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Regulation News

Ill-considered industrial policy could undermine competition in SA, Tribunal chair warns

By: Terence Creamer     27th October 2008 Industrial policy is going to provide South Africa's competition authorities with some of their greatest challenges in the coming years as freedom from effective regulation is presented as an acceptable trade-off for meeting certain public-interest goals in the context of a slowing economy,... 

One-size-fits-all savings plan could threaten growth – energy-heavy users

By: Terence Creamer     25th October 2008 The proposed “one-size-fits-all” approach to power-conservation regulation in South Africa is “unrealistic”, “inappropriate” and would not necessarily yield the “low energy, high growth” outcome sought, a leading member of the Energy Intensive User Group (EIUG) has warned. Addressing a recent... 

New electricity conservation rules likely to ‘hurt’

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     17th October 2008 While the draft “Electricity Regulations on Deviation from Approved Tariffs” are already in the public domain, many electricity customers, building owners, facility managers and tenants are not aware of the rules, details and levels of the punitive tariffs of the Energy Conservation Scheme (ECS)... 

Africa still lagging, but cogen coming to the fore

By: Leandi Kolver     3rd October 2008 Global cogeneration is bound to increase from the current 6,5% to 10% by 2010, owing to aggressive encouragement by Western governments, says Energy for Sustainable Development Kenya MD Stephen Mutimba. 

What are the ingredients of a cogeneration project?

By: Leandi Kolver     3rd October 2008 For a cogeneration project to qualify as a cogenerator, the electricity produced should be the coproduct, byproduct, waste product or residual product of some industrial process, says the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) senior manager for energy, infrastructure and operations... 

Regulator gears up for next big Eskom application

By: Terence Creamer     19th September 2008 The broad electricity price path as outlined by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) earlier this year when granting Eskom a further increase of 13,3%, which was over-and-above the already-approved 14,2% for the year, would be reassessed along with Eskom’s application under the... 

SA’s ‘Energy Champions’ set 150-MW, six-month savings target

By: Jade Davenport     5th September 2008 The much-anticipated programme of action that would govern the so-called ‘Energy Champions’ initiative, announced by South Africa President Thabo Mbeki in his State of the Nation address at the start of the year, was unveiled at a press briefing in Cape Town this week. Deputy President Phumzile... 

Energy Bill puts measures in place to ensure uninterrupted supply - Sonjica

21st August 2008 South Africa would put in place measures to ensure that diverse energy resources – in sustainable quantities and at affordable prices – were available to the economy, Minerals and Energy Minister Buyelwa Sonjica said on Thursday. Introducing the new Energy Bill, which the National Assembly... 

Gas would add positive dimension to SA’s energy economy if only it were more readily available

By: Leandi Kolver     8th August 2008 South Africa is primarily a coal-based economy, with abundant cheap coal reserves and other energy sources struggle to compete,” September laments, adding that, within the current pricing regime, natural gas is relatively uncompetitive. 

National energy-efficiency hub launched at the University of Pretoria

By: Leandi Kolver     4th July 2008 A national hub offering a postgraduate programme in energy efficiency and demand-side management (EEDSM) has been launched at the University of Pretoria. 

Ratings agencies hold off on Eskom downgrade, await details of State support

By: Terence Creamer     19th June 2008 Credit ratings agencies Standard & Poor's (S&P's) and Fitch Ratings have maintained their respective negative outlooks on Eskom despite the National Energy Regulator of South Africa's (Nersa) decision to give Eskom an additional 13,3% tariff increase for 2008/9, raising the... 

Too early to say whether Manuel will frontload Eskom injection, but clarity expected soon

By: Terence Creamer     19th June 2008 It would be premature to say whether the National Treasury would concur with the National Energy Regulator of South Africa's (Nersa's) recommendation that the R60-billion capital injection pledged by government for Eskom be frontloaded to allow R12-billion to flow during the current... 

