The city’s executive mayor has said his officials are working with staff at the national Treasury to draw up a program for municipalities across the nation to turn to independent generators for electricity.
A study into the potential pitfalls of the shift to clean power in the nation’s coal-dependent energy mix, pointed out almost all of South Africa’s solar farms are far to the south and west of the coal regions likely to bear the brunt of job losses in a country which already has 29% unemployment.
The country’s regulator has approved a government plan to tender for 11.81 GW of power generation capacity on top of the 2 GW tender opened last month.
The nation has been plagued by extensive power outages again with debt-riddled utility Eskom blaming heavy summer floods for taking out extensive parts of its coal-fired power generation fleet.
The South African utility has issued a 20-strong tender for 50 kW solar inverters and mounting structures, to be used in four power plants. Although it is unclear whether the tender marks the energy company’s first step into solar energy, the procurement follows the recent publication of South Africa’s Integrated Resource Plan. Eskom is reportedly developing a renewables-linked large scale storage project which may explain the need for inverters.
That would take the country to 8.28 GW of generation capacity by the end of the next decade with the government stating up to 6 GW of small scale capacity could be required on top. By that stage, however, coal would still amount to 43% of generation capacity and gas and diesel a combined 8.1%, under the new Integrated Resource Plan.
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