Cape Town - The provincial Department of Economic Development and Tourism has said it will ensure that municipal electricity networks are prepared for pioneering renewable energy projects such as enabling households to generate, procure and sell their power.
Department officials told members of the finance, economic opportunities and tourism standing committee that it was doing this through the Municipal Energy Resilience Initiative launched towards the end of 2020.
The issue was discussed during the standing committee’s deliberations on the department's 2020/2021 annual report.
Responding to committee member Nosipho Makamba-Botya (EFF), who asked what progress the department had made with the project, department deputy director-general Jo-Ann Johnston said that the department was supporting initiatives such as wheeling arrangements.
These are agreements for the transportation of electric energy from a source connected to an electricity grid to an electrical load outside the grid.
“Households can generate their own green energy using solar photovoltaic panels for their own requirements, but if they have excess they can also sell it on to the municipality,” Johnston said.
Committee chairperson Deidré Baartman (DA) said: “The agility of and responsiveness by the department during this last year has been a lifeline to keep businesses’ doors open and support communities throughout the province.
“This has contributed to the Western Cape consistently having the lowest unemployment rate in the country.
“While much will need to be done to support industries that have not fully recovered from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the foundations for the economic recovery of the Western Cape economy is in place.”