Phindile Baleni, CEO, of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) says that regulation for the public good aims at striking a balance between the interests of society by treating the utility’s customers fairly, while also treating the regulated entities’ investors fairly. “We have confidence that the MYPD3 tariff determination in South Africa has managed to strike the delicate balance between the interests of the utility on the one hand and the consumers on the other hand. We believe the price increase of February 2013 was affordable by electricity customers.”
Baleni sees the four potential game changers that will influence the energy industry in the next decade are unconventional gas, smart grid, off-grid technology and the impact of solar panels on municipal system.
“Unconventional gas has the potential to change many things. It offers higher conversion efficiency and quicker build times of off the shelf combined cycle units. It also offers greater energy independence. Smart grid and the internet, offer greater operational efficiencies and many other things. Off grid technology can be applied to rural areas which are not easily reachable by the grid.”
Her view on global energy tariffs is that the main driving force for these is the energy mix and technology choices available to each country. “In this regard it seems that the USA is getting it right at the moment as they take advantage of their unconventional gas resources.”
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