Following a new determination gazetted under section 34 (1) of the Electricity Regulation Act (Act 4 of 2006) last week, we now have a clearer picture of how independent power producers (IPP) will contribute to the grid in the coming years.

As South Africa moves away from coal power for electricity, focus is placed on alternate energy solutions.

Essentially, this document outlines how much alternate energy Eskom can tap into to meet demand between 2022 and 2024 though for gas that timeline is for the years 2024 to 2027.

This is vitally important as South Africa looks to decommission coal plants between now and 2030.

The generating capacity which can be procured is outlined below.

  • Wind and PV – 6 800MW
  • Storage – 513MW
  • Gas and diesel – 3000MW
  • Coal – 1500MW

Using Table 5 of the Integrated Resource Plan for Electricity 2019 (pictured below), we can see that, well things have remained the same since its publication which is both comforting and concerning.

Of note is the “current base” row right at the top of Table 5.

With this new determination in place, there now needs to be a great push from IPPs to produce power in-line with these expectations. The real worry we have is as regards Wind and PV energy which only sat at 1 980MW and 1 474MW respectively.

That leaves these power producers little over two years to increase available capacity for Eskom to draw from come 2022.

There’s also the matter of how Eskom will procure power from IPPs.

“Electricity produced from the new generation capacity shall be procured through one or more tendering procedures which are fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost -effective and shall constitute IPP procurement programmes as contemplated in theĀ  regulations,” reads the government gazette.

It should be noted that only Eskom can purchase power from IPPs and “only in accordance with the power purchase agreements and other project agreements”.

While we hesitate to praise government in this regard, we do appreciate that there is some movement regarding the Integrated Resource Plan for Electricity, now we wait to see how the industry responds.

[Source – Government (pdf)][Image – CC 0 Pixabay]