Put our resources together and solve the electricity crisis

Cape Times Brenda Martin 9 July, 2013.

PEOPLE are not great at joining the dots between cause and effect, but there is fairly widespread agreement that planning ahead is wise. We plan ahead when we prepare supper, we plan for our children’s education and we buy insurance “just in case” something happens.

But what happens to our planning when uncertainty rules? When unforeseen financial pressures knock over our deck of planning cards – like sudden electricity price hikes or an overnight petrol increase, not to mention water scarcity, turbulence and uncertainty in general?


Rosatom awaits SA govt decision on nuclear power

Engineering News 28 June 2013.

Russian State-owned nuclear company Rosatom was awaiting the South African government’s decision regarding the nuclear aspect of its Integrated Resource Plan (IRP2010), as well as Russia’s role in this regard, deputy director-general Kirill Komarovsaid on Thursday.

In April, the South African government indicated that it was set on pursuing its plan, contained in the IRP2010, to construct new nuclear power plants (NPPs) and increase the country’s amount of nuclear-generated electricity to 9.6 GW by 2030. This is in part to help meet South Africa’s growing electricity needs and to reduce the country’s high greenhouse-gas emissions…


Deal finally concluded for 1 005 MW peaker projects

Engineering News 6 June 2013.

Energy multinational GDF SUEZ confirmed on Thursday that it had signed 15-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) with Eskom for the two open-cycle gas-turbine (OCGT) power plants with a combined capacity of 1 005 MW and a combined investment value of €780-million.

(Contributor’s note: Euro 780 m for 1005 MW is R9 400 million for 1 000 MW, which is R9 400/kW, which is cheap compared to Medupi’s overnight costs of about R25 000/kW. But this is six times the price assumed in the IRP2020 of ZAR 3 955/kW. Why is this? And why should the DoE/Eskom own and build these? Why not get IPPs to tender for it? And will the plant be configured to run on natural gas rather than kerosene or diesel?)

The build, own and operate package awarded by the Department of Energy (DoE) includes the 335 MW Dedisa plant, in the Eastern Cape, and the 670 MW Avon facility, in KwaZulu-Natal – commonly referred to as the DoE peaker projects.

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Pressure builds over R800m solar geyser tender

Business Day Live 6 June 2013.

A ROW over an R800m tender for solar water geysers in Johannesburg is headed for court on Tuesday next week, in a matter expected to clarify the limits to public disclosure in the murky world of government tenders.

The case between the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and Johannesburg’s City Power also goes to the heart of South Africa’s industrialisation and job-creation targets, as well as the country’s trade relations with China…


New road map proposes possible incentives for locally made electric vehicles

Urban Earth 9 May 2013.

(Contributor’s note: This could have been titled “Who killed the Joule and why?” It remains a mystery why our government chose to keep on much of our nuclear skills, through NECSA, after killing the R9 billion PBMR project and yet happily let the Joule local manufacturing capability die after investing a few hundred million onto it. And now are planning to support Nissan and its Leaf instead. I think that either our powers that be are not thinking things through properly or there is something fishy going on.)

The government will reimburse manufacturers of electric vehicles 35% of their productions cost over a period of three years, should the proposed Department of Trade and Industry’s Electronic Vehicle Industry Road Map (EVIRM) be approved by Cabinet. Producers will have to locally produce a minimum of 5,000 electric cars in order to qualify for the proposed rebate…


Rosatom offers emerging nations nuclear package: paper

Planet Ark 14 May 2013.

Russia’s state-owned nuclear company Rosatom is offering a special package deal to build and operate nuclear power stations abroad in a bid to win business from developing countries, a company official was quoted on Monday as saying.

The offer to “Build, Own, Operate” (BOO), also includes financing to countries seeking to build nuclear plants.

(Contributor’s note: Now that has a good ring to it – “BOO!” – Build, own, operate. This would be a world first – where a company is prepared to take on the risk of building, owning and operating a nuclear plant! I’ll believe this when I see it – more likely our Eskom will own and operate the nuclear plants and we, the taxpayers will take the risk – for the next 60 years.)

Rosatom, a major competitor for groups like Areva, Toshiba-owned Westinghouse and Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp. has built nuclear reactors abroad in the past, but has so far handed over their operation to domestic utilities…