Business Unity South Africa (Busa) has welcomed the National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s (Nersa’s) registration of new electricity generation facilities under the so-called 100 MW reform.
“The fact that registration processes for the 16 new generation facilities were processed within 19 days is very encouraging for businesses ready to generate energy and is an indication that business engagements with Nersa are bearing results,” Busa CEO Cas Coovadia says.
He states that this has been a long time coming since the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa that the licensing exemption threshold under schedule two of the Electricity Regulation Act would be lifted to 100 MW.
“This amendment goes a long way to unlocking embedded generation contributing to the security of supply, attracting investment and generating growth.
“Busa believes upwards of 16 000 direct jobs can be created, based on a 50 MW threshold. Job creation is more significant under the 100 MW programme. We are confident that the economies of scale unlocked by 100 MW provide much-needed investment, job creation and development of local industrial capacity,” Coovadia says.
He notes, however, that while recent developments are welcome news, every day of delay and load-shedding adds to the economic pressures facing South Africa.
Busa, therefore, urges Nersa to publish circulars that unpack the process for engaging in the 100 MW programme from application to registration, increasing sector regulatory certainty and confidence.
“We welcome the flexibility demonstrated by and determination displayed by Operation Vulindlela in this area. This is a development that should have been underway some time ago.
“Still, the announcement of the new generation facilities by Nersa is, we hope, the beginning of a trend where Nersa will enable the unblocking of numerous blockages that, if unlocked, significantly increase confidence, attract investment and contribute to economic growth,” says Coovadia.