South Africa published proposed changes to the electricity regulation act that will facilitate the opening of the national power grid to private generators.
State-owned Eskom has been the dominant supplier of power to Africa’s most industrialised economy for nearly a century, but its inability to meet demand from its poorly maintained coal-fired plants has resulted in rolling blackouts. Legal impediments to transmitting and trading electricity have limited production by independent producers, contributing to a supply shortfall of at least 4,000 megawatts.
Amendments to the electricity act published for public comment on Feb. 10 envisage the creation of a transmission system operator that will provide for “an open market that will allow for a non-discriminatory, competitive electricity-trading platform.”
The new entity must also implement network infrastructure plans that will ensure reliable grid services to generators and customers, according to the document.
The changes, which have been years in the making, will still need to be vetted by parliament before being signed into law.
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