Loadshedding: 96.5% reduction if 5GW of renewable energy had been brought online
This morning, the Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger, opened the Green Energy Summit Africa, held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
The Summit provides a global platform to connect government leaders with the private sector, for the purpose of driving deals and investment into energy projects in Africa specifically.
Addressing some of the 2 000 delegates, Minister Wenger revealed that, according to research done by the Meridian Economics, “if South Africa had an additional 5 GW of renewable energy online in 2021, loadshedding would have been reduced by a substantial 96.5% in 2021.” This is as South Africa faces an unprecedented 25 days of loadshedding.
The 5 GW could have been brought online already, through the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme bid windows. However, due to the significant delay between bid window 4 and bid window 5, was not. “South Africa must learn from this delay and now move with determination,” said Minister Wenger.
Minister Wenger added: “The Western Cape government is on a drive to increase energy resilience not only to mitigate the effects of loadshedding and the resulting economic damage, but also because of the immense potential this sector has to attract investment, grow our regional economy and create jobs.”
By 2025, the provincial government has committed to 500MW lower carbon energy to be produced in the Western Cape. Some notable progress has been made, including:
- Small scale embedded generation of 102 MW has been installed and registered in Western Cape municipalities since December 2020.
- 1 MW of municipal own renewable energy generation has been produced by Stellenbosch, Hessequa and George since December 2020.
- Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) projects in the Western Cape include Excelsior Wind Energy Facility and Perdekraal East Wind Farm that were operationalised in 2020, with a total of 139.7 MW.
- The total output of the REIPPPP preferred bidder projects from bid window 5 that are based in the Western Cape, is 785 MW, but need to reach financial close.
- The City of Cape Town is well underway with their IPP procurement programme for 200 MW of energy.
- 21 Western Cape municipalities have SSEG feed-in-tariffs, representing nearly two thirds of all municipalities in South Africa that have such a tariff.
- Both the City of Cape Town and George are piloting wheeling projects, and the Western Cape is working on enabling wheeling, or moving energy generated in one area to be traded across the grid to a consumer in another area, because we believe this will unlock significant private sector demand from independent power producers.
- Between 2011 and 2021, 12% of all Green Field Investments in the Western Cape were in the Renewable Energy Sector.
Concluding her address, Minister Wenger said: “Building a green, energy resilient future will not be possible without partnerships across government and the private sector. We face a collective challenge, one that can only be solved through collaboration and partnership. This Summit is the perfect opportunity to discuss, debate and set the agenda for how we are going to work together and act to ensure a brighter future.”
Spokesperson for the Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities
(Responsible for the Provincial Treasury and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism)
Cell: 076 423 7541