Renewable energy technologies such as photo voltaic, biomass waste; wind energy; geothermal, solar, thermal gradient and ground source heat; and municipal solid waste – were added to the Standard Offer Programme as a pilot programme in consultation with NERSA . The pilot programme was launched on 01 June 2012.
Uptake by project developers has been far higher than anticipated, with 89 project requests received between 25 April 2013 and 2 May 2013 alone.
Based on this feedback, it is clear that the Standard Offer Programme is a very effective vehicle for the large scale roll-out of small scale renewable energy in South Africa.
Several issues must be resolved before we can proceed with renewable technologies as a standard component of Eskom’s Standard Offer Programme. The key issue is the level of funding to be made available for renewable energy projects. Renewable energy projects received an incentive approximately three times higher than traditional energy efficient technologies on the Standard Offer Programme. Unfortunately this premium is no longer affordable in the context of the funding cuts flowing from the recent MYPD3 determination.
Additional issues relate to aspects such as:
How to measure the electricity saved by Photo Voltaic Systems (current regulatory requirements on the IDM programme are to measure the electricity saved between 6pm and 8 pm),
How to deal with grid tied systems
How to deal with proposals for systems in residential sites
How to determine whether a system is producing the intended amount of energy (without waiting for a year) in view of the high degree of seasonal variability of performance
Eskom appreciates that project developers are anxiously awaiting news on the programme, and will publish an updated communiqué as soon as decisions are made.
Eskom would like to thank you for your patience and understanding.
Information on Eskom’s funding programmes for business is available at www.eskom.co.za/idm.