Bemused between bills and baloney - Energy Research Centre

 
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  of Science & Technology

VOLUME 19 NUMBER 2                                  www.erc.uct.ac.za                                                JUNE 2013

                                                                                       IN THIS ISSUE
    Bemused between                                                                    Bemused between bills and
                                                                                       baloney . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
                                                                                       Absa’s Lumen LED display live . 3
     bills and baloney                                                                 Nordex supports renewable
                                                                                       energy training at SARETEC . . . 4
                                                                                       Experts launch SOLTRAIN Solar
                                                                                       Thermal technology Platform . . . 5

E
        nergy efficiency (EE) is not       the tariff type? Such marketing is reg-     SIP 8 green economy and
        only one of the most valuable      ularly accompanied by the familiar          inter-governmental forum . . . . . . 5
        tools of Demand Side Manage-       appeals regarding ‘guaranteed’ emis-        Why is the state ignoring its own
ment (DSM) but also offers clients         sion reductions. While some products        power policy? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
significant potential for monetary sav-    may absolutely deliver on promises,         LNG shipments soar worldwide . 7
ings. EE is a very broad term and          others may not and the case remains         Educating the youth to use
takes on many forms depending on           for consumers to become informed            electricity wisely . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
the application. In the current climate,   about which products are suited to
                                                                                       Eskom urges South Africans to
consumers are presented with a myr-        their specific applications.
                                                                                       ‘beat the peak’ this winter . . . . . . 8
iad of options from new technologies
to system optimisation or a combina-       VOLTAGE OPTIMISATION                        Nuclear solution is neither new
tion of both. Of the devices which         One interesting group of contenders         nor clear . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
have emerged, customer satisfaction        in the EE market are those offering         Energy in the real world and
ranges from those who would readily        savings through ‘Voltage Optimisa-          computer models . . . . . . . . . . . 10
make further investments to those          tion’. These devices go by many             Shifting mobility – the potential
who are less than content citing high      brand names and have become quite           role of electric vehicles in SA . . 12
costs of ownership or poor perform-        popular. The principle of operation is      Private sector access to climate
ance in terms of energy savings and        quite simple. Voltage Optimisers are        finance in South Africa . . . . . . . 13
reliability.                               essentially multi-tap transformers and      How to reduce CO2 emissions and
     For the proper evaluation of any      the tap on each phase is automatical-       poverty in Mexico, Thailand and
such technologies, it is crucial to        ly selected in order to keep the output     South Africa. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
determine if conditions before and         voltage at the lower limit of the typical   Aggreko to supply 122 MW of
after the installation were equivalent     range required by loads regardless of       cross-border power to
and if not, whether some attempt was       utility supply fluctuations. The energy     Mozambique and Namibia . . . . 15
made to adjust for any differences.        savings are explained as follows.
                                                                                       African Development Bank to Host
Variations in conditions may not ini-           Most loads are designed for a
                                                                                       the SSE4ALL Africa Hub. . . . . . 16
tially be very obvious. Nevertheless,      specific supply voltage range and if
one must not ask ‘What was the con-        the supply voltage is consistently          Schneider Electric inaugurates the
sumption?’ but rather, ‘What would         near the upper end of that range, it        electrification of the village of Pitti
the consumption have been given the        follows that the load will typically dis-   Gare in Cameroon . . . . . . . . . . 17
post-implementation conditions?’ The       sipate more power than when operat-         Competition for clean energy
reason behind some apparent lack of        ing at a voltage near the lower end of      entrepreneurs in West Africa . . 18
performance could merely be the lack       the specified range. Correct? Read          Eastern Africa resurgence
of controlled test conditions.             on.                                         reshapes oil landscape . . . . . . . 19
     This applies equally well to vague         Take as an example of a simple         42nd ORSSA Conference. . . . . 19
advertising claims such as ‘10% guar-      filament lamp connected directly            Climate investment funds give
anteed savings’. 10% of what? What         across the supply. Suppose the lamp         green light for revised regional
types of loads were affected? What         is designed for a nominal supply of         solar plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
were the test conditions? Are the sav-     230V. If the supply voltage increases       Dubai Expo 2020 reports on two
ings applicable to energy only or also     10%, the lamp will draw about 15%           social initiatives in Africa . . . . . . 21
to maximum demand charges? Is it           more power. A similar decrease in
                                                                                       Clarity about African Cleantech 22
even possible to make such claims          power consumption would occur if the
without knowledge of the facility or       supply voltage dropped 10% [1]. If the      Energy events 2013 . . . . . . . . . 25
2 Energy Management News

supply is held at this lower voltage, the   processes use feedback to control sys-          ages both above and below the design
lamp will consume less energy over          tem operation. In the above example,            value.
time than if the supply had been            the water temperature is fed back to
allowed to fluctuate. This is a shrewd      the thermostat so that a particular set-        FLUID SYSTEMS
way of saving energy assuming of            point temperature is reached and main-          Consider a pump which simply circu-
course that the light level produced at     tained. The same would apply in other           lates fluid such as in a closed cooling
the lower voltage still meets the           thermal systems such as air condition-          system. Suppose it is switched on and
required levels of comfort and/or statu-    ers and heat pumps. Figure 1 shows a            remains in operation until disconnected
tory limits.                                scatterplot of the half-hourly energy           without any control over the flow or
                                            consumption of a set of commercial              pressure of the fluid. If the system gets
DOES THE TYPE OF LOAD                       heat pumps and the phase supply volt-           partially blocked by debris, then the
MATTER?                                     age. It is evident that the energy use is       flow will decrease, the differential pres-
Consider once again a simple resistive      independent of the supply voltage.              sure across the pump will increase and
load – a heating element in a tank of                                                       the pumping efficiency will also
water. However, this time the load is       MOTORS                                          change. The same would happen if the
controlled by a thermostat measuring        Motors are often cited as prime candi-          flow was throttled. The speed of the
the water temperature in the tank. If the   dates for energy savings with voltage           pump motor will certainly be affected by
thermostat is set at say 55°C, starting     optimisation, but does this apply equal-        the supply voltage and if this is
at room temperature, how much energy        ly to all motors? Firstly, it is important to   reduced, the pressure and flow of the
will the element dissipate before the       remember that motors are simply ener-           pump will both decrease accordingly as
thermostat disconnects it? Ideally this     gy converters within larger systems             would the energy consumed by the
is determined by the mass & specific        and they need to be viewed in this con-         pump. This is only prudent if the
heat of the water, the starting tempera-    text. Relatively speaking, motors are           required service levels of pressure &
ture & the thermostat setpoint. In reali-   often far more efficient than the               flow are still being delivered at the
ty, the tank will lose energy to the sur-   processes which they drive such as              lower speed.
roundings. The tank shape & orient-         fans, pumps or conveyors and larger                  However, in a controlled pumping
ation, insulation properties, ambient       gains are often made in the down-               system, if a certain volume of fluid is
temperature and time taken will all con-    stream use of energy rather than in the         required, running the pump slightly
tribute to the standing losses of the       motors themselves. Secondly, in                 slower may merely mean that it is run
tank and thus to the total energy           closed-loop cases, the larger system or         for longer until the tank level setpoint is
required to raise the water temperature     process energy requirements may be              reached. Once again, each case would
to the thermostat setpoint. The total       independent of changes in motor                 need to be individually evaluated to find
energy required would be E = mCΔT +         speeds such as the heat pump men-               if the system efficiency would be
E and lowering the supply voltage to
 LOSSES                                     tioned earlier. Thirdly, it is important to     improved. Without taking accurate
the element will not reduce the energy      check if the motor is controlled by a           measurements, it is impossible to know
used to heat the water.                     VSD. If it is, then the energy consumed         upfront where a pump or fan is operat-
     Despite these two examples being       by the motor will be unrelated to the           ing on its curve, so it is also impossible
resistive elements, they differ funda-      supply voltage. In such cases, other            to guarantee energy savings. Such
mentally in terms of energy consump-        inefficiencies may have been intro-             analysis requires an in-depth under-
tion in that the first is uncontrolled      duced but for different reasons. It is          standing of the entire system working,
(open-loop) and the second is con-          also noteworthy that the efficiency of          the control scheme as well as field and
trolled (closed-loop). Closed-loop          induction motors decreases for volt-            manufacturer data.

