Nero fiddles, while the prospect of load shedding in South Africa continues

. Electricity customers and the public in South Africa experienced Stage 2 (2000 MW) manual rotating load shedding in late 2018 and Stage 4 (4000 MW) in February and March 2019. However, while Nero fiddles the prospect of further load shedding is set to continue in the months ahead. But there seems little sign that […]

Cutting energy costs with microgrids

As South Africans suffer another round of power interruptions, imposed upon them by the national power utility which is unable to generate sufficient electricity to keep the lights on, advanced technology offers a realistic, affordable and environmentally-friendly solution. Six months ago, Energize visited Eaton’s factory in Wadeville, Germiston, to see a sophisticated microgrid which had […]

Analysis of the Updated Draft IRP2019 presented to Nedlac on 6 March 2019

. After several delays, the Draft IRP2019, updated by the Department of Energy (DoE) to incorporate the comments arising from the public participation process which closed on 26 October 2018, was finally submitted to Nedlac on 6 March 2019. This now enables Nedlac to commence its work of reviewing the Updated Draft IRP2019 and making […]

Misdiagnosis means Eskom’s problems will persist

If you counted every hair on your head, that amount probably will not add up to the amount of times you have read and heard about the causes of the Eskom crisis. Corruption and state capture have been identified as the bedrock reasons why South Africans have been thrown into darkness over the past two […]

Is Eskom-controlled load-shedding the best way of balancing electrical supply and demand?

After a life-time of self-imposed exile, providing consultancy services to utilities and government institutions around the world, and occasionally re-visiting South Africa, I detected a noticeable improvement in mood. People are happy and content; business confidence and international co-operation is up. Had South Africa turned the corner? Anything was better than the shambles of Brexit. […]

The minister of energy on the status of electricity generation in South Africa

Following societal and industry concerns regarding what the Department of Energy’s decisions will be  with regard to the latest update to the country’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) following public consultations and the public statements made by the leaders of certain political parties and labour unions, the minister of energy, Jeff Radebe, addressed the media regarding […]

The sorry state of air pollution from Eskom’s coal-fired power stations

. With all the emphasis currently focused on Eskom’s financial and operational sustainability and future structure, the utility’s environmental performance and sustainability is inevitably neglected, and indeed has become the sacrificial lamb on the altar of the money gods. In October 2018, an analysis and study of Eskom’s own air pollution monitoring reports, commissioned by […]

SA takes important steps to solving its power crisis

South Africa’s power utility Eskom is on the brink of collapse. It owes foreign and local lenders more than R400-billion, it receives insufficient income from the sale of electricity to service its repayment commitments, is owed about R35-billion in overdue arrear debt by direct users and municipalities and is bogged down by two enormous “ill-designed” […]

Proposed IPP “renegotiations” will threaten green energy investments and job creation

The recent stance by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, as reported in the Business Day, to “renegotiate” contracts with companies which won the first two rounds of South Africa’s renewable energy procurement programme (REIPPPP) will not afford South Africa the opportunity to create value, especially on the job creation front. Eskom’s current load-shedding crisis costs […]

Why South Africa’s energy generator is in so much trouble

Eskom is by far the largest of South Africa’s many state owned companies. This near monopoly power utility is in crisis. It’s the single largest threat to South Africa’s economy, according to a former minister of finance. Wits Business School’s Adjunct Prof. Rod Crompton explains why this is the case and what can be done. […]