Cape Town - The Western Cape is looking towards a “secure green energy future” following the National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s (Nersa) approval of a request by Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe, which has opened the way for the procurement of 11 813 MW of new electricity capacity.
Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC David Maynier is urging Mantashe to sign and gazette the final section 34 ministerial determinations and pave the way for “more energy security in South Africa and the Western Cape”.
“This would be the next step in opening up the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme bid window 5, the Gas Independent Power Producer programme, and energy storage procurement,” said Maynier. “The Western Cape is an attractive investment location for renewable energy projects, housing 12 renewable energy IPP projects and the head offices of 89 renewable energy companies.
“The opening of bid window 5 will allow for more renewable energy projects to be located in the Western Cape and will further support the renewable energy industry and give rise to green industrialisation opportunities in our green-tech-focused Atlantis Special Economic Zone aimed at further boosting the provincial economy.”
Last week Mantashe described the regulator’s approval as another milestone on the road to increased generation capacity and ensuring the security of the energy supply. He did not provide a date for when new bidding rounds would be launched.
Meanwhile, as Eskom last week resumed load shedding, the City was again able to provide a measure of relief to residents through its additional energy generation, sparing them one level of load shedding.
Mayor Dan Plato said: “Fortunately, through the generation of additional capacity using the City’s Steenbras pumped storage plant and other management interventions, we are able to limit the impact to customers supplied by the City.
“While we are the only city in the country that can provide this extra relief to our residents, it is also a reality that national government is limiting us from doing even more to alleviate our current sole reliance on Eskom.
“We will be the first metro and province to break the sole reliance on power from Eskom if we get the legal clarity required from national government on our efforts to procure cleaner, cheaper and more secure energy from Independent Power Producers.”
According to a recent report released by global management consultancy Kearney, one major criticism of renewables has been their unreliability.
However the report said strategies such as acquisition of more efficient power-storage technologies would mitigate this.