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#BizTrends2022: Actions that could change our energy landscape in 2022

Clarity about the process for the self-generation of power could have a positive impact on South Africa's energy landscape for the year ahead. It could also be a support for the progress that government has already made in this area.
Jan Fourie, Southern Africa general manager, Scatec
Jan Fourie, Southern Africa general manager, Scatec

The restriction was moved from 1MW to 100MW last year, and was very well received by the industry at large. My view is, however, that it would be more effective for market forces to dictate the size of these generation facilities. We need to procure what we can, where we can so that we can keep the lights on. By giving more clarity about these limitations – and in fact, removing it completely – we could see a massive difference at a time when we are sitting with a large energy deficit while the Eskom grid is struggling.

Unbundling Eskom

The unbundling of Eskom should be the next area of focus. This needs to be done properly so that we end up with three separate stand-alone businesses which can fund themselves. These three units would be transmission, generation and distribution.

An important point to add is to ensure that sufficient resources are directed towards transmission development. We need to open up and strengthen the transmission grid to allow areas with abundant renewable energy, like the Northern Cape, that are now stranded because of grid constraints, to feed those available solar and wind resources back into the grid to ensure the country benefits from cheap electricity by virtue of its natural resources.

Lastly, there must be a consistent message when it comes to energy and energy policy. The country cannot afford to be delivering mixed or contradictory messages about fossil fuels and renewable energy. We need to align our messages so that we can attract the international community and help us access the concessional funding that is available – funding we desperately need to get Eskom on its feet again and reduce its impact on our public purse.

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