                                                                                            OTHER LOADS
                                                                                            Many devices have switchmode power
                                                                                            supplies which ensure the correct, sta-
                                                                                            ble voltage is supplied to the load.
                                                                                            Examples are computers and monitors
                                                                                            which can form a significant proportion
                                                                                            of the energy usage in large a commer-
                                                                                            cial building. In such cases, a decrease
                                                                                            in the supply voltage can actually
                                                                                            cause the efficiency of the power sup-
                                                                                            ply to worsen as I2R losses increase.

                                                                                            OTHER CLAIMS
                                                                                            Often voltage optimisers are touted as
                                                                                            offering an improved power factor and
                                                                                            being able to ‘clean up’ the power sup-
                                                                                            ply to a facility in terms of, surge pro-
                                                                                            tection, voltage imbalance & harmon-
                                                                                            ics.
          Figure 1: Half-hourly energy consumption of a pair of commercial                       Power factor correction (PFC) sys-
                           heat pumps vs. supply voltage                                    tems are not generic one-size-fits-all
Energy Management News 3

systems but need to be properly sized
for each particular facility. What is
intriguing is that common voltage opti-
misers do not contain any capacitors or
                                                             Absa’s Lumen LED
other PFC circuitry. What is happening
in reality is that some inductive devices
have a slightly improved power factor
                                                                display live
at a reduced supply voltage. This is a

                                              A
good characteristic to exploit, but it                bsa switched on what is             investment in Lumen is a vote of con-
could be that not all the loads at a site             described as the world’s            fidence in Johannesburg as one of
behave in this way and that the con-                  largest Light Emitting Diode        the leading cities on the continent. We
sumer is misled into thinking they have       (LED) display in Johannesburg, trans-       have committed to building and run-
acquired an all-encompassing solution         forming the Absa Towers building in         ning the Go-To bank in Africa and we
for energy saving and PFC.                    Johannesburg’s CBD and making it            believe that Johannesburg is the per-
     Phase imbalances can be improved         an instantly recognisable icon in the       fect base from which to do so.
provided that each phase has its own          city’s skyline.                                 ‘Lumen is a significant step in a
adjustable tap and if properly controlled         The screens – collectively dubbed       ten-year project that will regenerate
this can offer improved phase balance         Lumen – are bigger than those that          and revitalise the Johannesburg CBD
although it is limited by the number of       make London’s Piccadilly Circus and         and supports the group’s fundamental
discrete winding taps and cannot offer        New York’s Times Square instantly           value of stewardship. This value is
perfect balance. The extent to which          recognisable. Lumen features the            underpinned by the notion that no
harmonics are actually attenuated is          most advanced LED technology used           matter which realm we are active in,
rarely stated or quantified in the prod-      on this scale reportedly making it a        we will always leave things better
uct specifications. In terms of surge         world first.                                than we found them. Supporting this
protection, large buildings often have            Crowning the 29 storey-high build-      notion, Lumen will become a land-
this incorporated into existing UPS sys-      ing, each of the four giant LED             mark that will not only be instantly
tems and there is no need for duplica-        screens is almost twice the size of a       recognisable in Johannesburg, but on
tion.                                         basketball court (40 metres long and        the world stage.
                                              18 metres high), and can be seen                  ‘As we progress and grow our
CAVEAT EMPTOR                                 from a radius of up to 1.5 kilometres       business across the 13 African coun-
In summary, voltage optimisers certain-       from the ground and 2.5 kilometres in       tries that we have operations in,
ly have their place among the legiti-         the air.                                    Lumen will become the beacon from
mate energy saving options available                                                      which we will share our stories of how
but as with any product there are per-        TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION                    we are helping people achieve their
formance limitations. It is impossible to     The technological innovation is an          ambitions – in the right way.’
make general statements about energy          integral part of a wider ten-year inner
savings without a good knowledge of           city rejuvenation project that Absa has     CARBON OFFSET INCLUDES
the particular load types on each site        embarked on and shows its and the           SOLAR GEYSER CONTRIBUTION
with their related control systems and        wider Barclays Group’s commitment           Lumen employs energy-saving tech-
consumers would be wise to interro-           to the City of Johannesburg, as a           nology with LED tiles that boast the
gate the advertising claims thoroughly        leading centre for business on the          lowest power consumption in its
before taking the plunge.                     African continent.                          class. To offset some of the carbon
                                                  Lumen follows the development of        emissions on Lumen, the company is
Reference                                     Absa Towers West, a five star green-        building one of the largest rooftop
[1] Bakker, B., The Principles of Lighting,   rated building that is the head office of   solar photovoltaic farms on top of
    Pulse Publications (Pty) Ltd., Johan-     Absa and Barclays Africa and is the         Absa Towers North. To offset the
    nesburg.                                  latest step in the Group’s regenera-        remaining carbon emissions, it is also
l Richard Larmour                             tion programme.                             rolling out a programme run by Absa
   M&V Team                                       The rejuvenation of the Absa cam-       Insurance and EcoNavitas to sub-
   Energy Research Centre                     pus will ensure an enhanced environ-        sidise solar geysers by 60% to more
   University of Cape Town                    ment not only for customers and             than 750 households.
   Tel; 021 650 3898                          employees, but also for other busi-              This is the first time a programme
   Mobile: 082 770 2877                       nesses and entrepreneurs in the             to subsidise solar geysers has been
   E-mail: Richard.Larmour@uct.ac.za          CBD. It will make a significant contri-     launched in South African and repre-
                                              bution to the city’s 2040 growth and        sents a community investment of
                                              development strategy and its vision         about R3.85 million.
                                              for a world class African City of the
                                              future.                                     With acknowledgements to Bizcommu-
                                                  Bobby Malabie, Absa and Bar-            nity.com
                                              clays Africa Group Executive for Mar-
                                                                                          l Website:
                                              keting, Communications and Public             www.bizcommunity.com/Arti-
                                              Affairs, says, ‘Africa is made up of          cle/196/16/90960.html
                                              some of the most dynamic and fastest
                                              growing economies in the world. Our
4 Energy Management News

