Energy resources; doing it better and quickly

Energy resources plan needed…

anton eberhardOn energy resources, Prof. Anton Eberhard, UCT’s Graduate School of Business and a member of the National Planning Commission, has a habit of shaking things up and although newspaper editors, when dealing with his views, seem to pick up the fact that the professor has pointed to the fact that nuclear power is neither necessary in South Africa or even cost effective, the main point of his erudite statements to the media must surely be that South Africa, above all, desperately needs a new power plan in totality.

In amongst his claims that the real relationships between Eskom and the independent power producers that bring us clean energy have to be more rigidly defined; that a really totally independent market operator (ISMO) has to have responsibility for gas and coal and perhaps nuclear needs, not just solar, wind etc; that a gas infrastructure input system has to be planned to exploit the coming gas generation and the solar reverse feed in systems to the system have to be sorted out and regulated; there is still one overwhelming need – a plan.

Looking in

Sitting in Parliament in Cape Town watching the game being played out, there just doesn’t seem to be any initiative at the moment to chase the minister in order to get a power plan encompassing all facets of resources underway. The fuels industry needs to know where it fits in; as much as do the solar power producers; as do the nuclear gypsies camping on our promises; as do the coal producers; as do the explorers in the Mozambique channel and the bulk holders at Saldanha.  Most important is an uninformed consumer.

IRP the basis

There are many pieces in the current chess game that are coming together and no amount of commissions to chase up on infrastructure will solve the problem without a known energy mix on the horizon as a master plan. With so much reason to have the plan the sooner the better that the minister of energy finally announces that we have such, South Africans in industry and commerce can start sleeping at night and booking for less conferences on the subject.

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