It's been another busy month for the South African solar industry. The second round of bidders have now been assessed by the Department of Energy and NERSA according to a selection of strict criteria and a special focus on local content.
Of the 19 successful bidders, 9 new PV projects – with a total allocation of 417 MW - have been given the go ahead, demonstrating the government's confidence in solar as the technology most capable of delivering both energy security and economic development.
This positive signal gives a much needed boost to investor confidence which has previously been hindered by uncertainty on policy.
"Decisions by government need to be taken astutely but not with too many delays because South Africa is not the only place where investors can put their money into" commented Saliem Fakir, Head of Living Planet Unit, WWF, and speaker at Solar South Africa 2012. "the first round of IPPs should lay the foundations and serve as a confidence building measure."
On the much debated subject of local content criteria, which increased from 28.5% in the first window to 47.5% in the second, Mr Fakir continued:
"There will be more pressure on delivering local content. I don't think we can escape this issue. Local content and manufacturing is not unique to South Africa. Everybody wants jobs in their backyard. The Germans, the French, the Americans everybody does. So, it is important the industry works with the government positively on this issue. Government procurement is a lever and without it there would be no industry. So, there must be some form of reciprocity and that is being committed to solving the jobs challenge in South Africa as well."
To read Mr Fakir's interview in full and to read our interviews with other leading speakers, please click here http://www.greenpowerconferences.com/solarsouthafrica
As the successful first round bidders prepare for financial close, it's a hectic time for everyone in the industry. With plenty of questions still up for discussion, join us at the 2nd annual Solar South Africa 2012 which, this year, will provide a 360 degree view of the South African solar industry. All the major players will be present including financiers, developers and EPC's, policy makers, associations and environmental consultancies. To see the two day agenda please click here http://www.greenpowerconferences.com/solarsouthafrica
Joining Mr Fakir on the speaker panel at Solar South Africa will be:
Elizabeth Dipuo Peters, Minister of Energy,
Department of Energy
Barry MacColl, Acting General Manager,
Research, Test and
Development, Group Technology Division, Eskom
Ronald Chauke, Head of Department Electric
National Energy Regulator of South Africa
Chris Haw, Managing Director, Aurora Power /
Mr Sekhar Subramoney, Programme Manager,
Victor Santos, Head of International Business
Development, Gestamp Solar
Linda Thompson, Project Developer, South
African Mainstream Power
Paul Eardley Taylor, Director: Investment
Banking Coverage, Standard Bank
Theo Covary, Chief Executive Officer,
Sustainable Energy Society of Southern Africa
Plus many more.
To register contact Samantha Coleman on T: +44 (0) 20 7099 0600