Cape Town draws battle lines over right to buy alternative energy from IPPs

Cape Town draws battle lines over right to buy alternative energy from IPPs

The City of Cape Town has been awarded an opportunity to make its case on why it is beneficial for the province to cut out the middle man (Eskom) and purchase electricity directly from independent power producers (IPPs).   The City, led by its mayor, Dan Plato, will get a chance to engage Eskom and the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) in court about this on 18 June.   Why does the City of Cape Town want power from IPPs? IPPs are privately-held corporations with facilities to generate power. IPPs own 1 000MW of power generated from gas turbines, all of which is exclusively available to Eskom for procurement.   If approved, the City will be able to purchase up to 400MW of electricity from IPPs as surety in instances where load shedding is implemented.   Plato encourages other provinces to join the fight For Plato, the ball lies in Eskom’s and Nersa’s court on what they deem is more important between profit and the catering needs of...
Read More
Claiming your Eskom rebate – it’s easy, we do it for you

Claiming your Eskom rebate – it’s easy, we do it for you

The first thing a lot of clients ask us is how to claim their Eskom rebate.  We always tell them not to worry because we do the claim for them.  And we have never had a rebate claim rejected, ever.   But many people still want to know how the process works.  So we have prepared a crash course on the Eskom Rebate system and what to expect every step of the way.       What is the rebate?   The rebate is essentially an incentive or subsidy, which you can claim from Eskom after you install a solar water heating system that qualifies on Eskom's solar water heating rebate programme.   What is a ceded rebate?   A ceded rebate is an Eskom rebate that is paid to you upfront, instead of after the fact.  From time to time, Aquasolar offers special deals and promotions whereby the Eskom rebate is paid to you at the time of installation.  In this case there is no need for you to claim the...
Read More
South Africa; land of coal and CO2?

South Africa; land of coal and CO2?

Why we're still burning coal and why you should be concerned about it. Firstly, South Africa with it's 90% reliance on coal for electricity generation, is right up there with the main culprits contributing to the production of greenhouse gasses; on a per-capita basis that is.  Burning of fossil fuels is the main source of CO2 production and thus global warming. Clearly then, we have to apply our minds to alternative sources of energy. That's easier said than done because not only is such green energy largely inefficient and not practical on a large scale (yet) but it is also very expensive.  For example, coal-based electricity is generated at approximately 44c/unit (kWh). Wind power costs about R1,50/unit to produce. Eskom's new Medupi  Power Station will have an installed capacity of 4800 MW (megawatts). By way of comparison, Koeberg Nuclear Power Station generates 1800 MW and the Lesotho Highlands Hydropower Scheme delivers 1000 MW. A wind turbine like the one visible at Coega outside...
Read More

Electricity pricing debunked

The amount paid by households for electricity in relation to what industry pays appears to spark as much debate as Eskom’s overall price application. Virtually every sphere of business and society made its voice heard through written and oral submissions during the National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s (Nersa’s) public participation process to evaluate Eskom’s price increases. At the public hearings, held in all nine provinces, debate centred on not only the price increase applied for, but also the need for an appropriate tariff structure. Questions are asked about how Eskom decides how much it should charge its customers, and whether there is justification for differentiation. There is, indeed, justification for differentiation, considering the country’s electricity pricing policy, to which Eskom adheres. Electricity tariffs are bundles of para- meters which Eskom applies to recover measured costs (such as energy consumed) and unmeasured costs (such as service costs). There are many ways to set elec- tricity prices. In Eskom’s case, tariff design is...
Read More

Next phase of solar geyser roll-out to incorporate greater local content

South African President Jacob Zuma on Thursday officially launched the National Solar Water Heating (SWH) programme in Winterveldt, north-west of Pretoria, where some 270 SWH units have already been installed.  The government has the ambition of installing one-million solar water heaters across South Africa by 2014, and is aiming at creating the best policy and legislative environment for this to be achieved. A total of 10 400 units were earmarked to be delivered in the City of Tshwane alone, and residents wishing to take part in the programme would need to register with the municipality if they were willing to participate in the programme.  Local municipalities and the Development Bank of Southern Africa were co-ordinating the programme, with funding coming from a number of sources, such as Eskom's demand side management budget, the proposed National Energy Regulator of South Africa renewable energy feed-in-tariff, and the World Bank's Clean Technology Fund. Similar programmes have also started in Ekhurhuleni, and in the Nelson Mandela Bay...
Read More

