Energy experts say existing policies must be reviewed to address rolling blackouts

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Experts say policy uncertainty in the energy space remains a major challenge in addressing the issue of rolling blackouts. The African National Congress (ANC) hosted an economic dialogue on economic reforms and energy security in Bloemfontein this week.

During the dialogue, participants also indicated that policies that are in place need to be reviewed and adopted to sustain the energy supply.

ANC hosts dialogue on economic reforms and energy security in Bloemfontein:

Energy crisis biggest threat to economy

Calls have been made for an energy transition and finding a balance in terms of responding to the issues of climate change.

Those who formed part of the discussion say the issue of infrastructure at power stations should be addressed and a new generation capacity should be prioritised.

Former Eskom CEO Jacob Maroga says, “The problem which is a global problem when we move to higher penetration of whether dependant resources and reduce the machines. Some benefits we will miss. So what is it in the future we’re going to put in our system to compensate for what we don’t miss. It must never be coal versus renewable.”

Department of Mineral Resources Director-General, Jacob Mbele says, “The plan has always recognised that there is a lack of terms of power generation then that there is time that is required to put in place new generation and capacity. So in terms of closing the short-term gap, you obviously have to focus on what you have which is basically the capacity that we have connected on the system.”

Energy security

ANC Chairperson Gwede Mantashe is concerned about whether renewable energy could really solve the energy crisis. He says it’s time the country thought broadly about energy security.

“There’s load shedding, there’s an energy crisis, so we must resolve that. I think guys here are able to take us through all those. Number 2, can the renewable on their own resolve load shedding crisis,” Mantashe asks.

Video – Mantashe says renewable energy is ideal for South Africa: 

Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises say they need to be on board with solving the energy crisis. The issue of high tariffs has also created an imbalance.

“How do we start working with our municipalities to show that we are not the enemies here, we are actually working with them? I think it’s important to know that transition is not only about the coal value chain because there is an agricultural sector as well,” the department further explains.

The ANC’s head of economic transformation, Mmamoloko Kubayi has warned that contradictory messages on energy security can confuse residents and affect their confidence, especially when the party doesn’t speak with one voice.

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