SADC energy future is alternative

2010-11-18 22:24

Johannesburg - Renewable energy, independent power providers and cross-border power agreements held the key to meeting SADC's electricity needs, the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) said on Thursday.

"We are sitting closely to our reserve power margins and can't build coal-based power stations fast enough... we need to look at efficient power usage", Nersa spokesperson Thembani Bukula told reporters in Boksburg.

He was speaking at the conclusion of the Regional Electricity Regulators Association (RERA) annual conference.

At the conference, energy minister representative Matthews Bantsijang said the department was trying to ensure a sustainable energy mix through solar power, solar thermal, wind as well as landfill initiatives.

He said independent power producers were key to building new generation capacity and avoiding a power shortfall.

There was a need for faster transition to cost-reflective tariffs or alternative funding mechanisms to prevent a "full-blown crisis" in the long run, he said.