CEO Voice: 2 March 2020
Welcome to the first instalment of the SAWEA monthly newsletter. This is a platform for us to share news within the industry. We will be reaching out to all members to utilise this platform to share good news within your organisations.
Amidst challenges, 2020 promises to be a year of change for the renewable energy sector. The energy crisis that has plagued the country requires urgent action from government in order to turn around this situation as soon as possible. It has been made clear on several platforms that a big part of that turn around is procurement of new generation capacity. In December the DMRE issued a request for information to assess generation options available in the short to medium term. That gave the industry a platform to showcase that we have projects that are ready to deliver the much-needed power to the grid.
To read more about how the energy crisis is being dealt with, click here
The energy security of the country has become an issue of concern in South Africa as Eskom battles to balance available supply against increasing demand. The good news is that the Integrated Resource Plan has been gazetted and it apportions a large share of new build capacity to renewable energy over the next 10 years. Over the past couple of months, the spotlight has been on wind energy as it received a lion’s share of this allocation.
In his State of the Nation Address, President Cyril Ramaphosa outlined an action plan which will see the country turn its energy crisis around. The President outlined the following action plan to deal with the energy crisis and to rapidly and significantly increase generation capacity outside of Eskom:
- A Section 34 Ministerial Determination will be issued after concurrence from NERSA.
- Procurement of emergency power from projects that can deliver electricity into the grid within 3 to 12 months from approval.
- SSEG projects below 1MW don’t need a license.
- Applications for SSEG projects by commercial and industrial users to produce electricity for own use above 1MW (no limit) will be processed within the prescribed 120 days.
- Opening Bid Window 5 of the REIPPPP.
- Expediting completion of Bid Window 4 projects under construction.
- Negotiation of supplementary PPAs to acquire additional capacity from existing wind and solar plants.
- Municipalities in good financial standing to be allowed to procure their own power from independent power producers.
This is a positive statement that signals reignition of the wind energy market after more than 5 years since the last bid window was opened. However, we are also concerned that no timelines were published alongside that plan and we will be engaging the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy to follow up.
In the year 2020 we are focusing on strengthening our policy advocacy capacity, improve our knowledge management through directing support to the Working Groups to produce best practice guidelines on different topics, operationalising the Industry Commitment Statement and use our PR platform to educate about the benefits of wind energy, while dispelling the misconceptions. We are also looking forward to the 10th Annual Windaba which takes place on 2 and 3 November, which will be a celebratory moment of reflection about where we come from as an industry, while gearing up to develop 14.4 GW of wind energy project over the next decade.