Key Eskom witnesses fail to appear at Koko’s disciplinary hearing

After some initial delays, the disciplinary hearing of suspended head of generation and former acting CEO at Eskom, Mr. Matshela Koko, got off to a rocky start at about 17h00 on Wednesday 18 October 2017 in the Franklin Auditorium at Eskom Megawatt Park, Johannesburg. The disciplinary hearing relates to widely reported allegations of nepotism and […]

Past performance is no guarantee of future success

The World Energy Council released its 2017 Annual Report recently. The report, sub-titled “The energy transition: How innovation is driving change”, considers information from 17 industry leaders from a number of countries from South America to the Middle East. It concludes that new technologies will introduce dramatic changes to the energy sectors of both developed […]

Flexible, distributed, stored energy: the utility of the future

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT’s) Energy Initiative has undertaken the Utility of the Future study to serve as a guide for policy makers, regulators, utilities, existing and startup energy companies, and other power-sector stakeholders to better understand the factors which drive change in power systems worldwide. The report was supported by a consortium of 23 diverse […]

Eskom – a laggard in electricity utility transition

In South Africa, where electricity prices have quadrupled since 2007 and an expensive coal-fired power build-out threatens to drive prices even higher, renewables appear ever more appealing. Unfortunately, for the last two years Eskom has been stonewalling on this front, refusing to sign new renewable energy power purchase agreements, while claiming that renewable energy is […]

Extra electricity capacity won’t drive economic recovery

Although the South African economy is not in as bad a state as many believe, and although growth is sluggish it won’t improve by simply increasing electricity generating capacity. This was the view of two experts who spoke at the Association of Municipal Electrical Utilities’ (AMEU’s) affiliates CEO breakfast at the Johannesburg Country Club, Woodmead, recently. […]

How nuclear can support green applications for a sustainable SA

We often hear about next generation nuclear power plants under development and construction worldwide. These nuclear power plants are designed from the ground up utilising different philosophies and more importantly, different objectives than conventional light water reactors widely in operation today. Fig. 1 illustrates how nuclear power plant designs have evolved since the late 1940s up […]

Key issues that Eskom is simply not ready to acknowledge publicly yet

It is now approaching 100 days since Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Browne appointed new Eskom Group Interim CEO Johnny Dladla to replace suspended former interim CEO Matshela Koko, who in turn was appointed to replace disgraced previous CEO Brian Molefe. Since then, the industry and the country has been waiting with bated breath for Mr. […]

Smart grids improve utility service, customer satisfaction

Most serious grid problems can be traced to the distribution grid rather than the transmission network, says Reji Kumar Pillai, the chairman of the Global Smart Grid Federation. Speaking to Energize at the recent Smart Grid Conference, Pillai said that the solution to distribution problems is the implementation of a smart grid. Smart grids, Pillai […]

Engineering study dispels myths on limits to renewable energy in the South African grid

A serious engineering study and report has dispelled the myths and propaganda peddled by fired former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe and suspended Eskom acting CEO Matshela Koko on the limits and costs of accommodating significant levels of variable renewable energy capacity in the South African power grid. Note: To ensure strict technical accuracy, significant parts […]