renewable energy plan

SA’s renewable energy plan hit by delays. Picture: iStock

Delays hit SA’s R160-billion renewable energy plan

The government is receiving billions in foreign funding for a renewable energy plan, but it can’t get its act together.

renewable energy plan

SA’s renewable energy plan hit by delays. Picture: iStock

The South African government is three months behind in a renewable energy plan worth billions in foreign funding, reports Business Tech. The government had earlier said the implementation plan would be ready in March 2023. It’s now saying August.

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In response to the country’s loadshedding and ongoing energy crisis, this renewable energy plan is worth $8.5 billion (R160 billion) and is financed by some of the world’s richest countries.


renewable energy plan
SA’s renewable energy plan means getting the country off coal. Picture: File.

According to the Office of the Presidency, the delays centre around re-skilling workers who operate in coal-fired plants. Joanne Yawitch is the head of the project management unit for the pact and, speaking at a Presidential Climate Commission event in Johannesburg this week, she said: “There are significant challenges on loan finance. The moratorium impacts on what was in the original investment plan.”

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The countries behind the R160-billion renewable energy plan are France, Germany, the US, the UK and the European Union. The finance was offered to help the country move away from coal-fired energy. An energy source which delivers 80% of South Africa’s power but is greenhouse gas intensive, making us one of the biggest polluters in the world.


renewable energy plan
Solar panels. Image: CNET

Referred to as the Energy Transition Partnership, the energy plan has been beset by political infighting from the outset. There has also been intensive lobbying from local businesses that still profit from the use of coal.

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Yawitch says The Presidential Climate Commission has recommended that the Development Bank of Southern Africa be appointed to run the financing of the renewable energy plan. The DBSA would oversee the allocation of funds to energy transition projects.

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An initial investment plan estimated that South Africa would need R1.5 trillion ($79 billion) over five years to implement its renewable energy plan and transition away from coal. However, Yawitch says until the state utility Eskom gets its act together, the plan would be limited in its ability to take on further loans and debt guarantees.

We will keep you informed of any developments on SA’s renewable energy plan as the story develops.