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

Monday, December 30, 2013

Power2thePeople mp4

See me in this movie, Power 2 the People :) Happy new year everyone. Let's change our way of life in 2014 and save ourselves by saving our costs, both our financial costs and our environmental costs.

Monday, December 23, 2013

When do we get to grid parity

This graph for home owners in the City of Cape Town, using updated information from the IRP, eg 8% increases till 2015, then 16% increases (pages 20,21). We got to grid parity in July 2012. This is the point that a home owner can produce electricity with PV (photovoltaic) panels, using net metering, at the same price or cheaper than they can buy it. Net Metering means buying and selling electricity at the same price.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Nuclear or Coal Power or The Roof Top Owner Utility?

To my dear fellow Capetonians, South Africans, Africans, People of the World, and anyone else listening

Imagine a Power Utility owned by Roof Top Owners. Homeowners, Business Owners, anyone with a roof.

Power Sharing and many of the world's greatest political thinkers, philosophers, and economists dreams and writings, so badly implemented for so long, would finally be a reality.

And it is finally possible in the Global Information Age in a 21st Century World. Where everyone acts in their own and their neighbours interests, using our African Ubuntu philosophy, something the imperialist conquerors from the North, have been suppressing for way too long.

Photovoltaic (PV) Systems, making electricity from the sun, are dependent on the Computer Information Technology (IT) industry. It's all electronic. And as everyone knows everything gets more sophisticated and cheaper in the IT industry. Anyone with a smart phone who grew up in the 1960's and 1970's with mainframe computers can tell you that a smart phone can do more than the world's biggest mainframes could do back then. And in colour. And with the ability to communicate with anyone anywhere in the world - for free!

According to Voice of Russia, Formal Agreements are to be signed on Monday 25th November 2013, to begin the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process to get more Nuclear into South Africa. This will give us 9.6 GW of nuclear power, because by the time these new plants are opened, the existing Koeberg Plant will need to be closed. Read more: http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2013_11_22/Russia-to-build-A-plants-in-S-Africa-0912/

So two ministers representing the South African and Russian Governments and Peoples will sign an agreement that will effect 100,000,000 people for the next 50 years. And it will cost at least R1 trillion. And if there is a nuclear accident, then it could effect 7 billion Earth dwellers for hundreds of years.

And no insurance company in the world insures for nuclear risks for homeowners. I wonder why that is? (Read the small print on your homeowner insurance policies)

With R1,000,000,000,000 (R1 trillion), roof top owners could make 5,000,000 (5 million) Tax Payers houses and Tax Payers Businesses into power stations, as part of a Co-operative Utility that they could own. Effective energy generated and removed from the grid is 15 GW!! And this is at the point of consumption.

It's even easy to think about this number because its really only R200,000 five million times: 5,000,000 * R200,000 = R1,000,000,000,000.

9.6 GW from nuclear will equate to around 7.5 GW at the point of use. So with Active Citizens being involved in creating power stations, as part of a utility they own they will get twice as much energy for the same cost! And each nuclear power station will cost R100,000,000,000. Imagine the opportunity for cleptocracy, fraud and corruption especially with knowing how far the build is with something that takes 10 years to build! This is one of the many problems at Kusile and Medupi Coal Fired Power Stations. No one knows exactly how far they are, what problems will still come up, when they will be finished, and what their final cost will be.

No corruption is possible with a R200,000 build which only takes one week!

A few more points for a Utility Owned by Roof Top Owners:

1) Borrowing

No government borrowing is required. Each roof top owner can either buy a system using their own money or they can lease the equipment.

I have spoken to many bankers from all over the world and there is no shortage of money.

There is only a shortage of willingness to do the projects, and prevention of doing them by government, a big business, which puts rules, called laws, in place, to prevent private roof top owners from creating their own power stations.

