ESKOM IN UNDERHANDED TACTICS
Government deliberately vague on renewables policy
Richard Halsey: Surely, we can now use the situation of surplus electricity to alleviate energy poverty?
SA has endured a long winter of unfulfilled promises on the signing of power-purchase agreements (PPAs) by Eskom with the independent power producers (IPPs) of renewable energy. Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi announced on September 1 2017 that the PPA for bid window 3.5 and 4 would be signed "by the end of October 2017". One could be forgiven for thinking that this was cause for celebration. Eskom first defied government instruction to procure large-scale renewable energy back in July 2016, when it refused to sign the PPA with Redstone Solar. Remember, Eskom is owned by the state and the renewable-energy IPPs are part of a government programme. So, after 14 months of unnecessary and damaging delays, the news that "Eskom [is] to ensure that all contracts are in place for signing on October 28 2017" should be welcomed, right? Unfortunately, there is one highly problematic condition and two recommended action points that completely undermine this announcement. Firstly, the Department...