Tag Archive | gas & renewables

Brief on new draft energy and electricity bills

The director general of the energy department, Nelisiwe Magubane, has now briefed Parliament on the impending tabling of both the National Energy Regulator Amendment Bill and the Electricity Regulation Amendment Bill which, according Magubane will beef up NERSA giving it the regulatory power to control “the entire energy space”.

She told the parliamentary committee on energy that that an independent appeal board headed up by a judge would replace the existing tribunal so that NERSA did not have to play both judge and jury in regulatory matters, where a decision on tariffs or regulatory procedures were involved. Appeals would therefore conducted in a fairer environment.

Both bills have been the subject of public comment and it remains to be seen what the final Bills tabled before Parliament look like. On electricity, much involves independent power producers (IPPs) and may sort out the anomalies that exist in the procurement of land for power line erection and the difficult liaison with the department of public works over such issues.

As far as the Energy Regulator Act (ERA) is concerned, the amendments proposed to parliamentarians were stated as being designed to “improve the credibility of the decision making process by establishing an appeals board; to improve the governance and accountability of the board and to improve the working relations amongst regulator members.”

The department of energy said that the energy sector had to be regulated more effectively “given the current need that has now arisen to increase private sector participation”.

Present at the briefing were officials of NERSA who also claimed, as did the department, that both new Bills would enable them to have the ability to work in a less fragmented environment with not so many departments having regulatory control over different issues.

NERSA at no stage discussed matters relating to fuel pricing and neither did the department. Further meetings are to follow.

Posted in Cabinet,Presidential, Electricity, Energy, Finance, economic, Fuel,oil,renewables, Labour, Land,Agriculture, Mining, beneficiation, Trade & Industry0 Comments

Obama talks energy

USA president, Barak Obama, mentioned taxes thirty four times and jobs thirty two times in his State of Nation Address to the American public in mid January, according to a review of his speech by Business Day but in reading his speech it becomes evident that much was also said on matters relating to energy and climate change.

He claimed that nowhere in the world was the promise of innovation greater than in it was with USA-made energy and said he was instructing his administration “to open more than 75 percent of our potential offshore oil and gas resources.”  He said that American oil production was the highest right now than it has been in eight years and the USA now relied less on foreign oil than in any of the past 16 years.

He acknowledged that the USA “had only 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves and the country needs an all-out, re-defined strategy that develops every available source of American energy.”  He was apparently referring to the possibility of developing the natural gas resources of the USA, which was, he said, “a supply of natural gas that can last America nearly 100 years.”

He said in his address listened to by millions across America, “The development of natural gas will create jobs and power trucks and factories that are cleaner and cheaper, proving that we don’t have to choose between our environment and our economy. It  was public research dollars, over the course of 30 years, that helped develop the technologies to extract all this natural gas out of shale rock”    He said that this “was one of the places where we are going”.

He went on, “What’s true for natural gas is just as true for clean energy.  In three years, our partnership with the private sector has already positioned America to be the world’s leading manufacturer of high-tech batteries.  Because of federal investments, renewable energy use has nearly doubled, and thousands of Americans have jobs because of it. “

On energy, Obama concluded, “Our experience with shale gas and our experience with natural gas shows us that the payoffs on these public investments don’t always come right away.  Some technologies don’t pan out; some companies fail.  But I will not walk away from the promise of clean energy.  We’ve subsidized oil companies for a century.  That’s long enough.”

He said he was directing his administration also to allow the development of clean energy on enough public land to power 3 million homes, with the USA navy purchasing enough capacity to power a quarter of a million homes a year. He then announced a plan to eliminate energy waste by manufacturers with incentives, and for businesses to upgrade their buildings on energy factor lines, also using tax incentives to do so.

Posted in Cabinet,Presidential, Energy, Finance, economic, Fuel,oil,renewables, Mining, beneficiation, Public utilities, Trade & Industry0 Comments

Gas Act changes closer to implementation

Following the November 2011 LP Gas conference in Johannesburg, the minister of energy , Dipuo Peters, has revealed in a written reply to a parliamentary question that  the energy department is in the process of finalising a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) strategy in the form of a new Bill to be introduced shortly.

Cabinet’s approval will be shortly sought and the result opened up for public comment, she said.

The minister indicated that she intended to table the bill in Parliament before the end of the current financial year, saying that the review process at the conference in 2011 had enabled her department to study “some of the challenges experienced by current and prospective players in the gas industry, as well as shifts in the industry landscape”.

At the end of the conference, she told the media that a strategy was being drawn up as part of government’s response to challenges of over-dependence on electricity and greenhouse gas emissions and that she wished to encourage low income households to move from paraffin and “biomass” to LP gas, wanting to see1.5 million households using LPG by 2016.

She also told the National Assembly in her responses that clarity had to be sought on issues involving the importation, storage and distribution of both LNG and CNG and that PetroSA and iGas would consider importing LNG.   Dealing with another question, minister Peters confirmed that her department was drawing up a “road map for the energy sector” on energy and climate change, which plan would be implemented in the next financial year.

Posted in Communications, Energy, Finance, economic, Fuel,oil,renewables, Land,Agriculture, Mining, beneficiation, Public utilities, Trade & Industry0 Comments

New fuel pipeline will come at a cost

Brian Molefe, CEO of Transnet, told his audience at opening of the 550 kilometre multi-product fuel pipeline between Durban and Johannesburg that the cost of the new installation “will have to be recovered”.

In his opinion, the new pipeline “was one of the most cutting-edge and innovative infrastructure investments in the world”, the cost involved being given at R23.4bn at this stage, he said. It is understood that Transnet has applied to NERSA for a further 22% increase in tariff charges for the coming year, according to reports.

Last year’s tariff increase for fuel pumped is understood to have been just short of 60%. January 2012 has seen the new installation working alongside the older pipeline but the new line is only configured for diesel at this stage, with limited pumping facilities along its length.

Coming on top of a recent 43c per litre fuel price increase and the minister’s November call for “an audit” into refinery shortages, both fuel and electricity supply problems would seem to be moving in the same dismal direction leaving government and suppliers further apart.

On an up-beat note, Molefe told his audience that “the state-of-the-art pipeline” would also transport 93 and 95 octane petrol, low sulphur and ultralow sulphur diesel and jet fuel at a rate of “about three-million litres an hour”.  He said that eventually the capacity of the line was expected to be in the region of 26.7-billion litres of fuel a year.

Transnet pipelines head Charl Möller said the new pipeline would be upgraded in five phases up to 2032 as more pumping stations and metering points were added.

Posted in Cabinet,Presidential, Energy, Finance, economic, Fuel,oil,renewables, Labour, Land,Agriculture, Mining, beneficiation, Public utilities, Trade & Industry, Transport0 Comments


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