PowerFutures launch

The transition to renewable energy is top of the agenda at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week, with President Cyril Ramaphosa and team South Africa in attendance. It’s an opportune time to open the debate about a just energy transition in South Africa - to take a clear-eyed look at the Eskom Crisis and what the future of energy looks like in South Africa.

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That’s why we decided to launch Power Futures with a discussion on the Eskom Crisis and the Energy Transition. Together with thought leaders and energy experts from around South Africa, we’re asking the tough questions and debating this issue that is at the core of the South African economy.

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The facts are not disputed:

  • Load shedding costs the South African economy at least R2.1-billion a day.

  • Economists estimate that the South African economy could have been 10% larger by the end of 2014 if it had not been for crippling power shortages. That 10% translated to more than R300-billion — or more than one million job opportunities — lost.

  • Over the last 10 years, Eskom has had 10 CEOs and six boards.

  • In 2008, Eskom held an A1 investment grade credit rating. Last year, ratings agency Standard & Poor’s maintained Eskom’s rating at CCC+. Several levels deep into junk territory (and with a negative outlook).

  • In 2009, Eskom was selling 1kWh of electricity for 24c. In 2019 it is projected to be 97c.

  • At the end of March 2014, total municipal debt to Eskom was R2.6-billion. Municipalities, especially in rural areas, already and increasingly cannot afford to settle their accounts with Eskom.

So where do we go from here? That’s what PowerFutures South Africa is all about: a sustainable energy transition that works for all. Accessing accurate information, surfacing critical questions, and facilitating spaces for engagement between stakeholders in the energy sector. We especially need to explore policy evolution and bottom-up innovation for a sustainable energy transition.

Please join in the conversation on Twitter using #PowerFutures. Together we can make the changes South Africa needs.