Winde outlines plans to reduce Western Cape’s reliance on Eskom

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Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde, says he will forge ahead in his bid for the province to be incentivised for reducing energy consumption. Winde was speaking during the province’s second weekly digital conference about the energy crisis.

It is aimed at updating the media and public on the plans and projects the province and its municipalities are putting in place to create energy security.

The province says while it has set itself aggressive energy targets over the next few years, it is confident that it can be done. It says it is aiming to reduce reliance on Eskom to about 750 megawatts by 2025, with a long-term target of 5700mw of non-Eskom generation in the province.

“Of course, governments can come in with plans like we did before with led lighting or other mechanisms to save power, but I argue at a national level and Eskom and the president to say if we, as the Western Cape commit – the citizens and the businesses – we are going to save power to mitigate load shedding levels. What’s in it for us? And that’s what I believe should be there. We have a baseline … we need an agreement to say can we share in the benefits of it. So, for example, we set ourselves targets in the province. If we can save x number of megawatts are we then able to mitigate a level of load shedding, because then it becomes worthwhile, and that’s really what I want to push,” says says Winde.

A number of programmes including the development of networks, new energy generation and demand side management will be implemented.

A load shedding relief programme, aimed at low-income households, is among 19 initiatives planned.

“The load shedding relief programme really focuses on short and immediate actions we can take to buffer the impact of load shedding. So, typically, what we have is we want to issue an emergency pack to either indigent or low LSM households. The kinds of things we would like to see in those packs is solar-powered portable lights, solar-powered cell phone charger and quite possibly a hot/cold bag which allows either to cook food or heat it or if it needs to be cooled to keep it cool. The other parts of that initiative deal with things like incentives for SMME’s to move to alternative energy sources and this aligns quite nicely with what has been announced in the national action plan,” says Alwie Lester, Special Adviser: Western Cape.

While the budget for the Western Cape’s energy plan is expected to be tabled next week, municipalities are already working to reduce own consumption and planned alternative energy generation.

“We have also worked on our street lights and high mast lights in what we are doing there. On our traffic lights, we have also replaced, done retro fitting there, put in LED’s, and we, last year, went through a fairly quick project where we fitted UPS systems to all of our traffic lights. So, we have got something like 60 traffic light intersections that are now all geared with ups that can last for four hours. So, if we are able to reduce our consumption according that this, we believe there is probably about 4MW that we can save through that exercise,” says Leon van Wyk, George Mayor.

Winde says the province is ready to engage with the newly appointed Minister of Electricity in order to strengthen energy resilience.

Western Cape State Of The Province Address | Premier Alan Winde: