Renewable energy policy in South Africa

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South Africa’s renewable energy policy to date has largely been driven by a 10,000 GWh target by
2013 and renewable energy project subsidies offered through the REFSO. In 2009 a REFIT was
published, which has resulted in a great interest by IPPs to develop renewable energy projects in
South Africa. Nonetheless, under existing renewable energy policy few renewable energy projects
for electricity generation have been deployed. SWHs have seen some market growth in 2008 and
2009 largely facilitated by a SWH subsidy and increased energy awareness due to nation-wide
electricity blackouts in 2008.

In this study renewable energy Roadmaps have been projected for electricity generation from wind,
CSP and PV and for high and low SWH rollout programmes that reduce the demand for electricity.
Six roadmaps were developed. Electricity targets of 15% (Roadmaps 5 & 6), 27% (Roadmaps 3 & 4)
and unlimited (Roadmaps 1 & 2) by 2030 were assessed, as well as high (Roadmaps 1, 3 & 5) and
low SWH (Roadmaps 2, 4 & 6) strategies. The policy Roadmaps are compared to a Baseline
projection in which only new supercritical coal power plants, such as those currently under
construction, are built to meet South Africa’s growing electricity demand and no SWHs are
deployed.

June 2010
ENERGY RESEARCH CENTRE
University of Cape Town

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