The government also puts rebates in place which seem to make projects more attractive, but then government keeps changing the rules of the rebates, the amounts of the rebates and sometimes, like this week, the South African government removed the Standard Offer and Standard Product rebates altogether. Last time they did this, some "localised" factories went out of business.

People doing projects must ensure that their projects are viable without the rebates. If they get a rebate, its a bonus.

2) At least 665 million products required

If this work is done with 5,000,000 houses, the following additional benefits are received:
  • 5,000,000 special electricity meters, locally made by someone in Cape Town, not imported!
  • 5,000,000 inverters. We have inverters that have been invented in South Africa.
  • 5,000,000 charge controllers
  • 5,000,000 combiner boxes
  • 75,000,000 solar panels
  • 20,000,000 batteries. South Africa has an expert battery manufacturing capability because of its car manufacturing indutry.
  • 50,000,000 DC fuses plus other DC related pieces of equipment. The world's biggest Circuit Breaker Company is owned by South Africans.
  • 500,000,000 metres of cabling, from South African companies which make this cable.

All these have to be manufactured, a lot of them by South African companies owned by South Africans.

Oh, and this assumes we don't use Energy Efficiency. If we include energy efficient fridges, pool pumps, pool covers, curtains, insulation, air conditioning, heat pumps or solar water heaters, laptop computers instead of desktop computers, etc, we can add many more millions of these products to the equation and save up to half of the required consumption, so we can actually produce an effective 30 GW of energy, so 10,000,000 Houses will be removed from the grid. Not only houses need to be involved, but anyone with a roof.

3) Installers and Employment:

100,000 years of labour is required if 3 installers take one week to install each house.

If we want this in 20 years, then we need 15,000 installers (permanent jobs because we won't stop after 20 years). South Africa is currently short of 40 GW. 20 GW will reach end of life in the next 20 years.  And in 20 years South Africa will need 160 GW, so people who want jobs in South Africa need 100 GW to be built in the next 20 years.

And we could do most of the work with local labour who will need a maximum of 4 months training, and in some cases as little as 1 week. With nuclear we need nuclear engineers. We need concrete. We need uranium. And there aren't that many nuclear engineers anymore. And there a far fewer universities world wide producing nuclear engineers than there were 30 years ago! So a nuclear engineer shortage will also push our prices up and our quality down!

4) The Supply Chain

Besides installers we need inspectors, a new local supply chain, etc.

5) Employment

Massive employment will happen because of the surge in supply of local electricity.

This will be good as another 11,000,000 people need to be employed in the next 20 years, according to the National Planning Commission (NPC) report, produced by Trevor Manuel and his colleagues.

6) Localisation

Localisation is a serious problem, especially if the industry is not already in the country. There is already a foreign owned PV company which has asked for import tariffs to be put on PV panels. This means that this foreign owned company can create a local factory and then charge us higher prices whilst the profits are exported back to their own country.

Yes, there should be localisation, but to support existing industries. And we need electricity as fast as possible. If the local industries can only supply 5% of what we need this year, we'll get the other 95% from overseas. Next year, we'll have 7.5% local, due to natural growth. Within 20 to 30 years we will automatically have 100% localisation.

7) There will be a reduction in crime

8) There will be a massive increase in taxation from newly employed people and from profits being incurred because of new industries sprouting up

9) Every single year, South Africa will be able to catch up on its current outstanding backlog of school build, school teacher salaries and outstanding health bills and health costs! eTolls will not be required because of the surge in employment causing government to pay fewer grants and the surge in taxation because of more people being employed.

10) Active Citizens will sprout up everywhere. South Africa will not only be the most beautiful country to live in naturally, but also economically, and mentally.

11) Batteries

I've mentioned batteries in the product section. But what do I mean? What will be powered?

I don't mean everything in a house will run off a battery. In my house, in the event of a power failure, I can run my computers, lights, TV, fridge, garage doors, and even boil the kettle, from my battery bank, for up to 8 hours.

And in fact, every night, I run this equipment on my battery bank and if at 2am in the morning my battery bank is flat, I can use Eskom to charge it, using very cheap electricity during "off peak" time.

