South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources and Energy has unveiled a series of interventions to address the country’s energy crisis, including steps to allow Independent Power Producers to enter the energy mix sooner.
In a statement, the Department said it “commits to develop adequate generation capacity to meet electricity demand” adding that it was “an urgent and immediate task to ensure economic growth.”
The announcement comes in the wake of national utility Eskom implementing Stage 6 load shedding, which has had a huge impact on the country’s struggling economy.
“As part of efforts to ensure security of electricity supply for the country, the Minister has considered short and medium-term interventions to both the electricity and energy challenges facing the country,” read the statement.
These include, among others:
- Publication of the Request For Information. The lead time for generation projects under normal circumstances is anything from 36 months onwards. The RFI will enable the Department to have a sense of immediate generation options available (3 to 12 months) to help fill the short-term gap. This will then enable the Department to design an appropriate intervention in the immediate term.
- Promulgate Section 34 determinations
- IPPs to bring Window 4 capacity on stream earlier
- Drive for the use of LPG gas
The electricity regulator, NERSA, will be met to conclude on matters of concurrence so it can assist the Ministry respond to the challenges.
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Despite these immediate interventions, the Integrated Resource Plan 2019 is the blueprint that sets a clear path for security of energy supply and electricity for the country. It dictates that South Africa will continue to pursue a diversified energy mix.