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Eskom worried about immediate supply

May 22 2012 12:20
Reuters & Sapa

Johannesburg - Power utility Eskom is worried about meeting peak power demand as winter sets in, although the situation should improve by the middle of June, CEO Brian Dames told reporters on Tuesday.

Eskom said on Monday that available spare supply on its electricity network had dropped to 2% of total capacity as temperatures fell.

Decisions on South Africa's future energy supply should be made early to cope with rising demand, Dames said.

"We must decide now to build the next power plant. We must not make the mistake to build when it is too late," he told the African Utility Week exhibition in Johannesburg.

With urbanisation and technology pushing up electricity demand worldwide, investing in infrastructure is important.

Dames said South Africa's concerns about energy supply will subside as capacity to generate power increases, but other countries in Africa are not so fortunate.

It is in the country's interest to facilitate increased power capacity on the continent.

Turning to tariffs, Dames said South Africa's electricity prices are not yet cost-effective. Increases over a longer period of time, matching the rise in inflation, was where tariff increases should eventually settle.

He said if increased capacity is created, it has to be paid for.

The growth in energy supply needs to be more efficient and address climate change while keeping the lights on, Dames said.

eskom  |  brian dames  |  power supply


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