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South Africa 10th on world’s top PV market list

South Africa 10th on world’s top PV market list

Jun 26, 2014

South Africa has become one of the world’s top-ten PV markets, according to reports released this week by the Wiki-Solar.org, the authority on utility-scale solar power. With over 15 plants generating a combined capacity of 503MW, South Africa has reached 10th place on the list.

Four large-scale PV projects coming online in the last few months has given South African a huge boost. These comprise two 66MW plants in Lesedi and Letatsi, which were developed by Intikon and SolarReserve and completed May 2014; and the Herbert and Greefspan plants installed by Sunpower Corporation in early June.

The plants are part of the first round of the South African Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP). South Africa has high renewable energy potential and currently has a target of 10 000 GWh of renewable energy in place. The government has determined that 3 725 megawatts (MW) to be generated from renewable energy sources is required to ensure the uninterrupted supply of electricity to the country. While the programme started off slowly due to sluggish contract negotiations with utility giant Eskom, more plants are now under construction throughout the country.

“France and Italy’s position in the top ten may now be under threat,” says Philip Wolfe of Wiki-Solar. “Substantial pipelines of projects – not only in South Africa, but also in Japan and Chile – suggest that they too will soon be contenders for solar power’s First Division.”

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