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Making communities count: maximising local benefit potential in South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RE IPPPP)

In South Africa, independent producers of renewable energy are invited to bid to take part in a large-scale, innovative, government-led scheme which aims to not only increase the share of renewable energy in the national grid, but also to benefit impoverished communities. The Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (RE IPPPP) requires independent power producers to contribute to various economic development criteria, including in the communities where their projects are located.

However, the nature of these requirements, and the ‘newness’ of this model – being implemented at scale over a short period of time – has also presented private renewable energy businesses with the significant challenge of engaging with community development processes, an area typically outside their expertise.

This report explores the experiences and challenges of the renewable energy sector to date, both in meeting the RE IPPPP requirements, and planning for their longer-term implementation.

Find out more about our work on improving people's access to sustainable energy.

Publication information

  • IIED code: 16043IIED
  • Published: Jun 2013 - IIED
  • Area: South Africa
  • Theme: Energy
  • ISBN: 978-1-84369-950-7
  • Language: English

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Tait, L., Wlokas, H.L., Garside, B., 2013 Making communities count: maximising local benefit potential in South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RE IPPPP), IIED, London.

Project information

One in five people around the world – 1.3 billion people – lack electricity to light their homes or run their businesses, while wealthy countries consume vast amounts of electricity every day. IIED’s energy team works to promote access to sustainable energy for the poorest communities and a more equitable consumption of energy resources. Energy access is an area of great inequity. Access to sustainable modern energy services underpins health, education and livelihoods and increases resilience to climate change – yet millions of people have no access to electricity and use dangerous and unhealthy fuels for lighting and cooking.

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Improving people’s access to sustainable energy