Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa says the postponement of Bid Window Seven can be attributed to the delay in updating the draft Integrated Resource Plan, which should now be published before the end of November.
The next public procurement round for renewable energy, known as Bid Window Seven (BW7), has been delayed until the end of November. This was announced by Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa on Sunday, 5 November when he delivered his weekly update on the energy action plan amid the return of rolling blackouts. BW7 was initially expected to be released in September, conditional on the publication of the Generation Connection Capacity Assessment (GCCA) by Eskom.
During his budget vote speech in Parliament earlier this year, Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe said windows seven and eight would each procure 5 000MW of renewable energy.
According to Ramokgopa, the postponement can be attributed to the delay in updating the draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which he said was now at an advanced stage and should be published before the end of November.
The IRP is the country’s blueprint policy for electricity generation and is currently under review. Without an updated IRP, South Africa will be forced to continue relying on the outdated energy assumptions of IRP 2019 that do not reflect what must be done to address the ongoing electricity crisis.
“We are confident it [IRP] will be presented before the end of November, of course, we are about three months outside of our own timeline,” said Ramokgopa.
Mantashe, who is in charge of the IRP, also received criticism from the official opposition last week for his failure to table an updated plan. The DA wants President Cyril Ramaphosa to hold Mantashe accountable for stalling the country’s energy policy.
“President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Cabinet should now bear collective responsibility for creating policy uncertainty on energy security at a time when the country is going through an economy-stunting electricity crisis,” said the DA’s Shadow Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Kevin Mileham.
The country’s longest stretch of no loadshedding since permanent outages started toward the end of 2022 came to an end on 26 October.
On Sunday, 5 November power utility Eskom announced that due to improved generation capacity and sufficient emergency reserves for the week ahead, Stage 2 loadshedding will be implemented from 16:00 on Sunday until 05:00 on Monday, 6 November.
“Thereafter, loadshedding will be suspended from 05:00 until 16:00. Stage 2 loadshedding will resume from 16:00 until 05:00 on Tuesday. This pattern of suspending loadshedding during the day and implementing Stage 2 load shedding during the evening peak will be repeated daily until further notice.”
“Thereafter, loadshedding will be suspended from 05:00 until 16:00. Stage 2 loadshedding will resume from 16:00 until 05:00 on Tuesday. This pattern of suspending loadshedding during the day and implementing Stage 2 load shedding during the evening peak will be repeated daily until further notice.”Minister Ramokgopa
“It’s an area that requires attention,” he said. “It is important that we articulate this action plan. I really want to give the assurance that we are on it.”
The minister will be conducting follow-up visits to power stations. The visits will begin at Arnot and Hendrina power stations in Mpumalanga on Monday, 6 November.
Article courtesy of Daily Maverick