Industry organisation the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) has moved to factually dispute Electricity Minister Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa’s recent statement that “nonperforming renewables” were the cause of Stage 6 loadshedding having been implemented late last week. SAPVIA CEO Dr Rethabile Melamu said the Minister’s comments at the weekend misrepresented the role that renewable energy, and in particular solar PV, had to play in the nation’s energy mix.
The former head of South Africa’s Independent Power Producer (IPP) Office, Karen Breytenbach, believes there is a compelling case for the injection of private sector investment to accelerate the roll-out of new electricity grid infrastructure, as has been proposed by Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa. She cautions, however, that significant consultation is still required to ensure that any institutional and regulatory frameworks developed to support such investment is sensitive to the risk posed by the natural-monopoly character of such infrastructure, as well as the commercial realities of funders and potential investors.  
Renewable energy investments in Africa are being hobbled by insufficient government loan guarantees, as the International Monetary Fund keeps a tight leash on country indebtedness, TotalEnergies CEO Patrick Pouyanne said Wednesday. Pouyanne said currently electricity projects in Africa suffer from “a problem of solvency… you have a risk not to be paid”. “So when a renewable developer wants to develop, and it’s obvious you have huge potential, he will go and see the government and ask for guarantees,” he said.