City of Cape Town starts selling 'Green Electricity'

At last it will be possible to switch to ‘green electricity’ because the City, ever more serious about sustainability, will now be selling Green Electricity Certificates (GECs). This green electricity is generated at South Africa’s first commercial wind farm, the Darling Wind Farm on the West Coast.

‘Green electricity’, also known as green power or renewable energy, is electricity generated from renewable sources such as wind, sun and wave. It is an environmentally responsible alternative to conventional electricity generated from fossil fuels such as coal and oil. The burning of fossil fuels is the major cause of greenhouse gas emissions (such as carbon dioxide), and as a result, climate change.

The City of Cape Town aims to source at least 10% of the metro’s energy from renewable sources by 2020, and an important contributor to this goal is the Darling Wind Farm.

The City helped start the Darling Wind Farm Project in 2006 by entering into a Power Purchase Agreement with Darling Wind Power. The Darling Wind Farm is a R70 million national pilot project comprising four 1.3 megawatt wind turbines on a hill alongside the R27 West Coast Road. The turbines began generating in May 2008, and the City will purchase the entire production for 20 years.

GECs, an internationally accepted mechanism for trading green electricity, represent units of green electricity. In essence, a GEC is an auditable financial instrument that reflects the attributes of green energy independently of the actual units of energy – ie, the ‘greenness’ value is separated from the electrons.

A green generator, in this case, the Darling Wind Farm, produces electricity that is distributed into the national grid and becomes undifferentiated from normal coal-generated electricity. Following generation, an electronic record called a “Green Electricity Certificate”, is created which represents the quantity and type of green electricity produced. This certificate can be marketed and sold separately from the associated electricity. A consumer wanting to “green” their electricity consumption would purchase a number of units of GECs equivalent to the units of electricity consumed by the facility or production process to be greened.

In addition to this National Demonstration Pilot Project, designed to explore the technical, commercial and environmental viability of converting wind energy into electricity, the City is also working on other sustainable energy projects. These include Green Buildings Guidelines; the Greening of Procurement Policy (such as fuel efficiency in fleet tenders), an Efficient Water Heating by-law; Solar Water Heating in the City’s nature reserves; and Solar Water Heating in low-income housing projects, and land for methane gas capture and electricity generation.

The Darling Wind Farm is funded by:

* The Central Energy Fund (CEF)
* The Development Bank of South Africa
* The Danish Government (Danida)
* A private developer: Darling Independent Power Producer

The certificates will be offered for sale once or twice a year, depending on how much green electricity has been generated and how much Green Certificate Stock has been accumulated. Click here to participate in the initial sale of 10 GWH (10 000 000 kilowatt hours).

Income from the sale of the GECs is intended to cover the premium the City has to pay for purchasing the green electricity. The GECs will be sold initially at a price of 25c (excluding VAT) per unit (1 kilowatt). This purchase is an additional purchase and an additional expense to the cost of the normal electricity bill.

By Martin Pollack
30 April 2010


SARPA members encouraged to join new interactive forum on LinkedIn

SARPA members are encouraged to become members of the new interactive forum called Linkedin.  If you're not already a member of Linkedin then what are you waiting for?

All members would have received an invitation to join the network and if you haven't already then I urge you to sign up for this new membership discussion forum. If you did not receive an invitation in your email mailbox or if you have deleted the invitation already, you can still create your own profile on “LinkedIn” and apply for membership of the SARPA group. All you need to do, is go into:

We urge you to join this exciting forum and get in with some interesting and topical debates.


META conference registration forms

The 2010 META Conference Registration form(s) are now available for download from the IURPA Web Site:

Registration Form:

Vendor Registration Form:

Jeff Meyer, META


City targets cable theft

Report cable theft, Buffalo City has urged its residents, as a task team works tirelessly to clamp down on the problem.

Theft of copper cables predominantly occurs in Duncan Village, Cambridge, Arnoldton and around the airport.

The task team includes officials from the City's revenue protection unit, the electricity operations law enforcement unit, the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the appointed electricity contractor.

Seven suspects were arrested recently for allegedly stealing copper and lead sheath worth R400. "Copper and lead sheath was identified at a scrap metal dealer in town as being identical to that which was stolen and the suspects confessed to committing the crime," said Chris Gower from the City's electricity department.

The new legislated Second Hand Goods Bill required that dealers recorded the identity numbers of people selling copper to them "and in this case the vehicle transporting the goods was also identified as transporting [other] goods that were identified in numerous [other] copper sale transactions".

According to the electricity department, copper cable theft cost the municipality millions of rand each year – money that "could be spent on service delivery".

"Copper cable theft affects ratepayers negatively because it is costly to fix the problems, and these costs have to be borne by [ratepayers]," explained the director of engineering services, Nceba Ncunyana. "It also affects business production and ultimately the economy as a whole."
By Tabisa Mntengwana 


Durban takes steps to deal with water losses

With an average loss of about 90 000 kilolitres of water per day, eThekwini municipality has taken steps to deal with its water losses by investing in a multi-million-rand replacement programme.

eThekwini’s Water and Sanitation (EWS) Head, Neil Macleod, explained that with the eThekwini water demand rising, and leaks escalating due to the old crumbling pipe infrastructure, the municipality realized that it had to act fast in order to prevent demand exceeding supply.

In the 2009 financial year R37.3m was invested into water loss reduction projects and another R65m has been budgeted for 2010.

Neil Macleod said projects like the Asbestos Cement (AC) Pipe Replacement programme are expected to provide at least 50 years of leak-free service to the municipality. eThekwini’s Water and Sanitation has also improved the customer billing service. More than 3020 water meters that were installed in the 1970s and earlier have already been replaced and the new meters are monitored to ensure accurate measurements.

Macleod also explained that Pressure management proved to be one of the most effective interventions. By reducing the water pressure, water loss could be reduced by 70-million litres a day and every R1m invested on pressure management translates into a R3m saving on water losses.

The eThekwini municipality has set its sights at reducing leaks so that within a decade the loss can be held steady at 23%. According to World Bank publications, this would place the eThekwini Municipality in the top 35% of water systems in the developed world and in the top 15% in the developing world.