As South Africans wait with bated breath to hear President Cyril Ramaphosa deliver the State of the Nation Address (Sona), Nick Roche, chief product officer at Rubicon, a renewable energy division, says he is looking forward to hearing how the president will address the energy crisis.
Roche says Rubicon will be watching the Sona tonight with interest in the hope that some crucial matters they have laid out will be covered.
“We are looking forward to seeing the government’s solution to the power crisis. In particular, we would like to see frameworks and policies in place for independent power producers to make use of the grid after the Eskom unbundling.
“These next steps need to be put in place quickly so we can move forward to getting the necessary energy injected as fast as possible.
“We would like maintenance and indeed expansion of the tax rebates for renewable energy installations.
“We have seen this drives consumers to buy the systems, so it's a very good motivation for them.
“We would like to see the government step forward to engage stakeholders. There are highly skilled people who are ready to provide the input that the government needs, and it is super important that they make themselves available to do that.
“We would also like to see the continuation and expansion of the renewable energy independent power producer programme, which has been very successful but has had some stumbling blocks over the years, and we would like to see that moving forward.”
Roche believes that measures to replace power plants with renewable energy sources will be critical in the future.
Another key question that must be addressed is how the electric vehicle revolution will unfold in South Africa.
“The government is central to getting that moving. First, we need to put in place the necessary frameworks with the local manufacturers to participate in a globally competitive market, but also from the consumer’s side, the use of those vehicles.
“We want to see the plans being put in place for the necessary infrastructure. And what the government’s plans are for charging those vehicles when they become mainstream and how the grid will absorb that energy,” says Roche.