Energy experts welcome announcement that Eskom can buy additional energy

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Energy experts have given thumbs up to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement that Eskom will now be able to buy additional energy from Independent Power Producers. They say for the first time in 13 years, a proper diagnosis has been done and that there has never been an integrated plan to address the energy issues the country is facing. President Cyril Ramaphosa announced last night that regulation will be reviewed to fast track the new energy generation projects.

VIDEO: Eskom will buy electricity from IPPs and import from Zambia and Botswana: Ramaphosa 

Analysts are optimistic that the integrated approach by government will look at both short term and long-term plans of generating more energy capacity. They say that although the plan to buy additional power from renewable energy is a good one, there is still a long way to go to ensure its effectiveness and reliability.

Some are calling for a national legislation around small scale embedded generation or power generation facilities. But just how implementable are these plans and is the market ready to supply alternative sources of energy to the grid?

“The market is very much ready if you look at the buying of additional power from IPPs, they have additional power that they cannot feed into the grid,” says Professor Sampson Mamphweli, Energy Expert.

The restaurant industry says it has been incurring massive costs to run generators and solar systems due to constant rolling blackouts. However, not all businesses can afford the high cost of alternative energy to power their operations during power cuts.

“Some restaurants are very fortunate to be in a position to have a generator and are able to supply power during load shedding but the costs to run those generators is something else, then you look at the high costs of fuel and high interest rates,” says Wendy Alberts of Restaurant Association of South Africa.

VIDEO: Restaurant Association of SA concerned with impact of worsening energy crisis: Wendy Alberts 

Analysts have reiterated that the country needs new energy generation capacity urgently to improve the country’s energy supply. But it remains to be seen whether the new energy plan will be implemented efficiently and timely to address the energy crisis that the country is facing.

VIDEO: Eskom Rolling Blackouts| Energy experts welcome measures to deal with power outages