The future of electricity: Attracting investment to build tomorrow’s electricity sector 

  The electricity sector is undergoing an unprecedented transition. In the past, the sector provided affordable, secure and reliable electricity by attracting investors with low risk, stable returns. In the last decade, significant declines in the cost of renewable technologies, combined with new sources of natural gas, have offered the opportunity to simultaneously decarbonise the […]

Farewell to cheap electricity

  Cheap and abundant electricity supplied by the state-owned power utility Eskom was the underlying assumption of almost all South Africans for over a generation. This assumption, over the long term, as we now are seeing, is a faulty one and if the country is to get through its present crisis, then it will have […]

The importance of quality control in project management

  A misconception exists in project management in that quality is only applicable during the manufacture and installation of hardware. This is incorrect since comprehensive quality management in projects includes the entire development process and is inclusive of all disciplines during the project study and execution phases. Quality management in projects spans the entire project management […]

South Africa – truly on the horns of a trilemma

  South Africa’s energy system is a textbook illustration of the challenges outlined in the World Energy Council’s (WEC’s) energy trilemma model, says Brian Statham, Chairman of South Africa’s WEC member committee. Finding a balance between energy equity, energy security and environmental sustainability is at the heart of the policy debate in both government and business […]

Security of electricity supply in South Africa

  A confidential report to the Department of Public Enterprises, dated July 2006, on security of electricity supply in South Africa, written by Duncan Wilson and Ivan Adams, has come to the attention of EE Publishers. Although marked confidential, the report has some historical significance, having been submitted some 18 months prior to the loadsheedding […]

Eskom’s former maintenance policies described as “pure madness”

  Dear Editor I write this letter as a former Eskom executive to provide some insights from the past into the problems facing Eskom today. Eskom’s previously effective maintenance policy was dramatically adversely affected by a change during the chairmanship of Dr. John Maree, who, against opposition from some executives, introduced a unique new approach […]

How short-term Eskom objectives impacted on its long-term performance

  A fascinating document written by a senior Eskom executive in 1996 has come to the attention of EE Publishers. The document was handed to Public Enterprises Minister Stella Sigau at that time when a proposal was submitted to her that Government / Eskom dispose of a mothballed power station to an interested consortium comprising […]

Recommendations to address the generation capacity “crisis” in SA

  The 2014 electricity blackouts in have brought into stark relief the failure by government, the Department of Energy, the Department of Public Enterprises, Eskom and municipalities to provide an adequate and sustainable electricity supply to meet the growing needs of the country, the economy and its people. The 1998 Government White Paper on Energy […]

The Jacob Marley column: A good credit rating

  Sir This time of the year, as everything winds down (except load-shedding), as old cracks become jokes and rains traditionally flood coal stockpiles (but water remains in short supply), while rock painted black is peddled as coal, when water seeps into cable casings and maintenance and – particularly – catering budgets, are overstretched, is […]