Eskom has been accused of deliberately distorting facts about the cost of renewable power purchases. The power utility issued a statement last week in which it claimed renewable energy was causing "a net loss" to the economy. "For the first six months of 2015, Eskom purchased 2 terawatt hours [TWh] of wind and solar PV [photovoltaic power]," Eskom said in the statement. "The CSIR [Council for Scientific and Industrial Research] calculated a total financial benefit of R8.2bn. This was offset against the R4.3bn renewable energy tariff cost, resulting in a net economic benefit of just under R4bn." But things changed thereafter, according to Eskom. "From January to December 2016, Eskom purchased 6 TWh of renewable energy from solar PV and wind," it stated. "Using the same methodology, Eskom calculated the financial benefits, which amounted to R3.2bn. This was offset against the renewable energy tariff cost of R12.2bn, resulting in a net loss of R9bn to the economy." But Cape Town-based ...

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