Increased investment by the residential and industrial private sector in renewable energy generation — primarily in rooftop photovoltaic (PV) — is seen as the next big disrupter in SA cities. This is accelerating as a result of renewed load-shedding and concerns about Eskom. In principle, metros and municipalities throughout the country support this disruption, as they too want to diversify their energy mix and reduce the carbon emissions associated with fossil fuel-based electricity generation. The sticking point is that the national electricity regulatory system is not set up to accommodate a diversified energy mix, nor the decentralised management of it. Municipalities may not participate in the renewable energy independent power producer procurement programme and may only install their own renewable energy or other power-generation plants at capacities of less than 1 MW, or if they have a generation licence from the energy regulator, Nersa. At the same time, reduced revenue as a...

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