In a ground-breaking move, NERSA (National Energy Regulator of South Africa) has awarded a private electricity trading licence for the first time in over 12 years. This will have a major impact on the country, enabling a move away from Eskom.
The license has been granted to Empower Trading, who will be able to sell electricity at rates below Eskom’s current rates. According to Business Tech, Empower Trading will be sourcing mostly renewable power from various independent power producers and small-scale generators. This energy will be transported to national and municipal grid networks, then sold to customers at lower rates.
What does this move mean for South Africa and what can we expect to happen once private electricity becomes an option in the country?
A Landmark Move to Private Electricity
Besides lower tariffs, the move towards private electricity will have a huge impact on power reliability, reducing the damage caused by loadshedding and other interruptions.
Speaking to Business Tech, Enpower Trading director Charl Alheit said, “Our vision is to enable much-needed additional generation and storage capacity and to help foster an efficient power market by offering offtake solutions to IPPs, competitive tariffs to customers, and the sustainability of supply to municipalities and their constituents.
“Our licence is a very important step that is aligned with the government’s aim to liberalise the South African energy market. We are proud to be a part of this process and fully support these recent changes in legislation,” he went on to say.
An amendment to the Electricity Regulation Act that was updated in August 2021 removed the barrier of embedded power generation projects between 1MW and 100MW from applying for a generation license. Instead, private power supplies only need to register with NESA. This means that we will see an increased number of local independent power suppliers and small-scale embedded generators. This, in turn, will make renewable energy available across the country.
At Energy Management Solutions, we welcome this landmark ruling and look forward to the implications it will have on businesses saving energy and reducing the risk of loadshedding. We will keep you updated on the latest developments in the move towards private electricity.