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SA signs renewable energy deals amid outages

South Africa has signed the first three agreements to increase its renewable energy supplies and reduce reliance on coal-fired power stations.

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe on Thursday led the deal-signing event with independent producers to supply wind energy.

The country is enduring acute energy shortages, with its state energy provider, Eskom, suffering from a lack of investment amid allegations of corruption.

Coal is used to generate 80% of South African electricity but under Thursday’s deal, energy output will increase by 10% through private investment in wind and solar projects.

These are not expected to come online until 2024.

Official figures released earlier this month confirmed that South Africa’s GDP shrank partly because of daily rolling blackouts affecting both homes and industry.

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