Since 2012, South Africa has ranked among the top ten countries globally in terms of renewable energy IPP investments. In four years, South Africa has signed up more investment for independent power generation than has been achieved across the entire African continent over the past 20 years. In total, the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Program (REIPPPP) has closed 92 new renewable energy IPPs of varying sizes at different sites. US$19 billion in investment has been committed for the construction of 6327 MW of capacity in technologies such as grid-connected wind, PV and concentrated solar power, as well as smaller amounts of hydro, landfill gas, biogas, and biomass energy.
South Africa’s REIPPP program provides a valuable opportunity to learn how to procure private investment in renewable energy projects effectively in developing countries. Recognizing that the investment conditions in South Africa are not necessarily the same as those in many other African countries, there is significant potential to translate the lessons and experiences of this programme to the context of other African countries so that the procurement and implementation of renewable energy can be accelerated.
The workshop attracted high-level decision makers from approximately ten countries from sub-Saharan Africa, which demonstrated the general readiness to adapt approaches similar to South Africa, in the context of their countries’ specifics. IRENA showcased its work on Renewable Auctions and the workshop provided a knowledge exchange platform between expert practitioners.