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Tuesday, August 2, 2022

David Lipschitz - The Last Blackout - First South African Book Launch


Here is the video of the launch. It is our first attempt at a video. We need a video tripod for next time and a lapel microphone, but the message comes across loud and clear, and we will get better each time.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Blackouts inspire author



Blackouts inspire author to write thriller The Last Blackout @eNCA @rmadzena https://youtu.be/HO6l2eHq3QY via @YouTube @Eskom_SA @EskomSePush #loadshedding #blackout #electricity #thriller #sciencefiction #negawatts #strategy #paradigmshift #energy #water #sewerage #95percent

Rofhiwa : Now the ongoing blackouts have had a negative impact on many people across the country. Life can come to a stand still when Eskom removes its power supply, so what can you do in those two or four hours of silence? Sleep? Maybe take a walk or write a book about how the utility has disrupted our lives? That's exactly what author David Lipschitz did and he joins us now to talk about this thriller novel that he's written, The Last Blackout. David: thank you very much this morning for your time. Maybe tell us a little bit about the book and really what inspired you to sit down and pen this thriller? David: Morning Rofhiwa : It's so brilliant to see you again and you know in 2004 when I discovered wind turbines I started reading the energy policy of 1998 and the renewable energy policy of 2003 and I started writing to ministers and speaking to people and in 1998 I was invited to parliament when the feed-in tariff announcement was announced and then a whole sequence of events happened. I wrote a book in 2020 when lockdown started, and suddenly we all had so much more time to work on things that had been on the back burner for so long, called A User Manual For Life On Earth, and it's a very dry book, and it's full of facts, and then this year I had this inspiration to write my first thriller novel. This is a blueprint so that I can check that everything's okay and you can see the poster behind me of the book, and so the idea is that we need I've penned that it's an electrifying read that will shock us into action. You know I think that people need to have something that focuses their mind that makes them see how important electricity is in our lives and you know we relegate electricity to being such a you know we take it for granted, but actually electricity is critical to our lives you know, we, you say to people what's your most important thing you need in the next three minutes, and that's air and then you say what's the next thing you need and people say that's water and if you're on a farm I would say yes I agree, but if you're in a city with four million people like Cape Town or these huge cities around the world the next most important thing you need after air is actually electricity, because, for example, in Cape Town most of our water comes from Theewaterskloof dam which is 100 kilometers away and it gets to us because it's pumped and it's pumped with pumps that run with electricity, so without electricity, we don't have water without water, we don't... our whole sewage system in a city runs off water. We need 80 liters a day per person to run the sewage system so things will break down really quickly, so what I've done in this book is I've written it as a thriller as if load shedding suddenly happens people don't know it's happening but it doesn't stop. It carries on for days and days and how society breaks down and what needs to happen; what happens and how can we fix the problem? So i think that you know if if I focus people's minds to show them how critical electricity is and how quickly society will break down people realize wow we shouldn't be focusing on retirement in 50 years time we should be focusing on staying alive for the next four days or two weeks because electricity is so important. Rofhiwa: Yeah and I mean your book is quite descriptive in that it describes quite a wonderfully if I might say the effects or the immediate effects of electricity that eerie silence no one out doing anything. Basically people's lives coming to a standstill and as the book progresses David you describe how people have had to adjust their lives to this new and sudden normal that they have been exposed to despite the fact that we have had load shedding since 2008, there are changes that people have had to make and be very conscious of their daily habits that they would do with electricity and not having to do them without. David: Exactly. So I mean the first thing that one needs to look at is something called megawatts N E G A watts, and that's saving power so energy efficient fridge energy efficient air conditioner. Perhaps gas cooking, although you know the price of, when I started looking at renewable energy in 2004, you know, and when I invested in my first system in 2008 you know the cost has come down 92% since then so for the same amount of money that you could run maybe a third of your house in 2008, you can run your entire house or I say 95 percent. To get to 95 percent of running your own house is relatively inexpensive. It's a lot cheaper than buying a car, for example. People are focused on buying new cars but even cars start because they have a battery which cranks the you know the starter motor which starts the car. So even if you drive an internal combustion engine car you still need electricity to start the car and even to run the car so you know the thing is that people have realized how important electricity is from saving electricity saving money, bringing their costs down. Electricity costs have gone up from 50 cents a kilowatt hour in 2008 to R3.50 a kilowatt hour now. So that's a seven times increase. Meanwhile inflation, if you look at inflation, the 50 cents has become maybe 75 cents, in that time, so from 75 cents to R3.50 is the real increase in the cost of electricity, and that forces people to adjust, exactly as you say, their way of operating their way of behavior. But we still need electricity. I mean, we have our cell phones. We need electricity for our cell phones. We need electricity for our computers. We need electricity for our lights. In a lockdown environment where people are not going out so much more, Zoom and other kinds of video conferencing meetings. All of this happens and depends on electricity so it's really critical that people realize how focused they must be on making sure that we have electricity and electricity enables everything else. So one of the things that I did is I did a study looking at you know if Eskom had brought their power stations on time like they said. Medupi was meant to be completed in 2015. Kusile was meant to be completed in 2018, and other power stations. Ingula was also late, a pumped storage system. So I just looked at those three power stations and if they were, if they've been brought on time, there's a baseline which is the top line and there's an actual line which is a bottom line and that difference in price is actually 45 Trillion Rand, so the fact that Eskom; we