And if the government dropped the huge tax on importing Electric Vehicles (EV's), I could afford to buy an EV and park it in my garage, adding to my battery capacity. These mobile battery banks are great. They can buy and sell electricity from and to the grid under the owner's control. This means that you could park your car in a shopping centre at 4pm, and buy cheap electricity. At 6pm, when the shopping centre would normally have to buy expensive electricity from Eskom, they could rather buy it from you, the EV owner. The EV owner wins every time he or she parks his or her car at a Shopping Centre or at their place of work. And why not at their home as well?

There are also possibilities for other types of batteries, eg hydrogen powered, bio-digestors using the methane from our sewerage, and micro-hydro pumped storage systems for people who have farms in mountainous areas.

12) "Base Load"

We taxpayers and voters keep getting told by Government and others that building small power stations at one's home or business doesn't create base-load power that big users like smelters, car factors, and shopping centres, need. Although this might be true, if homeowners make their own electricity and if they export the balance 24 hours per day, then firstly their need is removed from the grid, and secondly, they can supply the grid. So existing power stations can be used to supply big business. Eskom and the ANC and the DA should be happy with this, after all business is a much better payer and buys much more electricity than homeowners and small and medium business owners!


Doing this project this way means that roof top owners never need to have another electricity price increase again. Ever. Can our government and Eskom give us this guarantee?

Our government should be representing our interests, but if they were, then they would be telling us about this huge money saving and job creation possibility. Eskom, on the other hand, is a monopoly, and I can understand their behaviour.

We live on an abundant planet that can more than provide for all its citizens. It is time to take back our power by producing the power and energy that our country and continent and earth and its beautiful countryside and human beings and fauna and flora, and every other beast that lives on this planet need, naturally and sustainably.

Yours faithfully,
Your servant,
David Lipschitz
Milnerton, Cape Town, South Africa

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Global Frackdown, Anti Fracking (Hydraulic Fracturing of Rock) Demonstration, Cape Town, Friday 18th October 2013

Fracking involves creating huge explosions many kilometers underground to get at difficult to access oil and natural gas. But it destroys aquifers, ground water and will destroy our beautiful Karoo, which will have thousands of oil rigs across its pristine landscape, plus thousands of trucks per well, pipelines, etc, across the Veld.

There are already cheaper and more environmentally friendly alternatives. The taxpayer and voter pays for these things. Government needs to listen to us. Please be at this demonstration and show that we live in a true democracy where government listens to the people.

In Germany, after Fukushima, 100,000 people marched against Nuclear Power in Germany. This caused the German government to change policy and they are closing all nuclear by 2023. All existing nuclear build has been stopped. In the meantime massive economic benefits have been created in Germany with their engineers and scientists forced to find better, more environmentally sound solutions, rather than mining and burning.

Let's get 100,000 South Africans to vote with their feet and vote against Fracking and huge centralised, expensive, and time consuming electricity, coal and oil build.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

South Africa's Energy Future. 2013-10-15

Please feel free to submit this to your local newspapers and communities.

Dear Editor

Should we (South Africa) be investing in Nuclear and Shale Gas? Is Renewable Energy ok for base load? ie can it keep our industry running?

Difficult questions, hopefully this essay will go some way to answering them.

Government wants to implement 9.6 GW of Nuclear. Koeberg is rated at 1.8 GW, so that is another 10 reactors.

Government says that nuclear will cost R400 billion, but the latest reactor that went online in France shows that the price is likely to be closer to R1.4 trillion and that the build phase is a lot longer than anticipated. Imagine if you wanted to buy an airconditioner and the supplier said it would cost somewhere between R5,000 and R50,000 and would take somewhere between 4 weeks and 12 weeks to install. Would you be happy?

In order for Nuclear to be "viable" it has to cost R400 billion and run at full production 7 days a week except for refuelling which happens every 18 months and takes the reactor down for 3 to 6 weeks! About a quarter to a third of the fuel is refuelled each time. And then there is the issue of the "waste". So assuming no faults, the reactor is up for 92% of the time!

Plus in a "Base Load Power" station system, the optimal environment says there should be 15% spare capacity running at all times! This is just in case something breaks. So Base Load isn't really continuous. It just looks that way. There are a number of hidden costs.

Also regarding Nuclear, there is no insurance. So your homeowner insurance policy specifically excludes nuclear radiation. And only government can build Nuclear, as no bank will finance a Nuclear Power Station. Surely this should be telling us something about Nuclear Power?

Regarding Wind, we (South Africa) can install 28.8 GW (3 times 9.6 GW) at around R400 billion. And wind runs with a capacity factor of around 30%, ie it runs about 1/3rd of the time. So for the same price as the nuclear we have "24 hour wind." And one can tell if the wind will be blowing at 3pm tomorrow afternoon. It is difficult to know if our power stations will be running at 3pm tomorrow afternoon.

Also wind is "local" which means less strain on the grid and less chance of a catastrophic failure, eg if some of the grid goes down or if terrorists blow up South Africa's main switching station at De Aar, the Western Cape will be without electricity. Koeberg currently provides under 40% of Cape Town's power and most of it is already reserved for the big users. Eg when we had Load Shedding, Sacks Circle in Bellville still had electricity!

Another thing is that CSP (Concentrated Solar Power) with Storage is already cheaper than Nuclear and in Spain, the leader in this technology, and with the same sun hours as South Africa in their Southern Region, their CSP plants with Storage are running 16 hours a day, eg 6 am till 10pm, which would cover our peaks. Note that Namibia should be investing in these CSP with Storage Plants and should be suppling South Africa.

Also there is 7 GW potential pumped storage in Lesotho and South Africa should be helping Lesotho build these "batteries" which are needed in a Renewable Energy system. When we have excess power, we pump the water up the hill. When we need power, we let the water run down the hill making electricity. This is how our Steenbras Pumped Storage system works. Water is pumped up using off-peak electricity and then allowed to run down at peak time, or when there is a sudden demand on the grid and the "base load" isn't running fast enough to keep up.

If we get clever and implement PV (Photovoltaic Systems) with Demand Response and Time of Use Tariffs and Net Metering at the homeowner level we also reduce the strain on the grid and our costs will be dramatically less. A homeowner in the City of Cape Town currently spending R1,900 per month can install a PV system and spend R1,600 per month (assuming their roof is big enough). Finance and leasing schemes are already available in South Africa for these homeowners. And if they don't have enough roof space, communities can get together and build their own Community Solar Ground Mounted Systems. Note that remote off-grid "poor" people currently spend R4 per kWh to run their diesel generators. If they supplemented this with PV and other Smart Technologies, they would spend closer to R1.50 per kWh. But government thinks its better for these people to move to the cities and live in slums!

Our government thinks they will lose electricity revenue by allowing Small Scale Solar, but actually they would prefer to spend unknown amounts of Billions (Actually the budget is R2 trillion for South African electricity spend over the next 20 years) and wait unknown amounts of time for electricity. In the meantime our economy runs at 1% growth and we need 5% growth for at least 5 years for job creation. And we can grow at 10%, except we don't have enough electricity! The National Planning Commission Report says that 11 million more people must be employed by 2030. They won't have employment if we don't have electricity.

R2 trillion is R2,000,000,000,000! R40,000 for every man, woman and child in South Africa! Or divided by our 2.3 million tax payers it is R869,565 per tax payer!! ie each tax payer has to pay R9,000 per month just to pay for our new power stations!! No wonder electricity prices are going up so fast!!

And Eskom and the Cities believe they will lose revenue if they allow Net Metering without a Service Fee, but the Californian Utility CPUC has done research that shows that the added cost is only 1/2 a South African cent per kWh. And every South African is already paying government a levy of 3.5 cents per kWh, more than covering the Net Metering "cost".

And Kusile and Medupi will be commissioned just in time towards the end of the 2010's, for other old power stations to be switched off (decommissioned). These power stations are already at end of life, but their lives have been extended at huge cost. We will commission 9.6 GW of Coal and then switch off about 10 GW of power stations in the early 2020's. So actually we won't be better off!!!! This according to the IRP (Integrated Resource Plan). Note that the risk table was in the IRP 2010 Draft 8 of 8th October 2010, table 37. It has unfortunately been removed from the current version!! The current version of the document is also in a dramatically different format to that of October 2010 making it very difficult for the public and government officials to see what changes the Department of Energy and their Consultants have made and to stay on top of things. Government also did this with the National Planning Commission report. The final document is in a different format and order to the draft!

Note that the IRP of 2010 gives Wind a 2 out of 12 risk rating and nuclear a 10 out of 12 risk rating. Nuclear is five times more risky than wind. This according to the Government's own research. Yet the government wants to implement Nuclear. I think one can see why they have left this information out of the final document!

Many people don't understand that Shale Gas requires Hydraulic Fracturing (massive explosions with millions of liters of water and 700 chemicals at great depths and pressures underground) which is known as Fracking! This first link is from the Oil companies showing what is possible. But this second video shows what is really happening any why many countries are keeping fracking out of their countries and natural, unspoilt, environments.

There is also methane in mines which should be extracted and burnt (Flared, or preferably turned into heat to run a power station) as methane is 20 times more damaging to the environment than Carbon Dioxide. I think around 10 years ago Goldfields wanted to build a 600 MW power station using their mine methane and the government said no! They could have run part of their mines with this power. And as you know, South Africa ran out of electricity in 2008. Goldfield's power station would have been useful. Note that in the late 1990's Eskom predicted that this load shedding would happen. But government took the money that should have been invested in the Smart Grid and spent it elsewhere. More short term thinking at the expense of long term growth.

Lastly, the Western World is changing to Sustainable Energy and their Engineering and Science growth is growing in leaps and bounds, whilst African scientific progress is being stunted! PV and Grid Tie Inverters use Electronics which are getting cheaper all the time. There is also computerisation in Smart Grids which is reducing costs. So why do we want to follow them and constantly be 25 years behind them? At the moment, we are allowing their Nuclear and Coal Developers to sell us out of date technology so that these Developers can stay in business and so that Africa can stay behind the curve - and poor.

This is truly a bad state of affairs. Until we decide that we've had enough and that we want to be on top of our game we will continue to languish with out of date equipment which is expensive, environmentally destructive and where the profits leave our country rather than staying in our country. It is possible to build Photovoltaic systems with Electricians and even with people who have 3 weeks of training (and writing an exam) in setting up these systems, yet the City of Cape Town says that an Electrical Engineer needs to be involved in designing these Systems! How stupid can you get? Unless of course you want to keep South Africa growing at 1% so that more than half the population get Grants and so that they continue voting for the government to keep their grants. The rest of the population are rapidly being employed by the government (44,000 in the past 3 months) and guess who they will vote for. The only way a Centrist, Communist based government can sustain the massive hand-outs required, whilst at the same time receiving less and less direct tax, is by mining. And the most obvious place for this mining for our government is in the Karoo, Shale Gas. This is called the Resource Curse. We should avoid it.

Yours faithfully,
David Lipschitz
Community Power Station Expert

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Electric Cars - Good or Bad for an economy? 2013-10-02

  • Nissan Leaf arriving in SA on 16th October. First deliveries in November. We don't know the price yet. Hoping it will be less than R200,000 because then it will be the same price as the Renault Clio 1.4 with a similar spec, but the Leaf will cost 1/3rd re "refuel".

