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South Africans have traditionally been divided between a first world and a third world community. As far as energy is concerned the first world community primarily made use of electricity for residential, commercial and industrial purposes. However, electricity stayed “cheap” and nothing really dampened the increasing consumption of this commodity… (more)


by Mike Rycroft, Mark Botha and Chris Yelland, EE Publishers
It is well known that the price of electricity in South Africa has been too low for years. The generation capacity crisis in 2008 prompted a review of Eskom’s build programme and associated funding plan. The original expectation was that there would be a short-duration adjustment to bring prices to the correct level, and thereafter electricity prices increases would follow inflation. But the adjustment did not develop in line with expectations, and price increases much higher than inflation are expected for many years to come… (more)

July marked the nominal date for introduction of the first round of increased electricity tariffs for municipal customers and some would have already received the first accounts reflecting new charges. Will the cost of electricity and uncertainty around supply drive consumers to generate their own power?… (more)

While Eskom’s clients will see an increase of 24% in electricity prices, most municipal clients will incur substantially higher increases in Rand terms, and especially so if a municipality gets increases, in percentage terms, higher than Eskom’s approved increase.  According to the international utility pricing company NUS Consulting, the proposed increases for the average Eskom bulk user will see increases of approximately 8.5c/kWh while the average  municipal bulk user will be approximately 13,5c/kWh (or more), a 60% higher increase in Rand terms than Eskom’s customers… (more)

Sir- A fellow denizen of the netherworld, the gloomy Ghost of the Waves, paid me an unexpected visit the other night. It’s always a bit eerie, he said without ado, this calm before the storm. Upon asking what he meant, he added cryptically: “Well, think of a tsunami. The sea suddenly goes glassy-flat and then starts to pull back – slowly, easily, lazily and with a strange lack of realism… (more)

In my humble opinion, as an architect wishing to partake in sustainable design for the future, I have to say that the nuclear option is of great concern. We need some assurances, from our own governments and not the French, that we can actually take care of the waste for the next couple of thousand years. The costs of electricity in South Africa used to be one of the cheapest in the world, and now we are finding that we need some R300-billion to finance new power plants… ( more)

Dr.Willie-de-BeerADAM , the Approach to Distribution Asset  Management, aims to identify and develop strategies to address maintenance, refurbishment and funding gaps, and also provides EDI Holdings with a plan that covers every aspect of distribution asset management.
Mike Rycroft, editor of Energize, interviews Dr. Willie de Beer, CEO of EDI Holdings on the status of ADAM… (more)

As you know, my principal aim since shuffling off this mortal coil all those years ago is to prevent my friends, and even executives, from amassing chains of guilt and regrets, of keys, padlocks, cash-boxes and heavy purses by showing them the error of their ways. So I recently felt obliged to visit, in the dead of night, a well-known senior executive in the industry and take him to see the three customary ghosts. Not the ghosts of christmas, of course, but it was cold and dark nevertheless… (more)

Doug_KuniIf there are not sufficient megawatts under construction, the problem will not go away – irrespective of how much we talk. We can mitigate the extent to which we feel the pain, by means of the PCP (Power Conservation Program, where large users must cut 10% or face penalties), and energy efficiency measures such solar heaters, light bulbs etc. But that will not make the problem go away. And economic growth will be proportional to the new megawatts coming on stream. So why aren’t there sufficient megawatts under construction?… (more)

The expressive eyebrows that underline the towering forehead are a bit more unruly but as impressive as ever, questioning, prodding and encouraging. His ever-present hands with their long, fingers, now gnarled as if to emphasise each point, gesture as he expounds on his thoughts and ideas in all-encompassing arcs. There is nothing small about him. His blue eyes pierce directly into the soul of his interlocutors and his soft, almost drawling voice, persuasive and convincing as ever, belies the steely resolve of his Scottish ancestry. Ian Campbell McRae is eighty now, but the former Eskom Chief Executive has lost none of the determination that saw him build the company into a world class utility, bring electricity to all South Africans and lay the foundations for a Southern African Grid… (more)

Mike__The latest round of REFIT tariffs will close the curtain on the first chapter of the renewal energy pricing saga. Although the REFIT 2 tariffs have not been finalised, the published figures give a fairly good indication of where things are heading. The question is what next? Not a single PPA has yet been signed for any of the technologies mentioned, although there are numerous potential generators… (more)

At a Southern African Development Community (SADC) ministerial meeting held in Namibia in July 2004, ministers responsible for energy in the SADC region agreed to address regulation, consider implementing cost reflective tariffs, and adopt regulatory principles that would enhance these tariffs… (more)

It is an incontrovertible fact that ever since that marvellous invention of that genius Faraday and that somewhat strange man Tesla, and that loud Yankee from Menlo Park, electricity has been harnessed for the greater good of man – and dare I say it, womanhood. Economies rise and fall not so much by the rise and fall of empires any longer, but by the price of electricity; nowhere more so than in a country that thrives on mines and heavy industry, smelters and furnaces. It is therefore all the more disturbing – disappointing? – in any case, outrageous, the way the price of electricity in your beloved country has escalated of late… (more)

The 2009 electricity pricing saga reached its end when NERSA granted Eskom a 31,3% price increase on the average standard tariff. This includes the 2 c/kWh environmental tax, so the tariff shows a real increase of only 23,37%. The fact that electricity tariffs have been too low to ensure sustainability and security of supply is well established, so why the knee jerk condemnation of the increase?…( more)

Responsible users of energy can now save significantly through further tax incentives on certified energy efficiency projects; a measure introduced by Mr Trevor Manual in his 2009 Budget in Parliament…(more)

The final determination of the renewable energy feed-in tariffs (REFIT) was announced on Tuesday 31 March 2009 at the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) offices in Pretoria. NERSA electricity regulator, Thembani Bukula, delivered this long awaited ruling, which was originally scheduled for 9 March 2009, but was postponed to allow due consideration of the numerous submissions received in response to the consultation document issued by NERSA in December 2008 and the subsequent public hearings in February 2009… (more)

Audiocast: Ruling by NERSA electricity regulator Thembani Bukula (MP3 file)
Audiocast: Interview with Thembani Bukula by the editor of Energize (MP3 file)

The reports about punitive electricity tariffs to regulate electricity consumption are a cause for serious concern. The answer to electricity supply failure lies in mobilizing the people with visionary leadership, and not in punitive tariffs… (more)

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