15 May 2012 - Eskom dominates the domestic steam coal market in South Africa, accounting for about 116 million tonnes of the market’s 177 million tonne total. Even though the utility aspires to reduce its dependence on coal fired technology from 90% to about 65%, it will remain the country’s largest buyer of domestic coal for a long time to come.
[img:Earth - Pic 1_0.jpg| ]25 April 2012 - Energy efficient lighting is becoming increasingly important as an immediate solution to rising electricity consumption, with the increasing compatibility of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) for existing lighting infrastructure spurring sales, according to a new report by business intelligence company GlobalData.
This report found that the CFL market will flourish over the next few years, due to a steep rise in the market for new lamps and for replacements. Lighting appliances consume approximately 19% of total generated electricity. Environmental concerns and government awareness programs drive the CFL market, as the need to decrease emissions has compelled countries to look for clean technologies.
Bioethanol is produced from agricultural feedstock, and in 2011, coarse grains represented the most common raw material for bioethanol production, accounting for over a 50% share. Sugarcane, wheat, molasses, and sugar beet are also used. Global bioethanol production started in 2003, and grew at a significant rate up until the present, primarily due to government support in the form of subsidies.
[img:EE fit.thumbnail.JPG| ]18 April 2012 - The installation of two air-to-water heat pumps at the SA War College hostel in Pretoria was recently completed by Ai-TEC.
“These ThermoWise heat pumps, which meet the requirements of Eskom’s specifications to enable users to qualify for various rebates, have been installed at the hostel to reduce electricity consumption and to minimise maintenance requirements of the establishment’s water heating system,” Arnold Retief, director of Ai-TEC, says. “It uses approximately a third of the electricity normally required with standard resistance heating.”
department, Eskom]13 April 2012 - Eskom has lifted its hold on T5 tubular fluorescent lamp retrofit kits, and will again be subsidising approved lighting retrofit projects using these conversion systems as part of its energy efficiency rebate programmes. Many of the systems have been found to be safe, based on findings of a specialist work group comprising representatives from Eskom, the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS), equipment manufacturers, and the Illumination Engineering Society of South Africa (IESSA).
[img:Earth%20-%20Pic%201_0.jpg| ]By Johan Muller industry analyst email@example.com and Megan van den Berg industry analyst firstname.lastname@example.org
30 March 2012 - Earth Hour 2011 witnessed 135 countries and more than 5,200 cities across the globe, switching off their lights for an hour to send a powerful message for action on climate change, according to the official Earth Hour website. From its beginnings in Sydney, Australia in 2007, the last Saturday of March each year has become a scheduled event on the global calendar, labelled Earth Hour.
Although Earth Hour has garnered (in some instances) a type of emotive and fashionable herd mentality response from people and cities, the real issue is: what is the raison d’être behind Earth Hour?
It is an initiative with the simple idea of raising awareness as to the effects of uncontrolled energy use. These effects include global warming, loss of energy security and in general, a lacklustre mindset towards energy consumption. Each country’s energy mix and its associated set of energy issues is unique.
South Africa, for example, a hybrid between a purely developing and developed nation, has a multitude of energy supply issues. South Africa’s energy demand is highly likely to outstrip the energy supply this winter (2012), with a potential deficit of 3,000 MW during peak hours. Couple this with Eskom’s recent breach of the electricity margin (global best practice is a 15.0 % margin, with Eskom operating at a margin of roughly 11.6% since 2009) and its use of diesel-fired gas turbines to keep the lights on, and you have an unsustainable system with massive cost implications.
In the context of climate change, South Africa has a semi-arid climate in terms of annual rainfall, and is very sensitive to any changes in the climate. With predicted massive water shortages looming, the future hangs precariously on a few key decisions that will need to be made in the next five years.
One of the current initiatives by Eskom (apart from various market rebates, incentives and other industrial projects) is its recent drive towards energy efficiencies. Frost & Sullivan recently conducted energy studies to determine where South Africa can be more energy efficient. The industrial, agriculture and residential sectors were evaluated as well as commercial and government buildings and various others. Specific products analysed included geysers, air-conditioners, incandescent / CFL lights, pumps, motors and the like.
The results proved that the general South African individual (and business) is unaware of their energy consumption. Few people know the amount of energy they consume, and Rand cost per month of their own geyser, fridge, stove, pump, electric motors and so forth.
This ignorance stems from a legacy of paying cheap electricity tariffs in the past, which has led to a culture of naïve electricity consumption. It is very difficult to make a lasting improvement in energy consumption if you do not even know where you consume electricity inefficiently.
Consider this example: A typical household, replacing its incandescent light bulbs with energy saving CFLs, will experience savings of between 75% and 80% on the lighting component of its electricity bill.
The table below provides a high level insight into potential cost savings per year. This is based on the assumption that 10 light bulbs per household at 100 W incandescent and 20 W CFL are installed in each scenario, at R1.10 per kWh, in a 30 day month.
[img:Energy.thumbnail.JPG| ]27 March 2012 - Util Labs has developed the Low Voltage Smart System (LVSS) that brings the entire low voltage network in real time to a utility’s control room in a secure and cost-effective manner not previously possible. Traditional systems available to power utilities did not allow this to be practically implemented in the low voltage environment.
The LVSS can shift peak load, and if necessary, save base load by promoting consumer behaviour to adopt other sources of energy like gas, solar, coal (fireplaces) etc. It ensures that the responsibility for using electricity sparingly (whilst maintaining a lifestyle) is transferred to the consumer.
Customers in the residential sector are given a plug and play display device called EDDI that gives them current and accumulated consumption readings for their premises in real time. This makes them aware of their electricity usage and allows them to make conscious decisions on where to apply savings without inconveniencing themselves. Experience has shown that with an EDDI installed, customers adopt diligent energy saving behaviour and realise the importance of having energy saving appliances.
The device also allows customers to detect faulty appliances in their home, reducing the chance of unintended excessive usage and potentially unsafe conditions. The EDDI can be used as a communication tool by the utility to send customers power alerts and other related message either as mass messages or on a one-to-one basis.
Supplementary to the EDDI initiative is a simple web interface called the Consumer Consumption Console (CCC). Available exclusively to EDDI customers, the CCC gives a historical view of electricity consumption and allows the consumer to accurately equate his/her energy saving efforts to electricity saving in kWh which in turn equates to rands and cents. The CCC also equips customers with the tools needed to calculate their water usage and carbon footprint generated as a result of their electricity consumption.
The following study depicts the results of 400 households that have EDDIs (distributed from Week 6 onwards – Week 1 being the first week in February 2011) compared to a control group of 1,600 residences that don’t have EDDIs. The graph shows a definite energy saving, for week 12 and 13 the savings exceeded 10%.
Afrox, which is part of the global Linde group, has taken steps to reduce electricity consumption, including participation in Eskom’s programme to take some of its sites such as Kuils River off-line during national peak electricity demand periods. Afrox, in terms of an agreement with Eskom, is seeing R20 million being invested in bulk storage facilities at Kuils River and at Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal. This will enable the two plants to run to capacity during off-peak periods when power is cheaper, and to store product for use when Eskom requests power consumption reductions.