The Jacob Marley column: Supercritical

  Sir This topic invites a strange introduction. In October 1901, several daring Boer commandos attacked the rearguard of British Colonel Benson’s column at Bakenlaagte in Mpumalanga. During the ensuing melee, great bravery was demonstrated by both sides. Colonel Benson, a Magersfontein veteran, died the next morning from wounds received on the field of battle. […]

Steep tariff increases stunts economic growth

  South Africans can expect the increase in electricity tariffs next year to be between 10 and 13%. This is the opinion of market and industry research company, Frost and Sullivan, following the National Energy Regulator of SA’s (NERSA’s) recent announcement that it has approved the regulatory clearing account (RCA) for Eskom. This adjustment was given in […]

The industrial internet at work: Towards zero unplanned downtime

  The industrial internet is bringing about a profound transformation to global industry, by connecting more intelligent machines, advanced analytics, and people at work. This deeper meshing of the digital world with the world of machines has the potential to bring enormous economic benefits. We  estimate that this new wave of innovation could boost global […]

The Jacob Marley column: Hickory, dickory, dock

  Sir Clocks have always played an important role in power systems. From the earliest days when George  Westinghouse’s alternating current won the commercial battle against Thomas Alva Edison’s direct current, and in spite of the comeback that DC rightly made in later years, every generator (or inverter) in the system must run at synchronous […]

Energize Inbox, July 2014

This month’s letters call for the DoE and Eskom to commission another pumped storage scheme, and raise the need for a forum or organisation to which the public can turn to complain about poor service delivery by municipalities. This month’s winning letter Sir A time for action Now is the time for the Department of […]

Questioning the facts in the electrification debate

  In response to recently published articles regarding electrification in South Africa, Jabu Mmetli, a one-time Johannesburg correspondent for Indaba Southern Africa, questions the veracity of certain statements made in these articles and adds his own suggestions to the debate. As an interested observer of the development of electricity supply in southern Africa for many years (cf. […]

Toward universal energy access: Designing a new household electrification strategy for SA

  Over the past two decades, South Africa has achieved a significant level of electrification: 76% of all households now have access to largely grid-connected power, up from 34% in 1994. Despite successes, the country’s Department of Energy (DoE) and its delivery partners face several barriers to electrifying the remaining backlog of 3,4-million households. In […]