Green energy boost looming

Self-generation law gazetted but issues need clarification

15 August 2021 - 00:20 By Hilary Joffe and hilary joffe

Mineral resources & energy minister Gwede Mantashe has at last gazetted the legislation needed to open the way for private companies to generate their own electricity up to 100MW without a licence, unleashing a wave of private investment in new generation projects that should help to keep SA's lights on - and speed up SA's transition to greener energy.

But while the energy industry has warmly welcomed the new rules, they don't go as far as was hoped to open up the market for private generation, and there are concerns that key aspects are unclear and could dampen prospects for investment in new private capacity. In particular, it is not clear whether new private generators will be able to generate just for a single end customer, or for multiple customers, which would allow them to take advantage of economies of scale to supply even relatively small mining, industrial or commercial customers - and would open up the electricity market to a much wider pool of investment...

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