By 2024 elections, load shedding could be ended - NPC's Swilling
The president addressed the nation on Monday concerning the country's five-week battle with load shedding - the longest consecutive period since its onset in 2008.
In the address, President Cyril Ramaphosa mentioned a number of interventions to bring an end to the crisis, including an emphasis on supporting Eskom, an endorsement of its management and a continuous emphasis on energy security and short-term plans.
Amongst these plans was a leeway for the power utility to purchase from existing private IPPs with surplus capacity.
National Planning Commissioner Mark Swilling says that though plans to end load shedding before it became a crisis should've been implemented a long time ago, the country should not "let a good crisis go to waste."
Head of the Project Management Office at the Presidency, Rudi Dicks, echoed this sentiment, saying the removal of the licencing threshold currently placed on Eskom, which is currently 100 megawatts, provides a substantial significance in ending the crisis.
This will now see the country potentially using 83 projects which have a total capacity of 6,000 megawatts of energy from private generators.
Though questions on the estimated R76 billion in investments in renewables that this would cost Eskom, Swilling says that it will not cost the state a cent.
If you understand that economic growth is a function of investment, that little decision is unlocking R76 billion.Prof Mark Swilling, National Planning Commissioner
This then raises questions on what is going to happen, then, with Eskom's R400 billion debt.
The president did refer to the fact that National Treasury is working on a solution to that and that is really critical.Prof Mark Swilling, National Planning Commissioner
Dicks says that this plan will use existing budgets and financing that Eskom already has to increase maintenance, address and employ additional energy generators.
We are opening up the market space, ensuring that Eskom its maintenance philosophy... allowing for additional private sector investors, being able to contract additional generation capacity... So, the cost on the state is minimal in that respect if we allow for the plan to follow through in the way that it's been expressed by the president.Rudi Dicks, Head of Project Management Office at the Presidency
This could see the country walking into light earlier than many had anticipated.
Within two years, I would say by the next election in May 2024, we could bring load shedding to an end if we really do allow an additional 5 gigawatts to come onto the grid.Prof Mark Swilling, National Planning Commissioner
Listen to the full interview below.
Source : https://www.123rf.com/photo_122887370_a-christmas-candle-spreading-light-on-black-background.html?downloaded=1