S.Africa: Moody’s measure renewables market


International ratings agency expresses confidence in the ability of the South African renewable energy industry to raise debt.

Last week, international ratings agency, Moody’s, issued a report detailing the points as to where this ability is positioned when it comes to the growth of the renewables market.

According to Moody’s, this includes a significant fall in renewable electricity costs, the growth of independent renewable power producers as well as the likelihood of increased participation of institutional investors, IOL reported.

Moody’s vice-president and senior analyst, Christopher Bredholt, said: “The South African renewable energy market has grown rapidly over the last five years or so and there is rising demand for renewables debt.

“South Africa was the continent’s largest renewables market in 2015 in terms of asset finance for utility-scale projects, and it saw the highest year-on-year growth globally.”

Moody’s notes renewables market growth

According to media, Moody’s stated that renewable energy projects are becoming less dependent on high levels of subsidy and had benefited from reductions in the price of equipment and installation costs, as well as the country’s abundant natural resources, with emphasis on solar power.

The renewable energy projects form part of government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, and are said to be generating more than 2,000MW of clean power.

The South African government has set a target to generate 17,800MW of renewable power by 2030, with the private sector reported to have invested ZAR194 billion ($137 million) through the procurement programme to date.

“The development of South Africa’s renewables sector will be shaped by the country’s transmission infrastructure, which needs additional capacity, as well as the broader sovereign credit environment,” the agency noted.

The ratings agency added: “While local banks and development finance institutions have played a dominant role in financing of South Africa’s renewable energy projects, Moody’s expects increasing participation of institutional investors in the sector.”

“The South African government has stated its long-term policy commitment to renewable generators and to the extent it builds a longer term track record of administering its support programme, it will be positive for project issuers,” Moody’s said.