Greenpeace Africa demands renewable energy investment at NERSA hearings

Press release - January 26, 2010
Johannesburg, South Africa - Today Greenpeace Africa made a verbal submission in the Gauteng leg of the NERSA hearings on Eskom’s proposed tariff increase of 35% annually for the next three years.

Greenpeace stated that while in principle it does not oppose an increase in energy price, it does oppose the application made by Eskom as it currently stands.

“Within the context of catastrophic climate change, a tariff increase that is used to fund further investment in coal and nuclear energy is unethical and immoral. The solution to South Africa’s energy needs lies in the proactive and aggressive investment in renewable power generation and energy efficiency” said Nkopane Maphiri, Climate and Energy Campaigner for Greenpeace Africa.

The organisation called on NERSA to ensure that if the tariff increase were to go ahead, stringent conditions would be attached. These must include a universal stepped tariff and an increased Free Basic Electricity allocation of 100 kWh/month for all users; a national program of providing energy efficiency packages (which would be free to low income consumers); and the ring-fencing of at least 50% of the tariff increase for investments into renewable energy and energy efficiency. Greenpeace Africa argued that under no circumstances should the tariff increase pay for funding nuclear energy or the development of new coal power stations after Medupi and Kusile, and stated that there should be a pause between Medupi and Kusile to develop and build substantial renewable capacity in South Africa.

The organisation also used the opportunity to present salient points from its Energy [R]evolution report, which has found that renewable energy could provide 75% of electricity and reduce CO2 emissions from electricity in SA by 328 million tons per year by 2050. The preliminary findings of a new report commissioned to investigate the job prospects within the energy sector if the Energy [R]evolution scenario were implemented in SA were also presented. The study indicated that in the [R]evolution scenario 64 000 new jobs could be created in renewable energy between 2010 and 2030, more than offsetting potential losses in the coal industry.

 

Contacts

Fiona Musana, Communications Director, +27795129381
Nkopane Maphiri, Climate and Energy campaigner, +27725608666