           Nordex supports
      renewable energy training at
           SARETEC, CPUT
T
       he Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) together with German
       International Cooperation, GIZ, have successfully signed an agreement with
       the German wind turbine manufacturer Nordex for support in the establish-
ment of the South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre (SARETEC) –
located on the CPUT campus in Belleville, Cape Town. The signing ceremony was
held at the German Consulate in Cape Town on 8 May 2013, and hosted by the Ger-
man Consul General Mr Roland Hermann.
     The agreement is for a public-private partnership under which Nordex will, apart
from other collaboration, provide some of the wind turbine components that will be
used to train future South African wind turbine service technicians at SARETEC
     Key players in the renewable energy (RE) sector participated in the signing cer-
emony, emphasizing the importance of RE education and expertise growing from
SARETEC’s mission to provide skilled South Africans for RE projects.
     Ms Gudrun Kopp, German Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minis-
ter for Economic Cooperation and Development, emphasised: ‘By expanding its use
of renewable energies, South Africa will not only be helping to protect the global cli-
mate, but is hoping also to create secure jobs for the future. Thanks to the close
trade links between Germany and South Africa, both our countries will benefit from
this cutting-edge development cooperation project.’
     SARETEC Project Manager, Howard Fawkes, together with the South African
German Energy Programme (SAGEN) Manager from GIZ, Daniel Werner, intro-
duced SARETEC’s background and vision. Nordex (SA) Managing Director, Anne
Henschel, expressed Nordex’s willingness to support SARETEC – particularly with-
in the context of South Africa’s equity and development needs.
     SARETEC is looking forward to forming similar relationships with other industry
leaders.

                                                                      Anne Henschel
                                                                      (Managing
                                                                      Director,
                                                                      Nordex SA)
                                                                      expresses
                                                                      Nordex’s
                                                                      commitment to
                                                                      the SARETEC
                                                                      project. She is
                                                                      flanked by
                                                                      Thembi
                                                                      Chagonda
                                                                      (Nordex) and
                                                                      Gudrun Kopp
                                                                      (German
                                                                      Parliamentary
                                                                      State
                                                                      Secretary)

l Contact: Howard Fawkes
  Project Manager
  South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre
  Senior Lecturer, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Cape Peninsula University
  of Technology
  Tel: 27 21 959 6582
  Cell: 082 200 6765
  Fax: 27 21 959 6104
  Email: fawkesh@cput.ac.za
Energy Management News 5

          Experts launch SOLTRAIN
      Solar Thermal technology Platform

E
         ighty experts and stakeholders       not appreciated that almost two thirds
         from South and Southern Africa       of our final energy demand is in the
         met on 17th May at the Hotel         form of heat.’
224 in Pretoria to launch the Solar               Werner Weiss concurs, adding: ‘I
Thermal Technology Platform for South         am very pleased with the large turn-out
Africa and the Region. The Platform           and the lively discussion during the
discussed a vision and organisational         launch. That bodes well for the future.’
structure for South Africa modelled on            A steering committee representing
the successful European Solar Ther-           key stakeholders has been nominated
mal Technology Platform co-chaired by         by the launch meeting to work out the
Mr Werner Weiss of AEE_INTEC, Aus-            further details of the vision, mission and
tria.                                         structure for the Roadmap.
     The main purpose of the Platform is
                                              l Contact: Prof Dieter Holm
to develop a Solar Thermal Technology            SOLTRAIN Coordinator Southern
Roadmap through the balanced syner-              Africa & SESSA Organiser
gies of policy, research, industry,              Tel: +27 12 371 3389
finance, NGOs and relevant stakehold-            Mobile: +27 83 287 3220
ers. The Solar Thermal Technology                E-mail: soltrain@sessa.org.za
Platform is part of the three year               Website: www.soltrain.co.za
SOLTRAIN2 initiative sponsored by a
grant of the Austrian Development
Agency, implemented by AEE_INTEC                        SIP 8 green economy and
and local partners: The Sustainable
Energy Society of Southern Africa                       inter-governmental forum
(SESSA), the Centre for Renewable
Energy Studies at the University of            The Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission (PICC) has appointed
Stellenbosch (CRSES), Eduardo Mon-             the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) to coordinate the anchor infra-
dlane University (UEM) of Mozam-               structure development projects associated with SIP 8 which is the Green Econo-
bique, Renewable Energy & Energy               my SIP. In this regard, the IDC reports to the Honourable Minister, Dipuo Peters,
Efficiency Institute (REEEI) of Namibia        in her capacity as the IGF Chairperson for SIP 8. Part of their responsibility
and Domestic Solar Heating (DSH) of            includes reflecting the green economy projects in South Africa. These include
Zimbabwe.                                      projects that amongst others are related to solar, biomass, bio gas, wind energy
     Other work packages of SOL-               and energy efficiency.
TRAIN2 are awareness and informa-                  Consequently, the IDC has put together an internal project team under the
tion campaigns, advanced training              direction of Geoffrey Qhena, Chief Executive Officer. This task team is housed
courses, solar thermal flagship dis-           within the Strategic High Impacts Projects Unit (SHIP) at the IDC. They have
tricts, showcasing various solar heating       decided to start an engagement process with the various stakeholders in South
and cooling installations, assistance to       Africa. Part of this process was to host inter-governmental forums in the various
local manufacturers, sponsored dem-            parts of the country to understand the extent of the Green Economy. The key
onstration units at Centres of Compe-          objective of the inter-governmental forum is to afford the IDC project team, proj-
tence, and a solar water heating test          ect managers from relevant public and private entities and other stakeholders the
centre at the University of Stellen-           opportunity to engage on the substantive issues concerning the roll-out and deliv-
bosch.                                         ery of the various green projects.
     ‘Solar thermal energy has a bright            In April 2013, four inter-governmental forums took place in four provinces on
future in sunny Southern Africa,’ says         different dates. Each forum included additional plenary sessions focussing on
SOLTRAIN coordinator Prof Dieter               Green Economy topics specific to the region. The plenary sessions included:
Holm. ‘Through SOLTRAIN2 advanced              • Solar and Energy Efficiency (Free State Province);
solar technologies and experience are          • Solar Biomass & Biogas and Energy Efficiency (Eastern Cape Province);
being transferred from Austrian world          • Solar PV, Solar CSP and Energy Efficiency (Northern Cape Province); and
leaders to Southern Africa. This will fos-     • Solar, Wind and Energy Efficiency (Western Cape Province).
ter the transition from fossils to sustain-
                                               l Contact: Kugan Thaver
able energies. The future solar thermal           Head: Strategic High Impact Projects Unit
contribution may be as much as 50% of             Industrial Development Corporation
al heating demand below 250°C by                  Tel: 011 269 3000/ 3300
2030 or one square metre of solar                 Fax: 011 269 3116
water heater per person. It is generally          E-mail: kugant@idc.co.za
6 Energy Management News

