Eskom: Power alternative

Eskom’s bizarre plans to increase tariffs in excess of 50% and even go as far as having consumers pay for previous consumption is short of criminal (and supported by the SA government). While many people believe that loadshedding and generators is a South African symptom, don’t fool yourself.

Europe (especially Italy and France) and the US have similar supply problems. Those countries however do manage the supply problems by importing spare capacity, reducing the export of power or going for alternative power – such as California:

Southern California Edison is taking a different approach: instead of cluttering up the desert, the company plans to build a distributed solar array on the rooftops of commercial buildings throughout SoCal. The plan is to spend $875M over five years to cover about two square miles of rooftop with the panels, which will alleviate stress on the grid by generating around 250 megawatts of juice, as much as a small power plant. That’s enough to light up 162,000 homes, but it’s still a little short of the record 280-megawatt Solana installation planned in Arizona.

Makes you wonder into which (Eskom/government) pocket(s) those tariff increases will fall…