EGP, South Africa's green gold


A country with a strong population and economic growth, but still lacking the level of electricity generation and transmission that would be required to accompany its development. Like many African countries, South Africa has great energy needs that must be rapidly met. The government has launched a plan aimed to strengthen the domestic electricity system, which has seen the opening of the generation market to privates and the launch of the Renewable energy independent power producer programme (REIPPP), a number of public tenders for assignment to operators specialised in building generation plants, in order to achieve the 18 GW target of renewable installed capacity by 2030. Green sources, which in 2012 accounted for less than 1 percent of South Africa's energy mix, are the ideal solution for the needs of the African nation. In fact, compared with thermal electric plants, they can provide energy faster and more economically, with the possibility of using small-scale renewable plants to self-power single customers, rural areas or villages.

With the completion of the REIPPP, which will raise renewables to 12 percent of the generation share, South Africa will be among the first 15 countries in the world with the greatest amount of green projects. A huge development that sees Enel Green Power in the front line. The Enel Group company has recently been assigned 705 MW of wind power capacity in the fourth phase of the REIPPP, which are to be added to the 513 MW of wind and solar power from the third phase and the 10 MW from the Upington solar facility that is already online. A total exceeding 1,200 MW, less than four years after it entered the country, which turn Enel Green Power into the largest private player in the renewable energy field for the whole of Africa: after having won its first tenders, the company has already launched the construction of the 111 MW Gibson Bay and the 88 MW Nojoli wind farms as well as the Aurora, Paleisheweul, Pulida (all with a capacity of 82.5 MW) and the 66 MW Tom Burke solar PV plants.

To confirm the importance of South Africa in its corporate development strategy, EGP has established an actual green energy school in the country, that teaches how to install, manage and maintain solar panels. The institute, called Enel Green Power Academy, has three objectives: to train a specialised local workforce, to reduce costs by employing local technicians and to create a qualified team to assess the development potential of the domestic solar PV market.