Skip to main content

Electricity minister’s plan to fix grid capacity problem

| Supplier news

By: Myles Illidge - MyBroadman

Ramokgopa, says government is targeting to expedite the expansion of transmission lines to the Cape provinces in order to potentially unlock at least 2,335MW of energy in the short-term.

He was speaking during an engagement with business stakeholders in KwaZulu-Natal on Tuesday (20/02/2024).

Ramokgopa explained that there are renewable energy projects that are already producing electricity, but the lack of transmission lines is hampering their ability to add to the ailing grid.

“In the short-term, we can unlock about 2,300MW of stranded electrons. That is the route that we are taking and as the minister, I’ll be making the necessary announcement,” he said.

“We already know the corridors where we are going to get this 2,335MW. It’s in Upington, the Juno Gromis 400kV line and all that in the Nama transformer in Upington (sic).”

“Once we make those interventions, we get an additional 2,300MW. We don’t have to wait for 10 years. It’s the interventions that we are making now but we need to design a bespoke financing solution to help us to address the issues of transmission,” the minister added.

In the longer term, some 14,000km of new transmission lines are to be built in South Africa to connect renewable energy projects and further strengthen the grid.

Turning to demand side management, Ramokgopa said the appetite — from both private persons and businesses — for rooftop solar has grown exponentially since government announced tax incentives and financial support to those willing to invest.

He said connected rooftop installed capacity has grown from some 983MW in 2022 to 4,412MW by mid-2023.

“Our anticipation is that the rate of growth will exceed what we would have seen in the previous calendar year. Two things are an impediment to an aggressive rollout of rooftop solar. Firstly, it’s the availability of equipment,” he said.

“South Africa, compared to many countries in the world, has had the biggest import of solar panels. We have had conversations with some of the biggest manufacturers across the globe — invariably from China — to localise production here. We are confident we are going to do that.”

“The second impediment is the skills to install these solar panels. We will be recruiting about 25,000 people to be able to install. In every crisis, there is an opportunity and that opportunity must be taken. We are looking to industrialise and… we are looking to create these new skills so that we get people into jobs,” he added.

Pin It

Related Articles

By: Daily Investor  Ramokgopa referred to South African municipalities owing Eskom R78 billion, which is increasing at an alarming rate.
By: Se-Anne Rail - IOL Knorr is recalling its brown onion gravy sachets after manufacturers have discovered some packets may contain traces of cow’s milk and soy.
By: Bianke Neethling – Daily Investor Eskom has done a tremendous job of limiting unplanned outages and improving the performance of its coal fleet, which bodes well for load-shedding in South Africa going forward.
By: Shaun Jacobs – Daily Investor In June, the Constitutional Court ruled in favour of Coronation in its legal battle against SARS regarding the profits earned by its Irish-based subsidiary, Coronation Global Fund Managers (CGFM). 
By: Myles Illidge – My Broadband Eskom is cracking down on corruption surrounding its operations and service providers, and using new technologies and systems to minimise opportunities for criminal activity.