New Households Electrification Strategy (2013)
The Cabinet approved NHES in June 2013 with a target of providing 300,000 rural households for off-grid electrification through SHS installations and other cost-effective, non-grid RE technologies (e.g. mini-grid or hybrid systems). Under the NHES, all efforts are directed at aligning the programme with the goals of the UN’s SE4All initiative.
2030 National Development Plan (NDP, 2013)
The NDP outlines a long-term plan to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality in South Africa by 2030. In terms of energy, it calls for improving energy infrastructure in a sustainable way, increasing investments in energy efficiency, reducing carbon emissions by diversifying the energy mix and procuring of at least 20 GW of renewable energy by 2030. The NDP emphasizes the revision of the national electrification plan to ensure 90% grid access by 2030 with balance met through quality off-grid technologies.
Small Projects Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers (IPPs) Programme
On 1 April 2014, the South African government launched stage one of its small-scale renewable energy tender programme, with 200 MW available across various technologies. The total allotment for small projects was later expanded to 400 MW. In October 2016, the energy minister announced the 10 preferred bidders for the first round of the Small Projects Renewable Energy Procurement Programme. Future rounds have not yet been announced.
Under the rules of the bidding programme each project will have a capacity of 1 – 5 MW. The price cap for each technology on 1 April 2013 was:
- Onshore wind – ZAR 1,000/MWh ($108.2)
- Solar PV – ZAR 1,400/MWh ($152.39)
- Biomass – ZAR 1,400/MWh ($152.39)
- Landfill gas – ZAR 940/MWh ($102.38)
The programme intends to strengthen the local supply chain through stringent local content regulations. The implementation has faced challenges given that financiers have been hesitant to finance small-scale power Projects.