Category Archives: DoE

SA’s power lies in breaking up Eskom’s monopoly model

BDLive, Anton Eberhard, 21 July 2016.

THE chairman of Eskom’s board has written to the energy minister, stating that Eskom will not sign any further power purchase agreements with independent power producers (IPPs) after the current round of renewable energy projects are concluded. The potential consequences could be devastating for private investment in SA’s power sector, and could terminate the government’s most successful public-private procurement programme…

…Eskom argues, misleadingly, that IPPs are too expensive. It quotes first-generation IPP costs and ignores the extraordinary fall in contracted renewable energy prices — more than 70% for solar photovoltaics and almost 50% for wind energy…

…What we need now is a separate state-owned electricity market and transmission operator that takes care of electricity planning, power procurement and contracting, system operation and balancing, and transmission. Let’s call it Gridco. This obviously needs to be independent of Eskom generation and IPPs, so it can procure power at the least cost….

…It is not naïve to believe SA’s electricity sector can, and will, be restructured. I’ve seen it happen in many countries. Perhaps, SA’s fiscal position will have to deteriorate further before we accept we can no longer fully fund our public utilities — we’ve pumped R83bn into Eskom since 2008 — and that a greater openness to private investment is inevitable. It would be better to start that reform process now, before we are once again in crisis….

Here is the full article – a must read!!!

South African government misses nuclear deal court deadline (again)

News24 Wire, 24 May, 2016.

arthlife SA and Safcei claim that Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson acted unconstitutionally in not submitting the government’s nuclear deal with Russia to Parliament.

The government must respect the rules and commit to following the timeframes, leading environmentalists said after the state once again failed to submit answering affidavits in the court case regarding its nuclear energy agreement with Russia.

Earthlife SA and the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (Safcei) claim that Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson acted unconstitutionally in not submitting the government’s nuclear deal with Russia to Parliament.

Following the Department of Energy (DoE) and Joemat-Pettersson’s failure to meet the original May 13 deadline to submit answering affidavits, the State Attorney on Monday said they could also not meet the 20 May Rule 30A notice deadline, a rule that prohibits further delays.

Read the full article here

Electricity beyond the grid PWC study

PwC May, 2016.

Electricity beyond the grid: Accelerating access to sustainable power for all

Energy transformation means the time is right for policy-makers to reappraise their approach to energy access. Advances in technology are rapidly changing the options available beyond the grid. Falling solar technology costs have spurred the growth of standalone home systems and are changing the economics of mini-grid systems…


Energy: Report punts off-grid solutions for rural areas

LegalBrief and BDLive, 24 May, 2016.

The private sector is leapfrogging inefficient state-owned power utilities in Africa to deliver electricity to rural communities, according to a report by consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers released last week. According to a BDlive report, the report said about 634m people lack access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa, compared with about 526m in Asia. ‘The pay-as-you-go solar home system business model can become the starting point for a wider range of commercial relationships and activity, and will drive economic growth,’ the report said. PwC manager Georg Baecker said rural electrification could be accelerated by policy makers having an integrated energy plan, creating an enabling environment for off-grid solutions, promoting the growth of mobile payments, creating energy funds to promote off-grid power, and appointing a champion to drive results.

Full BDlive report


THICK END OF THE WEDGE: Trillion-rand nuclear build scares more than crows

Peter Bruce, BDLive, 27 May, 2016

A TRILLION rand,” Eskom CEO Brian Molefe told a young reporter for Radio 702 the other day, “is just a scarecrow. People get overwhelmed by it. I think our approach to finance is a little bit on the pedestrian side.”

Molefe was defending the government’s plan to build nuclear reactors capable of producing about 9,600MW of electricity. His strong support for the programme is music to the ears of President Jacob Zuma and the Gupta family, which hopes, along with Zuma’s son, Duduzane, to profit from what would be the biggest single nuclear order ever.

Zuma is desperate to nail the programme down and place the order before he leaves office in 2019. He has privately agreed with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin that Russian reactors would be used. Because of this secrecy and because of extensive corruption in Russia and, increasingly, in SA, the nuclear build is already deeply tainted.

It is Molefe’s enthusiasm for nuclear that has triggered speculation that Zuma may soon try to appoint him finance minister as the president has battled to find traction for the project in the National Treasury so far. The Treasury says the country can only order what it can afford…

Read the full article here