Greenpeace Africa political adviser Happy Khambule says rooftop solar is a “no-brainer” and has welcomed the move by Energy Minister Jeff Radebe “to finally make sure that the country can go ahead with the installation of rooftop solar”.
The Minister earlier this week instructed the National Energy Regulator of South Africa to consider granting licences to small-scale embedded generation (SSEG) projects with a combined capacity of 500 MW, without having to seek permission from the Minister for a deviation from the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).
Although South Africa is considered to have some of the best renewable resources in the world, red tape and bureaucratic delays have meant that the country has been unable to take advantage of the significant opportunities offered by SSEG projects, such as rooftop solar projects, says Greenpeace.
“This move to streamline the process is long overdue and will go a long way towards easing the current electricity crisis,” it adds.
Nevertheless, the organisation says the most critical step, going forward, will be the release of South Africa’s updated electricity plan, which has faced many delays and is essential for creating the necessary certainty in the electricity sector.
As a result, Greenpeace Africa on Friday urged the newly-elected government to move “very quickly to finalise the IRP [and to] develop a plan for a just energy transition and to address the climate crisis”.
Radebe earlier this week told delegates attending the African Utility Week, in Cape Town, that the IRP would be released soon.