The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) has responded to a media report stating that the ANC endorses a market-friendly approach to South Africa’s constrained energy supply, which includes allowing municipalities to procure their own energy, expanding the Independent Power Producer (IPP) programme and freeing up regulations around self-generation by business.
SAWEA says the wind industry certainly supports the approach of relooking at how energy is supplied in South Africa so that the system can evolve and adapt to fit the increasing energy demand of the country, however, strongly states that the implementation of the IRP2019 should remain an imperative to ensure sufficient lead time for procurement processes and to support a stable and consistent growth as laid out by the energy roadmap.
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ANC empowers municipalities to buy their own electricity
“To shift away from a centralised monopoly to a more efficient decentralised generation model will increase competition and drive down energy prices. This will ultimately stimulate the economy and support the growth that South Africa is seeking, in line with a global shift away from large centralised utilities,” said Ntombifuthi Ntuli, CEO of SAWEA.
“However, the focus needs to remain on implementing the country’s resource plan in order to address the short and long term electricity supply capacity constraints and to ensure sustainable economic growth,” Ntuli added.
With private sector participation in the energy generation business, where municipalities and large-scale private power users can purchase power directly from IPPs, the benefit of introducing competition into the electricity generation market will naturally result in price reductions whilst increasing generation capacity.
“We need the market to be opened for private power producers to be able to supply electricity to the national electricity system. Private renewable energy producers can supply electricity to intensive users at a rate of 25% less than Eskom mega-flex tariffs, this includes municipalities,” concluded Ntuli.