  Why is the state ignoring its own
           power policy?

E
         xporting coal to Newcastle —        (NERSA) to perpetuate its monopoly            shortages. Eskom is merrily building
         that’s what Eskom proposes.         and condone monopoly pricing, not             gigantic power stations on an assump-
         The coal-to-Newcastle idiom         because it costs 500% more to produce         tion of affordable coal indefinitely. Do its
arose because England’s Newcastle            electricity but to amass capital avari-       requests imply that it thinks it commit-
prospered for centuries by exporting         ciously. Private investors, if allowed,       ted a giant blunder?
coal. Importing or keeping it sub-opti-      would finance power stations without              Far from cutting production and
mally would have been as foolhardy as        fleecing consumers.                           exports, we should mine, consume and
it would be for us to ignore the lessons          What is government policy and why        export all we can because the gas
of history.                                  is it being ignored? Fifteen years ago,       (fracking) revolution and emissions
     Stripped of obfuscation, Eskom          the government opted for ‘consumer            controls may render low-grade coal
wants the government to perpetuate           choice and … market forces’. Accord-          superfluous. Eskom’s day may come
the moribund electricity policy inherited    ing to the 1998 Energy White Paper,           sooner than expected. If coal prices
from the 1920s by extending its failed       ‘greater emphasis is being placed on          tumble, its power stations charac-
monopoly indefinitely, increasing elec-      commercialisation, corporatisation and        terised by ghastly cost and completion
tricity prices by nearly 500% in nine        … privatisation. Energy markets are           date overruns could become viable.
years and curbing coal exports. If it        being restructured to encourage com-
                                                                                           l Contact: Leon Louw
agrees, the government will reduce           petition.’ The government should be              Executive Director
employment and investment, force             ‘giving customers the right to choose            Free Market Foundation
marginal, small and black economic           their electricity supplier … especially          E-mail: fmf@mweb.co.za
empowerment (BEE) mines out of busi-         the generation sector’. There should be          Website:
ness, and make consumers finance             ‘open, non-discriminatory access to the          www.freemarketfoundation.com
Eskom’s capital.                             transmission system and … private
     It is rational for Eskom to lobby for   sector participation’. Private distributors
its own interests — that’s what vested       ‘will be allowed to coexist’ alongside
interests do. Our energy catastrophe is      Eskom. Competitive models and pri-
not Eskom’s fault. Eskom and South           vate sector participation ‘hold the prom-
Africa are victims of policy failure. That   ise of benefits for … consumers’.
Eskom lobbies for extreme benefits is        Eskom will be ‘restructured (into) sepa-
natural. The duty of responsible gov-        rate generation and transmission com-
ernments is to be sceptical of seductive     panies’. Power stations will become ‘a
lobbies. The left hand should know           number of companies (to) assist the                   Progress through freedom
what the other left hand (sic) is doing.     introduction of competition (and) oppor-
The government diverts resources to          tunity for … BEE’. Our electricity catas-
‘export promotion’. Yet Eskom wants          trophe is due to that policy not having
the opposite: export reduction. It wants     been implemented and will continue
the government to be like a mother           until it is.
feeding her baby and throttling it simul-         Eskom also asked the government
taneously.                                   to ban the merger of coal suppliers
     Should the government cave in to        Xstrata and Glencore, which is surreal:
Eskom’s request for mines to be forced       a giant monopoly using antimonopoly
to supply coal below world prices?           policy to block a competitive merger.
Should the government continue ignor-             The government should implement
ing its own energy policy? Doing so          its policy and reject all three proposals
would cut foreign exchange earnings,         — suboptimal coal prices, perpetual
increase balance of payments deficits,       monopoly and hostility to mining com-
close marginal mines, drive investment       panies — not just because they would
abroad, suppress growth and condemn          be bad for South Africa, but because
thousands more workers to unemploy-          short-term expediency would be long-
ment and destitution.                        term disaster for Eskom. Price controls
     Eskom also wants the National           and hostile mining policies increase
Energy Regulator of South Africa             capital flight and ensure long-term
Energy Management News 7

                                                                                            Educating the
        LNG shipments soar                                                                   youth to use
            worldwide                                                                         electricity
                                                                                                wisely
A
       mong the ships that those             tanks. This has prompted new fuelling
       strolling along the Atlantic coast    systems where the ‘boil-off’ gas is used

