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Monday, September 9, 2013

The Localisation Myth - 2013-08-14

The Localisation Myth.

The government keeps saying we need localisation and I agree with need it in the textile industry, but not in the Renewable Energy Industry. See why here.

Localisation is yet another government (DTI in this case) ploy to delay Renewable Energy adoption in South Africa!! I am not making this up. Dr Hermann Scheer says this in his book, The Solar Economy.

After Feed In Tariffs were "introduced" in South Africa a number of huge international PV and Wind Turbine companies started building and investigating building manufacturing plants in South Africa. In order to build these plants they need orders of 1GW per annum each. We were even going to get the very first Silicon Manufacturer built in the Southern Hemisphere at the Old Burg River Textiles Plant in Paarl. FITs never happened and these companies left in disgust. They won't be back until they get to 1GW of sales per annum in South Africa.
Furthermore, the NPC (National Planning Commission) report says that 11 million more people must be employed in South Africa by 2020.

My research shows that 75% of jobs are automatically "localised" in a Renewable Energy system, eg designers, installers, call centre staff, support staff, electricians, distribution chain people, inspectors, etc. If you visit a modern PV plant, there are hardly any people.

And what about the mass consolidation happening in the PV industry at the moment and the many businesses going out of business due to lack of profitability? Who in their right mind would want to open a new factory in a globalised world?

And Engineering News says somewhere that they expect 100,000 people to have jobs in RE manufacturing in SA. Sounds good?

Ok, what about the other 10.9 million people who need jobs? And the ONLY inhibitor in South Africa is a lack of electricity.

We need to get electrification going as fast as possible in SA. The only "incentive" we need is not financial. It is that government adopt their energy and renewable energy policies of 1998 and 2003 allowing for Reverse Feed and 30% of the Grid to be privately owned by 2010! IPSA spent billions building power stations due to this policy, but AFAIK, they have now sent all their equipment overseas, because Eskom chose not to buy their electricity, and also prevented them from Wheeling the electricity across the grid, something that is allowed in Australia, where my brother buys Green Electricity across the Grid.

With the Eskom and ANC monopolies in South Africa, and their narrow minded thinking which taxes our means of production (electricity, water, rates, high taxes on petrol, e-tolls, high cost of doing business, red tape, etc), rather than getting taxation from growing businesses (company tax), Nothing is going to happen in South Africa until the Voters demand that our electricity prices come down and the only way this can happen is with a decentralised electricity system where homeowners and SMMEs can get the same benefits as big business, eg rebates, Demand Response, Time of Use Tariffs, etc. This is where I am focussing my efforts.

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