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Recent events indicate that Eskom should concentrate on generating power and leave new build projects to professional project managers. The Medupi power station is two years late for a number of reasons, a major contributor being the boiler protection software which is part of the plant’s control and instrumentation system, and which keeps failing Eskom’s acceptance tests, but which should have been handed over to the utility in December 2012… (more)


Large parts of Johannesburg were plunged into darkness for almost a week recently as the result of industrial sabotage caused by disgruntled City Power employees. To discover what caused this extended power outage, EE Publishers’ Roger Lilley interviewed City Power’s director: Engineering Operations and official spokesperson, Louis Pieterse. In an attempt to display their disapproval of City Power’s decision to implement shift work, thereby slashing the company’s overtime bill, and the operators’ pay-packets dramatically, the operators decided to embark on a wildcat, unprotected strike. Some of them – wishing to make a point – switched off a number of circuit breakers in a few substations and minisubs around the city… (more)

Eskom boasts that it is keeping the lights on, but all too often the electricity it generates doesn’t get to end-users reliably due to the failure of various municipalities to invest in distribution infrastructure maintenance, and to effectively protect electricity and equipment from theft. Many municipal distribution networks are not in good condition, resulting in poor security and quality of electricity supply… (more)

Large parts of Johannesburg, that world-class African city, the financial hub of Gauteng, southern and sub-Saharan Africa, was plunged into darkness for almost a week recently as the result of industrial sabotage perpetrated by a few disgruntled employees of City Power. In order to discover what caused this extended power outage, Energize editor Roger Lilley interviewed City Power’s director: engineering operations, and official spokesperson, Louis Pieterse, and asked him some probing questions. Pieterse’s responses are outlined in the article below… (more)

The solar PV industry reports that panel and equipment prices keep falling as volumes increase and economies of scale become more significant. One wonders what the implications would be if a million homes in South Africa were to be fitted with self-generation equipment.Roof-top solar water-heaters have been installed on many houses which give some relief to Eskom’s over-strained grid. Admittedly, those are not generating electricity, but they certainly aid in reducing electrical demand by pre-heating the water before it goes into the geyser. Pursuing that idea further, I wonder what the implications would be if 5% of the 18-million homes in South Africa were to have PV panels and equipment installed to generate the power they need for their low energy requirements such as cellphone chargers, entertainment equipment, security equipment, WiFi routers, and the like… (more)

During his recent visit to South Africa, President Obama promised to provide billions of dollars for additional electricity generation in southern Africa. South Africa’s urgent need for additional electricity could be supplied from outside our borders, or by foreign companies inside our country. But are either of these options really in the country’s best interests?… (more)

Why is it that Eskom, a company with so much surplus electricity in the 1980s now faces shortages despite the dawn of low power electronic technology? The paradox is that low-power technology both assists in energy saving and also contributes to energy wastage. Developments in modern electronics have yielded low-power and even ultra low-power devices. Circuits that required hundreds of mA, now operate on less than a tenth of that… (more)


Board member of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA), Thembani Bukula, addressing a SANEA meeting at Sasol’s offices in Rosebank on 16 April 2013, explained how NERSA determined municipal electricity price increases following the increase Eskom has been allowed to charge the municipalities. Eskom supplies approximately 60% of the electricity it generates to 40% of customers in South Africa, while municipalities supply 40% of the electricity to 60% of the customers… (more)

EE Publishers is pleased to announce changes in the editorial team of Energize which will take place from the June edition. Roger Lilley, who recently joined EE Publishers, will take over as editor of Energize… (more)

The European electronics manufacturing market has gone through turbulent times over the last two years, with billings (the distributor’s invoice value to his customers) in the last quarter of 2012 falling to levels below the first quarter of 2010. This article is based on the International Distribution of Electronics Association (IDEA) Q4 2012 Quarterly Trend Statistics report… (more)

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