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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Let us all benefit

Dear all

Letter in Wednesday 19th November 2014 Cape Times. They called it "Let us all benefit".


Dear Editor

John Walmsley's letter
​: "Please do the math" (Cape Times, November 18), refers.

Assuming 10 million houses with an average of 3 kW systems, we get 30 GW of 
 about 136
​ percent
 of the electricity available most of the time on our national grid today.

If we include all the other rooftops
 we get substantially more than this.

I believe that homeowners and SMMEs can eliminate the need for the national grid and/or supply the grid with electricity between 6am and 10pm and make use of the grid between 10pm and 6am, with many of the same incentives that Eskom give to their big users.
​ ​
In order to do this we need to be able to install systems before VAT and before tax. We need time of use tariffs, demand response and we need to be able to do net metering without a service fee. And we need to be able to purchase electric vehicles without the 100
​ percent
 import duty currently imposed. Most of these things are available to large scale electricity suppliers and users. Why not make them available to homeowners so that everyone can benefit?

Why is it ok for the electricity generators and their existing coal and nuclear suppliers to make massive profits
​ while
​can't make 
a profit from their actions? After all 30 GW of PV systems would cost about R600 billion without batteries and about R1 trillion with batteries, assuming one can use the grid to top up the batteries at off
peak time. And none of this would be for the taxpayer's account, with no need for public borrowing. Assuming a 20 year build, over 10,000 houses would have solar-electricity systems installed every single week, a dramatic improvement over the current situation.

The R1 trillion budget is still less than the current budget of R1.4 trillion for 
​nuclear energy 
and as per the Integrated Resource Plan, even when that Nuclear Energy is on stream, South Africa will still have load shedding at least until 2029!

And there is almost zero opportunity for corruption in these 10 million installations, which have a build time of about a week each and where one can see if they are over budget or over time in a week. A far cry from the corruption and incredible delays and budget overruns we have seen in the recent coal and nuclear power station build.

Yours faithfully,
David Lipschitz

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