Economic Opportunities MEC David Maynier Picture: African News Agency (ANA)
Economic Opportunities MEC David Maynier Picture: African News Agency (ANA)

23 Western Cape municipalities ready to procure solar energy

By Mwangi Githathu Time of article published Feb 28, 2020

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Cape Town – Twenty-three out of the Western Cape’s 30 municipalities are ready to run with the procurement of energy directly from Independent Power Producers (IPPs), and are waiting for the national government to give them concrete deadlines for the implementation, in a bid to make it the “first load shedding-free province” in the country.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said in Wednesday’s Budget: “Government will do whatever it takes to ensure a stable electricity supply.

“It is our number one task. Determinations to implement the Integrated Resource Plan of 2019 are finalised and await the concurrence of the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa).

“It will shortly be possible for municipalities in financially good standing to purchase electricity from IPPs.”

Economic Opportunities MEC David Maynier said: “This is the perfect opportunity for municipalities who wish to procure electricity from IPPs in the Western Cape.

“The sooner this happens the sooner we can start pursuing a new energy future in the Western Cape.

“I will be announcing new spending plans to support this energy transition when I table my provincial Budget on March 10.”

Chairperson of the standing committee on finance, economic opportunities and tourism Deidré Baartman said: “Nineteen municipalities in the province already have regulator-approved feed-in tariffs.

“The minister should have gone a few steps further and introduced a solar rebate as an incentive for households to install solar power.”

Good party secretary-general Brett Herron said: “The rights of municipalities to procure their own electricity will mean that they will be able to reduce the long-term electricity costs for residents and provide a greater measure of protection against energy insecurity and Eskom’s load shedding.”

Economists are concerned about bailouts announced for SOEs and, in particular, for Eskom and SAA.

In the Budget, Mboweni said: “We have allocated R230 billion over 10 years to achieve the restructuring of the electricity sector. ”

Enertrag SA chief executive Tobias Bischof-Niemz said: “I am concerned that there is no contingency on Eskom’s restructuring for the bailout.

“While it is fine to give Eskom a R230bn bailout, there should be conditions attached with effect to restructuring the company.”

Cape Argus

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