In the next three months, more than 1000 MWs could be added to the national electricity grid to boost Eskom’s capacity.
The newly formed Energy Crisis Committee comprised of various government ministers briefed the media on Monday 01 August.
Some of the outcomes of the committee includes key changes at Eskom and in energy generation:
- There are coal-fired power stations earmarked for decommissioning, it might be repurposed, possibly with gas.
- A flexiblity framework for Bid Window 5 to cover solar PV panels specifically – the area the market requested. There is a current local content requirement of 100% for modules. This will now be reduced to 35%.
- There’s been negotiations with neighbouring countries to get between 100 MW and 200 MW to become available in a period of a month, depending on the contracting mechanisms and agreement on price.
- Potentially 150MW from gas can be processed in Mozambique and become available in the next three months in the short term.
- Six power stations have been identified to get maintenance (parts and contracts). They are Kendal, Majuba, Tutuka, Duvha, Kusile and Matla.
Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele lists five interventions:
1. Fix Eskom
2. Improve generation supply.
3. Accelerate procurement of new energy.
4. Enable business and households to invest in rooftop solar.
5. Transform the electricity sector to achieve long term energy security
The crisis committee has already starting meeting to achieve these objectives. Eight workstreams have been established and discussions are underway with private sector and social partners.
Last week President Cyril Ramaphosa outlined several interventions to address the power crisis. Among these include scrapping the 100 MW licence exemption for independent power producers, doubling the procurement of renewable energy for Bid Window 6 and plans to incentivise businesses and households to install rooftop solar.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has raised concerns that Eskom’s deals with neighbouring countries could threaten Zimbabwe’s power supply. He will visit Mozambique and Zambia in a bid to save the country’s electricity import contracts that are being eyed by Eskom.
In his weekly column, he wrote: “This week I am paying a working visit to Mozambique. In the coming weeks I am likely to meet president [Hakainde] Hichilema of Zambia in Livingstone. Both sister countries supply us with power,” Mnangagwa wrote in his weekly column in the state media….I will engage my colleagues with a view to ensuring our power imports are secure and uninterrupted. uninterrupted.”