Nersa praised for striking ‘skillful' balance, but added increase will be painful

By: Terence Creamer     18th June 2008 The decision by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to revise the 2008/9 power-tariff increase from the 14,2% sanctioned in December 2007, to a nominal 27,5% for the 12-month period ending March 31, 2009, was generally well received by stakeholders, but all commentators warned... 

Nersa grants Eskom 27,5% tariff increase 

By: Matthew Hill     18th June 2008 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) on Wednesday granted Eskom an average tariff increase of 27,5% for the 2008/9 financial year, which included the 14,2% it had already granted the state-owned power utility in December last year. This would allow Eskom to recover primary... 

Big nuclear push as Cabinet approves new policy

By: Matthew Hill     12th June 2008 Cabinet has approved South Africa's nuclear energy policy, clearing the way for the country's planned big nuclear drive, it said on Thursday. The policy would allow South Africa to diversify its primary energy sources, and move away from an over-reliance on coal for electricity... 

Explicit State support needed to secure Eskom rating if tariff hike is refused - Fitch 

By: Terence Creamer     6th June 2008 Credit-ratings agency FitchRatings, which has State-owned power utility Eskom on an "negative outlook", would probably move to downgrade the utility immediately if it failed to secure a 60% tariff increase from the regulator later this month, unless the announcement was associated with... 

Eskom begins standing its ground, but regaining credibility will be tough 

By: Terence Creamer     6th June 2008 A decidedly less apologetic tone has started to emerge at embattled State utility Eskom, with nonexecutive chairperson Valli Moosa leading what could be seen as something of a “fight back” in the corporation’s bid to regain a semblance of public credibility. 

No commercial or political sense in halting power exports, Moosa argues

By: Terence Creamer     4th June 2008 There would have been little commercial or political logic in simply cutting off all power exports to South Africa's neighbours during the power emergency earlier this year, Eskom chairperson Valli Moosa argues. The utility has come in for significant criticism for continuing to export to... 

Eskom pores over first 15 cogeneration bids, still hoping for 3 000 MW

By: Terence Creamer     3rd June 2008 State power utility Eskom is assessing more than 15 cogeneration bids submitted ahead of its May 31 deadline for the so-called Pilot National Cogeneration Programme (PNCP) and its chairperson Valli Moosa said on Monday night that the group was still hopeful of facilitating the introduction of... 

Prolonged pain chosen over power shock 

By: Terence Creamer     30th May 2008 The principle of smoothing, over a five-year timeframe, the “necessary increases” in the power tariffs to Eskom, has been accepted by government, labour, business and community stakeholders, which have now presented this proposal to National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa).  

Eskom asks: What about the policy and regulatory gaps?

By: Terence Creamer     30th May 2008 The policy and regulatory failures that contributed to the supply-side constraints that, in turn, resulted in the sustained period of power cuts earlier in the year, had not been fully explored in an inquiry conducted by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa), Eskom CEO Jacob... 

Nersa settles into deliberation mode after intensive hearing process 

By: Matthew Hill     29th May 2008 After having received more than 370 submissions and counting, and having posed over 150 questions to more than 40 presenters in its now concluded electricity tariff public hearings, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) now has to reach a decision on whether or not to grant an... 

Funding certainty ‘key' as Eskom spends R23m every working hour 

By: Terence Creamer     29th May 2008 South Africa's State power utility was spending R23-million "every working hour" and, thus, urgently required certainty on the composition of the funding mix for its R343-billion capital programme between tariff increases, an injection from its shareholder and borrowings, CEO Jacob... 

Credit downgrade could limit Eskom's access to debt markets and suppliers 

By: Terence Creamer     23rd May 2008 A single-notch downgrade by the international rating agencies of Eskom's credit worthiness could add between R3-million and R4-million to the cost of each R1-billion borrowed on the capital markets. But finance director Bongani Nqwababa warned at the weekend that the impact could be even... 

