A quarter of a century of electrification – part two

  by Jac Messerschmidt, Pr. Eng. The slogan “electricity for all” was first used in 1988, and in the same year the first electrification joint venture was created in the Eastern Cape. Over the next twenty-five years, this initiative grew to bring electricity to more than 6-million homes, schools and clinics. Initially, the focus was […]

How electricity could unite Africa

  Electricity supply constraints are a significant hurdle to future growth, but a regional approach using market mechanisms will go a long way to addressing electricity shortfalls and to reduce expenditure on wasteful projects, to the benefit of electricity consumers and economies in the whole region.  Despite all the efforts, Africa’s quest for unity has […]

Electricity problems converge as the outgoing Eskom CEO departs

We bid farewell to Brian Dames, the outgoing CEO of Eskom, after his last day at the utility yesterday. With the earlier departure of former Eskom financial director, Paul O’Flaherty, and head of communications, Hilary Joffe, this signals the end of an era – short though it was, at about four years. While Dames’ departure […]

SA nuclear industry sharply criticizes the IRP 2010-2030 Update Report 2013

  A comprehensive review commissioned by the Nuclear Industry Association of South Africa (NIASA) is sharply critical of the draft Update Report 2013 of the Integrated Resource Plan for Electricity (IRP) 2010-2030 recently issued for comment by the South African Department of Energy (DoE).   The draft IRP 2010-2030  Update Report 2013 has not yet […]

Eskom’s chickens coming home to roost

Eskom been downplaying and minimising the possibility of load shedding since the blackouts of 2008. Only a week ago, Eskom CEO Brian Dames told the assembled media that Eskom had the power system in South Africa fully under control. Yesterday, however, Eskom pulled the plug on the country and commenced with rotational load-shedding of domestic, […]

Grid risks associated with wind generation

  by Terry Mackenzie-Hoy, University of Witwatersrand What happens in dealing with the intermittent input from wind turbines? It is not too much of a problem at present with the relatively small wind generation programme planned. Beyond that, there could be problems. Potentially one has an unpredictable power swings of about 1485 MW (wind) and predicable […]

Why isn’t Eskom claiming damages from contractors?

  Why isn’t Eskom claiming liquidated damages from contractors Hitachi Africa and Alstom for the Medupi debacle? Despite an apparent lack of funds to pay for clean water, roads and other essential services, the government, in the form of the Department of Public Enterprise (DPE) shows a marked lack of interest in recovering taxpayers’ money […]

The Jacob Marley column: An alternative theory on service delivery

  Sir It cannot have escaped the notice of many that the good folk in several towns and villages throughout the country are daily on the march in some form of protest or another. Recently, the Bekkersdal populace (not Oom Schalk’s people, I presume), went protesting against municipal corruption and those in the environs of […]

British wind farms paid not to generate electricity

  by Roger Lilley, editor According to the UK’s Telegraph newspaper, the British government is paying £30-million a year to the operators of the country’s offshore wind farms to keep the turbines off the grid during the windiest weather. This, in the face of electricity shortages in the UK. The article, published on 23 February […]