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South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) Chief Operating Officer, Niveshen Govender, supports the sentiments of the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation speech address on 13 February.

“We are glad that the energy crisis has been prioritised by the president as the first order of business at last night’s SONA. It moves us forward and demonstrates that Government has grasped the seriousness of the situation and challenges we face. Given the economic climate, we are confident that renewable energy is the only viable option with regards to cost and execution specifically, and we expect that the results of the Independent Power Producer Office’s (IPPO) request for information (RFI) will show the same.”

Read more: Ramaphosa speaks openly about South Africa’s limited energy supply

“SAPVIA has a wealth of knowledge representing 300 active solar PV players in the South African market. Over the years, we have contributed positively to Government on renewable energy and we will continue to support the benefit to the South African market.”

Govender added that the solar industry is ready and waiting for the section 34 determination and future rounds of the REIPPPP. “We continue to support and encourage meaningful local participation in the REIPPPP.”

Section 34 of the Electricity Regulation Act 4 of 2006 empowers the Minister of Energy to allow municipalities to bypass Eskom and procure electricity directly from Independent Power Producers (IPPs).

We will need to use the resources of all sectors to share the tasks and implement a programme of defined actions. We continue to push Government to use the private sector resources to help fund critical infrastructure development especially in the power and water sectors.

“As highlighted in the SONA, SAPVIA also believe that small-scale embedded generation is the biggest opportunity that South Africa has for the security of, and access to, energy, employment, skills development and rural electrification. We also welcome the removal of a limit for own consumption and the ability of municipalities to procure their own energy from IPPs.”

“SAPVIA will continue to further engage with the presidency, Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) and the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) on the most optimal way forward with well-defined legislation and concise, clear processes to allow the deployment of generation to be as rapid as possible.” Action will speak louder than words.

“Lastly SAPVIA urge DMRE and NERSA to finalise the ERA schedule II and the associated rules and regulations so we can expedite the required generation of energy from Solar PV. So that we can work towards a timeline and implementing all of governments requirements. Partnerships are needed to deliver this bold and action-oriented set of objectives. Open up the economy so that we can create the jobs that are much needed.” says Govender.

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