Category Archives: Local Government

Case made for decentralised energy supply

Business Day, 14 December, 2016.

Future energy planning should provide for decentralised, liberalised energy markets, City of Cape Town director of electricity services Les Rencontre said in a submission on the draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) and Integrated Energy Plan.

“Centralised planning has not delivered optimum solutions,” Rencontre told participants in the Cape Town consultations about the plan on Tuesday. The third leg of consultations was held in the city following those in Johannesburg and Durban.

He said an institutional regime change was required to allow local governments to plan their own energy futures, and an independent system operator had to be established. It should also provide for small-scale revenue-embedded generation within municipal electricity networks, as well as direct purchases of energy from independent power producers by municipalities, particularly by larger metros.

Rencontre agreed with several presenters that the base case should be built on least-cost energy sources with no artificial constraints on the growth in the share of renewable energy. A different energy mix would reduce projected energy costs by 25% on the same base-case scenarios.

He said that the City of Cape Town was using less energy than about 10 years ago despite its larger economy, which he said proved a far lower growth rate had to be built into the base case of the draft plans.

Rencontre said higher costs would have to be recovered from consumers or distributors and most local governments.

“Not looking at a least-cost scenario is going to have a definite negative social impact across the country.”

Department of Energy deputy director-general Ompi Aphane said he would convey the request for more time to make submissions on the draft plans to Minister of Energy Tina Joemat-Pettersson. The deadline is end February, which stakeholders have complained provides little time for submissions.

The Cape Town Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Heini Nel appealed for an extension to at least the end of March.

Aphane also addressed another criticism, that the department had not produced credible studies to support its claim the grid was too constrained to accommodate many more renewables.

Here is the full article


Solar power to reach its zenith

Mail & Guardian, 16 January, 2015.

The installation of rooftop photovoltaic panels is on the rise, but South Africa is not as solar-friendly as it could be.

Eskom may be unable to avert an energy crisis, but South African households and businesses can generate power on their rooftops at a cost per kilowatt that rivals that of megaprojects such as Medupi or Kusile, without subsidies or incentives.

The cost of rooftop solar photovoltaic systems to power residential and commercial buildings has dropped over recent years to reach parity with domestic and commercial tariffs.

According to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), residential-sized photovoltaic systems are already a cost-competitive alternative to other new-build options, coming in at an estimated 81 cents a kilowatt hour (kWh) versus 80 cents at Medupi or Kusile. This solar power cost includes financing at an interest rate of 9%…

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One man’s trash is another’s energy pilot plan

THE City of Johannesburg will use your rubbish to show Eskom the light. In an effort to alleviate the power crisis, the city and Pikitup are rolling out a project to produce energy-using waste from landfill sites.

By 2016, it is expected that 19 megawatts of electricity will be produced from five landfill sites – enough to power 16 500 medium-sized houses.

A pilot project being executed through the city’s infrastructure and services department at the Robinson Deep landfill is showing good progress. The toxic gases are being burnt through a flare, but by next year they will be used to power generators that will feed electricity into the grid. Read more on Cape Times

South Africa’s first ‘green’ transport facility

Urban Earth, 9 October, 2014.

Wallacedene taxi rank in Cape Town is the first ‘green’ public transport facility in the country, designed to achieve energy independence by operating off the electricity grid and to meet most of its basic water needs on site. “The Wallacedene taxi rank sets the benchmark for future public transport facilities in the country, showcasing the City’s commitment to conservation and innovation. The City of Cape Town is extremely proud to be at the forefront of combining intelligent architectural design and technology in our effort to improve service delivery to our residents,” saidt Mayoral Committee Member: Transport for Cape Town, Councillor Brett Herron.

Renewable energy

Wallacedene taxi rank is powered by seventy-eight 250W rooftop solar photovoltaic panels, angled at optimum orientation to the sun. The solar panels span an area of 135,86 m2, with a maximum daily output potential of 130kWh which is able to meet the energy needs of the entire facility. To ensure that its energy supply is not interrupted at night or on cloudy days, the rank has been equipped with twenty-four large batteries for the storage of 72kWh of reserve solar energy.

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Municipalities instructed to improve service delivery

EE Publishers, 10 October, 2014.

The Department of Energy’s Dr. Wolsey Barnard, says South African municipalities need to improve electricity service delivery  and clear backlogs so that more residents can have access to electricity.

Speaking at the opening of the 64th annual AMEU convention held at Gallagher Estate, in Midrand on 5 to 8 October 2014, Dr. Barnard, the deputy director general of energy programmes and projects, said that although the country has made marvellous strides in achieving democracy, service delivery has not kept up with its needs. The country, he said, is severely challenged with regard to its electricity supply due to a lack of human capacity, financial capacity, and generation capacity. The importance of energy as a stimulus for economic growth, he said, cannot be overstated…

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