Cape Town’s 10-point plan to end load shedding and relocate Eskom’s network

The City of Cape Town has published a 10-point plan to stop load shedding in the city and move away from Eskom’s network.

The plan, which is aimed at President Cyril Ramaphosa, comes because the country is facing a ‘complete socio-economic crisis’, said Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis.

“We need urgent, strong and clear leadership that shows that the government has a plan to end load shedding and achieve energy security.

“In Cape Town, we have started acquiring additional capacity from Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to reduce the burden on Eskom and end the load shedding here over time. This in turn will “We need to improve the situation nationally. But we need the national government to help us bring more capacity online, faster.”

Hill-Lewis said the 10-point plan is as follows:

  • Abolish the 100MW embedded generation license threshold and ensure a registration period for IPPs of no more than 14 days. Not only is this threshold arbitrary, but it does not make much financial sense. Due to economies of scale, the optimum size for new energy projects is much larger than this, and larger projects offer cheaper electricity per unit.
  • Implement a write-off of income tax for capital investment in small-scale generation and battery storage projects. This could also be used to subsidize and promote solar PV and battery storage home installations, making home generation affordable for more South Africans.
  • Establish financially sound municipalities of all unnecessary laws and regulations (including those governing municipal procurement) that slow down the bringing of new generation capacity online. In tenders for IPP tendering and the construction of municipal own-generation projects, a minimal approach must be allowed.
  • Explain in clear and unambiguous terms that municipalities do not need the approval of Minister Mantashe of Energy for the purchase of electricity. Uncertainty in this regard has a chilling effect on the ability of municipalities to provide new generation and introduce delays; there is no good reason for this to continue.
  • Provides National Treasury guarantees on all loans – by municipalities and private entities – required for IPP generation projects and municipal own-generation projects.
  • Remove the local content requirements of the Department of Trade and Industry on solar PV modules until energy safety is achieved.
  • Free Electricity Traders from heavy licensing requirements for National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa), replacing a registration process in which traders are required to demonstrate compliance with a basic list of requirements designed solely to protect public distribution networks.
  • Remove the substantial red tape over the establishment of natural gas imports and transport in the Western Cape, unlock the use of natural gas powered turbines. These are cleaner and cheaper than the diesel and jet fuel turbines currently in use.
  • Convert Eskom’s Anchor Light factory in Atlantis, Cape Town into natural gas and run the plant on a mid-earnings basis, with dynamic output adjusted according to fluctuations in demand.
  • Immediately establish a Power Crisis Unit in National Treasury, with representation from municipalities and technical experts such as the Minister of Finance, with the mandate to expedite all interventions that could end the power crisis. The unit must not only be another “task team” of the government, and must in fact have the power to make regulatory decisions. This includes decisions required for interventions described above, such as demand side management, battery storage, new natural gas projects, and increasing Eskom’s operational efficiency.

“Although we are only mid-July, the year 2022 is already the worst year of load shedding on record. The last two weeks of Stage 6 load shedding – in which South Africans had to be without power for up to 12 hours a day – cost the national economy R4.2 billion per day.

“Unless President Ramaphosa immediately implements bold steps to increase the capacity of electricity, we will lose even more than the 125,000 jobs that load shedding destroyed in 2019 alone,” Hill-Lewis said.

“My message to President Ramaphosa is that this problem can be solved if we all work together. But it requires clear and decisive leadership, and a willingness to do things differently. I hope we can end load shedding for the benefit of all in the South. “Africa. Now is not the time to accept our fate; it is time to think big, be decisive and make a real difference.”

To read: Eskom CEO gives pale load shedding update for next week – here’s the schedule

Cape Town’s 10-point plan to end load shedding and relocate Eskom’s network

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