                                                                                           Z
       over a recent weekend might           as fuel for the boilers in some of these             into, an established brand acti-
have seen was the gasser Cubal that          gassers. Some well-placed shipping                   vation, entertainment and event
stopped briefly to take stores and for       folks are zealously promoting the wide-              company, recently teamed up
minor engineering work before pro-           spread use of LNG in ships, although          with Global Interface and Eskom to
ceeding to load liquid natural gas           significant technological advances will       launch the 49M Green Campus Ini-
(LNG) in Angola. The same vessel –           be necessary before it becomes wide-          tiative. The campaign kicked off in
one of four sister ships with a capacity     spread practice.                              April at North-West University and
of 160 400 cubic metres currently mov-            Should gas become more accept-           the University of KwaZulu-Natal with
ing Angolan gas to Asia - put into False     able as ships’ fuel, its transport to         the intention of uniting a community
Bay earlier this year to effect machinery    bunker ports would have to expand,            of South African students and edu-
repairs.                                     bringing more business to the gassers,        cating them about ways to use elec-
    The apparent eco-friendliness of         although some point to the US’s move
gas for domestic and industrial use          towards fracking that may curtail – or
(and the frowns that greet discussions       even halt – gas imports into North
on nuclear energy) has caused LNG            America.
shipments worldwide to soar. The con-             Unless the Renamo spoilers retard
sequent demand for gassers has               Mozambique’s plans for huge gas
increased their charter rates to the         exports, a vibrant gas industry will
point that, despite these ships being        develop on South Africa’s doorstep,
highly capital-intensive in terms of their   with wide-ranging positive side effects
construction costs, they are the among       for this country, including the opportuni-    tricity sparingly.
the few ship-types that are earning          ty to import gas for power generation,             The roadshow travelled to uni-
decent revenue at present, although          and to become involved in gas exports.        versities across South Africa to
their rates have dropped a little over       If the gas is to be piped to South Africa,    encourage students to place a 10%
the past few months as more ships            so be it, but if it is to be brought by       pledge online at www.49m.co.za and
have entered service.                        gassers, how far down the line are            de-crease their energy consumption
    A decade ago, the Vancouver-             plans to develop a proper gas terminal,       by 10%. The site offers a list of ener-
based Teekay Corporation had inter-          a hi-tech facility that will require exten-   gy-saving tips that the students can
ests in only four gassers, a figure that     sive planning and careful construction?       access to help reduce the frequency
has grown through construction and           This is not a project for seedy tender-       of power outages, their carbon foot-
acquisition to 27 LNG carriers (includ-      preneurs, but for internationally-experi-
ing four 214 500-cubic-metre vessels,        enced specialists in gas terminals.
and two under construction in the Dae-            Sadly, as the South African dry-
woo yard in Korea) and 19 LPG carri-         docks cannot accommodate these
ers (plus eight on order). All of the        large vessels, routine maintenance
gassers in which the company has an          contracts will go elsewhere, to the detri-
interest have long-term charters,            ment of the local ship repair industry
including a major joint-venture contract     and the loss of millions of dollars in
to move Qatari gas to Europe and else-       potential revenue.
where. Indicative of the demand for gas           Ramblers along the Atlantic coast        print and monthly electrical bills.
shipments is the fact that the two LNG       are likely to see more of these sophisti-         The 49M campaign aims to
newbuildings already have five-year          cated vessels, some hull-down as they         inspire and rally South Africans
charters once they are commissioned          skirt the Cape en route to or from West       towards a common sustainability
in 2016.                                     African gas fields, and it shouldn’t be       goal - that small changes can make
    Stampeded by the green lobby and         too long before laden gassers begin to        a big difference to save electricity
those coastal states whose demands           move Mozambique gas to Europe.                and create a better economic, social
relating to ships’ exhausts are far more                                                   and environmental future for all.
                                             • With acknowledgements to the Cape
stringent and unreasonable than those
                                               Times                                       With acknowledgments to Bizcommu-
relating to aircraft, ship-owners are
                                                                                           nity.com
scrambling to reduce carbon emis-            l Contact: Brian Ingpen
sions. Some are toying with LNG as a            Cape Ports                                 l Websites: www.49m.co.za and
possible fuel. Since some gases boil            Tel: +27 (0)21 712 9048                       www.zinto.co.za
while being transported, a small                Mobile: +27 (0)76 223 9418
amount of gas has to be released to             E-mail: brian@capeports.co.za
prevent a pressure build-up in the              Website: www.capeports.co.za
8 Energy Management News

                             Eskom urges South Africans to
                             ‘beat the peak’ this winter

E
        skom provided an update on 22         on line in that week of April. In            maintenance,’ said Minister of Public
        April 2013, on the outlook for the    ad¬dition, the performance of Eskom’s        Enterprises Malusi Gigaba.
        power system as we go into win-       power stations has been extremely                ‘The undertaking of this planned
ter 2013, urging all South Africans to        volatile, further constraining ca¬pacity.    maintenance will result in an even more
partner to keep the lights on in a chal-           Going into winter, Eskom will for the   delicate power system given the num-
lenging year.                                 first time plan to do extensive mainte-      ber of risks that could negatively affect
     In previous years, Eskom has gen-        nance work, even during the coldest          Eskom’s ability to balance supply and
erally reduced planned maintenance to         months, to improve the reliability of its    demand this win¬ter, thus a partnership
the minimum during the winter months,         power stations and address safety and        in keeping the lights on will be even
so as to ensure it has maximum capac-         compliance is¬sues.                          more required than at any other stage
ity available to meet higher demand for            ‘The proposed planned mainte-           in the past.
electricity.                                  nance over the winter period is consid-          ‘There is a greater need to save
     However, higher levels of planned        ered fixed and must be implement¬ed,’        more electricity especially over the
maintenance are urgently required in          said Brian Dames. ‘We therefore urge         evening peak periods, that is,
order to ensure that its ageing fleet of      all customers to partner with us to save     be¬tween 5pm and 9pm, when the sys-
power stations can perform more reli-         electricity. This will ensure that ade-      tem will be the most constrained.
ably, on a sustained basis. This means        quate space is created for the planned           ‘A significant behavioural change is
that the power sys¬tem will be very           maintenance while ensuring there is          required by everyone in the country. As
tight over the next few months, particu-      sufficient operating reserve.’               South Africans, we call on you to use
larly during the evening peak from 5pm             The power system is expected to         electricity sparingly, particularly, during
to 9pm.                                       be particularly tight in winter during the   these peak times by switching off gey-
     ‘This winter is different,’ said Eskom   evening peak from 5pm to 9pm when            sers, pool pumps and lights not in use
Chief Executive Brian Dames. ‘We can-         demand for electricity tends to spike        during this time.’
not and will not defer es¬sential main-       (by 3 000 MW or more) when people                Eskom has put a range of initiatives
tenance work. We are taking action to         come home from work and switch on            in place to assist it to balance supply
ensure that our power stations can            space heaters, lights, cookers and           and demand.
improve and sus¬tain their perform-           other electrical appliances.                     Approximately 2 000 MW of capac-
ance, so that they can meet South                  Peak demand is expected to reach        ity has been signed up from independ-
Africa’s long-term need for a secure          approximately 36 700 MW this winter,         ent power producers and mu¬nicipali-
supply of elec¬tricity.’                      similar to last winter. Eskom urges          ties. Eskom’s Integrated Demand
     ‘We have kept the lights on for the      households, in particular, to help Beat      Management programme has resulted
past five years and we remain commit-         the Peak by reducing demand during           in savings of more than 3 500 MW,
ted to keeping the lights on. But as          peak hours. Geysers, pool pumps, non-        which is almost the output of a large
Eskom we cannot do it alone,’ Dames           essential lighting and all other non-        power station. Coal handling and coal
said. ‘We urge all South Africans to          essential appliances should be               quality have been improved, with coal-
partner with us. Beat the Peak by             switched off during those hours.             related production losses showing an
switching off all non-essential appli-             Eskom has also re-iterated its call     improving trend.
ances during the evening peak from            for a voluntary Energy Conservation              The 49M campaign continues to
5pm to 9pm.’                                  Scheme to be put in place to help to         raise awareness of the need to use
     Almost two thirds of Eskom’s power       mitigate the risks to the power system.      electricity wisely and efficiently.
stations are past the mid-point of their           Eskom has kept the lights on in             As winter approaches, Eskom is
expected operating lives and they             recent years, in a situation of con-         also putting contingency plans in place
require higher levels of planned main-        strained supply, in part by deferring        to manage the risks of any se¬vere
tenance work. Finding the space to do         non-essential maintenance. This is not       weather event, just as it did in previous
that, while meeting de¬mand, has been         a sustainable approach and Eskom is          winters.
a particular challenge this year. Imports     now implementing a five-year plan that           ‘I would like to urge the country to
from Mozambique’s Cahora Bassa                will enable it to do the maintenance         continue supporting our efforts of keep-
power sta¬tion were reduced by 900            required to ensure a reliable and sus-       ing the lights on, especially as we go
MW because of flood damage to a               tainable supply of electricity in the        into winter,’ Gigaba said. ‘No effort is
transmission line in February. The line       longer term. The plan will require that a    insignificant in this regard, every little
has today been returned to service.           10% average planned maintenance              bit helps.’
The unplanned outage of Unit 1 of             ratio is sustained over the five years.
                                                                                           l Contact: Karel Steyn
Eskom’s Koeberg power station                      ‘Eskom’s power stations are at a           Eskom
re¬duced capacity by a further 900            stage where plant reliability can no            E-mail: SteynJJ@eskom.co.za
MW. The unit was expected to be back          longer be compromised by delay¬ing
Energy Management News 9

