By Rodney Lentit, MPP, DA Western Cape Spokesperson on Environmental Affairs and Development Planning:
While Eskom’s proposed 25% tariff hike will lead to multi-billion rand losses to the economy, it will encourage companies and households to look at alternative sources of power.
A reply to a parliamentary questions to the Minister of Economic Opportunities, Tourism and Agriculture, Alan Winde, has revealed that more than 2000 jobs may be created as a result of the local manufacturing and installation of solar PV componentry over the next three to five years.
If electricity prices continue to increase at the proposed rate, the price of solar PV will eventually be able to compete with the price of Eskom power. While the cost of solar PV technology is currently more expensive than Eskom power, an investment into alternative energy now will mean significant savings over the medium to long term, while yielding greater energy security.
The Western Cape Government (WCG) and City of Cape Town (CoCT), as well as businesses in the region, have agreed to work together to come up with innovative solutions to minimise the economic impact of the current energy crisis. This follows our two governments’ selection of Achieving Energy Security as a game changer over the next five years.
The City of Cape Town has set the legal framework within which to install solar PV technology, with other municipalities in the province also gearing toward the large-scale implementation of embedded power generation. Private sector companies are already installing solar PV arrays on large rooftop areas. The WCG and the CoCT are currently holding discussions to consider solutions such as proposals on load-shedding management, Rooftop PV, energy efficiency, Independent Power Producers and Power Purchasing Agreements.