think Eskom is load shedding when our power's off but s comes actually load shedding all the time because of late delivery of power stations. Rofhiwa: Yeah, now David they've been talks over the last two days about the creation potentially of an Eskom 2.0. What are your thoughts on this? I mean I had a bit of a laugh because if we can't manage what we currently have, what business does the state have discussing in Eskom 2.0. Why not continue to focus on bringing on more alternative renewable energies onto the grid instead of creating another power utility? David: You know I've got lots of thoughts about this. My, my, because I'm an optimist and my blood type is B+ Be Positive. I look at this and I say, well, as soon as they are two there can be a hundred. So I think that if as soon as the government creates the legislation to allow a second utility we're on a path to having hundreds of utilities and that must be welcomed. The fact that the government will want to run the second utility and all those negative things that go around that. I think we're going to be discussing that for a long time, but I think the fact that they're talking about a second utility. Yes, they want to run it themselves, and yes they have a bad record of project management and financing and just borrowing on the never never which obviously as soon as that you know we we saw this week that (Eskom CEO) De Ruyter said Eskom needs another 45 billion Rand of loans. Now I'm responsible for that loan, and you're responsible for the loan and every taxpayer and every person who pays for electricity is responsible for that loan. So it's all very well that he says "oh we just need 45 billion". Maybe that's not a lot of money for him but for me it's a lot of money and you know as I say the thing that I look at. Initially when I thought second utility I thought no it's not going to work but then I thought you know second as soon as you have two you can have infinite and that I like that so that from that point of view from a positive point of view I think that that'll work. Rofhiwa: Based on your engagements that you've had over the years David, do you find that there's enough political will to create or find almost immediate solutions to the power crisis. You speak a lot about the individual being impacted the way we have been with the blackouts. But ultimately the entire economy is reeling from them. Businesses; critical businesses like manufacturing, agriculture, have been brought to their knees because of the constant blackouts. Do you find that there is political will to find some immediate solution or reprieve for the economy at large. David: I think that's very difficult, you know, based on our history, the... There are people that actually that do want to fix the system but i think that people are stuck in an old environment and that what you know everybody a lot of people when you look at different industries and strategies and so on people try to find that single unique thing that can solve a problem, you know, we get orange carrots, but if you go and look at carrots, there's a hundred different kinds of carrots. You can get white carrots. You can get black carrots. You can get different kinds of carrots you can get short carrots. You can get long carrots. So if you're a carrot grower the safest thing for you to do is to plant 10 different varieties of carrots because if you have a particular drought year or you have a particular sunny year or a particular rainy year then maybe the orange carrots don't come through but the other carrots come through. The same with wheat. You know, there's a thousand different kinds of wheat, but we try to grow one kind of wheat and then there's a crop failure in a particular wheat so we're going to genetically modify that wheat when we didn't actually need to do that because there's another 999 types of wheat. The same with coal and nuclear and renewable energy. I don't believe that there's only one source that we can say that the sun will solve all of our problems. The sun has ... coal came from the sun because of you know trees and so on breaking down over billions of years. So everything that we have comes from the sun, but in the short term, we're still going to need coal power stations. My personal opinion is we don't need five-gigawatt power stations. We need a hundred tiny power stations 100 to 250 megawatt power stations, built into the grid, so when there's when there's a, you know, no sun and no wind in a particular area you can start your local coal power station. I know that from an efficiency point of view, it's less efficient because you have to cart coal to the power station but that will reinvigorate the railway system to bring coal but the thing is that the coal power station in this kind of environment is a system that says: we use the sun; we use the wind; but if it's a rainy day or a rainy week in Cape Town then we start our local coal power station which you run for four days and then we switch it off. So ... and the same you know we have. You know the first thing we give to visitors in Cape Town; it's so funny is they drive through the sewage farm in Athlone and everybody smells South Africa's s-h-i-t, you know, and the smell from the methane. But the point about the methane is you can burn the methane in a methane power station, so the Athlone power station ... I've written to the government many times, and I've said the Athone power station should: a) be a methane power station for peaking power so when there's no power you know expensive power you run that and also b) we can put a huge battery there like a Tesla battery or other batteries ... Panasonic. All these people are making massive batteries and the bigger the battery the, you know, the less the cost. But the thing with our government is they want to do everything themselves and they haven't got to the point yet of saying, there needs to be you know private government partnerships. Public. What's it called private public partnerships PPPs and if we do that then I think we can really solve the problem and Rofhiwa: Yeah. David: the last thing I just want to say now is that the National Planning Commission report in 2010 which was the strategy for 2030 said there should be a third government, a third business, and a third active citizens. So if we could get that strategy to go with a hundred commissioners who worked on that strategy we actually have everything we need. It's all already written in white papers, policy documents, government strategies, National Planning Commission Report. If we just implement those things I think that we'll be on a winning ticket. South Africa will be the the best and most fantastic country to live in and it should already be. Rofhiwa: Mm, Thank you very much, David Lipschitz, for joining us this morning speaking about his book The Last Blackout and broadly the electricity issues that we have in the country. It is on Amazon if you'd like to have a read of the thriller. It's actually quite an interesting read. Go get yourself a copy. That is David lipschitz who's the author and scientist there who paint the book The Last Blackout

