Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said the government was ramping up a number of energy generation projects to get them connected to the grid in a bid to reduce load shedding.
Government had lifted the cap for embedded generation from 1MW in 2021 to 100MW the following year and now it can produce more than 100MW.
Ntshavheni said the private sector had come to the party and partnerships were in place to pump in billions of rand in the energy sector.
President Cyril Ramaphosa recently announced new powers for Minister of Electricity Kgosientsho Ramokgopa after three months in limbo.
Ntshavheni, who was briefing the media in Pretoria on Tuesday, said since the government announced reforms in the energy sector, it had seen an increase in the private sector taking part.
“First, amending Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act to remove the licensing requirement for generation projects of any size. More than 100 projects are now at various stages of development, representing over 10 000MW of new generation capacity and over R200 billion of private sector investment.
“Second, accelerating procurement of new generation capacity. Three projects from the risk mitigation programme have entered construction, with a further five projects expected to reach financial close during this quarter. Project agreements have been signed for 25 preferred bidders from Bid Window 5 and 6 amounting to approximately 2 800MW, of which 784MW is already in construction,” said Ntshavheni.
Rudi Dicks, who is the head of project management in the Presidency, said there had been an increase in investment in the energy sector to resolve the energy crisis in the country.
He said the energy action plan that was announced by Ramaphosa last year sought to achieve two things:
One was to improve the performance of Eskom’s power stations.
There has been a drop in the energy availability factor at the power stations.
Dicks said the second component of the energy action plan was to procure more megawatts to be connected to the grid.
“What we have seen since that reform is a massive surge in electricity generation. We are tracking, as the Minister has said, about 10 000MW,” said Dicks.
There has been an increase in registration at the National Energy Regulation of South Africa for these projects.
Dicks said between January and March this year they had 2 400MW of projects that were registered. This was a huge improvement compared to 10MW of projects that were registered in 2021.