South Africa finally inks halted £3.3billion renewable contracts

Solar park.
Solar plant developed by Germany-based Ib Vogt GmbH and a local company called Infinity Solar Systems, stands in the desert south of Cairo, Egypt, on Tuesday, March 13, 2018. “In this plant, we have 200,000 solar panels and 780 sun trackers that allow the panels to move toward the solar position throughout the day,” Amine el-Edghiri, Ib Vogt’s project manager, said during a media tour of the facility 650 kilometers (400 miles) south of Cairo on the fringes of the Nubian Desert. Photographer: Salma El Wardany/Bloomberg

A slew of renewable energy contracts totalling £3.3billion were signed in South Africa yesterday after a more than two year delay.

The first major deals signed under new president Cyril Ramaphosa, the agreement saw 27 solar and wind projects get the green light.

The original deals with large independent power producers were held up under the reign of ousted former leader Jacob Zuma, who favoured nuclear power.

The contracts became gridlocked under Mr Zuma and were also the subject of a last minute legal challenge by labour unions and lobby groups last week in an attempt to block the deals.

Mr Ramaphosa made the contracts a central point of his electoral run to unlock investment and recharge the economy in the country.

A spokesperson for the energy ministry of South Africa told Reuters in a statement: “This will bring much-needed policy and regulatory certainty and maintain South Africa’s position as an energy investment destination of choice.”