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Op-Ed: Renewable energy – can we continue to REIPPPP what we sow?

Author: Dirk De Vos

Last month saw the long-awaited announcement of the fourth bidding round in South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) and the results surprised most observers again – prices dropped significantly from the already competitive prices achieved in the third round.

Solar PV capacity of around 415MW achieved tariffs of 78,6c/kWh, 29% less than Round 3 projects and onshore wind capacity of 676MW will be priced at 61.9c/kWh, a drop of about 25% from the earlier third window bidding round. Keen competition between bidders is said to be the main driver of the fall in tariffs, but this is only part of the story. The dramatic fall in the international prices of capital equipment, particularly solar PV, has driven the price of renewable energy everywhere.

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