With the end of load shedding, government is now more committed to the Independent Power Producers Programme, President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday, 9 February.
Delivering the State of the Nation Address (SONA) during a joint sitting of the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces in Parliament on Thursday night, the president said work is continuing to ensure energy security.
“Government is committed to the overall Independent Power Producers Programme and we are expanding the programme to other sources of energy, including coal and gas, in addition to renewable energy,” he said.
The country’s National Development Plan (NDP) has stressed the importance of a greater mix of energy sources and a greater diversity of independent power producers (IPPs) in South Africa’s energy mix. This has become a reality through the Independent Power Producers Programme that is spearheaded by the Department of Energy.
On Thursday, Zuma said power utility Eskom will sign the outstanding power purchase agreements for renewable energy in line with the procured rounds. On the electrification of households across the country, he said nearly 7-million households have been connected to the grid and now have access to electricity.
“The successful execution of Eskom’s build and maintenance programmes helped ensure stability and an end to load shedding. Work is continuing to ensure energy security. “Renewable energy forms an important part of our energy mix, which also includes electricity generation from gas, nuclear, solar, wind, hydro and coal.”
At its Quarterly System Status media briefing last month, Eskom announced that load shedding was last implemented 17 months ago, with the power system remaining stable. It said plant performance has also improved, while maintenance remains on track.