Cape Town - While load shedding and the struggling energy sector continued to inconvenience the public, the City’s ambition to reduce its Eskom reliance was further supported with the release of its latest State of Energy and Carbon Report, which highlighted key transitions required for Cape Town’s energy sector to recover.
The last State of Energy Report was released in 2015, and a lot has changed in the energy space since then – which was why this year’s report is called the State of Energy and Carbon Report, to reflect the critical role of energy supply in climate action.
The report stated that the energy space, and the electricity sector in particular, was afflicted by unprecedented turmoil from spiralling debt at Eskom, mega-project delays, allegations of corruption across the value chain, supply interruptions (load shedding), and numerous other factors.
The public experienced an onslaught of load shedding in recent weeks, with seemingly endless power alerts. On Monday, Eskom announced Stage 2 load shedding would be implemented from 5pm until 10pm, as a result of breakdowns of generation units at Majuba and Medupi power stations.
Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis said load shedding continued to limit economic growth, while electricity price increases added an unnecessary burden to households already under financial pressure.
Energy mayoral committee member Beverley van Reenen said the report looked at aspects of electricity, transport, and waste, and how these could transition to more sustainable operations.
“When looking at electricity, the report highlights that we must urgently move forward with City partnerships and plans, that will end load shedding over time. The only way we can achieve this is through cleaner, renewable energy sources, moving away from harmful fossil fuels, and making sure the lights are kept on,” Van Reenen said.
The report also noted that major changes and development were needed in the transport sector, as Van Reenen said transport was the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.
Some of the required transitions in the report were transport-oriented development, densification, more efficient public transport roll-outs, and the establishment of an electric vehicle framework for cleaner motorised transport.