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Making Communities Count: Maximising Local Benefit Potential in South Africa's Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RE IPPPP)

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Louise Tait, Holle Linnea Wlokas, Ben Garside
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This report explores the experiences and challenges of the renewable energy sector to date, both in meeting the requirements of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RE IPPPP) and in planning for its longer-term implementation. In South Africa, independent producers of renewable energy are invited to bid to take part in a large-scale, innovative, government-led scheme that aims to not only increase the share of renewable energy in the national grid but also to benefit impoverished communities. The 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, which is being implemented at scale over a short period of time—has presented private renewable energy businesses with the significant challenge of engaging with community development processes, an area typically outside their expertise.