                                                   Nuclear
                                                   solution
                                                  is neither
E
         veryone agrees that we are cur-                                                      factored into its overall cost.
         rently in the midst of an electrici-                                                     We also cannot tie ourselves to yet
         ty crisis in South Africa. Various
proposals have been put forward offer-
ing solutions to the crisis since 1997
when it became clear that unless new
                                                   new nor                                    another large capital intensive project
                                                                                              like Medupi, based on the promise of
                                                                                              ‘economies of scale’, given the uncer-
                                                                                              tain world we live in and the uncertain-
capacity was soon built, we would face
severe electricity shortages within the
following decade.
      Proponents of nuclear power have
                                                     clear                                    ty associated with South Africa’s future
                                                                                              power demand. Such strategies have
                                                                                              not delivered the expected benefits.
                                                                                                  Professor Anton Eberhard stated
argued that it offers a relatively low                                                        that ‘Risks can be minimised through
cost, clean solution. I am not opposed                                                        investments in a diverse portfolio of
to nuclear. In fact I have previously                                                         modular, less capital-intensive tech-
suggested that nuclear may form part            ing ideas. We already had nuclear from        nologies, such as gas and renewables,
of the energy mix in South Africa. In           Koeberg and the 1998 Energy White             that can be deployed rapidly and flexi-
2006 I wrote an opinion piece and con-          Paper stated, ‘To ensure the success of       bly to meet changing demand patterns.’
cluded by saying, ‘When decisions are           the electricity supply industry as a          This is exactly the solution we need in
made concerning future sources of               whole, various developments will have         this crisis given the uncertain future we
electric power, facts, not fear, should be      to be considered by government over           face.
the basis for appraising the nuclear            time, namely: giving customers the                Any future policies should enable
industry’s place in electricity genera-         right to choose their electricity supplier;   the development of gas solutions.
tion.’                                          introducing competition into the indus-       There is a strong possibly that there is
      The following year I concluded an         try, especially the generation sector;        gas in the Karoo and companies should
opinion editorial by saying, ‘The gov-          permitting open, non-discriminatory           be exploring ways to extract it. Profes-
ernment has invited a number of inter-          access to the transmission system;            sor Philip Lloyd summed up the situa-
national companies, including France’s          encouraging private sector participation      tion on the possibility of gas in the
Areva group, arguably the world’s fore-         in the industry’.                             Karoo succinctly, ‘we should not be
most energy expert on nuclear plants,               What     has     happened        since    dithering’. But this should not be a polit-
to bid on building South Africa’s new           2006/2007? Not much. We have not              ical decision. If competing companies
nuclear plant. But why limit internation-       built any new power plants and we still       want to explore for gas they should be
al companies to construction of the new         have not allowed IPPs to enter the            allowed to do so. Similarly if private
plant? Surely South Africa could bene-          ‘market’. To be clear, nuclear is not a       companies want to build nuclear power
fit from the wealth of international expe-      panacea for South Africa’s energy             plants, as they are currently doing in
rience in the building, owning, financing       woes. For instance, it will take approxi-     the United States, then that is their risk
and day-to-day running of nuclear               mately 12-14 years before we could            to take. The role of government is to
plants, as well as the ability to accu-         commission a nuclear plant i.e. 2026-         regulate to ensure that the companies
rately predict future demand for ener-          2028. This means that it cannot be con-       adhere to the rules for safe operation.
gy? Competition in every aspect of              sidered to be part of our short-to-medi-          South Africa should create a policy
generation and delivery will provide            um term solution. But if Medupi is            environment that provides the right
South African consumers with the best           anything to go by, we will be lucky to        economic incentives to attract compa-
service and energy prices in the future’.       commission the next nuclear station by        nies to utilise and develop these
Since then it has become obvious that           2030.                                         resources and to allow energy compa-
having competing power companies                    Proponents of nuclear over other          nies unconstrained access to the grid,
build, own and operate electricity gen-         energy sources have also argued that          which requires an independent trans-
eration plants in South Africa will pro-        nuclear is cheaper. Indeed nuclear fuel       mission system and market operator.
vide the best solution to South Africa’s        costs are low, as are variable running        With the right economic environment a
current crisis and long-term energy             costs. But who can predict what the           multitude of IPPs will compete to deliv-
security.                                       ‘relative cost’ of suitable nuclear fuel      er energy to our growing economy.
      My point on nuclear power was sim-        will be in 50-60 years’ time? Nuclear
                                                                                              l Contact: Jasson Urbach
ply that it should not be summarily dis-        power stations are also more expen-              Director: Free Market Foundation
missed as a potential source of energy          sive to build as compared to say, coal-          E-mail: fmf@mweb.co.za
and independent power producers                 fired plants, and there are significant          Websites: www.freemarketfounda-
(IPPs) should be invited to enter the           expenses involved with de-commis-                tion.com and
market. These were not ground-break-            sioning a nuclear station that must be           www.healthpolicyunit.org
10 Energy Management News

