When asked in Parliament whether the Government planned to increase the 10,000 GWh target, Energy Minister Dipuo Peters said: “No. The department intends to meet the 2013 target in the short term while reviewing the Renewable Energy White Paper to determine medium- and long-term targets. Beyond 2013, the review process will be consultative and inputs from stakeholders and the general public will be taken into account in determining the next renewable energy target.”
Earlier this month, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) approved renewable energy tariffs for additional forms of energy on top of the subsidies approved in March in a bid to encourage investment in the sector. The REFIT covers the cost of power generation and allows for a reasonable profit to tempt developers to invest in the sector.
The feed-in-tariffs have long been anticipated to stimulate large-scale investments, but South Africa has yet to sign a deal with one of the independent producers already putting money into renewables after the first phase of tariffs was announced in March. In October, developed and developing countries endorsed a Clean Technology Fund (CTF) funding envelope of $500 million for South Africa’s CTF Investment Plan (IP). The money will be used to help South Africa move closer to its vision of generating 4% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2013, improving energy efficiency by 12% by 2015, and providing 1 million households with solar water heating over the next five years.