Source: SAnews.gov.za

Government’s “single-minded focus” on implementing plans to urgently address the energy crisis are making gains – with the end of load shedding “finally within reach”.

This according to President Cyril Ramaphosa who delivered the State of the Nation Address at the Cape Town City Hall, on Thursday evening.

The President said government has a clear plan – the Energy Action Plan – which is being implemented with “single-minded focus through the National Energy Crisis Committee”.

“We have delivered on our commitments to bring substantial new power through private investment on to the grid, which is already helping to reduce load shedding. Last year, we implemented a major debt relief package which will enable Eskom to make investments in maintenance and transmission infrastructure and ensure its sustainability going forward.

“Since we revived our renewable energy programme five years ago, we have connected more than 2500 MW of solar and wind power to the grid with three times this amount already in procurement or construction,” he said.

The amount of rooftop solar has also increased since government implemented tax incentives and financial support with regard to this.

Regulatory reforms implemented by government have also enabled private investment in electricity generation enabling the development of more than 120 new private energy projects.

“These are phenomenal developments that are driving the restructuring of our electricity sector in line with what many other economies have done to increase competitiveness and bring down prices.

“Through all of these actions, we are confident that the worst is behind us and the end of load shedding is finally within reach. But we are not stopping there,” President Ramaphosa said.

To further strengthen South Africa’s hand in energy security, some 14 000km of new transmission lines are to be built in South Africa to connect renewable energy projects.

“To ensure that we never face a similar crisis ever again, we are reforming our energy system to make it more competitive, sustainable and reliable into the future. We are going to build more than 14 000km of new transmission lines to accommodate renewable energy over the coming years,” he said.

President Ramaphosa explained that to fast track the building of the transmission lines private investment in transmission infrastructure will be roped in “through a variety of innovative investment models”. – SAnews.gov.za


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