Cape Town’s 300MW solar power plan will be litmus test: mayor Hill-Lewis
The City of Cape Town is the first municipality to open its doors to independent power providers.
On Wednesday, mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis said the city has opened the first round for independent entities to tender for providing up to 300MW — much of which will come from solar power.
Looking for suppliers who can provide energy generation, storage or both will “reduce our reliance on Eskom during peak times”.
Speaking at the Solar Power Africa conference in Cape Town, the mayor said: “Solar photovoltaic energy is clean and affordable and scalable.”
BREAKING: Cape Town mayor announces they have opened a procurement process for IPPs to generate up to 300 MW of energy, most being in solar power. Lewis says the tenders are on the city’s site as of this morning. #solarenergy @TimesLIVE pic.twitter.com/jEcNC5cSKc— 𝕬𝖓𝖙𝖍𝖔𝖓𝖞 𝕸𝖔𝖑𝖞𝖓𝖊𝖆𝖚𝖝 (@AJGMolyneaux) February 16, 2022
Talk about poverty pays lip service to solutions, but “until we solve the energy crisis” poverty cannot be solved.
SA had lived with load-shedding on and off for 15 years and “we accept it as normal, but it is not normal”.
He applauded President Cyril Ramaphosa’s “refreshing views” on removing red tape, saying Cape Town’s new procurement process would be the litmus test on whether legislation is only interpreted to give national government the power of veto over such innovations.
The mayor’s speech came after minerals and energy minister Gwede Mantashe said: “If we are moving to build a renewable sector — a long-term, sustainable one — we need to allow the sector to speak for itself.”
“I am responsible for energy, not just coal, in this country. I am not biased towards coal,” said Gwede Mantashe, minister of mineral resources and energy, at the Solar power conference in Cape Town. #SolarPower #solarenergy pic.twitter.com/yEwc3VBbgz— 𝕬𝖓𝖙𝖍𝖔𝖓𝖞 𝕸𝖔𝖑𝖞𝖓𝖊𝖆𝖚𝖝 (@AJGMolyneaux) February 16, 2022
The sector must not be represented by lobbyists but by scientists, he said.
“It must be managed scientifically — and if you are not able to speak for yourself, others will speak on your behalf.”
He warned against importing products for the sector, saying manufacturing should be in SA, otherwise “we are simply creating jobs elsewhere”.
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