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Catching trade and industry off guard, President Cyril Ramaphosa recently announced at an impromptu press briefing that the licence-exemption cap on “distributed” or self-generated power plants would be raised from 10MW to 100MW. The official publication of the enabling legislation, an amendment to schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act, was gazetted on Thursday.

The intention is to empower more independent energy producers to help alleviate SA’s electricity crisis, which has been affecting economic growth and quality of life in the country for more than a decade. In short, what this change means is that one is no longer required to apply for a licence from the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) to install or produce your own power up to a capacity of 100MW per hour...

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