By Harald Winkler
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Extra info for Cleaner Energy Cooler Climate: Developing Sustainable Energy Solutions for South Africa
This gives South Africa the world’s sixth biggest reserves after 42 s ta rt i n g f r o m d e v e l o p m e n t o b j e ct i v e s China, the United States, India, Russia and Australia. 4), giving a life of about 165 years of production at current rates. Pinheiro’s detailed technical analysis gives an estimated life of 139 to 151 years, assuming that coal producers not only supply coal for electricity generation but also find profitable markets for their products (Pinheiro 1999: 31). 1 million tons of coal in its power stations (Eskom 2001: 126).
One of the features of South Africa’s energy economy that receives much attention is the relatively low price of electricity. There are multiple reasons for this and the price is low from a utility perspective rather than being affordable for all customers. As a parastatal for most of its life, Eskom received support from the government over the years. While it has contributed significantly to social development (notably electrification), this has been made possible by a range of factors – low coal prices, utilising power station technologies that maximise economies of scale and exploit the lowest value (and cost) of coal, exemption from taxation and dividends, financing subsidies and overcapacity (Clark 2001a; Eberhard 2000; Steyn 2000).
The mining and minerals beneficiations sectors are at the top of the list, with cement and chemicals also paying a major share of their input costs to electricity. 8 6300 Note: SIC = standard industrial classification Source: Consult 101, EC & IDC (2001) The contribution to productive activity can be understood in more detail by considering characteristics of the major electricity-using sectors. 12). za Industry (including both mining and manufacturing) is perhaps the classical sector of productive activity.