Change to electricity regulations are hoped to help end power woes

The amendment to the Electricity Regulation Act will allow independent power producers to generate up to 100MW of power.

FILE: A clothing store in Claremont, Cape Town, in darkness as load shedding kicks in. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/Eyewitness News.

CAPE TOWN – Energy experts on Saturday praised an amendment to South Africa’s electricity regulations as a major step forward in diversifying the country’s energy sources.

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The Department of Mineral Resources on Thursday gazetted the amendment to Schedule Two of the Electricity Regulation Act, which allows independent power producers (IPPs) to generate up to 100MW of power without having to go through a drawn-out licencing process.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the development in June but projects will still need to be registered with the National Energy Regulator of South Africa.

Government said the amendment would open doors for significant investment in new generation capacity in the short to medium term.

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Managing Director of energy company Rubk, Ruse Moleshe, welcomed the move to expand embedded generation in the country.

COO of Bayakha Infrastructure Partners, Thokozile Zambine, said that as more IPPs came online, the pressure on the national grid would be reduced.

Zambine added that the amendment would also benefit other sectors such as manufacturing.

Meanwhile, Eskom has said the amendment would also greatly assist in efforts to provide reliable and sufficient electricity for the economy while it conducted much needed repairs on its infrastructure.

Spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said the new threshold would make more generation capacity available and aid national energy security.

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