10 things govt can do to end the energy crisis, according to business

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  • Business lobby BUSA has compiled a list of interventions it wants rolled out to end the energy crisis. 
  • It wants a joint working group established between business and government - similar to what occurred during the Covid-19 pandemic - to ensure the proposed steps are taken quickly. 
  • Among other things, it wants red tape cut and the cap lifted for self-generation projects. 
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Business Unity of SA (BUSA) has announced a list of 10 things government can do to end the energy crisis as soon as possible.

It also wants a joint business-government working group established to implement the agreed interventions, similar to the arrangements established to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a statement on Thursday, BUSA said that it stood ready to "rally its resources, skills, and capacity to assist with the urgent implementation of focused interventions to address the energy crisis expected to be announced by the president over the coming days".

President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday that government would soon announce measures that were aimed at bringing an end to load shedding.

The ten interventions listed by BUSA are similar to many of those suggested by others, including the National Planning Commission and several energy experts and researchers.

They include:

  • Resolving embedded or own generation registration and licensing issues with the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa), and accelerating the time it takes to get applications approved;
  • Unblocking red tape constraining private sector investment in generation capacity;
  • Removing Nersa's 100MW cap on the licence exemption for self-generation projects;
  • Suspending the requirement that renewable energy components have a specified amount of local content;
  • Increasing the regularity and size of procurement rounds for renewable energy by the Independent Power Producers Office;
  • Establishing an emergency feed-in tariff framework to enable Eskom to buy power from existing generators;
  • Resolving bottlenecks in the transmission infrastructure (the national grid) to unlock additional generation capacity;
  • Developing a unified and scalable wheeling framework, to allow private entities to use the grid to move electricity they generate;
  • Developing a public-private transmission partnership framework to speed up the build times of new infrastructure for the national grid; and
  • Urgently addressing sabotage at Eskom, and the theft of copper cables.

Busa said that the ultimate aim was to add 15GW of additional, mainly renewable, generation capacity to the grid as well as 4GW of battery storage capacity.

At the moment government plans are for an additional 3GW of energy from independent power producers, with another 3.5GW forecast in self or embedded generation. This is not enough to close the power gap, says Busa, which it estimates at about 15GW. 

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