Contracts for RMR Phase 3 to be awarded in June – Eskom

Engineering News 8 March 2013.

State utility Eskom planned to award the technology supply contracts for Phase 3 of its residential mass rollout (RMR) programme by June, depending on the quality and completeness of the tender submissions…

…The winning bidder would supply a technology basket that would include compact fluorescent lamps, light-emitting diode down lighters, pool timers, geyser timers, low-flow shower roses, flow restrictors and geyser blankets…

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The demand response “Catch-22″ (and how to fix it)

Smart Grid News 7 March 2013.

Demand response technologies, such as smart appliances, thermostats and home energy management systems, could revolutionise our energy consumption. By encouraging consumers to buy controls or appliances that can automatically reduce or shift power use during peak demand periods, demand response (DR) solutions can deliver benefits in many areas, including pricing and grid reliability…

An example of a new approach

What if a consumer friendly brand, for example a favorite online retailer or supermarket chain, were to become an aggregator of DR services, acting as the middle-man between millions of consumers with smart appliances and the electricity generators and network operators.  The ability to reduce the cumulative loads from millions of smart appliances during peak times could be sold by these aggregators for a good price, and then a fair fraction of this revenue could be passed onto the participating consumers. This would be clearly separated from the bills that they normally receive from their energy suppliers or network operators. Ringfencing the rewards from DR, rather than applying small discounts to existing energy bills, would allow consumers to measure the benefits of their smart appliances, and to choose how to spend these rewards with their favorite retailers on items or services that they are most interested in…

(Comment: An excellent idea for new appliance purchases and perhaps the model could be expanded to incentivise other demand response ideas. However we still have to tackle the fact that demand response will never work if it is managed by entities that make money out of selling electricity, e.g. Eskom, the Treasury and the municipalities – they need to sell more electricity at higher prices.)

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How Data and Social Pressure Can Reduce Home Energy Use

Environment 360 4 December 2012.

With the relationship between utilities and their customers changing in unprecedented ways, new companies are deploying vast amounts of data and social psychology techniques to try to persuade people to use less electricity in their homes.

by dave levitan

Visit the website of Opower and your eye will be drawn to a counter in the corner, its digits ticking ever higher. The counter represents energy that the company says its customers have saved after it provided them data on electricity usage and employed behavioral science to change their consumption patterns. As of this writing, the counter is climbing past 1.62 billion kilowatt-hours…

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Eskom pursues new buy-backs to create summer-maintenance cushion

Engineering News 30 November 2012.

Electricity utility Eskom reports that it is in the process of finalising various demand- and supply-side agreements, including a new round of power buy-backs, to create a cushion for it to “catch-up” with its maintenance programme, which was affected by lower supplies from Cahora Bassa, in Mozambique, between August and November.

It is seeking an additional 600 MW to 1 000 MW of demand- and supply-side options over the coming six months, notwithstanding the lower-than-anticipated demand environment…

(Editor’s note: That is pathetic! We are in a recession, manufacturers are cutting back anyway and Eskom is paying them not use electricity! This is instead of aggressively pursuing demand side management and energy efficiency measures. Rather spend money on these than pay companies not to consume!)

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Alarming story in Eskom numbers

Business Day Live 27 November 2012.

IF THERE was one number out of a rash of rand and cents that took just about everyone aback at last week’s six-monthly results presentation by Eskom, it was that sales of electricity fell by nearly 3%. That adds up to 3,277GWh.

You may not think that’s much but it is actually a terrifyingly steep decline, says analyst Chris Logan.

Eskom spokeswoman Hilary Joffe said weak economic growth has something to do with it, but that’s difficult to accept since the physical volume of electricity produced has fallen since 2006…

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SA to adopt best practices for smart grid implementation

ESI-Africa.com 13 November 2012.

13 November 2012 – Smart grids in South Africa will allow for control of peak hour demand, without having to increase generation capacity. However, the implementation thereof will require a substantial amount of financial support from government. The country can learn many valuable lessons from other international installations to formulate an implementation scheme that focuses on its existing strengths.

The need for smart grid technology in South Africa is driven by the low reserve margin on the country’s electricity generation capacity, the need for a more efficient grid with less disruptions, an increase in the electricity price, the consumers’ need for an efficient method of electricity consumption management and the IRP 2010, a 20-year national electricity plan that stipulates the key generation plan for the country…

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Mittal shuts Vanderbijl electric arc furnace

Engineering News 31 October 2012.

Instead of completing the R230-million dust-extraction system at its Vanderbijlpark plant to abate fugitive emissions that escaped from electric arc furnaces, steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (Mittal) had taken the decision to close its furnaces indefinitely, CEO Nonkululeko Nyembezi-Heita said Wednesday.

The plant’s three electric arc furnaces were shut on October 16, reducing Vanderbijlpark’s 4.7-million-ton-a-year production capacity by 500 000 t/y…

(Editor’s note: The recession bites. At least Eskom isn’t paying them to shut down!)

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