...By Joseph Benjamin for TDPel Media.
The Mayoral Committee Member for Energy, Councillor Beverley van Reenen, recently spoke at a Small-Scale Embedded Generation (SSEG) event in Cape Town.
The event, hosted by GreenCape and the City’s Sustainable Energy Markets Department, aimed to address the energy crisis in South Africa and the City’s plans to mitigate load-shedding.
Councillor Van Reenen acknowledged that South Africa is facing a significant energy crisis.
This crisis is primarily attributed to a lack of generating capacity due to breakdowns at Eskom’s aging coal-powered stations.
In addition, a lack of timely policy and regulatory reforms to develop a future-fit energy utility and establish a thriving energy market exacerbates the situation.
The beleaguered national power utility is further plagued by allegations of sabotage, mismanagement, and corruption.
Cape Town’s Response:
Cape Town refuses to accept load-shedding as the new normal and has established an energy program to end it over time.
One important aspect of this strategy is actively supporting the uptake of SSEG.
The City offers clear guidelines and an authorization process to ensure the safety and effectiveness of residential and commercial SSEG systems.
Additionally, Cape Town provides a feed-in tariff and an incentive tariff to credit customers for excess electricity generation fed into the network, allowing them to earn money if they generate more electricity than they consume.
Success of SSEG Uptake:
The City of Cape Town has already approved over 5,000 new SSEG installations.
In the first three months of 2023, they received a record-breaking 1,040 applications, with half of them submitted in February alone.
This uptake underscores the success of the City’s proactive and forward-thinking initiatives.
By embracing change and advancements, Cape Town aims to move toward a dynamic, sustainable, and energy-secure future.
Importance of SSEG for Businesses:
Councillor Van Reenen emphasized that SSEG is a crucial game-changer in the energy crisis, particularly for small- to medium-sized enterprises.
These businesses require consistent energy supply to sustain their operations and secure the livelihoods of their employees.
Workshop and Mayor’s Energy Priority Programme:
The SSEG event took place alongside the Enlit Africa 2023 conference, providing a platform for industry, municipalities, and customers to share their experiences and adaptations during the ongoing energy crisis.
The City of Cape Town’s efforts to address load-shedding and advance its energy agenda are reflected in the Mayor’s Energy Priority Programme.
This program includes substantial investments in embedded independent power purchase, voluntary power reduction initiatives, solar PV, battery storage, waste-to-energy, and a potential investment of R1 billion in Steenbras subject to due diligence and legal processes.
Councillor Beverley van Reenen’s participation in the SSEG event showcased Cape Town’s commitment to mitigating load-shedding and promoting sustainable energy solutions.
By actively supporting SSEG uptake and investing in various energy projects, Cape Town aims to secure a reliable energy supply for its residents and businesses, contributing to a brighter energy future.