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Ramaphosa’s self-generation announcement ‘bold but necessary’

Home Infrastructure Energy – Power Generation Ramaphosa’s self-generation announcement ‘bold but necessary’

PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement that the cap on self-generation without a licence will be raised to 100MW is “a bold but necessary” move.

That’s according to Claire Volkwyn Content Director of Enlit Africa, which recently hosted an online gathering of power industry experts to discuss Africa’s energy challenges and transition.

“The country is in the throes of an energy crisis and the importance of the discussions we had at Enlit Africa… have been punctuated by load shedding,” she added.

According to Volkwyn there are many opportunities for independent generators to take advantage of South Africa’s abundant solar resources. “This will be supported by battery storage, which has become more affordable over the past few years, and this is a trend we fully expect to see continue as the technology matures and becomes more efficient.”

She said many of the sessions touched on the role of gas in Africa, opportunities for solar in the commercial and industrial market, and other strategies to supply clean, affordable and reliable power across the continent.

In his opening address, Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe said energy security is at the centre of the country’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, “with a requirement of reliable, affordable and clean energy sources, as well as long-term sustainable jobs”.

He said it was “critical for the country to fully understand the trade-off between the new investments needed in power generation and the reduction in coal mines’ production, as well as the eventual closure of some stations around 2040, as driven by different levels of emission targets”.

Kadri Nassiep, Executive Director For Energy And Climate Change at the City of Cape Town, discussed their plans and challenges with regards to prosumers, peer-to-peer trading and how to deal with the increased number of distributed energy resources on the grid.

“Indications are that small-scale embedded generation in the city has been successful and will continue to be so. We have well over 50MVA connected already to the grid, and with those customers supplying excess capacity back into the grid.

“Along the way, we actually just introduced a new incentive tariff, which is 25 cents over and above the existing feed-in tariff, just to incentivise new customers to come on board the SSEG programme,” Nassiep said.

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