Powerpoint - Trade Unions for Energy Democracy

Motivations for a SociallyOwned Renewable Energy
A South African Case Study
Dinga Sikwebu
National Education Coordinator
South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent
Power Producer Programme (REIPPP)
• May 2011: Integrated Resource Plan (IRP); a
20-year electricity plan from 2010 to 2030
• 9% of electricity generated will be through
renewable energy technologies (photovoltaic,
concentrated solar thermal, biomass, biogas,
landfill gas, small hydro and wind)
• Renewables will make up 42% of the new
build capacity envisaged between now and
• Organs of the state in the energy sector
-municipalities and parastatals - are
excluded from the Renewable Energy
• An instrument to introduce renewables
is not a RE Feed-in Tariff (REFIT) but a
bidding process called REBID
How will the model work?
• Calls for tenders will be issued and IPPs will bid
in a confidential manner
• Winning bidders will then sell electricity to a
state electricity utility -Eskom - through 20-year
Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs)
• The basis of bidding will be a price (70%) and
other socio-economic developments objectives
• For every RE technology there is an applicable
tariff or a “cap”
Govt’s motivation for the model
• The model shields the state and taxpayers
from all financial risks associated with the
• The model allows the private sector to take
the risks and therefore allows government
revenue to go to other areas where there are
social needs
Why are we opposed to the REIPPP?
• National Treasury stands as a guarantor in case Eskom is
unable to pay and that the winning companies do not
receive rates stipulated in the PPAs
• Eskom as the “buyer” of electricity from IPPs will
potential recoup what it pays to independent power
producers through electricity tariffs
• Bidding makes the exercise expensive & renewable
energy less competitive
• Opens the development to domination by multinational
corporations in the RE sector
The focus on the grid and what this misses out
• Provision of energy needs to those who remain
• How RE can be an important lever that women
can use in their struggle for equality
• RE as non-commercial means of subsistence
• RE as part of larger efforts towards energy
democratisation, energy equality and a
restructuring of societies away from production
for profit
• RE’s contribution in constructing new
egalitarian relations of production and exchange
What extending calls for public and
democratic control of energy to RE means
• Unions acting as catalysts in the
establishment RE cooperatives and other
forms of community energy enterprises
• Building RE parastatals and municipal-owned
RE entities that are under democratic control
with a strong social mandate
• Bringing sites with the greatest abundance of
useable RE sources such as land under public,
community or collective ownership
What extending calls for public and
democratic control of energy to RE means
• Strategic and targeted a local content
requirement regime aimed at building a RE
manufacturing sector that guarantees jobs
and workers rights
• A search for forms of cooperation and
solidarity around energy that will reduce
competition and avoid workers of different
countries being pitted against each other.
Build a socially-owned renewable
energy sector
as a component a publicly-owned
and democratically-controlled
energy system!

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