Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel today launched the Energy One Stop Shop and Energy Resilience Fund.

This is part of the Energy Mitigation Strategy through the National Energy Crisis Committee. President Cyril Ramaphosa had tasked Invest South Africa to establish an Energy One Stop Shop to deal with and fast track applications from energy developers.

The Energy One Stop Shop is expected to input to the streamlining of regulatory processes required for private investment in electricity generation, facilitate pre-investment screening for all energy projects and thereby fast-track the approval of energy applications.

This is to be achieved through timely intervention on blockages and red tape, and consequently reduce both the time and cost of getting energy projects onto the grid.

The requirement for predictable energy availability has led the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) to formulate a series of interventions, including alternative energy generation solutions, storage and efficiency measures aimed at supporting businesses to become energy resilient.

Speaking during the launch, Minister Patel said the Energy One Stop Shop was developed to address a key constraint that energy developers face, namely that the many regulatory and other measures that need to be complied with, can and do slow down approval of energy supply projects.

“The Energy One Stop Shop and Energy Resilience Fund are critical steps towards alleviating the challenges faced by our industries during this energy crisis. We are committed to fostering a resilient business environment and accelerating private-sector investment in electricity generation to secure a stable energy future,” Patel said.

Patel said government is committed to fostering a resilient business environment and accelerating private-sector investment in electricity generation to secure a stable energy future.

“While the Presidency is exploring ways to simplify these processes we have seen that having a dedicated resource available to the private sector, to address blockages, has worked in other parts of the economy.

“It is worth noting that we have also put in place several other instruments to support the energy transition – from new standards on light-bulbs issued in May this year, to exemptions granted to companies to collaborate on both the supply of energy and on demand-measures,” Patel said.

Acting Director-General at the dtic, Susan Mangole: Energy Resilience Fund Launch, said the dtic acknowledges the need to assist businesses in alleviating the impacts of load shedding through the implementation of alternative energy systems or processes.

“To contribute towards easing the impacts, the dtic, Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) established a blended funding facility, the Energy Resilience Funds (ERF) to support companies affected by loads shedding,” Mangole said.

Mangole said the support is provided to assist companies with alternative energy solutions including inverters, batteries, related electrical wiring and components, solar energy systems and any other energy efficient interventions.

“The supported alternative energy systems should not have any additional costs to operate. ERF supports any business adversely affected by the energy crisis across all sectors of the economy.

“The alternative energy interventions must be meaningful for a company to largely remain operational in times of loads shedding. Entities supported through this scheme must retain the same number of jobs or increase jobs for the duration of the term of the funding,” Mangole said.

Chief Executive Officer of Energy Council of South Africa James Mckay said South Africa is re-shaping the regulatory landscape to facilitate the energy transition to distributed, decentralised and traded energy.

“There is significant reform still required and the One-Stop-Shop will play a significant role in developing this evolving landscape,” Mckay said.

Mckay said they need all technologies, collaborative partnerships and significant investment.

The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition said it had availed R240 million to be administered by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) under the Manufacturing Competitiveness Enhancement Programme’s Energy Resilience Fund to support companies through interest-free loans, while R150 million will be dispersed in partnership with the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) to support businesses operating in townships. – SAnews.gov.za

 

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