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Energy Partnership

Energy Transition Workshops Explore a Joint Approach Between EU and South Africa on Regulation

Knowledge Facilitation Showcasing Joint Action

To address challenges in the rapidly changing energy landscape in South Africa, the Florence School of Regulation (FSR) in collaboration with DG ENER, is hosting a series of workshops for the South African energy regulator NERSA. The series consists of four sessions discussing topics such as tariff design, energy transition, market liberalisation and emerging technologies. 

On the 31st of May 2022, the Africa-EU Energy Partnership’s Head of Secretariat, Johan van den Berg, provided a global view on the energy transition and on the joint approach between the EU and South Africa, during the the third session of the EU-SA Regulatory Workshop series.

Regulators can play key role in supporting the energy transition

The energy landscape in South Africa is changing rapidly. Eskom, South African’s electricity public utility, has aging power plants, which are increasingly unreliable and must be decommissioned to be replaced with various energy resources. Additionally, South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has announced that it is considering gas as part of its energy transition planning. These factors will impact negatively on Eskom’s sales and finances, as has been the experience with several EU utilities in the past, such as RWE AG, one of Germany’s largest utility companies. The workshop explored the role that regulators can play to support the energy transition, whilst ensuring the sustainability of the utility.

In his intervention Mr. van den Berg put emphasis on the global climate change roadmap from the creation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to the upcoming Conference of the Parties (COP27), hosted by Egypt. Van den Berg emphasised actions in Africa, which are key to the energy transition of the continent, such as sector coupling, the work of the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) and the EU-Africa Global Gateway initiative,  which was one of the key topics in the most recent AEEP Energy Talks.  In addition, van den Berg highlighted Africa’s power pools and the role the African Single Electricity Market (AfSEM) will play in linking them via the Continental Power System Masterplan (CMP). Van den Berg especially emphasised Africa’s upcoming regulatory needs as these initiatives take off, hence the importance of the African School of Regulation as the pan-African centre of excellence on energy regulation.

The African School of Regulation is supported by FSR

The Florence School of Regulation (FSR) is a centre of excellence for independent discussion and knowledge exchange with the purpose of improving the quality of European regulation and policy. The AEEP is supporting the FSR’s role in developing the African School of Regulation (ASR) under the guidance of Prof. Ignacio Pérez-Arriaga. The FSR’s role in the development of the ASR is to share knowledge and expertise as a specialised school on energy regulation and provide logistical and coordination support during the creation and start-up phase.

The AEEP is supported by its Steering Group: