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How Eskom should counteract power supply shortage - DA

Demokratiese Alliansie 47%

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Electricity supply:  Eskom needs to present its plan to avoid a shortage

The Democratic Alliance (DA) notes the recent announcements regarding Eskom's generating capacity with concern. Eskom CEO, Brian Dames, recently stated that the utility faced potential electricity supply shortfalls of 6 terawatt hours and 9 terawatt hours in 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 respectively - which equates roughly to the amount of electricity a city such as Cape Town consumes in one year. This raises the possibility of disruptions in South Africa's electricity supply.
I shall today be writing to the chairperson of the energy portfolio committee requesting that Eskom's management be called before the committee to brief Parliament on the preventative steps that are being taken to avoid disruptions in our country's electricity supply. It is of crucial importance that South Africa avoids another episode of prolonged load shedding as this would threaten our ability to create jobs and grow our economy. 
Eskom's total generating capacity is currently 41500 megawatt. Demand in winter is projected to increase to 38000 megawatt - this will leave a relatively small reserve margin of 3500 megawatt to accommodate unforeseen problems such as plant closures and plant maintenance. International best practice dictates that reserve margins should not fall below 15%, while Eskom's 3500 megawatt reserve margin only represents a reserve margin of 8.5%. This is especially problematic considering the relatively mature state of the majority of Eskom's power plants. 
The DA proposes that Eskom considers the following proposals to deal with this potential problem:

  • The contribution of IPPs (Independent Power Producers) should be maximised to fast-track the implementation of the new-generation regulations relating to SA's power supply.
  • The process of securing contracts with independent producers must be conducted more rapidly.  Relatively slow progress has been made, with only 4 contracts concluded that contribute only 287 megawatt to the electricity supply.
  •  Eskom should continue driving and intensifying its message asking consumers to moderate their electricity consumption.
  • The Department of Energy needs to address the loss of electricity within the distribution network. These losses are estimated to be R8.6 billion annually.
  •  The Department of Energy also needs to move more rapidly towards promoting renewable energy generation.  Nuclear energy could serve as a cleaner and more reliable alternative to South Africa's predominantly coal-fired electricity grid.

I shall also be writing to the Minister of Energy, Dipuo Peters, requesting a presentation to Parliament on how to avert the threat of an electricity supply shortfall. Such a shortfall could be seriously detrimental to economic growth and job creation, and as such, could threaten our short to medium term social developm. nt goals.



David Ross



10 January 2011

Source: www.politicsweb.co.za

14.01.20 11

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