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Oh the DoE and the REFIT and the PPAs and the IPPs and the RFQs. All for an IRP that’s AWOL.

The whole of South Africa (well at least those who are in energy) is waiting in highly strung anticipation for the announcement of the IRP2010 (or the integrated resource plan for those acronym-ally challenged).  The status of the REFIT (renewable energy feed in tariff) is also a hot topic.  For all those aspiring independent power producers the arrival of the standardised power purchase agreement will shed huge light on what’s what and who’s who and how’s how.  Alas, the REFIT and the PPA were nowhere in sight at the Wind Energy Seminar held in Jozi on Tuesday.
I flew all the way up there, and so did many other people I’m sure, with the expectation that FINALLY we were going to get a bit of solid news about what the frick was going on.  She talked for two minutes, this National Treasury rep.  (I’m not trying to be rude by calling her ‘she’ I know she’s not the cat’s mother. I just really didn’t catch her name).  She told us that there would be a press release the next day, and we would be told stuff then.
Good thing I was there to witness that earth shattering tidbit.
It’s Thursday now.  It seems the exciting news that they were putting off telling us is that they were to release a request for interest, so that they could guage what kind of market there was out there for renewable energy.  I would have thought that the 156 applications received by Eskom from aspiring power producers who seem to have 15 154MW power to help us out of the dark Eskom days would have been a hint.  Or maybe the 100+ applications that the Department of Environmental Affairs have received for EIAs for RE projects. (environmental impact assessments for renewable energy projects – keep up)  Hmmm.
We have called this RFI a “market sounding”. We will utilise the information submitted to inform our procurement next steps – either and RFQ or an RFP.” (acting DDG in the Department of Energy) Full speech here
RFQ????? For those not in the know, and RFQ is a request for quotes.  RFQs have to be valued at R200,000 or lower. I hope, I HOPE, that the DoE is putting more than R200k aside for renewables.
Enough. Enough for now.