Dr Rob Stephen, Dr Minnesh Bipath, Nedbank comms head, Prof Barry Dwolatsky, Tim Ohlsen on the panel

Some really interesting views on Eskom from those in the know. A few perspectives on how renewables will change the power landscape, the billing and the costs as the unbundling of Eskom unfolds.

The common theme is that the real hurdle to cheaper electricity and much less load shedding is a combination of a few factors, the top of the list being lack of political will and a plethora of un/der qualified personnel mainly in municipalities who do not have the foresight and skills to adapt to the unstoppable renewables market. The technology already exists for municipalities to buy power from end users and re-sell it onto other users using existing distribution networks, however, they see this as competition and instead of making it work and pay for itself, are blind to the very obvious opportunity. The Western Cape has already cottoned onto this and already has received permission to buy power from Independent Power Producers (IPPs).

a non-state captured audience….

The audience Q & A drew some pertinent questions that were well handled by the panel as well as some comments and frustrations from various attendees specifically in relation to NERSA and applications that have stagnated with them for over 3 years and more. There were many entrepreneurs in the audience. Many shared their obstacles and ingenuity of getting around government imposed walls. Tim Ohlsen’s presentation with regard to block chain and financing revolutions in the renewable sector proved most enlightening.

In attendance and observing with an eagle eye was Nedbank’s chief economist Dennis Dykes

In summary, the event was interesting, no coffee was required to stimulate the senses, and no elbow required to prop up the drooping head. The future is still burning bright, it just looks like the brightly burning light will be lit by renewables!

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