So Eskom will not sign any power purchase agreements with private producers after the current round is finalized without further discussion?
“It is unconscionable that Eskom continues to hold South Africans to ransom so that the utility can maintain its stranglehold on the country’s economy and electricity supply, at whatever cost. Although much has been made of Eskom’s precarious financial situation, at the beginning of this month Eskom reported that its profits have surged to four billion Rand for the last financial year, while the price of electricity soars to pay for new investments in dirty coal power. The utility can no longer be allowed to put its short-sighted profit motive ahead of the people of this country.” So said Greenpeace Africa.
It seems like no coincidence that Eskom’s latest statement comes only a month after Brian Molefe’s anti-renewable energy rant, when he controversially claimed that renewable energy is sub-standard – at a time when renewable energy is the only technology currently delivering new electricity capacity on time and on budget to South Africa’s constrained grid. By claiming that renewable energy doesn’t deliver, and refusing to sign new connection agreements, Eskom is clearly running an anti-renewable energy campaign, which must be stopped in its tracks.
Utilite could become obsolete without shifting business model
The utility risks becoming obsolete if it does not shift its business model to ensure that new investments go into renewable energy, instead of threatening to cut off renewable energy projects in the country.
Clearly the fact that Eskom has an almost complete monopoly over electricity production, distribution and transmission is not working and Eskom cannot be allowed to be both referee and player, when the only role that they take seriously is blocking investments that are a threat to their bottom line. Indeed, one of the barriers to rooftop solar in South Africa is that Eskom believes that people producing their own electricity from solar panels is a threat to their profits.
The toxic lack of direction from the Department of Energy plays right into Eskom’s hands, and it is the people of this country who are paying the price. If Eskom will not deliver clean, affordable, safe electricity to the people of this country, then its monopolistic approach to electricity supply must be transformed. There is no doubt that investments need to be made in the country’s grid, but maybe Eskom should not be the entity making them, and neither should they be the entity buying power from other producers.”
Source: Greenpeace Africa