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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, August 28, 2015

Energy Keynote Speaker

Dear all

Just a reminder that I'm available for motivating your staff to reduce their cost of living, increase their performance, be motivated to share their energy efficiency experiences, and become power stations.

Power Stations in the external and internal sense of the word.

My links.


Sunday, August 9, 2015

Medupi coal power station strangles South Africa

Medupi coal power station should be online by now

9th August 2014 at 15:16, David Lipschitz said this on Facebook:

Just a reminder: Eskom's first 800 MW Medupi Power Station turbine (unit) was meant to go on stream in September 2012. And then we were expecting the other units to come on stream at 9 month intervals, so we should have at least 2,400 MW on stream by now, but we have nothing, and the latest news, from our new Minister of Public Works, Lynne Brown, is that the first 800 MW unit will be on stream in December 2014 and then the units will come on stream at 12 month intervals.

South Africans are being held to ransom by our government, Department of Energy, Eskom officials, and their consultants, advisors, contractors, staff, and foreign suppliers. They are impeding growth and contributing to South Africa's debt crisis, unemployment, exchange rate crisis, inflation, and the possibility that South Africa might be downgraded to Junk Bond Status. Foreign Investors cannot invest in "Junk Bonds" and will sell their South African debt (bonds) and possibly investments, potentially causing a massive crash in our stock market and possibly worse strikes and hardship. But the situation doesn't need to be like this. We can change it.

The situation must change.

South African citizens must take responsibility for themselves and not rely on government to help anymore regarding electricity provision, although government obviously still has a role to play.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Government Actors

Actors in government; I kid you not.

Almost every person in senior echelons of the South African government are "Acting". Acting CEO of Eskom. Action CFO of Eskom. Acting CEO of Transnet. Acting Minister of Home Affairs. Acting Director Generals.

It seems to me that far too many people are "acting". Do these actors have the same responsibility as a normal director? Are the compensated as permanent employees or contractors? Do they get share options and / or bonuses? Are there responsibilities the same as for Directors? Can they be sued?

Bearing in mind they might only be in the position for 3 months or 6 months, can decisions be attributed to them?

What happens if a person in an "Acting" position signs a nuclear or coal deal that binds South Africa for the next 50 years to a particular contract? Should this be allowed?

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Join my email list

Dear friend

Please sign up to my email list.

Almost every day I write on one of my BLOGS or Facebook or LinkedIn or Twitter orSlideShare or I record or favourite a video on YouTube or I help a journalist write a technical article or I appear on TV or I do work on the boards of the GCTCA or SAAEA or I do software development.

For the past few years I've been writing to you at 4 separate lists:

  • GBCSA: people I met at the GBCSA Exhibition a few years ago
  • Load Shedding Guru: people who subscribed from my Load Shedding Guru web page
  • RepairYourWorld: people on my personal Repair Your World BLOG, who I've been emailing since 2004
  • My Power Station: people on my main email list.
  • In order to simplify things, from now on, I'm emailing one list only, My Power Station. This will make my life a lot simpler and you will get more communications from me.

My mission is to mentor people about the energy environment in order to save money or produce electricity to make money or to protect the environment. I spend lots of time at Energy Conferences and now I want to take the messages I have learnt in the Energy Industry to a technical and non-technical audience.

I have combined my 4 email lists into a single email list and I intend sending a short email daily with a tip or tidbit to help you on your way. Feel free to delete the emails or forward them to your friends or let me know that they are too long or too often. I find that the best email lists are the daily short emails. The long weekly or monthly emails, I hardly ever read.

This introduction email is a bit longer than a tidbit. Just to introduce my new style and remind you what I am doing.

Besides being an expert software developer, specialising in Delphi and Oracle and financial and incentive and loyalty systems, I have become a conference speaker and am now moving into keynote speaking. See my new web site at keynotespeaker.global.

