Johannesburg, 16 May 2019 — Media reported Wednesday that Energy Minister Jeff Radebe, has written a letter to NERSA informing the regulator that it can consider granting licences to small-scale embedded generation (SSEG) projects with a combined capacity of 500 MW, without the developer having to seek permission from the Minister for a deviation from the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP)[1]. In response,  Happy Khambule, Greenpeace Africa’s political advisor, has said:

“Rooftop solar is a no-brainer; Greenpeace Africa therefore welcomes this move by the Minister of Energy to finally make sure that the country can go ahead with the installation of rooftop solar. We have some of the best renewable resources in the world. Unfortunately, red tape and bureaucratic delays have meant that South Africa has been unable to take advantage of the significant opportunities offered by rooftop solar. This move to streamline the process is long overdue and will go a long way towards easing the current electricity crisis.”

“Nevertheless, the most critical step forward would be the release of the country’s new electricity plan (IRP), which has faced heavy delays, and is essential for creating the necessary certainty in the electricity sector. Greenpeace Africa urges the newly elected Government to move very quickly to finalise the IRP, develop a plan for a just energy transition and to address the climate crisis,” ended Khambule.

Department of Energy deputy director for policy and planning Ompi Aphane confirmed that the Minister has responded by using his powers, under Section 11.2 (g) of the Electricity Regulation Act, to enable NERSA to consider licence applications in the absence of a specific deviation order.

Notes to the editor:

  1. Projects below 1 MW are currently exempt from having a licence, but plants larger than 100 kW must be registered under a NERSA process that has itself resulted in significant uncertainty.

Media contact:

Chris Vlavianos, Communications Officer – Greenpeace Africa, [email protected], 079 883 7036