Some consumers of State power utility generated by Eskom are seeking alternative and more reliable sources of energy. This is as a result of the continuing load shedding experienced by the firm.
Already, the City of Cape Town is looking to buy energy from independent power producers (IPPs) so that it can become less reliant on Eskom.
This comes after president Cyril Ramaphosa announced in his State of the Nation Address that municipalities in good standing, such as the City of Cape Town, will be able to buy energy from IPPs in the future.
Responding to the announcement, Cape Town mayor Dan Plato said that urgent clarity is required from the national government on the legal and regulatory nuts and bolts of how this must happen.
“The city has been putting pressure on national government for many years to reshape the energy regime in South Africa to the benefit of our people and businesses,” he said.
“Now we need urgent clarity from national government on the roles and responsibilities for municipalities and other stakeholders in terms of the New Generation Capacity Regulations in the Electricity Regulation Act.
“This is an important case for all stakeholders in the energy sector as legal clarification is required for the future purchase from IPPs to become a reality.”
New power stations in three years?
Plato said that the city will first need to complete an Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) to best optimise the supply and demand options.
“We are working with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research about the production of such an IRP,” he said.
“We are also working with the Western Cape Government and GreenCape, to look at several game-changers that, from an energy perspective, will greatly contribute to energy security of supply and ensure a transition to a lower-carbon future.”
He added that a lot depends on the legal clarification and also the lead time to construction varies by technology type.
“At a minimum, if the decision is favourable, it will bring new power plants online in three years time,” he said.