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Ancient Teachings

Genesis 1, 28 says that we should "go forth and multiply, and replenish the earth." Not all Bibles have this "replenish the e...

Friday, November 25, 2011

The South African Board of Directors (Government Cabinet) Party at the expense of their employees (taxpayers)

The Cape Times article on 23rd November about the size of government jets refers.

The difference between a country like South Africa and China is that China pays cash for its jets, whereas South Africa borrows the money.  Or actually government ministers borrow the money and expect their tax payers to pay the bill!

According to the South African Revenue Services Report, Chapter 6, South African Government Net Debt is expected to rise from R478.4 billion in 2006/7 to R1.3 trillion in 2012/13 whilst the South African cabinet continues to approve the borrowing of 6% of its expenses year after year.  Debt service costs are expected to increase to R104 billion per annum, but this is interest only and who is receiving these interest payments?  And how will the capital be repaid?

What I'd like to know is: Are South African government ministers signing personal surety for this debt?  Or who really owes the money?

A business which borrows this amount of money to sustain itself should not be allowed luxuries such as private jets, should only be allowed to fly economy class, should use video conferencing where-ever possible, should not be allowed to buy new cars with a value more than R150,000 and should not be allowed to buy new cars more than once every 10 years or 200,000 km which ever happens first, should have their holidays curtailed and salaries cut.

Any government expenditure that is for the government's own benefit and not for the people's benefit should be subject to a referendum.  And citizens should be allowed a say in where they get their electricity, water, food, transport and other major capital expenditure items from.  The South African cabinet is notoriously bad at budgetting for large capital projects often overspending billions on construction projects and costing the tax payer dearly, not only in terms of increased taxation, but in the inability of business to perform because of the late delivery of projects.  It's time for the government's party to end and for them to start performing in their jobs.  Once their Debts are paid, they can buy new cars and jets.

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?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Local Solar Water Heater Companies going out of business

The problem is that the South African government (Eskom, DOE, etc) keep introducing new tactics in their long term Energy strategy formulated in 2003. My own company invested over R2m in the Feed In Tariff process which isn't happening. We don't actually need a FIT in South Africa because electricity prices are going up so fast, but what we do need is Reverse Feed to be legalised and we need Net Metering to be introduced. The City of Cape Town had Net Metering in their draft tariffs, but not in their final tariffs for this year. So as the government vacillates constantly, it is telling investors it doesn't want us, and is sending the wrong signals. How to fix this?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dependence to Interdependence

Hard Drive Delays (a message I just received from a supplier):

"Floods in Thailand has shut down thousand of factories, flooded hundreds of thousands of homes and put more than half a million employees out of work. The impact of the flooding in Thailand will result in shortages that may well loom into 2012."

When we save money by depending on other parts of the world for our well being, how much does it cost us when the shit hits the fan?

Isn't it time we took responsibility for our own electricity, water, sewerage, food, etc?  We don't each need to do it all.  We can do it easily with interdependence.