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POWER SUPPLY: Business Welcomes Eskom's Move


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THE Cape Chamber of Commerce has welcomed the new feed-in tariffs Eskom will pay for “green” electricity produced from renewable sources by independent power producers.

“The new tariffs will make green electricity viable for many producers and encourage development in the field,” said Mr Jeremy Wiley, President of the Chamber.

He said that the cost of power from renewable sources did not compare well with that of electricity from our coal-fired power stations but it was important to get the green sector going. “It is only by being involved in the production of green energy that we will gain experience, improve techniques and bring costs down. The potential for future developments is more important than present costs.”

Mr Wiley said the tariffs would also encourage municipalities to produce power from the methane gas generated in their landfill sites. “This is just starting to happen but there is considerable potential to use this methane and methane from municipal sewage works to produce electricity.”

“We would also like to see a separate set of higher feed-in tariffs for peaking power. At present Eskom uses diesel in open cycle gas turbines to produce this power and the costs are very high, but there is potential for municipalities to store methane gas and use it to produce electricity during the evening period when demand for electricity is at its highest. An incentive tariff would encourage municipalities and it would save a lot of imported diesel.”

Another important factor was that small projects generally had short lead-in times so their contribution would be available long before the massive new power stations came on line.

“What we need now are feed-in tariffs for power produced from natural gas so that we can begin to exploit the huge gas reserves off the West Coast,” Mr Wiley said.

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