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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Who actually owns South Africa's power stations?


R1 Trillion.

Would you spend R1 trillion of your money on Nuclear power stations? This represents another R2,500 per tax payer per month, of after tax money, plus VAT!! Or from an electricity price increase point of view, this represents at least another 150% increase in our electricity prices.

And South Africa's electricity prices are already higher than India, China and even Texas electricity prices. Why should international companies invest in South Africa? Why should South African companies invest in South Africa when there is cheaper infrastructure cost outside South Africa?

Government wants to spend our money on an old fashioned fossilised fuel system, propping up out of date companies and technologies.

I believe that our money should be spent integrating ourselves in Localised Micro (Smart) Grids, which are part of the bigger system, and which are better for the environment, better for our pockets, more reliable, and which allow Eskom to supply electricity to its large and business customers.

Watch Carte Blanche on Sunday night. 21st September 2014. 10 GW of nuclear electricity, or 17.5 GW of removed electricity? @carteblanchetv #Nuclear4SA Alternatives are cheaper. For R1 Trillion we can remove the entire homeowner peak grid demand, 17.5GW, and only use Eskom at off peak times between 10pm and 6am.

Note that the world is moving away from centralised power stations due to storms which destroy power lines and infrastructure and due to potential terrorist threats and also because it is getting a lot cheaper to run a distributed grid rather than a centralised one.

Government and Eskom have proved that they cannot build to budget and that they cannot built on time. If the power stations they are currently building were 65% over budget, but were delivered on time, perhaps we would forgive them. But the power stations are 2 years behind schedule. And worse than this, the other corner of the cost, time, quality triangle, also isn't being met. Quality is lower than expected, with all sorts of quality problems and also the lack of Flu Gas Desulphurisation, a part of the EIA process, which is not being built. Hence the new "clean coal" will not be "clean", actually cleaner. Burning coal can never be clean.

So the Government and Eskom can't deliver on Cost, Quality or Time. How much better for 10 million homeowners to be allowed to spend R100,000 each on average, or R1 trillion on providing many micro-grids. R100,000 is easy to manage. It is a one week project. If it is over time, or over budget or under quality, one can see this in a week.

And if you are concerned that homeowners don't have R100,000 each to spend, then that is actually not a problem, as homeowners will just be spending whatever they are spending on electricity now. Its just that the homeowner will eventually own the power stations. And this is applicable in areas where there are taxpayers and areas where people don't pay tax or receive grants.

And the money and its use is under direct control of the people spending it, i.e. the electricity buyer or 20th Century consumer, who becomes a 21st Century prosumer, a person who manufacturers the stuff he or she needs.