Thursday, October 28, 2010

R174 billion to bolster Eskom

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Thursday announced government is extending its loan guarantee to Eskom by R174 billion.

This brings the total guarantee to R350 billion.

Gordhan was briefing MPs in Parliament. He took to the floor shortly after the Finance Committees were given a brief overview of the medium-term budget.

He said Public Enterprises Minister Barbara Hogan and Treasury agreed on supporting Eskom with its build programme.

Gordhan added that the multi-billion rand guarantee should offer enough assurance on the country’s energy security.

“This will enable Eskom now to continue with its entire build programme through to 2017,” he said.

Gordhan said the move should cast aside any doubts over whether government is standing by the utility.

The extra money will be used to fund the Kusile Power Station.

Gordhan was eager to allay fears that the construction of the 4,800 Megawatt power station in Mpumalanga would be scrapped because of financial constraints.

“Any doubts about Kusile and so on are all removed. They have the guarantee of government to do the borrowing they need to do, particularly when money is cheap now.”

The future of the other 4,800 MW power station Medupi
, in Lephalale, is already secure thanks to a World Bank loan.

[Article from Eyewitness News. Chantall Presence.]

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Is economics the driver for innovation?

“Industry’s goal is not to deploy the most innovative or the greenest technology. The goal is to make money” says MIT alumnus and DoE under secretary for science, Steven E. Koonin.

As someone with a long academic background he postulated the issue in the form of a simple syllogism:
  • Almost the entire energy industry, with only a few exceptions, is in the hands of private industry;
  • Industry’s primary goal is a legal and predictable profit;
  • Therefore, innovation in the energy supply will only reach a significant scale when it is profitable or mandated.
Read the rest of the MIT news article here and let us know what you think.

About us

We are a Social Enterprise committed to inspire all South Africans, but especially the youth, to think innovatively, develop “eyes” that can “see” socio-economic need in society and come up with innovative solutions. We want to be instrumental in connecting aspirant innovators, in an enabling and empowering way, to the resources available through institutions of higher learning, policy makers, local authorities, financiers, etc. Through this we aim to contribute to the development of an ECO-SYSTEM in which INNOVATION will flourish, engender and instil a spirit of ENTREPRENEURSHIP and a SOCIAL HEART as integrated concepts and NOT as mutually exclusive initiatives. Our own business model, therefore, follows exactly these principles.


Through our Conference and Expo we aim to achieve the following:

·         Undo the myth that we, as a country, are NOT innovative and that all meaningful innovations originate in the northern hemisphere, i.e. UK, US, Europe, etc.

·         Actively pursue the search for the key ingredients needed to develop an eco-system in which innovation will flourish, then communicate the findings and provide a platform where the best implementation practise can be discussed.   

·         Provide a platform for South African individuals, institutions and business to showcase their newest innovations in the ENERGY sector

·         Provide an opportunity for ENERGY INNOVATORS from all spheres of South African society to network, explore, learn and be inspired together.

·         Provide a single place where the PUBLIC and INDUSTRY can discover the latest innovations related to their energy needs.

·         Inspire learners and students to think “INNOVATION” through exposing them to practical demonstrations of and interactions with the latest innovations by the innovators themselves

·         Act as a KNOWLEDGE BASE and “NEXT-STEPS-SIGN-POST” to aspirant innovators

Appeal to Corporates:

If INNOVATION in the ENERGY sector is a concept which is NOT in conflict with your corporate BRAND, please consider being a part of this inspiring event.