         Energy in the real world and
              computer models
                     Nuclear is a reliable and economic source of
                         baseload electricity for South Africa

T
        here is a gulf between the real     Eskom cannot supply the electricity. If     and wind does not. In the crisis of Jan
        world we live in and the virtual    our economy is to grow, and if we are       2008, Eskom warned the goldmines
        world of computer models. The       going to increase our manufacturing         that it could not guarantee reliable elec-
gap is particularly wide in the field of    and beneficiate our minerals, we shall      tricity. They promptly shut down,
energy. A good example is the energy        need a huge increase of electricity in      because of the risk to the lives of the
model that inspired an article in Busi-     future. Yet this model predicts low elec-   men underground. Unreliable electricity
ness Day (19 Apr 2013), ‘Study pours        trical growth!                              was useless to them, indeed worse
cold water on SA’s nuclear build plan’.          Nuclear power has low production       than useless. But wind electricity is
The purpose of this model, which was        costs but its capital costs have been       never reliable. Compare a cheap torch
used by the National Planning Com-          higher than coal. This was in large part    that works whenever you switch it on
mission, was to show that more nuclear      because past nuclear plants were each       with an expensive torch that only works
power is not required before 2029 and       of unique design, so increasing manu-       occasionally and unpredictably. This is
that renewable energy will become           facturing and regulatory costs. Today       the comparison between nuclear and
cheaper and should be used instead          they are being built in fleets of the       wind. A kWh of wind electricity has
with gas and hydro.                         same design, and capital costs are          much less value than a kWh of nuclear,
     In the real world, nuclear power is    declining. To make nuclear suitably         if indeed it has any value at all. This is
always economical, if not the cheapest      expensive, the model was forced make        ignored by the model.
source of electricity, and solar and wind   unreal assumptions about its capital             For 30 years, proponents of solar
for grid electricity are always stagger-    costs. It set them at $7,000/kW (dollars    and wind have predicted they would
ingly expensive. France, which gets         per kilowatt of installed capacity). But    become economically competitive with
over 75% of its electricity from nuclear,   here are some real examples of              coal and nuclear. They have not and
has the cheapest electricity in Europe;     nuclear capital costs for present proj-     never will. No investor will put one cent
Denmark, with the world’s highest frac-     ects actually signed and in progress.       into wind or solar power for grid elec-
tion of wind electricity, has the most      $2,207/kW for South Korean plants at        tricity unless he is guaranteed a huge
expensive. In Germany, the politically      Shin Ulchin. $3,571/kW for the South        operating subsidy (often in the form of
inspired transition from nuclear power      Korean plant in United Arab Emirates.       high electricity prices). Wind advocates
to wind and solar has sent electricity      $4,167/kW for the Russian plant in          say it will only cost about 89 cents/kWh
prices soaring. Yet some computer           Turkey. The Westinghouse AP1000             in the second round of the renewable
models predict the opposite. These          reactors now under construction in          energy programme (compared with 65
models, invariably initiated by green       China are believed to have capital          cents/kWh for Eskom’s present aver-
ideologues, are designed to do so. If       costs of about $2,000/kW for the first      age price). This means that on the rare
Greenpeace commissions a model of           units, dropping for subsequent ones.        occasions that the wind is blowing at
nuclear and renewable energy, every-             On renewable energy, the model         the right speed, Eskom will be forced to
one knows the results beforehand.           fails for two fundamental reasons. First,   buy its electricity at this price, whether
Computer models depend entirely on          it deals mainly in demand (Megawatts,       it needs it or not, and some other gen-
the assumptions fed into them, and          MW) rather than energy (Megawatt-           erator will be forced to incur the costs
suitable assumptions will give you any      hours, MWh). A 100 MW nuclear plant         of ramping up and down to match the
result you want, in this case: ‘Nuclear     typically produces four times as much       violent fluctuations of the wind. It is a
bad, renewable good’.                       electricity every year as a 100 MW          bizarre arrangement, without economic
     South Africa is critically short of    wind farm, and lasts three times as         or environmental benefit. Solar will be
electricity and faces black-outs this       long. Nuclear typically has a capacity      even more expensive.
winter. We know our electricity demand      factor of 85% (meaning on average it             One of the greatest wind fallacies is
is very high but we don’t know exactly      produces 85% of its rated capacity).        that ‘the wind is always blowing some-
what it is because Eskom cannot meet        Wind typically has 20%. Germany,            where’ (blowing enough to produce
it. Smelters have been shut down, pro-      Europe’s biggest wind producer, has         useful power). Britain, a windy country,
posed industrial projects have been         17%.                                        has over 8 000 MW of wind capacity
shelved and existing industries are              Second, and even more important,       with over 4 000 turbines. Yet on occa-
forced to shed production because           nuclear produces reliable electricity       sions they produce less than 50 MW
Energy Management News 11

(capacity factor: less than 1%). A study     tional in Barakah by 2020, to generate 5.6
                                             GWe of electricity (Gulf News, 8 Apr 2013).
looked at the combined wind produc-
tion of Ireland, Britain, France, Spain,     Turkey: Akkuyu will be built using the four
Germany, Austria and Denmark with a          Russian WWER-1200 reactors. The deal to
total wind capacity of 65 000 MW. On         build the facility was signed in May 2010.
occasions they produced in total only 2      Turkey will have a total of $7.5 billion
000 MW (capacity factor: 3%). But the        invested in the project. It will be worth $20
model assumes that wind in South             billion in total (Vestnik Kavkaza, 15 Feb
Africa will always be guaranteed to pro-     2013).
duce 15% of its rated capacity, which is
nonsense.                                    South Korea: Government approval for the
                                             7 trillion won ($6.2 billion) project to build
    Another fallacy is that wind can be
                                             Shin Ulchin units 1 and 2 was given in April
built more quickly than nuclear. There       2009. The Shin Ulchin units are the second
have been construction delays on a           pair of APR-1400s to be built. (Energy
single reactor design, the French EPR,       Korea, 1 August 2012.)
which in my view is too big and compli-
cated. But other reactors are being built    2. Wind performance in Europe
on schedule and on budget. The two           British Production of wind can be seen at
Chinese AP1000s, for example, with a         the NETA website. See also ‘Analysis of
combined capacity of 2 200 MW, are on        UK Wind Power Generation November
schedule for a construction time of 5        2008 to December 2010’. A Report by Stu-
                                             art Young supported by the John Muir
years. It would require at least 8 800
                                             Trust.
MW of wind capacity (greater than                Wind capacity and production for 7
Britain’s total) to generate the same        European countries from ‘Wind Production
amount of electricity. It would take far     intermittency Cross border compensation:
longer than five years to construct          what to expect in Western Europe? Analy-
them.                                        sis of Winter 2010/2011 Hubert Flocard and
    Wind and solar power, wonderful for      Jean-Pierre Pervès’, using:
a host of applications, have proved an       • www.rte-france.com/fr for France (site
unmitigated failure for grid electricity          ecO2mix)
wherever they have been used, bad for        • www.eirgrid.com for Ireland
                                             • www.ree.es for Spain
the environment and bad for the econ-
                                             • www.transparency.eex.com/de for Ger-
omy.                                              many + Austria
    Natural gas, promoted in the model,      • www.energinet.dk for Denmark
is certainly a good, reliable source for     • www.exelon.co.uk and http://pfbach.dk/
electricity. But everything depends on            for Great Britain
price and availability. If the Karoo does
have large resources of shale gas, it        3. USA nuclear production costs lower
should be used. But does it? If we are          than gas.
going to import LNG (liquefied natural       Recently gas prices have risen in the USA.
gas), what price are we going to pay?
In the USA, ‘fracking’ has caused a dra-
matic drop in gas prices but nuclear
power still has much lower production
costs than gas-fired power.
    Central Africa has huge hydro
resources, and we could import its
hydroelectricity. But first we have to
overcome political and commercial
insecurity. This seems fairly far into the
future.
    Nuclear is available now as a clean,
safe, economic and sustainable source
of the baseload electricity we so des-
perately need.

