SA can easily be a leader in renewable energy

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SA can easily be a leader in renewable energy

The recent increase to the electricity generation threshold for private energy producers is a game-changer

Gavin Noeth

SA is in the midst of a power crisis. Eskom’s ageing infrastructure, reduced reliability, inferior coal and the significant gap in power generation capacity and demand has left the country susceptible to rolling blackouts. These have also contributed to an increased frequency of load-shedding needed to reduce the burden on its power generation facilities. As a result, the government has had to face the fact that the national power utility is not in a position to easily or quickly turn its situation around. 

However, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recent landmark announcement to increase the electricity generation threshold for private energy producers from one to 100 megawatts (MW) could signal a new dawn for the country.

This announcement enables private producers to generate up to 100MW of power capacity without needing to obtain a licence from the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa). To put this into perspective: 1MW is enough to power a small shopping centre, 10MW can easily power a mine and 100MW can provide enough electricity for about 3,000 homes...

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