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Showing posts from 2012

Grow Green. Strikes, unemployment. Or electricity?

My letter in the Cape Times today: There are alternatives to the strikes, unemployment and massive problems afflicting South Africa. The population of South Africa is being hampered by government legislation that prevents private people and businesses from selling electricity across the national grid. Yet the energy policy white paper of 2003 says that competition should be allowed. South Africa is at a state of war with itself because of rapidly rising prices and growing unemployment, similar to what is happening in Greece and Italy. The National Planning Commission's report shows exactly how the unemployment figures are massaged and it is not good reading. However, there is an alternative. Safe, green, sustainable, electricity, with the price coming down every year or at the very least never going up again - ever. However, the government sees electricity as a cash cow, instead of realising that electricity is there to grow the economy. If the economy grows there will b

Follow the para-olympic example. Start Doing instead of complaining

Some good news and possibilities ... With so much "bad stuff" going on, I am so happy to have witnessed the amazing athletes at the ParaOlympic Games. The Parallel Olympics. South Africa has 8 golds, 12 silvers and 9 bronzes, making 29 medals. And we are 17th on the log at the moment, ie in the top 20 countries. I am very proud of our guys and girls. They have inspired me to continue reaching for my ideals and values in this difficult world in which we live. Initially I felt sorry and compassion for them. But after a few days, I realised that they don't feel sorry for themselves. They are an inspiration to all of us, whether we have physical or mental problems. We can overcome them. We can even overcome our environmental problems which lead to so many mental problems!! We just have to stop complaining and start doing. As soon as this happens, our world will truly change for the better.

Exploiting South Africa's Energy Resources

The South African government has forgotten that South Africa's energy resources include the sun and the wind and water and other sources of renewable energy. Instead it concentrates its efforts on fossilised non-renewable fuels which harm the planet and doesn't give us the opportunity to make use of our vast solar, wind and ocean resources. Now that Government has lifted the ban on  fracking , perhaps it will level the playing fields and lift the ban on Net Metering and implement NRS 097 2 1 which allows Net Metering with Reverse Feed and Time of Use Tariffs without a service fee? This will give the alternative energy supporters time to show that alternative and renewable energy are cheaper and more sustainable than gas in South Africa. And it will level the playing fields and give the small person in South Africa the chance to compete with the goliaths of this world, including our government and Shell.

Warning to renewable energy investors; opportunity for social entrepreneurs

David Lipschitz , letter in today's Cape Times: Dear Editor Alan Winde's announcement of the Western Cape government's "intention" to create jobs in Western Cape is just that: an intention. When business reads this, it invests. Since 2003, and especially since November, 2008, the local and central governments have been making announcements of their intentions. Companies have invested hundreds of millions of Rands in being ready for these intentions. To no avail. Whilst government is saying one thing, it is enacting every possible legislation to prevent or slow down renewable energy in South Africa. This should be illegal and it is known as Greenwashing. Saying one thing publicly whilst doing something else entirely. As an example, South Africa has 35 rules for generating electricity using the sun. The USA has 6 rules. So this is a warning to any new market entrants. Be very careful with your hard won savings and investments. Many companies have come

Understanding Renewable Energy Opportunities

Hi Peter Thank you for the compliment. We appreciate it and it helps with our work. Are you a member of SAAEA? The first thing people need to do is for us to change the way we think about our capital spend. Eg borrowing R100,000 may have a 20 year repayment period and thinking about it another way, you might be cash positive in year 8, due to the fact that your electricity price is constant, whereas without your system your electricity price would be increasing. But another way to look at this, is that if you can spend the same amount of money per month producing your own electricity, as you are spending on electricity at the moment, then you are cash neutral in year one and in year two you are cash positive, making approximately R4000 profit in year two from become a power station supplying electricity to the grid. If you are paying R1200 per month for electricity in the City of Cape Town, then if your rate is R1.50 per kWh, then you are using 800 kWh per month of electricity

Mad Activists

To all my activist colleagues: I humbly suggested that we activists are the stupidest people on the planet. Although we have the planet's well being at heart, we spend our hard one earnings and savings trying to help and most people just don't care, are myopic, are disinterested, apathetic, or worst of all, are simply in such a fossilised fuel mythology induced daze that they are simply dead people walking. We put huge efforts into commenting on new laws; into commenting on newspaper articles; into being on the radio; into going to conferences free of charge; into giving; but what do we get out? And how much financial debt is worth all this exposure? And why do we allow ourselves to be used? The government spends Billions on Consultants and then asks us activists to use our extensive knowledge to comment on what the consultants have said and written. We must be completely mad to do this for free. We are essentially doing the consultants work and filling in the blanks.

