Big Step for Independent Power Suppliers


    ESKOM has taken the first steps towards dealing with conflict of interest in acquiring energy from independent suppliers.
    By the end of the year it would have “ring-fenced” the revenue of its system operator as a precursor to setting up an independent system and market operator, Eskom planning official Adele Greyling said yesterday.

    The establishment of the independent system and market operator is a major catalyst for private electricity producers as it will remove the potential conflict of interest in Eskom’s role as power producer and buyer of electricity from independents.
    The move would create an enabling environment for the entry of independent producers.
    At the moment, Eskom’s system operations and planning division is the single buyer of electricity. Within the division is the “single buyer office”, which drives Eskom’s conclusion of power purchase agreements with independent power
    Earlier this year the government said it would move the system operator out of Eskom and set up an independent one.
    Speaking at a “green economy summit” in Johannesburg yesterday, Ms Greyling said Eskom would “ring-fence” the revenue of the utility’s system operator before the end of this year.

    Meanwhile, representatives of the different energy technologies yesterday lobbied for their respective industries. The South African Wind Energy Association said renewable energy could contribute about 25% (100 terrawatt hours) of total power consumption by 2025. Mark Stanton, deputy chairman , said yesterday the figure was “quite realistic” and wind energy could contribute 80% .
    Nuclear Industry Association of SA CEO Ayanda Myoli said the nuclear industry could contribute about 20 000MW. But to achieve th is, SA should start its nuclear programme soon. “It is doable. Nuclear is a good solution for base- load power, especially in the Eastern and Western Cape.”
    He said there was a global revival of the industry, with about 300 reactors under construction.

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