Warning to new market entrants. Are Eskom and the Cities serious about Alternative Energy?

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In reply to a one of our readers comments that Eskom are doing what they can!

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Some of the problems they are creating are:

1) They are saying one thing to the public publicly and then doing something else entirely. This is called Greenwashing and IMHO it is the most heinous crime of all. It is doing thousands of innocent people and companies out of millions of Rands of money and thousands of hours of time.

2) They have created the most difficult and stringest laws in the world in order to get their “rebates.” This is designed so that the common citizen thinks all is ok, when actually the system is falling apart. As you can see this has a lot to do with 1). For example to be an “Embedded Generator” you need to follow 15 separate laws and 10 additional rules; plus you need to submit 8 documents if you are under 100 KW and 10 documents if you are over 100 KW. In the USA there are two laws to follow, a PV one (the NEC Article 690) and the Building Codes (OHS in South Africa), and there are 3 standards that need to be followed regarding modules, inverters, and other electrical equipment and how it connects to the grid, ie IEEE 1547, UL 1741 and UL 1703; and one has to submit one document! If South Africa was really serious about renewable energy and solving its electricity crisis, it would simply adopt the USA code or one of the European codes, which are designed to work, not to prevent competition with the state owned monopoly. In my opinion, this is anti-competitive behaviour and if Eskom was a private company it would be illegal.

3) We have less than half of the required capacity to run this country and are exporting jobs and the possibility of converting our raw materials into products at an alarming rate. The only way this can be solved is by allowing the grid to be accessed by private people and allowing competition in the electricity marketplace.

4) Government treats electricity as a cash cow, whereas it is an enabler to get the economy going. If this was allowed to happen, government would collect much more taxation from corporates and people than it does now which would pay for its policies.

By David Lipschitz. Board member of the SAAEA.

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