
Government’s effort to introduce a new procurement model for the SWH programme is at an advanced stage. Government took a decision to stop the subsidization of imported SWH systems in favour of local manufacturing.
The list of compliant manufacturers will be announced as soon as the SABS has completed due diligence and independent verification of the manufacturers, which will be in April 2014. Once this is done, the Department, working with Eskom and municipalities will implement the revised contracting model which will include localisation and skills development. The rollout of the new model will start in the current financial year 2014/15.
- Mandatory blending of biofuels.
In March 2014, the Department of Energy concluded stakeholder consultation on the position paper dealing with the mandatory blending of biofuels into petrol and diesel. The Department has considered the inclusion of sugar cane positively as one of the reference feed-stocks in the first phase of the programme. The final position paper will be published in May 2014 and the effective date for mandatory blending remains October 2015.
- Draft Gas Utilisation Master Plan.
The Department of Energy is exploring measures to increase the uptake and usage of gas in the economy, given the potential relating to shale gas exploitation. The master plan includes infrastructure development options, including pipelines and liquefied natural gas terminals, the creation of an enabling environment for the interconnection with neighbouring countries and the institutional arrangements for managing gas resources in an environmentally responsible manner. The Gas Utilisation Master Plan will become available in May 2014 for public consultation.
- National Radioactive Waste Disposal Institution
On 31 March 2014, the board of the National Radioactive Waste Disposal Institute was inaugurated. The Institute will be responsible for the management and disposal of radioactive waste on a national basis.