Responding to President Ramaphosa’s address on the budget vote (9 June 2022), the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) applauds the President’s unequivocal support of the energy sector’s transformation. Furthermore, the industry welcomes the presidency’s clarity of the various reforms.
Fundamentally, the Association points out that the reforms and work underway will deliver a robust, competitive energy sector with multiple generators competing to supply electricity at the lowest cost and selling power directly to customers, which will go a long way in supporting local business and South Africans individually.
“This is a historical moment in our country as we are not only recreating our energy generation sector, but providing stable foundations for economic growth that is in line with the National Development Plan which sees 2030 as a time when South Africa will reduce its dependency on carbon,” commented Niveshen Govender, SAWEA CEO.
Ramaphosa clearly outlined the work underway aimed at increasing the energy availability factor (EAF), and closing the electricity gap between generation and demand, which is the root cause of load shedding. These included ensuring that projects from existing procurement programmes, including Bid Window 5 of REIPPPP, reach financial close and are connected to the grid as quickly as possible; accelerating private sector investment in generation capacity under 100 MW; enabling Eskom to purchase surplus power from existing power producers; supporting municipalities to procure power independently; and encouraging households and businesses to invest in small-scale solar power installations and feed energy to the grid, amongst others.
“The interventions are in line with the RE sector advocacy efforts. We believe that this step change that we are experiencing will alleviate the impact of power disruptions and allow us to build back better. While these are ambitious intervention, strong leadership is required to move us forward,” added Govender.
The wind sector is excited by Cabinet’s approval of the appointment of Jacob Mbele as the new Director-General (DG) for the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, as announced by Minister Mondli Gungubele recently. On behalf of its members’ SAWEA welcomes Mbele, who is currently a Deputy Director-General for general programmes and projects at the department, noting that he had been intimately involved with both the Integrated Resource Plan and the procurement of electricity from independent power producers for many years, and wish him well as he drives and supports the energy transition in a fair and equitable manner.