Tendering sustainable energy transitions (TENTRANS)

This research project examines how South Africa's Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme interacts with local industrial development and local institutional change.

As the global transition away from fossil fuels to renewable energy (RE) gathers pace, the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) in South Africa (SA) has been a game changer in terms of stimulating the deployment of large scale RE and unlocking possible pathways towards more sustainable economic, industrial, environmental and social development. Until now, over 6,000 MW of RE power has been procured across 102 projects under REIPPPP from its start in 2011 (compared to a total installed capacity of wind power in Denmark of 5,000 MW), amounting to a total investment of around US$ 15 billion.

As the largest and first of its kind in SSA, REIPPPP offers valuable academic and policy-relevant insights for other countries across SSA and globally that are in the process of designing and adopting similar RE tendering schemes. In SSA, this currently includes thirteen countries, among these Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Ghana, Mali and Ethiopia. In particular, important insights can be obtained from studying whether and how REIPPPP has fostered broader developmental objectives. However, limited empirical research has been undertaken to analyse the implications of the selection specifications adopted in REIPPPP and in similar RE tendering schemes adopted globally.

To address this knowledge gap, the TENTRANS project will examine how REIPPPP interacts with and impacts local industrial development and local institutional change, and what this implies for sustainable energy transitions in SA and beyond. With a specific focus on wind power projects developed under REIPPPP, the project will therefore generate new knowledge on the potential development implications of RE tendering schemes. UNEP DTU is collaborating with DTU Wind,  the Danish Institute for International Studies, University of Cape Town and Stellenbosch University. Industry partners are Wind Denmark (DWIA) and the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA).

The project contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals:

        

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Focus area: Climate Planning and Policy, Supporting sustainable energy & transport access & transition

Country / Region: South Africa

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Ivan Nygaard

Chief Scientific Advisor

Phone: +45 4533 5297
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