The North Gauteng High Court has been petitioned by the City to allow electricity purchases from independent producers, alleviating reliance on Eskom and moving Cape Town towards more renewable power resources.
Mayoral Committee member for Energy and Climate Change, Phindile Maxiti, says the City wants Cape Town to become less dependent on Eskom.
“We are doing everything possible to move away from sole reliance on Eskom for our energy needs, while at the same time trying to become more resilient and sustainable through the use of cleaner energy such as renewable energy and transitional fuels such as natural gas.”
The City is fighting for its right to purchase cleaner energy directly from independent power producers (IPPs).
Maxiti explains why the city needs to move towards a more sustainable source of electricity.
“As a responsible local government that is increasingly becoming internationally recognised for our climate change programmes, we must move toward more sustainable, greener energy resources to meet our carbon-neutral commitments.”
The City wants to employ a Section 34 determination, which is accordance with the New Generation Capacity Regulations in the Electricity Generation Act. This would allow the City to procure up to 400MW of renewable energy from IPPs.
The cost of power generated from IPPS would depend on the technology and procurement process. Wind power and solar photovoltaic (PV) power may cost below R0.80 per kWh.
Concentrated solar power technologies are more expensive and it would be more favourable to use wind or PV power but locals are cautioned that it would cost more than electricity.
“Wind and PV would compete favourably with new coal, but would still be slightly higher than the average cost of electricity if you consider the current fleet of coal-fired power stations.”
Here are the benefits of utilizing renewable energy:
1. The City can reduce long-term electricity costs for residents and provide cleaner power. Currently, an estimated 65% of the electricity tariff charged to customers goes towards the cost of purchasing electricity from Eskom.
2. Prices on renewable energy have dramatically decreased, making renewable energy an affordable and sustainable power alternative for Cape Town.
3. Cape Town is dedicated to a low-carbon, diversified and regionalised energy system.