The department of energy launched the start of its Renewable Energy Procurement Project under the Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff (REFIT) Programme.
It also launched its Request for Information (RFI).
Acting deputy director-general in the department Ompi Aphane said: “One key element of [a proposed renewable energy] programme will be the entrepreneurship and innovativeness of South Africa’s industrial and financial sectors, and another element will be the development by the government of appropriate policies and frameworks that would encourage and guide the private sector.”
He said South Africa had a high level of renewable energy potential.
The focus on renewable energy was established in 2003 with the launch of the Renewable Energy White Paper which targeted four percent (10, 000GWh) of renewable energy by 2013, he said.
The department had identified the need to “stimulate” the renewable energy industry in South Africa.
In preparation for the REFIT programme the department initiated a review of areas that would ensure an investor-friendly environment.
There was a review and evaluation of the current enabling regulatory and legal environment, of the institutional structures and decision-making processes, and the development of a set of standardised procurement documentation.
The RFI was aimed at potential private developers of renewable energy projects.
These were wind, solar, biomass, biogas, small hydropower and landfill gas, and co-generation projects.
The department had entered into a Memorandum of Agreement signed by itself, the Treasury and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) on Independent Power Producers (IPPs).
“Our intention in releasing this Request for Information (RFI) is to get potential developers of renewable energy projects to indicate their interest in – or to provide information on – the progress of their projects in South Africa under the Renewable Energy Feed-In Tariff (REFIT), said Aphane.
“In short, we hope that the RFI will provide us with enough information to assess the progress developers have made since the announcement of the REFIT programme as well as the readiness of the market to enter into intensive procurement and fast-track negotiation processes.”
Submissions from other potential participants included municipalities, financial institutions and technology and equipment suppliers.