' Whenever electricity reserve margins are critical, intensive energy users are the first to be requested to cut back on usage.'
In a competitive environment, the capacity for doing business and economic growth is linked to the supply of energy. Whether in the form of energies expended by the workforce or in the form of electricity generated from fossil fuels and renewable sources – it is a resource that drives the success and sustainability of the business sector. The 2008 experience of ‘the lights going out’ remains fresh in South African memories and since then changing perceptions of energy supply and demand have occurred. Various industry sectors are now following a new path of investment into back-up generation technologies and implementing aggressive on-site energy management and efficiency strategies. Charles Ntsele, chairperson of the Mining and Industrial Energy Optimisation Association (MIEO) in South Africa, expanded on the changing face of industry – stating that the urgent need to incorporate energy management strategies into every nook and cranny of business has now become clear.
Passionate about energy optimisation
Ntsele is passionate about energy optimisation not only in mining but in all spheres of business where rising energy costs continue to feature in boardrooms across South Africa. He explains that ‘fundamentally, the rise in energy costs impacts operating costs negatively. The South African industry in particular is accustomed to cheap electrical energy and its optimal usage was therefore never a norm in the past. This also contributed to equipment design that is not particularly focused on using energy efficiently but rather on durability and capacity. While the need to optimize energy usage is immediate, changing mind-sets in...