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Agri SA’s members have the potential to supply the electricity needed to prevent future load shedding through solar power generation. There are already 500 applications for solar generation plants, that have the potential to contribute 1 400 MW to relieve strain on the grid. If the administration processes are streamlined, these 500 applications and others can be rolled out.

“We are not asking for funding or even special treatment, just to speed up the process within Eskom and NERSA to process these applications,” said Nicol Jansen, Agri SA chair of the Centre for Excellence: Economics and Trade. “This is a win-win opportunity for government and South Africa.”

Small-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) installations present an opportunity for farmers to generate electricity and relieve strain on the grid. Unfortunately, due to Eskom’s slow processing and administration of applications, as well as the slow implementation of electricity regulations and the bottleneck to register with NERSA, only 13 projects are currently connected and operational.

If Eskom and NERSA can fast-track their processes, these applications (mostly from farmers) can generate 1 400 MW that can prevent stage 1 load-shedding. Furthermore, agriculture could more than double the 1 400 MW potential if commercial banks are willing to use solar plants as security to get access to capital. Currently, banks require additional security to finance these projects, which limits participation.

“By removing the regulatory and administrative constraints and by allowing solar installations to be used as security for funding projects, farmers could potentially with further expansion supply enough electricity to prevent stage 3 load shedding,” said Jansen.

Agri SA will engage with the Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan and the Minister of Energy, Jeff Radebe to discuss proposals.

Enquiries
Nicol Jansen
Agri SA Chairman: Economics and Trade Centre of Excellence
(C) 082 948 2629

Dr. Requier Wait
Agri SA Head: Economics and Trade Centre of Excellence
(C) 073 304 0932

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