Renewable energy costs
I am an economist and enjoyed reading your article “Flicker in the plan” ( Features December 11-17 2014).
One point, though, which I think would be helpful to inform the public’s view on the degree of success of the renewable energy programme, is the cost attached to it.
A table comparing the price per kilowatt hour received by renewable power producers with the average price received by Eskom when it sells electricity would reveal that renewable energy comes at quite a premium. (As you know, the price received by renewable power producers depends on the procurement round and the type of generation.)
First prize, to keep everybody wellinformed and honest, would be to show the additional cost attributable to renewable power as a separate item or surcharge on all electricity bills, whether it was an Eskom bill or a municipal bill.
I hope improved technology will one day allow for that additional cost to become a discount, but for now renewable energy is expensive. Johan van den Heever, Lynnwood