Dept looks at cutting power costs

2012-02-27 22:30

Johannesburg - The energy department is examining ways of reducing the cost of electricity, Energy Minister Dipuo Peters said on Monday.

"The department of energy, relevant departments and Eskom are looking at other ways of reducing electricity tariff increases," Peters said in a speech prepared for delivery to the Black Management Forum in Kimberley.

This was in response to a call by President Jacob Zuma in his state-of-the-nation address for cheaper electricity.

Zuma said: "We need an electricity price path which will ensure that Eskom and the industry remain financially viable and sustainable, but which remains affordable, especially for the poor".

"I have asked Eskom to seek options on how the price increase requirement may be reduced over the next few years, in support of economic growth and job creation, and give me proposals for consideration."

Peters said the government would soon say how this would be done.

The government would make pronouncements on its building of nuclear power stations later in the year.

"Section 34 of the Electricity Regulation Act empowers the minister of energy to determine who should build what in terms of energy infrastructure," she said.

"That developer will determine where to source that technology and the broader EPC [engineering, procurement and construction]."

In the Budget review for 2010 presented last week, R300bn over 17 years was allocated to Eskom's nuclear build programme, The Times reported.

The 20-year integrated resource plan for electricity envisaged 23% of the country's energy coming from nuclear power in the future.

  • alansmartSnr - 2012-02-28 01:49

    We have so much low grade coal but I just dont understand why Escom opted for coal driven power stations when we have so much arid land where wind turbo's could be put up and which could generate almost as much as the "new" power stations could. The capital for for these coal driven power stations should have been invested for clean energy. Also they could start generating immediatly as they are put up as where the coal is going to come on line only in a few years time. We can take a lesson from Holland where ALL their power are wind driven. Wish someone could explain this to me

      Garth - 2012-02-28 07:43

      @alan - I really wish that you would remove the `smart' from your nom de plume; I am assuming that it is not your name . . .. Approximately 60% of the Netherlands electricity generation is by means of natural gas and approximately 5% by wind turbine.

      ludlowdj - 2012-02-28 09:03

      MONEY is the easy answer, the longer version is that by building a nuclear power station there are a lot more kickbacks etc for the corporate culture brigade. green energy does not have a very high profit margin as initial setup costs doe not justify a 25% per year increase, whereas conventional power production allows for hidden costs etc

  • Horst - 2012-02-28 06:23

    An old idea would be to allow competition.

  • Johan Grobbelaar - 2012-02-28 06:31

    Here's a new idea, I just don't know if it will be possible or easy: Stop stealing...

  • Ivan - 2012-02-28 07:52

    Simple, cut the Eskom salary bill! Eskom employees are the highest paid workers in SA.

  • Elaine - 2012-02-28 09:21

    They could start by switching off the street lights that burn all day!

  • Paul - 2012-03-02 09:09

    Simple allow people to have there own grid tied solar system. It works everywhere else in the world! Europe does it, Australia, New Zealand. We have the perfect climate for it and yet we burn coal!

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