Some positives have come out of this sector recently. Eskom managed to bring down it’s (our) debt by some R80 billion, Cyril (I’m shocked) Ramaphosa has announced that industry can build up to 100MW plants without going through the 6 year approval process from NERSA. That is quite a dramatic turn of events for two reasons. The first is that it was previously 1MW, the second is that our minister was punting a figure of just 10MW whilst most objections were saying that 50MW should be the lowest that they should look at.

In order to be able to push excess energy back into the grid will require a certain amount of site inspection to ensure compliance, safety and proper integration into our NRS electricity grid. That is absolutely the right way to do it. The havoc plugging a system into the grid without being properly and safely engineered is clearly to be avoided for economic as well as health and safety reasons.

This is not a quick fix solution and it will take some time for these grids to be built and brought online. it is a giant leap for mankind living in Southern Africa, and one small step towards rectifying a problem 14 years in the making. Thabo Mbeki was informed during his tenure that this was a problem but chose not to take action. The subsequent action was a tender and procurement free-for-all for those in the right places.

The bad news is that load shedding will still be around for the foreseeable future given the maintenance back log on our existing fleet and the lack of capacity. That Eskom increase of course is going nowhere and with most municipalities having their year-end in June, you can expect to see those corruption fund recovery increases kick in.

It is still becoming cheaper to invest in a solar plant with battery storage than ever before and with a very competitive market, it pays to shop.

Make sure you buy the reputable stuff though, there is a reason you pay more for a Victron than a lot of the low end brands.

Ramaphosa’s energy changes are a start – but load shedding isn’t going anywhere: economists

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