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Ramaphosa urged to ‘find his pen’ and sign ERA Bill to bring SA closer to energy security

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The Electricity Regulation Amendment Bill will allow independent power producers to access the country’s electricity grid and its signing into law is expected to spark considerable investment in the alternative energy market.

The Solar PV Industry Association has urged President Cyril Ramaphosa to sign the ERA Bill into law. File picture: Armand Hough, Independent Media.

SOUTH Africa appears to be a significant step closer to energy security following the adoption of the Electricity Regulation Amendment (ERA) Bill by the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) last week.

All that remains is for President Cyril Ramaphosa to “find his pen” and sign the bill into law. Industry stakeholders are now urging the President to finalise the law as quickly as possible in order to unlock its many benefits.

The ERA Bill will allow independent power producers to access the country’s electricity grid and its signing into law is expected to spark considerable investment into the alternative energy market.

The bill will also provide a national framework for the distribution of electricity between private companies, otherwise known as wheeling.

Ultimately it is expected to make energy cheaper, cleaner and more reliable, says Dr Rethabile, CEO of the Solar PV Industry Association (SAPVIA).

“The bill will open the market to suppliers of electricity and bring us much closer to a competitive market,” Melamu said.

“There are several benefits that the bill will bring but crucially, the bill allows for the systematic unbundling of Eskom into a transmission system operator and market operator and accelerate investment into additional generation capacity and supporting infrastructure.”

Melamu described the adoption of ERA by the National Council of Provinces as a momentous occasion and said the industry was looking forward to tapping into the opportunities that it will unlock, while bringing the country closer to real energy security.

Niveshen Govender, chief executive of the SA Wind Energy Association (Sawea), said the bill would set the stage for a more structured and accountable energy industry in South Africa.

“Key provisions of the ERA Bill, such as establishing an open market platform for competitive electricity trading and creating a transmission systems operator (TSO), are poised to unlock new opportunities for wind energy development,” Govender said.

“These measures should streamline grid access and facilitate more electricity transactions, enabling greater integration of new wind power into South Africa’s energy mix.”

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