South Africa warns of electricity tariff hikes until 2015 (2)

21:49, January 12, 2011      

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According to Manoa, this may mean that South Africa has more of an energy crisis on its hands than the IRP is basing its planning on.

"Whatever the reality is, the wisest course of action would be for business to immediately start planning for its own power supply in the face of serious power shortages, calling on the services of experienced energy consultants to help determine the best possible course of action for continuing to operate at minimum risk over the next few years," Bluff said.

The IRP's plan for ensuring adequate energy supply over the next few decades includes a mix of nuclear. 25 percent, five potential nuclear power station sites have already been approved; renewable energy sources such as wind and solar 33 percent and conventional energy sources two coal-fired power stations are already in the works, with a possible third to be approved soon.

"With such a great emphasis placed on wind and solar power, consumers can definitely expect to pay more for electricity as these are not exactly cheap technologies," says Bluff. "However, as technology improves, this scenario may change, so it's important that the IRP be flexible enough to change as and when is needed -- not only every two years when it's reviewed," the company statement said.

According to the IRP, electricity prices will more than double over the next 2 years.

All in all, the IRP assumes that businesses are going to become far more energy efficient in the future as it's planning for an overall increase in electricity supply of 15 percent, compared with economic growth that's expected to bump up demand by 30 percent by 2034.

"Companies simply have to wake up to this fact fast or they're going to go out of business - it's that simple," concludes Bluff. "It's also important for smaller businesses to become far more involved in processes such as the IRP as right now as it's only really the interests of large industrial companies that are being properly represented," she added.

Source: Xinhua
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