Renewable energy deal is delayed - again

Renewable energy deal is delayed - again

Renewable energy deal is delayed - again

This comes after the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA) and non-governmental organisation Transform RSA's decision to approach the High Court in Pretoria on Monday night seeking an urgent court application to block Eskom from concluding the 27 renewable energy projects, which include power purchase agreements - pending the finalisation of the case.

"There is no evidence at this point that these independent renewable energy providers will be able to retain the same number of workers now employed in the coal fired power stations". "The energy minister was forced to give an undertaking in court that he would not sign the IPP agreements on Tuesday until the matter has been given a full hearing by the High Court".

The Ramaphosa government however announced that it will proceed with the signing as well as the other renewable projects and the Eskom cap would not apply.

While Numsa has maintained that it did, in fact, obtain a court interdict to stop the contracts being signed, the Department of Energy has denied this.

Numsa says it believes the signing of these contracts would be detrimental for the working class of Mpumalanga and the country as a whole. In his response, Radebe said nothing prevented Eskom and IPPs from signing the agreements.

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Hlubi said the union was questioning the intentions.

The union argues that the renewable energy will drive up the price of electricity and lead to massive job losses in the coal sector as Eskom will likely close down many coal plants in favour of renewable energy. Eskom refused to complete the agreements because executives said they were expensive and that power from the projects isn't always available. Despite the court being unable to raise a legal reason why the contracts could not be signed on 13 March, "the signing will however be postponed until 27 March 2018 when the matter is finally disposed of in Court". Electricity prices will skyrocket because of the IPP roll out; while at the same time that Value-Added Tax and the fuel price are going up, workers are being paid slave wages of R20 per hour and less.

The order is another setback for energy developers including Denham Capital-backed BioTherm Energy and ACWA Power International that have been waiting for deals to be signed since 2016.

Coal ash disposals in South Africa.

Yelland, the investigative editor of EE Publishers, on Tuesday described the court bid as a "delay tactic", saying the move towards renewable energy is a global trend which would not leave South Africa behind.

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