Category Archives: DoE

Desmond Tutu calls for anti-apartheid style boycott of fossil fuel industry

The Guardian 10 April, 2014.

Nobel peace prize winner calls for organisations to cut ties with industry and for investors to dump fossil fuel stocks.

Desmond Tutu

Desmond Tutu: ‘We have allowed the interests of capital to outweigh the interests of human beings and our Earth.’ Photograph: -/AFP/Getty Images
Archbishop Desmond Tutu has called for an anti-apartheid-style boycott and disinvestment campaign against the fossil fuel industry for driving global warming, just days ahead of a landmark UN report on how carbon emissions can be slashed…

Martins opens way for coal, cogen IPPs, extends renewables allocation

Engineering News, 14 April, 2014.

Energy Minister Dikobe Ben Martins confirmed on Monday that the long awaited cogenerationand coal independent power producer (IPP) procurement programmes would be initiated in April and May respectively.

In addition, in something of a surprise move, the Minister announced that further renewable-energy projects would be added to the list of 17 preferred projects selected in November, following the third bid window under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).

Martins said in a statement that the procurement programme for 800 MW of cogeneration capacity would be initiated in April, while bidding documents would be released in May for 2 500 MW of coal generation…

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New nuclear power in SA dependent on future electricity demand

Engineering News, 15 April, 2014.

Low growth in electricity demand in South Africa will delay, or eliminate the need for, new nuclear power plants. So warned Eskom Transmission Division Energy Planning and Market Development Department power system economics: chief adviser Keith Bowen, addressing an Academy of Science of South Africa symposium in Pretoria on Tuesday.

He highlighted that, regarding electricity in South Africa, the “biggest issue is the drop in demand” over the past five years. “Even though electricity demand has been pretty much flat, the economy has grown as we have predicted.” South Africa‘s “electricity intensity” has decreased.

“If demand grows at a very low level, nuclear wouldn’t be the preferred option,” said Bowen. “If there is low growth, then, under those conditions, we wouldn’t build nuclear before 2035.”

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Project 90 x 2030, 16 April, 2014.

Energy Department reported to Advertising Standards Authority for promotion of nuclear energy

A South African NPO has laid a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) against the Department of Energy’s recent promotion of nuclear energy.

The NPO, Project 90 by 2030, alleges that the Department of Energy (DoE) is disseminating unsubstantiated information on nuclear energy to South African citizens, when it referred to nuclear energy as “…a clean, safe, affordable and reliable source of energy”.

The complaint relates to promotional material developed by the Department and disseminated at a public event in Cape Town earlier in April. The ASA has telephonically confirmed receiving the complaint against the DoE.

“The DoE statement, printed on promotional materials, such as notebooks and water bottles together with the department’s logo was not objectively substantiated with up to date and current documentary evidence, such as feasibility or affordability studies with relevance to the South African context,” said Robert Fischer, Project 90 by 2030’s Head of Policy.

“Unsubstantiated promotion of a technology, product or service breaches several principles of the ASA code,” said Fischer.

By bringing this action against the DoE, said Fischer, Project 90 by 2030 was taking a stand for open and transparent discussions and public consultations about South Africa’s energy future.

“Our sustainable economic development heavily depends on efficient energy use and on an affordable and sustainable energy supply. We know that many South Africans have access to electricity but cannot afford to use it, at the same time millions of households are eagerly awaiting being connected to the grid not knowing what monthly costs to expect,” he said.

Fischer further questioned the argument of nuclear’s affordability for South Africans in comparison to other technologies.

“In 2008, Eskom shelved the new nuclear project because “it is not affordable at this present juncture”. Therefore Project 90 by 2030 requests DoE to substantiate the claim why nuclear power could be an affordable energy source for South Africa this time?” said Fischer.

Note to editors:

1.       A copy of the complaint lodged with ASA is available on request. Pictures of the material distributed by the DoE are also available on request from martin@hwb.co.za

2.       Project 90 by 2030 is an NPO inspiring and motivating for South Africa’s low-carbon future and working for a just and sustainable energy sector. www.90×2030.org.za

Is a new nuclear programme for SA affordable?

Engineering News, 15 April, 2014.

South Africa may have difficulty in financing new nuclear power plants (NPPs), an Academy of Science of South Africa symposium in Pretoria has been warned. The concern was expressed by University of Cape Town Energy Research Centre director Professor Harald Winkler.

Eskom has a R225-billion shortfall for its current build programme,” he pointed out. “The government is providing R350-billion in debt guarantees. Total government debt is R1.4-trillion with a worsening debt-to-GDP [gross domestic product] ratio. Servicing the debt costs R115-billion. There is little room for further guarantees.”

The nuclear companies that would supply the new NPPs could offer financing for the proposed new build programme. Russia has done so. But the issue then becomes the provisions of the contracts. What would South Africa be locked into?

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