Monday, March 28, 2011

New tariff for green power.

Lower renewable energy feed-in tariffs (Refit) proposed this week by the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) sparked a turf war with the Department of Energy yesterday over when the new rates would kick in, causing investors to panic.
Feed-in tariffs are bulk-up rates paid to the independent producers of electricity for the national power grid.
The Department of Energy said the first batch of Refit projects – due to be finalised this year – would earn revenue according to a higher Refit schedule that was set in the first round of tariffs finalised by Nersa in 2009.
But Nersa, a statutorily established independent regulator, said it was not clear how the government had arrived at this conclusion.
Thembani Bukula, Nersa’s regulator member for electricity, insisted that the new tariffs would be applicable from the moment of their approval, probably in May.
“I don’t think South African consumers should pay a little more for these technologies if they don’t have to.”
Nersa’s proposals would have the effect of reducing the price of three solar technologies in the order of 40 percent compared with the old rates. They would also shave 25 percent off the price paid for wind-generated power.
But Thabang Audat, the Energy Department’s chief director of electricity, said a team of external advisers to the department and the National Treasury was drafting a standardised power purchase agreement (PPA) for the first phase of Refit that was “based on the first round of tariffs”.
He said: “Nersa determines the tariff… we work on the policy. The sign-off everyone will receive from our minister will make it clear to everyone, including Nersa.”
The PPA was due to be released at the end of this month, while preferred suppliers for the first-phase of Refit would be selected by mid-year, Audat said. On his version, the first-phase Refit recipients would earn the higher tariff.
“The guys in phase one incur penalties for not meeting a 2013 (commissioning) target. They will have to fast-track construction and that will cost more, hence the justification to get the higher tariff,” he said.
Audat nevertheless said the older Refit prices were “way too high by international standards”.
SA Wind Energy Association chairman Mark Tanton conceded that tariffs should be reviewed, but said the timing of the tariff review posed “a huge risk of derailing the market” due to investor uncertainty.
“The faith the industry has in the process has been severely eroded by an 11th hour document that changes the rules of the game,” he said, adding that the wind power industry had spent more than R400 million developing projects in South Africa.
Tanton pointed out that Eskom’s most recent multi-year price determination authorised by Nersa included 1 025 megawatts of renewable energy capacity set aside for Refit projects at the higher tariff schedule.
A substantially higher allocation for renewable energy is proposed in the second integrated resource plan, which was approved by the cabinet this month but has not been released publicly.

(via IOL, by Ingi Salgado, 28th March 2011)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Stiglitz emphasizes the importance of innovation in the energy sector.

South Africa has the capacity to put itself at the forefront of emerging countries when it comes to adapting to climate change, but the country will need leadership and buy-in from the business sector.

As a fast developing country with high carbon emissions, South Africa will soon need to begin making the switch to a low carbon economy. Stiglitz said the government would have an important role to play in this and warned that a lack of clear policy could see the country lagging behind its contemporaries, as the US is now lagging behind China when it comes to green technology.

Stiglitz said that a set of broad macroeconomic policies, with the government making decisions in a way that supports green economics, may be necessary. He said that some of the most successful industries in the US -- including the advent of internet -- have been supported by the government.

 "People sometimes forget that innovations are part of important government policy" he said.
Read more of this Mail & Guardian article here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Safe Disposal of Energy Saving Lightbulbs

[click on the image to explore more of woolworths' good business journey]

Friday, November 12, 2010

This City Works For You: Save on Electricity

The city has put some very interesting facts on energy consumption up on their website. Information relating to cost per hour for running household appliances, from your electric blanket on preheat to your 100 Watt lamp. 

Tips for energy saving at work include:

  • Turn off the photocopier when you leave - a photocopier left on overnight wastes enough energy to make about 1 600 copies!

  • Turn off your computer monitor - a monitor left on overnight wastes enough energy to laser-print about 800 A4 pages! By turning off your monitor energy consumption can be reduced by 50%

  • Leaving the lights on in an empty office overnight wastes enough energy to make about 1000 cups of coffee!

  • Save 10% of an air-conditioner electricity bill by turning the thermostat down 1º in winter
    and up 1º in summer

  • View the page here to see all the stats and the other saving tips.
    More saving tips can be viewed on the Eskom website.

    State assets won’t be liquidated to fund Eskom

    There is new information about the previously mentioned loan to Eskom.
    Government’s R20 billion equity injection into Eskom will not be funded by liquidating non-core state assets after all. Government communicators have conceded they made an error with their earlier statement to that effect, and said the funding will actually come from Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s budget process.

    News of the additional funding comes two weeks after Gordhan announced the extension of a loan guarantee to the power utility which now totals R350 billion. In an email under the heading “urgent correction” a government communicator said a recommendation to liquidate non-core state assets to fund an Eskom equity injection was not approved by Cabinet’s Economic Cluster.

    Government’s Spokesperson Themba Maseko said the equity injection is aimed at helping Eskom with its balance sheet. “We believe that we’re strengthening Eskom’s ability to go to the markets to raise additional capital so that it can continue with the building programme,” he said.
    Maseko said they intend to remove all doubts on Eskom’s ability to keep the lights on.

    Article Via Eye Witness News

    Thursday, November 4, 2010

    Save Electricity: Tips

    Eskom has put together some simple tips on how to save electricity.
    Tips including:

    Switch the iron off once it has reached it's temperature.
     It will stay hot longer than you think.
    And you wont have to keep paying!

    Taking a shower uses less water than a bath,
    so you save both water and electricity (to heat the water)
    Showers save!

    View the pdf here. for more tips on saving electricity.

    Eskom ’honoured’ by R15 billion loan

    Eskom on Thursday said it was truly honoured by the faith that the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) has shown it regarding its future plans.

    The bank and the local power utility signed a R15 billion loan agreement in Midrand on Thursday morning.

    The money will be drawn over a five year period to fund various projects to increase the country’s electricity generating capacity.

    It’s the biggest loan that the bank has ever approved.

    Eskom CEO Brian Dames said, “It’s a very public statement by the bank in terms of its confidence in Eskom and Eskom’s ability."

    "We are truly honoured by the faith and trust that your bank has shown in our organisation as well as the future of our country,” he added.