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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Delivery of power solution needed, but not at huge cost and long waiting period

Dear all

Letter in 6th November 2014 Cape times. They called it "Delivery of power solution needed, but not at huge cost and long waiting period."


Dear Editor

Andrew Kenny suggests that nuclear is the answer
​ ("The power facts", Cape Times Letters, November 4)​
. I agree that nuclear has helped us get where we are, and although it has been cheap in the past, there is absolutely no indication that once all external costs are included, it can still be seen to be cheap.

The main problems I have with nuclear are: 1) 
hat it takes 
 years to build nuclear power stations; 2) 
ur grandparents said that their children would know how to deal with nuclear waste and nuclear accidents; 3) 
very time we build a nuclear power station, it costs much more than the previous one; 4) 
 monsters are incredibly expensive, leading to massive corruption; 5) 
 the time
​ frames
 are long, we don't know if they are on time or late, hence even more corruption.

The real problem is that we need electricity NOW. Eskom
​, its
 their civil engineering contractors, and 
 other suppliers and staff have shown that they cannot deliver on two coal power stations on time, and they are massively overbudget, causing hardship to at least 2.5 million people who would have jobs now, if that electricity was available.

So why should the people trust Eskom and the government to build another 
 nuclear power stations
 each bigger than Koeberg, when we know they will be late, massively overbudget, and that they will not be able to start supplying much needed electricity in the next few weeks?

Not only that
 but Eskom 
 way behind on maintenance of existing power stations and transmission infrastructure, so if they can't build new power stations
 and if they can't maintain the existing system, then surely we need a new way of working, and thinking

With Embedded Generation, be it renewable, small scale coal or other power plants, we have the unique opportunity for the people to power the country for the first time in history. Image the Khayelitsha Power Station or the Milnerton Power Station
And imagine if these people could provide not only clean, green, sustainable, reliable, electricity, but also clean, green, sustainable, reliable, water at the same time

Imagine if Khayelitsha and Milnerton could remove their need for the grid from 6am to 10pm every single day and
 not only this
but provide electricity at peaking time? For the first time in history
 it is possible that by removing ourselves from the grid, we, the people, can give the utility and
 more importantly, the country the opportunity to provide the electricity it needs today, 
​and ​
not in 12 years time

ut Eskom and the Department of Public Enterprises and the Department of Energy just aren't interested in buying electricity from the small person, rather preferring to buy really expensive electricity from nuclear power station engineers and their colleagues, and to wait decades for this electricity to come on stream, thus putting the country at risk of all the ills of even more massive unemployment.

Yours faithfully,
David Lipschitz

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