Implications of DoE’s amendments to the Electricity Regulation Act

This article contains comments which were made during a speech given at a recent breakfast hosted by the South African Independent Power Producers Association (SAIPPA) in Johannesburg.  Mmamoloko Kubayi, in her position as Minister of Energy, signed an amendment to the Electricity Regulation Act, 2006 (ERA) into law, which was issued under Government Gazette No. […]

Igniting Eskom Generation: Turning the deadweight into economic fuel

Eskom’s current debt is R350-billion, and it needs to raise a further R150-billion over the next three to four years. This is almost certainly impossible, even with a government guarantee. It would appear that Eskom cannot stay afloat without a gargantuan bailout by the South African government. NERSA’s low electricity price increase announced in December […]

Fifty actions to address the Eskom and electricity supply industry mess

A question often asked of me recently by radio and TV presenters, print and electronic media journalists, is what exactly needs to be done by the new Eskom board and chairman in the weeks, months and year ahead to steady the ship and steer the utility in the right direction. Over the last eight months, […]

Eskom’s financial crisis and the viability of coal-fired power in South Africa

Meridian Economics published a report recently on Eskom’s financial crisis and the decreasing demand for electricity while its costs continue to rise dramatically, driven primarily by its new-build programme. This is the executive summary of the report. The South African power system has reached a crossroads. Eskom, the national power utility, is experiencing an unprecedented period […]

New dams in Africa could add risk to power supplies down the line

In the 1980s and 1990s parts of Africa saw a surge in dam building for energy production. After a brief hiatus there has been renewed interested. Many new construction projects are planned and underway across sub-Saharan Africa. Hydropower represents a significant and rapidly expanding proportion of electricity production in eastern and southern Africa. Around 90% […]

Understanding natural gas and LNG options in Africa

The US Department of Energy recently published a handbook authored by a number of African contributors amongst others, which focuses on the benefits African countries can derive from the development of liquid natural gas (LNG) resources on the continent. LNG exports are poised to be an important catalyst for economic growth in African countries. Natural gas and […]

Can Eskom avoid a financial death spiral?

The challenges Eskom is facing around governance, corruption and state capture are common cause, but it is unfortunately crowding out an even more serious structural problem, which speaks to the very viability of Eskom as a utility company. Cleaning up the company, improving efficiencies and restoring it to its former glory as an efficient operator […]

Irrational IRP madness grips the energy sector in South Africa

At a media briefing on 7 December 2017 during the so-called “Energy Indaba”, energy minister David Mahlobo announced that the long-awaited Integrated Resource Plan for electricity, IRP 2017, had been finalised and approved by the cabinet the night before. President Jacob Zuma and Energy Minister David Mahlobo IRP 2017 sets the course for the technology […]

Koko’s disciplinary hearing at Eskom heads south…

The fifth day of the disciplinary hearing of suspended acting Eskom Group CEO and head of generation, Matshela Koko, got off to a very slow start on a wet, cold Saturday morning on 25 November 2017. The day commenced with a continuation of the inconclusive evidence of Alison Seckle, Eskom’s manager of governance and acting […]