JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa’s government has approved an application by state power utility Eskom to buy more renewable power from independent producers (IPP), the public enterprises ministry said on Friday.
The deal ends years of investor uncertainty for projects awaiting financial closure and delaying an estimated 58 billion rand ($4.8 billion) of new investment into the economy.
“I have requested Eskom to work expediently to implement the decision and avoid further delays,” Minister Lynne Brown said in a statement.
In May, South Africa’s energy regulator agreed to investigate Eskom’s refusal to sign power purchase agreements with independent power producers, the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) said.
At the time SAWEA said Eskom’s unwillingness to finalise agreements had delayed 2,942 megawatts in new solar and wind projects.
“We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint,” Brown said on Friday.
Eskom generates most of the electricity in Africa’s most advanced economy using coal-fired power stations and is the continent’s biggest emitter of harmful greenhouse gases.
($1 = 12.0131 rand)
Reporting by Wendell Roelf; Writing by Joe Brock; Editing by Alexander Winning and Mark Potter