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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Powering Africa What If Questions for the South African Government

What would the cost of Coal, Hydro, Nuclear, energy be if all subsidies were removed? Would Nuclear be viable, considering that governments underwrite nuclear accidents?

What if the 2% electricity levy was used for Renewable Energy (RE) rebates?  As far as I know there is already over R15 billion in this fund. R5 billion per year being collected. What if R1 billion per annum was awarded to Universities for Renewable Energy research? The government spent R1 billion per annum on the Nuclear Energy Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) for 10 years!

What if private people could make investments before VAT and before tax, in a similar way to companies? What would this cost the fiscus? How many jobs would be created?

What if climate and carbon taxes were used to support RE investments, especially those that supply energy at peak time?

What if everyone was given the opportunity for Time of Use (TOU) tariffs without the service fee? Assuming that people pay to install their own meters.

What if "reverse feed" was legal?

What if Net Metering was introduced with sell back at 30% less than buy at off peak times and sell back is 100% more than buy at peak times, thus incentivising people to create systems that allow them to sell at peak times? At the moment the household tariff for someone using 1,200 kwh per month is R1.29 per kwh incl VAT. This makes R1,548 per month. Sell Back during off peak time could be 90.3c per kwh. Sell Back at peak time could be R2.58. Sound like a lot? Far fetched? Eskom currently spends somewhere between R4.00 and R45.00 per kwh at peak time for energy depending on who you speak to. I calculated that the Ankerlig power station costs R11 per kwh to run using 25,000 litres of diesel per minute to make 9,450 kw or 9.45 MW.

What if Retail Wheeling was introduced? e.g. people with large roof tops selling into the grid to buyers who want to buy green energy? Solar Farms is another model that would benefit from Retail Wheeling.

What if the National Grid was given to an NGO (SESSA?) to run?


  1. Note that I'm not asking for government incentives, except that private people should be able to invest in their own renewable energy the same way companies do, ie excluding VAT and before tax. What I would like is for government to legalise Reverse Feed and Net Metering. I'd also like government to remove all subsidies from Coal, Oil and Nuclear including all insurance underwriting. I'd also like Eskom to pay private people the same price it pays for peaking power when Eskom needs the additional energy. The peaking power rate is currently about R4 per kwh. Then we'll see who can provide electricity the cheapest!

  2. Another green initiative is to have all government trucks, busses etc that use diesel, to be run on biodiesel locally manufactured from used cookings oils instead of exporting that overseas at a huge profit.

    Aparently one aspect required to make it viable is for government to put a ban, or limit, on the export of used cooking.

    Oversupply can be then be exported at huge profit AFTER local industry has benefitted.

  3. Energy from waste landfills-Gas to Energy Clean Development Mechanism projects already producing 7,5MW of electricity power generation in eThekweni Municipality in pilot projects but not even started in CT (Waste Revolution Handbook)