New call to end load shedding

29 June 2022 News

The National Planning Commission (NPC) has called for emergency measures to be put into place to help deal with the energy supply crisis in South Africa.

The NPC said that the goals of the National Development Plan (NDP) cannot be achieved without energy security and that urgent interventions are needed.

“The most immediate priority is to ensure that new generation capacity is rapidly and urgently brought onto the grid, together with significant new storage capacity. Evidence suggests it is possible to do this within 24 months if 10 000 MW of new generation capacity is rapidly constructed and commissioned as well as 5000 MW of storage capacity,” the commission said in a statement.

“Solar and wind power projects can be built rapidly within two to three years. Ending load shedding needs to become a unifying national goal for the whole country and all stakeholders,” it stated. “Everyone should do their part to achieve this overriding single goal.”

The NPC said, “The declaration of an ‘energy emergency’ is required that will make it possible to override some of the red tape that is preventing the acceleration of delivery of new generation capacity”.

To achieve the overall goal of 10 000 MW of new generation capacity it will be necessary to remove key obstacles. To this end, the NPC is of the view that:

• The 100MW ceiling should be removed because Eskom’s grid code and grid connection authorisation process is sufficient to regulate this growing market.

• Any NERSA registration process that delays implementation of projects should be scrapped and replaced with an online registration procedure for database purposes only.

• Environmental and water use approvals must be streamlined, to take advantage of the Renewable Energy Development Zone framework that allows for fast-tracking of approvals.

• There must be a temporary exemption from local content requirements for construction and commissioning of new generation and storage capacity due to come online in the next 36 months. In parallel, key stakeholders should reach a formal agreement that strikes a balance between short-term importation of components with the need for phasing in upstream industrialisation over the medium- to long-term.

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