First RFP released for integrated renewable energy and efficiency programme

The government has released the first Request for Proposals (RFP) under the Integrated Renewable Energy and Resource Efficiency Programme (iREREP/Programme).

This phase 1 RFP aims to address the country’s electricity and water supply issues and landfill shortages. The programme will introduce up to 3 740 MW of equivalent capacity through renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives, while saving 47 million kilolitres (thousand litres) of water and reducing waste to landfill by 1 million tons, says the government released statement

The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI), Ministry of Electricity and National Treasury’s Government Technical Advisory Centre’s (GTAC) issued the statement on April 25th. 

“By alleviating at least 3 740MW from the national grid through the programme’s energy efficiency and renewable energy interventions, the government building portfolio could potentially add the same capacity as 2 Koeberg power plants and reduce load shedding by 3 – 4 stages,” Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure Sihle Zikalala said at a media briefing in Pretoria. “It will be the largest programme for the procurement of renewable energy and resource efficiency for public facilities on the African continent,” Minister Zikalala added.

Renewable energy and efficiencies programme impact

The iREREP was published as a Strategic Integrated Project (SIP28) in July 2020 as part of the Cabinet-approved Infrastructure Investment Plan. It aims to procure private sector energy service companies to deploy energy efficiency, water efficiency, alternative waste management, and embedded renewable energy solutions throughout the department’s significant property portfolio.

The programme has the potential to achieve significant savings in government expenditure and contribute towards socio-economic transformation over its 30-year term, says the statement. Projected savings and socio-economic benefits from the programme include:

  • Up to R1.3 trillion direct contribution to the GDP
  • The creation of over 13,100 new small businesses, the majority of which would be black-owned enterprises
  • An estimated 503,000 jobs created
  • Skills development opportunities for more than 475,000 people
  • A reduction in energy use intensity of between 22 per cent and 45 per cent in the public sector
  • A water use intensity reduction of between 30 per cent and 55 per cent in the public sector
  • A reduction in waste and diversion of 50 per cent of current waste from landfill sites, saving 12 million tons, and
  • A reduction in CO2 and other GHG emissions by over 54.5 megatons.

Expanding renewable capacity and developing efficiencies are the most powerful tools nations have to decarbonise their economies and achieve net zero emissions. For South Africa, they are also crucial to ending the energy crisis. The iREREP should therefore advance South Africa’s transition towards a greener and more sustainable economy, creating jobs and strengthening energy security along the way.

Photo: Azwi