Meanwhile in Russia, South Africa’s Department of Energy and Russian state-run nuclear energy company Rosatom have signed two memoranda of understanding on nuclear power co-operation. The agreements was signed on Wednesday the 8th of July in Ufa, Russia during a summit of the emerging BRICS nations.
Reactors that are being considered are from Russia’s Rosatom and Westinghouse for South Africa’s planned 9,600 MW nuclear fleet expansion, an energy advisor said in June of this year. The government is planning to build six nuclear power plants by 2030 at an estimate cost of between R400-billion and R1-trillion. Critics of the proposed plan said that South Africa cannot afford it at the present time due to rising debt and slow economic growth. The South African government responded, that it needs to diversify its current power mix while expanding its capacity.
The BRICS nations account for a fifth of the world’s economic output and 40 percent of its population, with ongoing talks about opening a Development bank with a reserve pool of roughly R1,250 billion.
The tariff increase that was approved by NERSA (National Energy Regulator of South Africa) during November in 2014 was implemented on the 1st of April 2015 for Eskom direct customers and municipalities on the 1st of July 2015.
This is not be confused with the public hearings that was held in Nasrec, Johannesburg. Where Eskom delivered a proposal to increase the electricity tariff by a further 9.6%, which NERSA rejected on several grounds. With a weakening Rand and the elevated cost of electricity, businesses are sure to feel the squeeze. The opportunity however does exist for businesses to focus on their energy consumption and wastage in order to promote efficient energy usage as well as various forms energy generation that will alleviate the national grid and improve the bottom line.
In April, the city of Durban launched the Durban Solar Framework project. City officials outlined plans to promote and bolster rooftop solar pv panels on factories, offices and homes with the aim of making sun power a “significant contributor” to the city’s future energy supply. Within the next year the city of Durban will install more than R8 million worth of solar panels in the city, specifically at Moses Mabhida Stadium, Kings Park swimming pool and Ushaka Marine World to encourage people and companies to transition to solar. A proposed Embedded generation tariff, that still needs to be approved by NERSA, will allow for homeowners with solar panels to “export” excess energy to the municipal grid which in turn will reduce their electricity bills.
Initial costs for homeowners is still substantial with the ROI being quite low, businesses however can benefit greatly from these incentives as their electricity bill is subsidised by their own generation of energy.
Durban is set to be the first city in South Africa to implement these regulations if approved by NERSA.
In May of this year, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), the government agency responsible for regulating operations in the electricity sector, reported that only five of the country’ 23 power plants are currently functional. Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Power, Mr. Igali attributed the situation to the epileptic performance of key power plants within the country.
All across Africa there is rolling blackouts and power shortages, including countries like, Ghana, Kenya, DRC, Eritrea and many more. This is a serious problem confronting Africa that kneecaps the continent’s ability to grow and to improve the lives of its people. Opportunities abound in Africa, be it with a lot more effort, but this resource rich continent can be a world leader in manufacturing and food production. Constant interruptions due to civil wars, insurgents, political unrest and the lack of electricity has dampened the spirit of the people. Akon, the rapper from Missouri in the United States has launched a project called: “Akon Lighting Africa.” Since launching in 2014, Akon’s group has operations in 11 nations, including Guinea Conakry, Senegal, Mali, Niger, Benin and Sierra Leone.
Power-Star signs MOU with Plexus Energy
Power-Star has signed a MOU with Plexus Energy, a leader in green energy from Kenya. Plexus Energy provides clean energy generation by only making use of renewable energy sources. With this partnership we aim to access a wide variety of markets within Africa and establish a partnership that will grow from strength to strength as we strive to provide stable, reliable and efficient energy to our customers.