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Blackout - Darkness - Long Term Load Shedding - What will it mean?

To find out what a total blackout will mean to South Africans, I have created The Last Blackout series of books. The first book shows how I found my purpose, how I found resilience, and how this lead me to become a "prepper" (although in a house in the middle of a city and not in an off-grid community). It shows 3 scenarios of how a blackout will affect people. The first two scenarios are set starting on a rainy Saturday next winter. One of them is in a suburb in Cape Town. The other is in Gugulethu, a "township" in Cape Town. The second scenario is on a hot summer's day next summer. It is set in a Call Centre. This is a very special call centre. You'll see why when you read the book.




The book and series aren't only for South Africans, but for anyone concerned about the future of our electrical systems.

The Last Blackout” by David Lipschitz. A Science Fiction Suspense Thriller is available on Kindle and has just been launched. Also Amazon Print on Demand​. South African Paperback is available on 1st August. David's 6th published book and first Fiction Thriller.

Kindle Version R60. $3.14 outside South Africa.
Amazon Paperback Print on Demand version $6.80.
Amazon Hard Cover Print on Demand version $14.00.

South African books available from 1st August 2022:-
South African Paperback R100.
South African Hard Cover R300.

Some people have already prepaid to ensure they get theirs on or soon after the 1st of August.

"An electrifying read that will shock you into action."


South African physical book launch at Cafe Neo in Cape Town in Mouille Point across the road from the Mouille Point Lighthouse at 4 pm on Monday 1st August 2022.

#booklaunch #thriller #action #suspense #sciencefiction #book #author #thelastblackout #depression #bullying #electricity #loadshedding #blackout #purpose #southafrica #science #amazon #twohourmystery #twohour #twohourread #twohourthriller #twohoursuspense #shortread #suspenceshortread #thrillershortread #mysteryshortread #twohourliterature #fictionshortread #twohourfiction #future #community #people #electrical

PodCast 

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Global Risks and Impacts - MMC ID RR - 31


World Economic Forum WEF Global Risks and Impacts - MMC ID RR - 31 https://youtu.be/cXrWIUO18Yw via @YouTube

Monday, July 4, 2022

R2.3 trillion is R3,285 per taxpayer per month - MMC ID RR - 30


R2.3 trillion is R3,285 per taxpayer per month - MMC ID RR - 30 https://youtu.be/0J2NUQmRYRE via @YouTube

so i've been making videos every day and this is the 30th video and or the 30th slide in the video series and for the past 10 days i haven't been making videos because i've been working full time getting my first thriller finished and it's almost ready for publication and so now i can take a little bit of breath breather from that and carry on doing these slides and i hope to get back to them every day so a few years ago when the government started working on the new build they came up with a number of 2.3 trillion as the amount of money that needs to spend over 20 years on the new power station build in south africa and just to give you some perspective the two new coal power stations madupia and kusile which are meant to be four point let's say five gigawatts each they are meant to cost 80 billion each so that's 160 billion they're currently costing 500 billion each and then 5 years behind schedule so 160 times 2 is 320 they're almost three times over budget and twice as long to build so if they're almost three times over budget then one can expect that this 2.3 trillion rand will be closer to 6.9 trillion rand and that won't take 20 years to build it'll take 30 years to build but let's suppose it's 2.3 trillion rand and a nice rule of thumb in south africa our average interest rates are 10 and average borrowing time is 20 years so you take the last two zeros off and then you get one two three one two three one two three you get 23 billion rand per month that's repayments so 23 billion per month is what the people of south africa or preparing for the new electricity fleet if we follow the old 20th century technology path uh there's 50 when i wrote this region there were 50 million people today in south africa there's about 57 million people they're worth 7 million taxpayers there's about five million taxpayers now but assuming that they're seven million in taxpayers who have to pay 23 billion a month then that's 3 285 rand per tax payer per month and that's only for the capital repayments so that's without providing one kilowatt-hour electricity each taxpayer south africa will have to fork out at least 3 285 rand and as we've seen in south africa tax is going down and the way that the government collects tax these days is by very high electricity prices very high water prices very high transport prices very high fuel prices incredibly high indirect taxes and these things are strangling the economy and there must be a better way and we'll see that in this presentation thank you for watching sending blessings see you tomorrow