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17 January 2017

The electricity supply crisis in South Africa has largely been stabilised in 2016 and the risk of loadshedding has been largely reduced. Utilities now have space to look at sustainable energy solutions that will provide a reliable and secure supply of electricity into the future. Rapidly increasing electricity prices, significant decreases in the price of renewable energy and the economic impact of load shedding have created a large demand for viable alternatives energy sources.

The clean energy revolution presents South Africa with an exciting opportunity to tackle numerous issues linked to the universal provision of safe and affordable energy to all citizens. Traditional energy development can be leapfrogged by transitioning directly to a more sustainable technology, while avoiding the dirty energy legacy of most developed countries.

Opportunities: Fast facts

  • The creation of an enabling environment for the sustainable uptake of small scale embedded generation technologies in Western Cape, will drive the large scale uptake of rooftop PV in the province.
  • The market in installation, operation and maintenance of rooftop PV is estimated at R2bn over the period 2016 to 2019, with the potential to create 3000 jobs over that period
  • Currently there is more than 94MW of installed rooftop PV in South Africa of which 18 MW is in the Western Cape
  • There are currently 18 municipalities allowing SSEG in the Western Cape and 21 nationally
  • GreenCape’s small scale embedded generation guidelines have been fed into the national AMEU’s process as the accepted draft national SSEG regulation to be used by all Municipalities. This has been completed and distributed.
  • The publication and application of the new NRS 049 smart metering specification will assist in decreasing smart metering costs. This is an enabler for SSEG in South Africa.

GreenCape’s work in this space

The role of the smart electricity project focuses on efforts to create an enabling environment for the uptake of small scale embedded generation (SSEG) technologies by municipalities in the Western Cape and the rest of South Africa.

This leads to the growth of numerous different market segments, thereby unlocking investment opportunities and creating jobs. Our efforts in this space are guided closely by the Western Cape Government’s Energy Security Game Changer, which aims to have enough power for growth that is sustainable and low carbon.

This will be achieved by reducing the Western Cape’s current demand from Eskom by 10% through alternative low carbon supply and energy efficient measures.

Key reading

AMEU-SALGA resource pack for municipalities

Small scale embedded generation (SSEG) resource pack

Status of SSEG in South African municipalities

Status of SSEG in the Western Cape


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