The Jacob Marley column: Closer ties

  Sir A recent front-page headline in a well-known business daily stated: “State set for tighter control of Eskom”. The article referred to the newly appointed CEO reportedly telling Parliament that Eskom would be “more tightly controlled by the department in future”.  Unsure of the implications of that, I sought the counsel of the Ghost […]

To extend or replace: That is the question

  All power plant has an operational lifetime  and at some stage will reach the state where it no longer meets performance requirements. At this point the decision must be taken whether to replace or extend lifetime by rebuilding, overhaul or other means. This applies at the moment to existing aging utility power plant but […]

Procurement models applied to IPP programmes in South Africa

  The Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) is largely viewed as a positive and innovative programme. We need a base-load procurement model that builds on the successes of the REIPPPP and extends these to base-load IPPs. Eskom’s future financial health presents a significant risk to procurement of renewables, thermal base-load and nuclear […]

CESA: Eskom is in good hands

  Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA) has applauded the appointment of Department of Public Enterprises Director General Tshediso Matona, as the chief executive of Eskom, saying that Matona brings with him fresh ideas to resuscitate the ailing state power utility. The body is confident that he will come up with fresh new strategies to navigate […]

Falling electricity demand makes solar uptake more noticeable

  The long-held belief that electricity consumption would continue to grow is being challenged in a number of mature economies in the past few years. Since WWII, electricity demand growth has persistently fallen relative to growth rate of GDP in nearly all mature economies. Fig. 1 illustrates the negative growth in electricity use in the […]

Energize Inbox, August 2014

  This month’s letters include a response to recent articles regarding electrification in South Africa; a reader’s view regarding the frequency of power failures; and a response to a recent lead editorial comment. Send your letters to: energize@ee.co.za Our winning letter: re: Electrification in South Africa Sir As an interested observer of the development of electricity supply in southern Africa […]

How to save money and the environment

  South African electricity prices increased 78% between 2008 and 2011, and by more than 20% year-on-year from 2010 to 2013. Prices are predicted to rise by a further 8% year-on-year until 2018, taking the cost per kWh to 89,13 cents in 2018, up from 65,51 cents in 2013 – and this is before we […]