Bids for independent power under way

2011-08-31 13:36

Pretoria - Bidding by independent power producers to help supply the country with electricity is under way, as the government moves to increase its use of renewable energy.

There has been an enthusiastic response from potential bidders since the energy department started accepting proposals on August 3, its acting director general Ompi Aphane said on Wednesday.

The target is to have 3 725 megawatts of renewable energy by 2016.

Producers of renewable energy would help create jobs, particularly in rural areas. Aphane said this, including a rural development strategy and socioeconomic benefits, forms part of a scorecard to determine the successful bidder.

So far, there are 270 registered bidders.

Eskom is to act as the buyer of the renewable energy. Allowing it to bid would amount to indirectly funding it, director general Nelisiwe Magubane said.

"We didn't allow them to bid... We want to see some foreign direct investment. We wanted a pool of independent power producers."