The Western Cape Government has published its provincial budget for 2020, outlining its green energy plans for the coming years.
In his budget speech David Maynier, provincial minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, said that the introduction of stage six load shedding in 2019 cost the province millions of rands a day, with further losses expected as Eskom announced that South Africa can expect more frequent “planned load shedding” for the next twenty-four months.
“We are concerned that the situation is likely to be more acute, and that load shedding is likely to be with us for longer than anticipated, and because of that we have established an energy security committee, to respond the energy crises in the Western Cape,” Maynier said.
“We, together with the City of Cape Town, who are leading the fight in the courts, have done more than any other province to prepare for a different energy future in the Western Cape.
“Which is why we were delighted to hear that national government will implement measures to rapidly and significantly increase generation capacity, and that municipalities will be allowed to purchase electricity from independent power producers, to help fix our energy crisis in South Africa.”
The Western Cape said that its plan to move to green energy includes:
- Helping municipalities to procure energy from independent power producers, increasing small scale embedded generation and increasing the greening of government buildings;
- Fast-tracking efforts to import Liquefied Natural Gas through Saldanha Bay, and enabling the Ankerlig plant to operate on gas rather than the more expensive diesel; and
- Working with large commercial players to help them with load curtailment measures where possible, and continuing to support businesses with free advice and support on alternative energy solutions in the Western Cape.
“We have allocated a budget of R60 million over the medium term to the green economy team to support municipalities who wish to procure electricity from independent power producers in the Western Cape,” Maynier said.
However, he warned that there are no “quick fix” solutions and it is going to take some time for municipalities to actually begin procuring electricity from independent power producers in the Western Cape.