The long-awaited amendment to the Electricity Regulation Act finally seems to be in motion, with the Minister releasing a gazette for comments last month. However, most of industry wants the threshold for embedded generation to be increased from 1 MW to 50 MW, rather than 10 MW, as the minister has currently gazetted.
The South African economy appears very committed to investing in their own energy production infrastructure, which is potentially a great help to Eskom, which doesn't have the balance sheet any longer to invest into further generation assets. It is also becoming the policy of major global corporations to be 100% renewable within a five year period. In a heavily carbon intensive energy country such as ours, this could become a barrier to investment unless private generation from renewables is opened up.
Provided that we're within the bounds of the IRP, there seems to be no sensible reasons for placing a cap on the size of the projects.
Either move will be an improvement for South Africa's economy and and businesses, many of which are looking to the new regulations to relieve some of the backlog of renewable energy projects.
SOLA Group has a number of fully permitted projects in which it is legally allowed to offer wheeling to private clients, and this remains a focus for the company. After testing the system with Amazon last year, the firm is confident this is a good way for private clients to receive low cost bulk power.
Contact Dom Wills, SOLA Group, firstname.lastname@example.org