Printed in December 2016, When the amended Electricity Regulation Act (ERA) comes into power, it will regulate the use of small scale electricity generators by requiring registration with the Nationwide Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa).
This is in response to Lizel Oberholzer and Jarrett Whitehead, attorneys at Norton Rose Fulbright, who say that the regulation will likely have far-reaching results, as personal use of small scale Solar Power System Generator Backup has increased dramatically in South Africa.
“It has been reported that non-public electricity era from Solar Power System Generator Backup alone has increased from 35MW in 2015 to 159MW in 2016,” stated Norton Rose Fulbright.
“Before parliament, the Department of Energy expressed concern with the lack of revenue that municipalities and Eskom are experiencing because of increased personal era of energy. These considerations had been echoed by Nersa, which supported the presentation.”
In December 2016, the “Draft Licensing Exemption and Registration Notice” expresses the minister of vitality’s intention to exempt numerous classes of era services and electrical resellers from the requirement to carry a licence under the ERA.
Below these regulations, instead of requiring a licence, listed actions will need to be registered with Nersa.
Presently any era plant operated for demonstration or for ‘own use’, which is not connected to the grid, is excluded from the licensing necessities under the ERA.
“The notice provides that listed era actions, including those previously exempt from licensing necessities, must be registered with Nersa,” stated Norton Rose Fulbright.
“Listed actions embrace the operation of era services with an installed capability of less than 1MW (each connected and unconnected to the grid) and era services for demonstration functions and for functions of standby or back-up electricity in the event of provide interruption (irrespective of era capability).”
“In observe, this may imply that each home, farm, resort, hospital and shopping mall with photo voltaic panels or diesel generators (whether or not connected to the grid or not) with a capability of less that 1MW should register with Nersa.”
Though the ERA provides that registration with Nersa must be completed on the prescribed software type and must be accompanied by a registration price, corresponding regulations prescribing the requirements have yet to be published.
The act additionally empowers Nersa to refuse functions for registration under sure circumstances, including the place an software is “contrary to the goals of the Act”.
Non-compliance with any provision of the act is a legal offence which is punishable by a high quality of as much as R5 million and imprisonment for as much as 5 years.
“We have no idea what arrangements will likely be offered to accommodate present off-grid electricity users, however it's hoped that such provisions will enable all affected parties to register and keep away from penalties,” stated Norton Rose Fulbright.
“While the total implications of the proposed amendment will only become clear once applicants begin attempting to register with Nersa, if managed poorly, the Department of Energy’s try to regain some control of off-grid vitality era could severely impact many people.”
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