By Wallace Mawire
The Southern Africa Trade Hub (SATH) is supporting the development of a five year strategic plan for the Regional Energy Regulators Association (RERA) for the period 2013 to 2017.
The plan will outline strategies to help member regulators build policy,human and institutional capacity to lead regulatory reform.
Electricity regulators are playing a crucial role in the promotion and development of clean energy investment for economic growth, job creation, electricity trade, and transfer of technical expertise in the SADC region.
Energy Regulators have the potential to create an enabling environment for Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to invest in renewable energy by creating a transparent and predictable renewable energy regulatory framework, among other measures, according to a SATH spokesperson.
“The anticipated outcome is a developed and harmonized regional regulatory framework and competitive clean energy market which, inter alia, will encourage investment in clean energy and deployment of clean energy technologies in the region,” SATH says.
It is also anticipated that the Strategic Plan, when completed and implemented, will foster a reliable regional electricity supply industry (ESI) across the SADC that will reflect broad international trends and good practices.
Neighboring countries will form integrated electricity markets and contribute to the integration of electricity systems through clear frameworks for facilitating cross-border transactions, regional systems operations, and a system of tariffs for the use of regional transmission infrastructure.
It is also hoped that the strategic plan will assist RERA to develop capacity to facilitate regional clean energy regulation and the harmonization of market structures that that will help remove barriers to trade and attract investment in the electricity supply industry (ESI) across the region.
The Trade Hub has been assisting the Regional Electricity Regulators Association of Southern Africa (RERA) to build institutional and human resource capacity of energy regulatory agencies for some time through targeted training programs for energy regulators and private sector energy investors, among other initiatives.