    The reason I am posting this here is that we don't need to build more power stations to run electric cars, and we don't need Karoo gas to run them, and they can provide electricity at peak time, and more.
    Like ·  · Unfollow Post ·  · Yesterday at 10:50
    • Bronwyn Evans I saw revenge of the electric car recently. The Nissan CEO said on the doccie that the Leaf was going to be a lot less that other electric cars. Here's to hoping. I Germany they have solar power parking bays at malls to recharge your vehicle. How cool is that?!
    • David Lipschitz It makes sense to recharge at malls, which have Time of Use Tariffs. This means that if you park your car at 4pm, you can charge your car at say R1.00 per kWh and you can save money and the centre can make money. Let's say that the centre is paying peak rate at 6pm. They can buy your electricity at R1.30 per kWh and you can make money and they can save money. These prices change during the year, and in Europe they actually change per second.

      With electric cars you can set how much you are prepared to sell, eg 30% of your battery capacity, so that you can still get home, etc.
    • David Lipschitz Note that I have been advised that the car might be more expensive, but in the USA its about R200,000 because of tax benefits, eg the USA doesn't have to import oil that these cars would have used. Even if their government is on annual (unpaid) leave at the moment, they still have some good incentives.

      The USA also don't have to send troops to oil rich nations and protect supply routes, so they can afford to give this money back to the consumer. And they don't need additional power stations for supply fuel to these vehicles.

      And these cars are cheaper to maintain which means that our balance of payments will improve, our inflation will go down, our costs will go down and we will have more spending money and will feel better. The billions of Rands that leave our country annually to pay for expensive parts and oil will stay in South Africa and our and people and country will be a lot richer.
    • Arther Dent David sounds like your looking to distribute electric cars and you use money savings as a justification . The introduction of electric cars will increase the demand on fossil fuels globally . The nature of our monetary system is to blame for all environmental degradation . Is this on topic ?
      12 hours ago · Like · 1
    • Clive Dobson www.thevenusproject.com


      The Venus Project calls for a redesign of our culture in which war, poverty, hun...See more
    • Clive Dobson A solar powered car seating four with a new record range during testing in Australia for the World Solar Challenge - 860 km's ! Seats four adults and has a boot and is roadworthy in the Netherlands...https://www.facebook.com/SolarTeamEindhoven

      Het tonen dat een duurzame toekomst in transport mogelijk is door het winnen van...See more
      Page: 1,814 like this.
    • Clive Dobson http://www.solarteameindhoven.nl/en/news


      After several successful test days at the Cox Peninsula Road, the team and Stell...See more
    • Arther Dent Clive you have to look at a solar car from a holistic energy balance point of view , going all the way back to include the farmers that eat food and produce food for the people who build the solar cars . and of course all the people who do nothing in the physical world but live of investments due to the nature of money ?
    • David Lipschitz Arther, regarding your first point. I don't want to distribute these cars, just own them. And how exactly will they use more fossil fuels than is used by refineries in converting oil to petrol and motor oil and also by the mining operations and mines that supply the coal and oil to power these conversion processes and for the petrol/oil usage by the cars themselves?
    • Arther Dent Ok lets start here do you use more oil walking to the shop or driving to the shop ?
    • Stella Ann Rigby What about the man in Somerset West who makes fuel from recycled plastic? When he is running low, he sends his bakkie out to collect more plastic. Also shreds tyres to use for the same purpose. if I remember correctly, his website is fueltech, but not sure of the extension. He has also supplied middle east countries with desalination plants.
      4 hours ago · Like · 1
    • David Lipschitz Arther: I get it 

      Let's start here. If I drive my electric car to the shop, I don't use oil. I've learnt something very important after 6,000 hours and millions spent trying to get people to "walk". It doesn't work. The next best option is to be sli
      ghtly less idealistic and find a method to get people to the shops without being attacked or rained on and where they can easily carry their shopping home and which doesn't use oil. 
    • David Lipschitz Interesting, thanks Stella.http://www.fueltech.co.za/


      Fuel from Waste
    • Jonathan Deal great post David.