SA’s power no longer cheapest

2011-07-29 06:55

Canada has replaced South Africa as the provider of the world’s cheapest electricity, a survey of 16 major electricity markets by international energy consultants NUS Consulting showed.

According to a report in Business Day this was the consequence of the recent high tariff increases that the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) granted Eskom. Nersa last year approved average yearly tariff increases of 25% for three years.

NUS said that the slide down the rankings as the provider of the cheapest electricity meant that South Africa could be losing the competitive advantage it previously enjoyed.

NUS Consulting SA’s acting general manager, Michelle Lamprecht, said that because of the recent big tariff increases, South Africa was unlikely to regain the number one spot for cheap electricity “in the foreseeable future”.

NUS said Canada’s modest increase of 3.1% in the 12 months to April had pushed its electricity costs per kWh to US7.98 cents (R0.54), which was the lowest among the countries surveyed this year.

“In contrast, SA’s whopping increase of 27.8% over the same time pushed the cost of electricity to US8.55 cents per kWh,” the organisation said.

“South African electricity is now 7% more expensive than Canadian energy after many years of being the cheapest.”

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