In 1931, Thomas Edison said: "We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using Nature's inexhaustible sources of energy — sun, wind and tide. ... I'd put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don't have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that." Auguste Mouchout invented the first Solar Electric Photovoltaic (PV) panel in 1860.

After 155 years solar electric photovoltaic (PV) system research and development and pricedecreases, solar-electric systems with storage have come of age. Have you got yours? Do you want one? Do you have Load Shedding?

Are you interested in learning more about "Load Shedding and How to Prevent it?" Or would you like to know about "The Mercedes on my Roof"? Or would you like to build a "Community Power Station" and don't know where to start? Or perhaps you'd like to understand Eskom's 1,200 Nkandlas and want to understand what R100 billion or R2,3 trillion means in normal every day numbers?

Or perhaps you are interested in security of supply for your home or business and don't know who to talk to or where to start? Perhaps you just want to be able to speak the lingo (jargon) so that you aren't taken for a ride?

Or maybe you want to know what happens on the other side of the plug in your wall?

If you want answers or presentations to any of these questions, please email me, phone or Skype (numbers in the side panel) me, or schedule an appointment with me: http://www.vcita.com/v/davidlipschitz/

I look forward to interacting with you. There are tons of free information on the web detailing my journey over the past 8 years. You are welcome to read and research it and use it. If you'd like it to be distilled into a half hour, or one hour, or half day, or one day or one week discussion, workshop, conference, then contact me.

Very best regards,

Cape Times Letter: 6th August 2015: Alternative Medicine and Healing

Dear all

The following letter appeared in the Cape Times on 6th August 2015.

Pharmaceutical companies say that natural products are the alternative medication, but chemically based medicines made in laboratories are actually the alternative medicines.

Aromatherapy oils, incense, herbs, spices, crystals, healing with hands, etc, are in our oldest literature, for example Exodus Chapter 28 vs 17 to 20 and Chapter 30 vs 22 to 25.

David Lipschitz

Cape Times Letter: 4th August 2015: Alternative Energy

Dear all

The following letter appeared in the Cape Times on 4th August 2015.

Coal, nuclear, crude oil and gas are really the alternative energies.

We've had solar, wind, river energy, etc, since time began.

David Lipschitz

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Total Cost of Ownership

The average South African's saying: "Renewable Energy is expensive and we'll use candles when there is load shedding".

It's about choices. My neighbour drives an expensive SUV, but has load shedding - and she uses candles.

I drive a Renault Clio and put in a system so that I don't have load shedding and my total cost is less than her SUV.

Which is cheaper?

And read about the Mercedes on my roof.

NEVER look at prices individually. Yes, my electricity was more expensive then my neighbour's, but my TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP and my TOTAL COST OF LIVING was and is less than hers. And I have less stress because I don't have load shedding.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Should local people build South Africa's new power stations?

  • Jackie on Facebook:

    We should be spending money on training, training, training, so that our own people can do the labour involved in building the infrastructure. If we did that and let them have internships at existing powers stations, etc. they would be ready to do the work themselves. Lure some of our brain drain South Africans back to the country to teach and mentor these trainees and to put proper, affordable and sustainable projects into place to rebuild the country to required levels. Don't have to be a brain surgeon to work out the medium term and more importantly, long term, benefits of this route. How's that Zuma, now can I have a job please!
    Like · 6 hrs
  • David Lipschitz 
    My answer:

    Hi Jackie. I disagree. What you are describing is already happening out our new power stations and is part of the reason for the incredibly poor quality. New people welding big boilers for the first time at a power station which is 5 years behind schedule.

    When you buy a car, you don't need to know how to build it. You need to know how to drive it and if you aren't a mechanic, then you need a mechanic to fix it. You also need the entire supply chain, ie oil, water, petrol, diesel, support, roads, etc.

    We desperately need our new power stations for the 2 million peoples' lives that depend on them. 25,000 people spending their entire lives building 2 power stations is great, but what of the other 1,975,000 people who are unemployed because of them?

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Germany paid for the world to have cheap Photovoltaic Electricity!

In reply to the following question:

Because in the 1980's Germany realised that coal, oil, gas and nuclear energy would be unaffordable by 2020 and they decided to do something about it.

In 1991, they implemented Feed In Tariffs (FITs). At the time the FITs would have been R12 if they had been in the City of Cape Town, whereas Cape Town electricity was 10 cents per kWh in those days.

Germany saw the big picture and created the word's biggest supplier and experts of Renewable Energy equipment. Germany essentially paid for the rest of the world to have cheap electricity!

Germany decided to get to 20 by 2020, ie 20% Renewable Energy by 2020. They got there in 2013 and change 20 to 30 by 2020. Last year they got to Grid Parity with Grid Tie PV and started incentivising Battery Based Systems.

See attached graph which shows the graphs over the past few years:

75 words, my elevator speech

75 words on David Lipschitz

David Lipschitz FSAAEA, computer scientist, mentor and energy analyst with a Bachelor of Science Honours and an MBA, has run a Software Development business since 1994 and an Energy business since 2008. David motivates people to change the way they think about their environment and shows people that it is possible to live a sustainable lifestyle with minimal impact on the earth. Keynote, conference and workshop topics include energy efficiency, load shedding, and producing electricity.

For more info:

SAAEA Membership Acronyms


Writing out "Member of the South African Alternative Energy Association" on a business card is long winded, so the South African Alternative Energy Association (SAAEA) has created two abbreviations for Member Categories:

MSAAEA : Member of the South African Alternative Energy Association.

FSAAEA : Fellow of the South African Alternative Energy Association.

FSAAEA is a special abbreviation for members who have been members for more than ten years as well as honourary members who are given free life time membership due to contributions to renewable and alternative energy.

My full name with suffixes becomes

David Lipschitz BSc (Honours) MBA M.Inst.D. FSAAEA APSASA

BSc (Honours) in Computer Science from UCT and Rhodes Universities in South Africa

In South Africa a BSc is 3 years full time and the Honours is a one year post graduate degree in a single discipline, in my case Computer Science, with a number of core courses and electives, all to do with Computer Science.

MBA : Master of Business Administration from Cranfield University in England

M.Inst,D : Member of the Institute of Directors

FSAAEA : Fellow of the South African Alternative Energy Association

APSASA : Associate of the Professional Speakers Association of South Africa

Mentoring Sivuyile

Dear all

I am mentoring Sivuyile Mnotoza, and I have created a BLOG to follow our progress:

Mentoring Sivuyile


Energy Storage (Batteries)

I chaired a debate at the PowerGen conference at the CTICC on the 16th July 2015.

Although it was to a technical audience with a technical panel, very many people are asking me for help with understanding battery technology and I thought this summary might be useful.

​People are concerned that renewable energy systems might not produce electricity​ when it is needed, but I think that we can see that even fossil fuel based systems, such as the one Eskom runs, also don't produce electricity when it is needed.

Wind turbine and solar-electric (photovoltaic) systems have to produce electricity when it is needed. Note that this is exactly the same for fossil fuel based systems​ which also have to produce electricity when it is needed.

And both systems waste electricity and produce electricity when it isn't needed. It's just that when the wind or the sun is wasting electricity, it is free, whereas a coal or nuclear power station still costs us money when it is wasting electricity, e​.g. for coal, nuclear power, other supplies.

A well run fossil fuel based electricity grid has 15% "spinning reserve" running all the ​time so that when you turn on the light or your kettle, there is electricity. This electricity is usually wasted, so we need is storage.

The first storage that grids have had for decades is pumped storage dams. At off-peak time, ​or when electricity is being wasted, water is pumped from a lower dam to an upper dam. At peak time​, or when demand exceeds supply,​ the water runs down and creates electricity.

Another storage we have used for decades is the geyser in our house or office, where we store electricity in the form of hot water, for use later​. We should "charge" it with electricity at off peak time, and then use zero electricity for the geyser at peak time​. We still have hot water during load shedding, so you can see that this is a form of "battery" where we have stored electricity for later use.​

And then there are all sorts of batteries, like the ones in your cell phone, or laptop, or watch, or TV​ remote​. All these should be charged from 10pm to 6am, when electricity is really cheap, at the low off-peak tariff.

And then there are newer batteries such as molten salt, where surplus electricity can be stored as heat at 800 degrees celsius and then when this electricity is needed this incredibly hot salt bolts water to make steam which then drives a turbine and makes electricity.​ Concentrated solar systems store electricity in this way. Eskom could also store electricity like this if it wished.

In summary, a battery or energy storage system stores electricity either in a battery or as heat or in a pumped storage system for later use. ​There is nothing new about this. Our fossil fuel grids need it. And our renewable energy grids also need it. The main difference is that in a renewable energy grid, charging the batteries is free.

If you need more information or want to book me for a conference, see

Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Mercedes on my Roof

Do you have a Mercedes on your roof?

I do!

Actually its not a Mercedes. It's a Renewable Energy System and part of it is on my roof and part of it is in my Garage.

I bought it in late 2008 and it was all installed and running by April 2009. A friend of mine and I installed it!

Everybody, except my wife, said I was crazy. Why would anyone want to buy an electricity generation system rather than buying a Mercedes? I had even just test driven the new shape Mercedes in 2008 and a friend asked me when I was going to buy it.

As it was I spent R200,000 on the physical equipment and another R100,000 on a one month business trip to the USA, where I learnt about Grid Tie Photovoltaics (PV), wrote the NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners) Entry Level examand attended conferences, in Phoenix Arizona, and in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Total R300,000, the cost of my new Mercedes.

Today the R200,000 component is about R70,000 and the education is priceless.

By the time I went to the USA in February 2009, I had already put over 1,000 hours into R&D (research and development) re learning about my first renewable energy system.

And every time I arrived in my garage after that, in my Renault Clio, which is now 14 years old, I saw my Mercedes on my wall and on my roof.

Load shedding has effected everyone I know, except us. Lots of people I know have recently done installs and they are getting to be like us now, and we are so welcoming of them. Thank you for joining this retirement party.

In my view, one is retired when one doesn't have any expenses. By 2008, Mirjana and I had spent 9 years working on our retirement plan and I only had to work for 8 days a month to pay all our expenses. One day we will be back there.

Back in 2009, everyone was asking me how long this system was going to pay off. Weworked out that it was costing us about R5 per kWh, when City of Cape Town electricity was only costing us 50 cents per kWh. Mirjana said it would take 20 years to pay it off.

In hindsight, I realised that we paid off this "car" off in 5 years, just like we would have paid off the real car. And so from January 2009 till December 2013, we paid off the car, and then in January 2014, our electricity bill suddenly dropped from R5,000 per month to R350 per month. If we hadn't done anything, then in January 2014, our electricity bill would have been R1,800 per month.

So in the past 17 months we have saved about R26,000 in electricity costs AND had no load shedding.

We still have a way to go as we want to add a pool cover this year, increase our PV from 1 kW to between 4 and 5 kW, depending on how much we can put on our north facing roof, add another battery bank and add another inverter (or perhaps buy a new model), and then we won't need Eskom.

We will in fact be able to supply electricity 24 hours a day as and when the City or Eskom need it, but in order to do this we want Net Metering and Time of Use Tariffs, otherwise we just don't think its worth exporting any electricity.

At some point in the future we also want to add another 5kW to power our electric car, when we can afford it and when it is affordable for us.

Some of the incredible things that have happened in the past 7 years are:

· I have a thriving software development business and I truly enjoy making people happy and solving problems and this fits my personality profile. I also love that I can work from anywhere in the world and travel to be with my wife's family every 18 months to two years. As our expenses continue to go down, we want to increase these visits.

· I have become a world renowned expert in Renewable Energy. I wasn't expecting this when I started out. I thought I'd just be an installer, installing systems, but I am in demand at conferences all over the place and I have had negotiations with conference organisers overseas, but nothing materialised yet. Soon or later it will happen.

· As part of this I have attended conferences and / or written letters to newspapers and magazines on behalf of Treasure The Karoo Action Groupand the South African Alternative Energy Association and Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance.

· I am also doing battery based system designs and consulting and I refer work to various contractors for doing installations.

· Last year I turned 50. What a milestone it was. My business turned 20 years old last year and I have been married to the woman of my dreams for 17 wonderful, if somewhat turbulent, financially, years. But this is the life of an entrepreneur.

Dawie Roodt in his book, "Tax, Lies and Red Tape", has this to say about entrepreneurs in South Africa: "Besides the taxman, the workforce has also been demanding its pound of flesh, and then some. In fact, South Africa's organised workforce has become so powerful and militant that it has been forcing entrepreneurs to pay employees more and more of the wealth they are trying to create - without offering them anything that resembles an equivalent rise in productivity. In addition, once an entrepreneur has hired a few workers, he or she cannot simply fire them again. Obviously entrepreneurs need workers to succeed in their effort to create wealth;good workers. But red tape from here to eternity prevents them from showing poor performers to the door. Small wonder then that there are so few entrepreneurs in South Africa; theirs is the most exploited occupation in the country.

But there are those of us who still believe in South Africa and are still here and still putting as much as we can in every day, paying all the taxes that are demanded of us, whilst at the same time still trying to make things better by offering electricity to the grid, or offering other services, which our government still ignores.

And so I wish everyone I know another amazingly interesting year. At a recent party, I said that life would be so dull if it was perfect. I look forward to making our world more perfect each day, together with so many amazing people in my life.

If you want to read more: here links to some other places I have written or published things on the 'net:

Almost every day I write on one of my BLOGS, or on Facebook or LinkedIn or Twitter.

My business advisors tell me that I should be emailing my contact list what I write and keeping it to under 400 words, which fits on a single page.

So this is my first try on the 1st of August 2015. This first email will be longer than 400 words.

I got your email address either because you emailed me, or because I met you at a conference, or because you are a close friend of mine, or because you are in my cell phone contact list. I pray that you don't mind this email, but if you do, please subscribe, or better still, email me and let me know what you'd like me to write about.

"We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using Nature's inexhaustible sources of energy — sun, wind and tide. ... I'd put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don't have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that." Thomas Edison in 1931. Auguste Mouchout invented the first PV panel in 1860.

After 155 years solar electric photovoltaic (PV) system research and development and price DECREASES, solar-electric systems with storage have come of age. Have you got yours? Do you want one? Do you have Load Shedding?

Are you interested in learning more about "Load Shedding and How to Prevent it?" Or would you like to know about "The Mercedes on my Roof". Or would you like to build a Community Power Station and don't know where to start?

Hire me and find out: http://www.vcita.com/v/davidlipschitz/

The South African Rand Share Price

Brent Oil Price Dropped 21% in July in Dollars, from $60.12 to $53.35. USA Oil is now at $46.77 a barrel.

Rand dropped 4% from R12.17 to R12.64.

Barrel of oil dropped 8% from R731 to R674.

Fuel price going down about 50 cents a litre on Wednesday 5th August in South Africa. If the Rand wasn't so miserable, we'd be having a much bigger drop in the petrol price.

The Rand is the share price of our country. As per Trevor Manuel, the management must either get its act together, or be replaced!


If you want a keynote motivational speech to find out how you can make the Rand stronger, Hire me and find out: http://www.vcita.com/v/davidlipschitz/