What's really happening in South Africa? Why are we in a recession?

So what's really happening? South Africa doesn't have enough electricity. Similar to Greece, Syria, Spain, some of the more than 40 countries worldwide whose energy imports either exceed their total exports or are more than 60% of their total exports. South Africa doesn't have enough electricity. Our capacity is around 35 GigaWatts, and was around 38 GW 20 years ago. Plus peaking power stations taking us to around 38 GW today. At 3.6% average electricity growth worldwide in the past 20 years, South Africa should be at 80 GW today and in 20 years time should be at 160 GW. To "solve" the problem, the South African government has had to be very inventive. Especially whilst giving another 2 million people electricity since 1994. It has closed the textile industry, moving almost this entire industry to China. It has closed several smelters, hence the reason South Africa's iron and steel exports have plummeted. It blames our problems on China, but China add

Complain about price increase or Make money off them.

Eskom Tariff to Double by 2015. So what to do about it.  Don't buy electricity from Eskom. Instead sell electricity to Eskom! We can make electricity on our roofs and sell it to Eskom. Dear all. Instead of complaining, South Africa's favourite pastime, do something about it. Like  NetMeteringSA  and  Mandelaton . When we get to 1,000 likes we will start changing our world. When we get to 50,000 likes we will be Eskom's biggest customer! We will also be their biggest competitor. And our prices NEVER, EVER, have to increase again. It starts with us working together. Still unsure. Watch:  The Five Winners . Please start by liking the two Facebook links as well as my video. It won't cost you anything to do this. Ke nako (the time is right for the people to take responsibility for themselves and to NEVER have another electricity price hike). D

SAAEA Gold Membership and Green Merlin Award

David Lipschitz and My Power Station awarded SAAEA (South African Alternative Energy Association) Gold Membership and  Green Merlin Award  for services to Renewable Energy in South Africa.

David Lipschitz - The Five Winners

We're at Grid Parity. Watch David Lipschitz of My Power Station discuss The Five Winners. * The customer wins. * The suppliers win. * Eskom wins. * The government and cities win. * The environment wins. With special thanks to Neil Webster and Adrian Charles of FixerFilm ( for this magnificent quality photography and editing. "It starts with us working together."

Government has become big business and has lost its way

Government has become big business and has lost its way Many governments of the world are reducing Feed In Tariffs (FITs) as fast as possible as they see their electricity revenue streams possibly diminishing, or maybe as they start running out of money. However, this is a myopic view and those countries that keep FITs going will reap the rewards as their economies grow and their tax base increases. Note that South Africa doesn't need FITs as we have already reached Grid Parity, i.e. the price where consumers can make electricity at the same price that we can buy it. Only two things are missing in South Africa: deregulation and Net Metering. With Net Metering, the consumer gets paid the same price for electricity we sell to the grid as for electricity we buy from the grid. With deregulation, protectionist laws are removed and the paying field is leveled. The governments of th

Why are we suffering? What can we do about it?

The real reason for sluggish growth in South Africa!! What can we do about it? Join/Like  and show that you care and that you want a better environment, a more healthy lifestyle, that you want to save money, and that you want a better life for yourselves and your children.

The Green Capitalist Party, The Rondebosch Common and the Occupy Movement

I just posted this on Facebook in reply to a question about the Green Party's view on the Occupy Movement and Rondebosch Common, and thought I should repost it here. "On January 27 2012, 42 members of a group called "Take back the Common", were arrested by the SAPS for holding an illegal gathering on or near the Common". See The FB Green Party isn't the official Green Party. In fact, I started a FB page called The South African Green Capitalist Party and got so much flack that eventually I started this one. The good thing about the SAGCP party was that there was a huge amount of correspondence - And I have been considering going back to the original name. What do you think? Note that there is an official South African Green Party which has been registered, but I have never been able to get hold of the people who run it. See