Winter power demand to rise by 275 MW during World Cup – Eskom

South Africa was expected to use 37,24 GW of electricity during the coming winter period, which would include the additional 275 MW that would be required above normal demand as a result of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Eskom Customer Network Business chief officer Erica Johnson said on Tuesday. While the State-owned power utility was confident that it could meet this demand, Johnson stated that the country and Eskom could not be complacent and had to ensure that it was able to respond if anything changed. She reiterated recent Eskom statements that South Africa’s electricity supply would, once again, become tight from 2011 onwards. Eskom forecast that the country would require an additional 20 GW of installed electricity capacity by 2020 and an additional 40 GW of installed electricity capacity by 2030. The current new build programme and some independent power producer projects could contribute an additional 14 GW of electricity by 2017. Article by Chanel de Bruyn, courtesy of Engineering News website...
Read More

Eskom gets price hike, inflation fears rise

The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) on Wednesday granted state-owned utility Eskom a nominal 24,8% tariff increase for the 2010/11 financial year, raising concerns this would fuel inflation in Africa's biggest economy. The increase fell short of the power firm's request of a 35% hike, but critics and analysts say the tariff hikes will have a big impact on an economy trying to recover from its first recession in nearly two decades. Eskom was also granted nominal increases of 25,8% and 25,9% respectively for the following two financial years. The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) responded to the tariff news swiftly, threatening to call a strike by its nearly two million paid-up members to defend living standards. "If no progress is made in these discussions, the federation will not shrink from mobilising its members, and the wider South African public, in strike action and protests in the streets against such a savage attack on our living standards and economic future,"...
Read More

Eskom’s new-look solar geyser rebate hinges on tariff approval

Funding for the increased rebate through Eskom’s solar water heater (SWH) programme will be derived from the electricity tariff, as is the case with all projects under the utility’s demand-side management (DSM) programme, the utility has confirmed. The Eskom SWH rebate is aimed at incentivising the roll-out of SWHs across the country, and is also aligned with the greater national solar water heating strategy of installing one-million SWHs by 2014, endorsed by the Department of Energy (DoE). The utility announced on January 13 that it would be increasing the rebates for purchasers of systems that were registered under Eskom’s solar water heating programme, and that the increases were in the order of double the previous subsidies. “We are confident that the regulatory support that we have had for our DSM programme over the last six years will continue,” Andrew Etzinger tells Engineering News, when explaining that the subsidy for consumers is derived from the electricity tariff, and that this subsidy could be adjusted from time...
Read More

Eskom hopes to accelerate SWH roll-out as it doubles rebates

State-owned power utility Eskom is confident that an effective doubling of the subsidy levels for its solar water heater (SWH) rebate programme, coupled with the anticipated increases in electricity prices over the next three years, would lead to a bigger uptake of this technology by the South African public, spokesperson Andrew Etzinger said on Wednesday. The utility this week announced to SWH suppliers that it would be increasing the rebates for purchasers of systems that were registered under Eskom’s SWH programme. Etzinger explained that while the level of subsidies were different for different SWH systems, depending on their size and efficiency, the increases were in the order of double the previous subsidies. This meant that the average subsidy of R3 000 a system previously, would now be moved up to about R6 000 a system, Etzinger said. SWH supplier Selected Energy welcomed Eskom’s announcement, with MD Jim Hickeysaying that this was a confidence booster to all industry players.  "In the solar water heating industry, we know larger...
Read More

Eskom wants solar heating

Johannesburg - State-owned power utility Eskom is looking to solar water heating to relieve pressure on its overloaded power grid. On Wednesday, Eskom published an advertisement in the business section of The Star newspaper, in which it asked for proposals to investigate possible funding sources and strategies for its solar water heating project. The programme, which takes the form of an incentive scheme, is one of many Eskom is implementing in the residential sector. At present, the residential sector in SA consumes 17% of the country's electricity. This is according to the Community for Energy Environment & Development (Commend), which says solar water heating may reduce energy consumption by "more than half". Eskom wants to conduct a feasibility study on solar water heating "as a result of the increased demand for electricity in SA", in an attempt to meet the renewable energy target set by government in 2008. Government has set a target for renewable energy to contribute 10 000 gigawatt hours (GWh) of final energy...
Read More