Cape Town Targets Energy Independence From Eskom

  • Bloomberg reports that South Africa’s government struggles to provide sufficient electricity, public transport and other basic services, the country’s main tourist hub is increasingly going it alone. 
  • Cape Town, which has been led by the opposition Democratic Alliance since 2006, is forging ahead with plans to secure its own energy supply.

The national government, which is led by the African National Congress, has been largely supportive of the city’s efforts, according to Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis. “I would’ve expected a lot more push-back to be honest, but we haven’t experienced any,” he said in an interview in Bloomberg’s Cape Town offices on Tuesday. “The only real aggressive push-back we are getting is in the policing space, where we are so actively filling the void vacated by the slow collapse of the South African Police Service.”

The Mayor of Cape Town, Mr Geordin Hill-Lewis. Image credit: ©ParliamentofRSA

Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., the utility that supplies the bulk of the nation’s electricity, has subjected the country to a series of rolling blackout since 2008, because its old and poorly maintained plants can’t keep pace with demand.

In February, Cape Town initiated a tender for the procurement of 300 megawatts of generation capacity from independent power producers. The US government is providing technical assistance in this regard. Read more

The city intends commissioning another 300 megawatts of capacity from large-scale storage or other sources of power that’s available on demand to help insulate residents and business from most electricity rationing, Geordin Hill-Lewis said. While the new plants will need to supply electricity at prices equal to or less than what Eskom does, the stored power would likely come at a premium.

“The long-term goal is to reduce reliance on Eskom,” the mayor said. While the city hasn’t undertaken a study into the cost of the power cuts, “I have no doubt that it would run into billions of rand,” he said.

Financially sound

Only 41 of South Africa’s 257 municipalities received clean audits, Auditor-General (AG) Tsakani Maluleke has announced on Wednesday this week. The Western Cape, which includes the City of Cape Town, had the highest number of municipalities which achieved clean audits at 22. Read more

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

Source: Bloomberg

Renewable energy project opportunities in the Western Cape will be presented at Renpower Southern Africa 2022 taking place on July 7th in Capetown. Register to attend HERE

Leave A Reply

About Author

Green Building Africa promotes the need for net carbon zero buildings and cities in Africa. We are fiercely independent and encourage outlying thinkers to contribute to the #netcarbonzero movement. Climate change is upon us and now is the time to react in a more diverse and broader approach to sustainability in the built environment. We challenge architects, property developers, urban planners, renewable energy professionals and green building specialists. We also challenge the funding houses and regulators and the role they play in facilitating investment into green projects. Lastly, we explore and investigate new technology and real-time data to speed up the journey in realising a net carbon zero environment for our children.

Receive the week’s most popular stories in your inbox every Saturday morning