Financial Mail

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

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