South African power utility Eskom has applied to raise electricity rates by 14.6% per year over five years, a confidential document obtained by Reuters showed on Friday.Eskom said the increases could be as much as an annual average increase of 19% over the same period, depending on certain government decisions.
“Many critics of renewable energy technologies will tell you that they’re a wonderful idea which they’d support whole-heartedly if they weren’t so bloody expensive. It might come as somewhat of a surprise then that the day when electricity generated by harnessing the energy of the sun will cost less than electricity produced by burning coal isn’t far off at all.
The cost of solar power has dropped exponentially for three decades and the trend continues unabated. According to the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the price of photovoltaic (PV) electricity (excluding installation) has plummeted from $22 per Watt in 1980 to just $3 today. In Germany, solar PV output has increased by 76% since 2010 while equipment prices have dropped by 50% since 2006. This year alone, the cost of conventional solar panels has fallen by over 20% internationally.”