South Africa’s virtual renewable electricity model set for 2024
South Africa is gearing up to launch its inaugural virtual renewable electricity system next year.
A senior government official has indicated that this new system is expected to be operational by the end of the coming year.
This development, reported by Reuters, holds the potential to greatly boost the utilization of renewable energy and alleviate the strain on Eskom, the state-owned utility company, which has been grappling with challenges due to the ageing of its power plants and an overburdened transmission grid.
These challenges have resulted in frequent and extended power cuts, lasting up to 10 hours daily, aimed at preventing a complete grid collapse.
In a significant move, Eskom entered into an agreement in August with Vodacom, the African subsidiary of Vodafone, to introduce a system referred to as “virtual wheeling.”
This innovative system will empower consumers to purchase renewable energy from various producers throughout the country, making renewable power from major producers accessible to smaller users such as individual buildings, housing communities, and factories.
South Africa’s Minister of Electricity Kgosientsho Ramokgopa expressed the primary goal of this initiative as the protection of South Africa’s economy from potential collapse, stating, “What we’re trying to resolve really is to ensure that we protect the South African economy from total collapse.”
Eskom and Vodacom are presently collaborating on the development of this system, with plans for it to be operational by the close of 2024, as indicated by a distribution network analyst at Eskom.