                                             l Contact: Andrew Kenny
NOTES:                                          Energy consultant
1. Capital costs for nuclear                    Tel: +27 21 785 5648
Abu Dhabi: The UAE’s $20 billion (Dh73.5        Mobile: +27 72 119 3416
billion) civil nuclear programme is on          E-mail: arkenny40@absamail.co.za
schedule with the country’s first nuclear
reactor slated to start operations in 2017
The UAE is currently working on plans to
have four nuclear power reactors opera-
12 Energy Management News

                                                  Shifting
                                                  mobility
                                                     — the potential
S
        outh Africa’s Technology Innova-                                                    vehicle production in contributing to job
        tion Agency (TIA), a government                                                     creation. With the demise of the Joule,
        organisation whose role is to                role of electric                       this ambition has been scaled back and
support innovation to stimulate eco-                                                        the country is looking beyond the vehi-
nomic growth, launched an electromo-                     vehicles                           cle, to the full electromobility value
bility programme on the 13th of March                                                       chain as a potential source of job cre-
2013. The Minister of Environmental                  in South Africa                        ation. But without a significant local
Affairs launched the DEA’s Green Cars                                                       market and uncertainty around the
(Zero Emission Electric Vehicles) pro-                                                      future demand for electric vehicles
gramme on the 26th of February. The                                                         globally, there is considerable uncer-
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)                                                      tainty around how to maximize poten-
is to release the Electric Vehicle Indus-                                                   tial benefits in this industry and whether
try Roadmap for South Africa. And elec-                                                     in fact there could be substantial bene-
tric vehicles are heading our way. The         cheaply. Investments in infrastructure       fits that would warrant investing in this
Nissan Leaf has arrived and the BMW            are also not as significant as people        industry.
i8 (hybrid electric) and i3 (fully electric)   think. If cars are charged intelligently
sports cars are due to arrive in 2014.         and consumers are educated, in many          SO WHAT IS GOVERNMENT
     So things are happening; but why          applications the benefits outweigh the       DOING?
are they happening? What are the rea-          costs.                                       There does not appear to be a coordi-
sons for transitioning towards greater              The technologies to achieve these       nated approach to stimulating the elec-
use of electric vehicles in this country       benefits are already available, and as       tric vehicle market and promoting the
and are we making the appropriate              the grid gets cleaner and technologies       local industry. The Department of Envi-
investments considering South Africa’s         more efficient and effective, these ben-     ronmental Affairs includes electric vehi-
development and climate change                 efits will increase over time. So if we      cles in the flagship programmes. The
objectives?                                    want more electric vehicles on the           department believes that a transition to
     Transport contributes significantly       roads we can get them. Investments           electric vehicles in South Africa is one
to South Africa’s greenhouse gas emis-         need to be made and government               of the best solutions to cut down on
sions and transport demand is expect-          needs to create an enabling environ-         CO2 emissions, in line with the aims of
ed grow. Recent Energy Research                ment through financial and non-finan-        the National Climate Change Res-
Centre (ERC) research has found that           cial incentives.                             ponse policy and ensure implementa-
electric vehicles can significantly                 Getting electric vehicles on the road   tion of the resolutions of many Climate
reduce emissions (even with our cur-           is only one part of the story. Making        Change conferences
rent grid) and contribute to energy            electric vehicles and the components,             The Department of Transport is
security by providing a storage facility       infrastructure and support services is       broadly supportive of electromobility as
that can help smooth consumption of            the other part. The development of the       a long-term strategy but does not see it
Eskom electricity and potentially facili-      electromobility industry is the key          as a priority area in the short term. The
tate decentralized electricity generation      objective when it comes to stimulating       DTI is calling for greater local produc-
(e.g. through solar panels). Electric          economic activity and creating jobs in       tion in the electric vehicle value chain
vehicles are also more efficient on a          South Africa. This is the focus of the       but the Automotive Production and
joule / kilometre basis than convention-       Department of Trade & Industry (DTI).        Development Programme does not
al vehicles. Add the benefits of reduced       The second Industrial Policy Action          mention electric vehicles and so it
exposure to volatile oil prices, reduced       Plan saw an ambitious role for electric      appears that the Electric Vehicle Indus-
oil imports, no local noise or air pollu-                                                   try Roadmap under development is not
tion and lower running costs and you                                                        regarded as a core approach to devel-
have a winner.                                                                              oping the broad automotive industry.
     However, the cars do cost more                                                         The roadmap shows intention to take
and there is no obvious poverty allevia-                                                    steps towards greater electromobility in
tion benefit. Added to this are con-                                                        the country (through the proposed pur-
sumer concerns around range, reliabil-                                                      chase of 3 000 – 5 000 electric vehicles
ity and performance. This anxiety is                                                        per year by government from 2015) but
largely unjustified as many electric                                                        that this is rather an attempt to make an
vehicles can meet the technical                                                             investment without taking significant
requirements of certain applications.                                                       risk, to assess impacts and technology
You can’t drive a long way but you can                                                      options, and to allow flexibility to adapt
commute quickly, safely, reliably and                                                       to changing market conditions and
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