‘Let's probe who has benefited from coal windfall at public's expense'

By: Terence Creamer     23rd May 2008 Regulatory action, in the public interest, was required to determined whether windfall profits were being made in the supply of short-term coal to South Africa's power utility Eskom, and to mitigate the impact of speculative activities, Mike Muller, who is currently a Wits academic, but who... 

No longer shooting in the dark

By: Terence Creamer     23rd May 2008 One of the main criticisms that has been levelled about State power utility Eskom’s various tenders seeking bids from the private sector for much-needed power production, has been the fact that there has been little or no pricing visibility. If fact, some have even suggested that the... 

Moosa breaks his silence and slams Nersa report

By: Terence Creamer     22nd May 2008 Embattled Eskom chairperson, Valli Moosa, who has been widely accused of having kept far too low a profile during the prevailing electricity crisis, broke his silence on Thursday. In a statement released on behalf of the Eskom board, Moosa - who was re-elected to the National Executive Committee... 

Moves afoot to formalise electricity advisory council

By: Terence Creamer     21st May 2008 A two-a-side task team meeting involving government, business, labour and community representatives to the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) will be held on Tuesday to finalise the composition and terms of reference for the so-called ‘National Stakeholders Advisory... 

Eskom says coal exports threaten security of supply 

By: Matthew Hill     20th May 2008 While soaring coal prices were a key driver behind Eskom’s latest and much-debated application to the energy regulator for significant electricity price increases, CE Jacob Maroga said on Tuesday that it “won’t be useful to force” issues on the coal industry. However, he... 

Policy, regulatory gaps in Nersa report, says Eskom

By: Terence Creamer     20th May 2008 The policy and regulatory failures that contributed to the supply-side constraints that, in turn, resulted in the sustained period of power cuts earlier in the year, had not been fully explored in an inquiry conducted by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa), Eskom CEO Jacob... 

Regulator wants independent body to manage private power procurement

By: Matthew Hill     19th May 2008 State-owned Eskom should not manage and coordinate the procurement of new private generation capacity, independent power producers (IPPs) and cogeneration projects, but rather an independent professional entity should do so, a government regulator said on Monday. The National Energy Regulator of... 

KZN second-largest contributor to SA GDP

By: Loni Prinsloo     16th May 2008 The gross domestic product of the KwaZulu-Natal region is now the second largest in the country, after Gauteng. 

National electricity supply shortage sets in

By: Shona Kohler     16th May 2008 South Africa’s current power supply shortage is likely to leave the country vulnerable for a number of years going forward, with some even suggesting that the situation could persist for the next five to eight years if appropriate and immediate interventions are not made.  

Investment capital must either come from the shareholder or the consumer, Eskom argues

By: Terence Creamer     16th May 2008 State power utility Eskom, which has requested a 60% upward revision in its tariffs for the 2008/9 financial period, is to receive a term sheet from the National Treasury outlining scenarios for how the R60-billion shareholder injection, promised by Finance Minister Trevor Manuel in his February... 

Repeating past mistakes

By: Terence Creamer     16th May 2008 “My day would start with my first contact with the senior control engineer on shift from the previous night - between 06h30 am and 07h00 am - when I would update myself on our ability to meet the morning peak, and any action we were planning to take. “At about 08h30, I received an... 

Eskom seeks regulator approval to double DSM budget 

By: Matthew Hill     15th May 2008 Capacity constrained power utility Eskom has asked the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to more-than-double the amount of money it can claim back from government for its demand-side management (DSM) programme for this financial year to R2,5-billion, an official said this week.... 

Erwin hints to ‘smoothed' power-tariff compromise

By: Terence Creamer     14th May 2008 It is increasingly likely that the South African government, which is the sole shareholder in power utility Eskom, would set out a "smoothed" tariff-increase scenario at the energy summit that will convene in Johannesburg on Friday. But a high-placed Eskom official, who spoke on... 

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