#EnergyDigicons – Western Cape Government & Executive Mayor of George outline plans to tackle energy crisis
Premier Alan Winde held his 2nd Energy Digicon today. He was joined by Executive Mayor of George Alderman Leon Van Wyk and the Premier’s Special Advisor on energy, Mr. Alwie Lester.
The objective of the digicons is to keep the public informed of what the Western Cape Government (WGC) and its partners are doing to tackle the ongoing blackouts, which continue to significantly damage our economy.
“All our citizens deserve transparency around all our efforts to combat the energy crisis. Everything we have at our disposal needs to be considered to end this crisis,” said Premier Winde.
This week President Cyril Ramaphosa unveiled his new Cabinet, naming Dr. Kgosientsho Ramakgopa as his Electricity Minister.
In response to this, the Premier said in the Digicon, “We need energy experts, not more politicians, to help us grow our electricity generation capabilities.”
He added, “While I do not believe we need another Cabinet post to be created to deal with the power crisis, I am very willing to work with Minister Ramakgopa to end this crisis.”
Mr. Lester outlined some of the objectives of the Western Cape Government Energy Resilience Plan: to reduce the impact of blackouts on businesses and citizens and to facilitate a lower reliance on Eskom through the following short-, medium – and long-term measures:
Loadshedding Relief Programme – this will amongst others see emergency packs consisting of power packs distributed to indigent households;
Provincial Integrated Resource Plan – this includes a basket of options including green and alternative energy sources;
Demand Side Management Programme – the public needs to play its part in taking the strain off of the power grid by reducing power usage wherever they can, but crucially this has to be aligned around incentivizing and rewarding actions taken to reduce usage;
New Emergency Generation Programme;
Network Development Programme
In his presentation, Mayor Van Wyk detailed George Municipality’s Energy Resilience Plan. Among the salient points:
Prioritising the municipality’s consumption through own generation and demand management – this would entail self-generation of up to 3 MW and reducing own power consumption by 4MW through numerous initiatives;
Commissioning of three solar power plants to come online between 2023 and 2025;
Battery storage facility
Through these interventions, the municipality will be able to cushion residents from several stages of power cuts.
Mayor Van Wyk noted, “The Digicons give us an opportunity to discuss the enormous challenges that we face with the level of loadshedding imposed on us. It is extremely valuable for George Municipality to have been able to participate. We are able to share our strategy in terms of making us more energy resilient and ensuring that we are able to assist our residents with renewable energy. We are being very proactive in making sure that we have put our plans together both in the short and long term.
Premier Winde concluded, “Our municipalities have been hard at work drawing up their own energy plans. We must confront this disaster both at provincial government and local government levels. It is only by working together through partnerships that we will be able to end the blackouts.”
Source: Government of South Africa