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POWER CRISIS

Seventh round of renewable energy procurement delayed, says Electricity Minister Ramokgopa

Seventh round of renewable energy procurement delayed, says Electricity Minister Ramokgopa
Minister in The Presidency for Electricity, Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa. (Photo: Gallo Images / Fani Mahuntsi)

Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa says the postponement of Bid Window Seven can be attributed to the delay in updating the draft Integrated Resource Plan which should now be published before the end of November.

The next public procurement round for renewable energy, known as Bid Window Seven (BW7), has been delayed until the end of November.

This was announced by Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa on Sunday, 5 November when he delivered his weekly update on the energy action plan amid the return of rolling blackouts.

BW7 was initially expected to be released in September, conditional on the publication of the Generation Connection Capacity Assessment (GCCA) by Eskom.

During his budget vote speech in Parliament earlier this year, Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe said windows seven and eight would each procure 5,000MW of renewable energy.

According to Ramokgopa, the postponement can be attributed to the delay in updating the draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which he said was now at an advanced stage and should be published before the end of November.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Soldiers ordered to keep safeguarding Eskom power stations from saboteurs into 2024

The IRP is the country’s blueprint policy for electricity generation and is currently under review. Without an updated IRP, South Africa will be forced to continue relying on the outdated energy assumptions of IRP 2019 that do not reflect what must be done to address the ongoing electricity crisis.

“We are confident it [IRP] will be presented before the end of November, of course, we are about three months outside of our own timeline,” said Ramokgopa.

The government’s Independent Power Producer office, which is responsible for the procurement of new energy capacity, has been criticised for moving at a snail’s pace in securing more energy.

Mantashe, who is in charge of the IRP, also received criticism from the official opposition last week for his failure to table an updated plan. The DA wants President Cyril Ramaphosa to hold Mantashe accountable for stalling the country’s energy policy. 

“President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Cabinet should now bear collective responsibility for creating policy uncertainty on energy security at a time when the country is going through an economy-stunting electricity crisis,” said the DA’s Shadow Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Kevin Mileham.

The country’s longest stretch of no load shedding since permanent outages started toward the end of 2022 came to an end on 26 October.

On Sunday, 5 November power utility Eskom announced that due to improved generation capacity and sufficient emergency reserves for the week ahead, Stage 2 load shedding will be implemented from 16:00 on Sunday until 05:00 on Monday, 6 November.

“Thereafter, load shedding will be suspended from 05:00 until 16:00. Stage 2 load shedding will resume from 16:00 until 05:00 on Tuesday. This pattern of suspending load shedding during the day and implementing Stage 2 load shedding during the evening peak will be repeated daily until further notice.” 

Ramokgopa said while there were improvements and they sometimes beat their own targets, it seemed as though boiler-tube leaks were again affecting Eskom’s positive trajectory. 

“It’s an area that requires attention,” he said. “It is important that we articulate this action plan. I really want to give the assurance that we are on it.” 

The minister will be conducting follow-up visits to power stations. The visits will begin at Arnot and Hendrina power stations in Mpumalanga on Monday, 6 November. DM

Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

    Thank you DA. Please keep pushing pushing pushing to keep our country afloat.

  • Middle aged Mike says:

    “According to Ramokgopa, the postponement can be attributed to the delay in updating the draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which he said was now at an advanced stage and should be published before the end of November.”

    The entire program is ‘somewhat’ behind schedule. When the clowns were able to conclude the bidding for 6 most of the generation capacity it represented was already supposed to have been online. Anyone who harbours any fantastical notions of the anc and it’s minions fixing this has my sympathy.

  • Gerrit Steyn says:

    Minister Mantashe knows why there is a delay: he wants to ensure that the Karpowership deal is firmly cemented with no further possible delays.

  • Gordon Bentley says:

    A question to Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa: Who and How is Bid Windows Released and Monitored and what measures are used to prevent corruption and fraud?

    It appears that these are done by someone in Eskom – Who is this powerful individual and what qualifications and accreditations has he/she to perform this very important function? What checks and balances have been put into place to monitor his/her decisions to prevent corruption and fraud.? The Tax payers need to know!

  • peter selwaski says:

    Renuables will always need backup. Go nuclear.

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