Kubayi’s renewables plan: does it signify progress or regression?

The energy industry breathed a huge sigh of relief recently when Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi announced that power purchase agreements (PPAs) for renewable energy from bid windows 3.5 and 4 will be signed by the end of October 2017.

The industry’s sense of euphoria is understandable, given that the renewable energy sector has been plagued by a dearth of positive news and lengthy delays in signing the outstanding PPAs, which slammed the brakes on the roll-out of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). 


Eskom’s monopoly must be broken up to introduce competition

With the spectre of yet another bailout for state-owned electricity supplier Eskom looming, the old argument of breaking up the parastatal’s monopoly to improve its competitiveness and governance is bound to be raised once more.

An end to Eskom’s monopoly would lead to the introduction of new entrants in the power generation industry and prevent taxpayers from having to pick up the tab for future bailouts, which arise mostly from mismanagement, corruption, and the absence of competition to the state power utility’s unchallenged market dominance.


Renewables can create 130,000 jobs and promote industrial development

When we are faced with adversity, it is always easy to look for scapegoats and blame others for our misfortunes.

The complication with wrongly blaming others is that it does not alleviate anyone’s plight and, most importantly, it prevents people from turning their setbacks into comebacks. It is how we react to challenges that determines whether we overcome them or wilt under the pressure. 


Eskom woes trickle down to aspiring coal barons

As Eskom prepares to shut down five power stations in Mpumalanga, it has also emerged that the state-owned power supplier abandoned its plans to establish a R1 billion fund that was intended to solve the scarcity of investment capital for would-be coal mining entrepreneurs and emerging black miners.

The revelation that the Black Emerging Miners Development Fund, unveiled in 2014, never got off the ground is seen as a blow to efforts to open up the coal industry to emerging players, who were banking on accessing capital from the fund on favourable terms.


Eskom appoints debt collectors to chase defaulters

Power utility Eskom has appointed 30 companies to crack down on consumers who are in arrears with their electricity bills, according to a source.

The plan could put Eskom on a collision course with communities and the South African Local Government Association (Salga) which has accused the state entity of overstepping its constitutional mandate and threatening electricity services.


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