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Least-cost integrated resource planning with cost-optimal climate change mitigation

The University of Cape Town’s Energy Research Centre recently undertook an alternative technical assessment of South Africa’s electricity future to inform debate on IRP 2018, South Africa’s latest electricity plan, which is due to be released shortly. The authors used a similar modelling methodology, with the addition of an economic model to account for key […]

SAIEE lightning safety webinar

The South African Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE) is planning to hold a webinar on the topic of lightning safety on 26 March 2019 from 18h00 to 19h00. The webinar will focus broadly on the topic of lightning, with particular attention being given to practical safety guidelines, basic physics of lightning (including video footage), injury […]

Textbooks on tablets: The worst idea for government schools?

In his recent State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Cyril Ramaphosa made a startling statement that set media a-buzz with criticism: “Over the next six years, we will provide every school child in South Africa with digital workbooks and textbooks on a tablet device.” There are myriad challenges facing SA that make this idea […]

The Guptas’ last heist: Taking R1-billion out of South Africa

The Gupta family allegedly sucked the life out of Optimum mine and now their proxy is fighting for what is left over. A Gupta family company launched an urgent court bid last week which, if successful, would enable it to take more than R1-billion out of the country. The company, called Centaur Ventures, which is […]

PCB industry dwindling, but has major potential

Eighteen years ago, the printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing industry in South Africa had five large and a dozen or so small PCB manufacturing plants. Today, it has dwindled to two large manufacturers and a hand full of smaller companies. With that reduction, a large number of job opportunities were lost and also the ability for […]

US$100-million to help SA achieve its climate targets

The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) has been granted funding to the value of US$100-million from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to establish the Embedded Generation Investment Programme (EGIP).  Embedded generation, under EGIP, is defined as the production of electricity from generation facilities which are connected to the national grid with or without wheeling […]

FirstRand joins exodus of banks withdrawing funding of new coal-fired power plants in SA

. FirstRand Bank has joined the exodus of local banks that were funding new coal-fired power plants in South Africa, and in particular the Thabametsi and Khanyisa independent power producer (IPP) projects. These two projects are included in the draft integrated resource plan for electricity, Draft IRP 2018, for completion in 2023 and 2024. The […]

Will unbundling Eskom ensure a sustainable electricity system?

. That Eskom needs to be restructured is no longer in question. In its current form, the organisation poses a systemic risk to the South African economy and is “too big to fail”. The real question is what form this restructuring should take.  For sure, the generation assets need to be separated from the transmission […]