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admin 11.10.2013

The second category 5 hurricane to hit Caribbean in two weeks leaves uncertainty in the energy market as oil prices head higher. Higher oil prices have driven demand for energy exploration and investment into oil and gas drilling rigs. With diminishing returns on investment into oil, would it not be better to invest into alternative energy such as solar or wind. Initiatives such as the trading of carbon credits leave little economic incentive to invest into alternative energy.
There is considerable variance in the cost of solar energy because sunlight availability varies by geography and climate.
For solar energy to be at parity with conventional fuels solar energy needs to be subsidized through tax incentives, utility rebates, and research funding. The DOE’s research funding for solar is just a drop in the bucket or barrel that better correlates the magnitude disparity. Solar energy and fuel cell technologies have the potential to ameliorate our energy dilemma of foreign oil dependence and risk of climate change from carbon emissions. Even some of the leading domestic solar photovoltaic cell suppliers are light on R&D spending. Solar and alternative energies represent a very small percentage of our total expenditures on energy. So a substantial reduction of solar energy costs, assuming somewhat elastic demand, we should see significant growth in solar energy.
Funding solar energy should be views as a strategic imperative at par with national surety. Public misperceptions have not been clarified or assisted by suggestions by the new acting Eskom CEO, Brian Molefe, that Eskom should take over the supply of electricity from all municipalities, and that all Eskom customers should then be put onto prepaid meter tariffs. In response to these misperceptions, we compared Eskom single-phase domestic 20 A and 60 A prepaid meter tariffs with the utility’s single-phase domestic 60 A and 80 A credit meter tariffs, while a second article compared Eskom’s single-phase domestic prepaid and credit meter tariffs with those of City Power.
This article is in response to requests for a wider comparison of domestic electricity prices in South Africa, both between large municipal electricity distributors, and between the metros and Eskom. Domestic electricity customers have no choice as to who supplies them with electricity, because all electricity distributors – Eskom and municipal – are geographic monopolies. It is therefore important that electricity pricing between distributors should be equitable, rational, and non-discriminatory. The reality, though, is that municipalities have different population sizes and densities, and provide different services to different mixes of low, medium, and high income and usage domestic customers. In addition, municipalities have different mixes of domestic, commercial, and industrial customers embedded within their geographic areas of supply. Surpluses on the sale of electricity by municipalities also provide different levels of cross-subsidisation of other municipal services, depending on their income from municipal rates and taxes. There are also differing levels of cross-subsidisation between high, medium, and low-income customers, between large, medium, and small customers, and between urban and rural customers. All of this results in a wide variance of electricity tariff rates and structures between municipal electricity distributors, and with Eskom Distribution.

Nor is the impact and timing of any such increase of this further Eskom application on municipal electricity tariffs known at this stage. The prices considered in this article are based on the current published tariffs applicable as at 25 May 2015. In this analysis, only 230 V single-phase tariffs have been considered, as these are in use by the significant majority of domestic customers. Electricity price per month as a function of electricity consumption, for the limited-capacity single-phase domestic tariffs of the seven electricity distributors.
Electricity price per month as a function of electricity consumption, for the standard single-phase domestic tariffs of the seven electricity distributors, in each of the three consumption ranges detailed above. For limited capacity supplies, eThekwini offers a very low-cost, lifeline supply tariff (up to 150 kWh per month) to indigent customers. However, it is not fair to compare this with the limited capacity supplies of other distributors, which are available somewhat more generally to low-income, low-consumption customers in townships. In ascending order, other low-cost, limited-capacity supplies are offered by Nelson Mandela Bay (up to about 450 kWh per month), Ekurhuleni (up to about 750 kWh per month) and Eskom (up to the full capacity of a 20 A prepayment meter). Cape Town offers a medium-priced limited-capacity supply up to 350 kWh per month, rising sharply thereafter for higher consumption up to 450 kWh per month. City Power does not offer a limited-capacity tariff, but for comparative purposes the 60 A City Power prepaid standard tariff option is shown. This indicates that its standard tariff, with three times the capacity of a 20 A limited-capacity prepaid tariff (such as that of Eskom), is still priced reasonably in the mid-range of the limited-capacity supply tariffs, over the range of 0 – 1,000 kWh per month. With standard tariffs, low-consumption domestic customers using up to 1,000 kWh per month on the City Power 60 A prepaid meter standard tariff option enjoy the lowest pricing. As a result of its high fixed monthly charges, the City Power 60 A and 80 A credit meter standard tariffs give the highest monthly billing for consumption up to 700 kWh and 750 kWh per month respectively, after which Cape Town rapidly assumes pole position for the highest electricity prices. For medium-consumption domestic customers, over the range of 1,000 – 2,000 kWh per month, the City Power 60 A prepaid meter standard tariff continues to provide the lowest pricing, while Cape Town gives the highest.
Sanyo's Solar Ark, located in the Gifu Prefecture at the center of Japan, is a 315m-wide (1033 feet), 37m-tall (121 feet) solar photovoltaic power generation facility.
Conventional sources of generating electricity, including coal and oil, have historically been much cheaper than renewables. The direct current (DC) solar power is converted to alternating current (AC) so that it can be used in residences and businesses.
Total electric output is the product of the average peak hours of sunlight (4.0 hours per day), the number of days in the year, and the lifetime of the system. Many companies, for example, Sharp Solar, provide cost calculators on their websites to help building owners make these calculations by providing geographical location information with respect to sunlight, rebates and tax incentives. David enjoys research and writing about cutting edge technologies that hold the promise of improving conditions for all life on planet earth. There are several studies evaluating ethanol as fuel for transportation that offer both positive and negative impacts from ethanol. To understand the economics, let’s compare ethanol to hydrocarbon fuels by efficiency and costs.

Our fuel energy conversion links Energy Units and Conversions KEEP, and Fuel BTUs provide some useful measures to evaluate ethanol in comparison to hydrocarbon fuels like diesel and gasoline.
One KWH equals 3,413 BTUs so we divide the BTU value for each fuel by 3,413 to arrive at its corresponding KWH energy value.
As seen from figure 1, ethanol is not the most efficient fuel because of its low BTU value in comparison to hydrocarbon fuels. To compare the energy cost of ethanol to hydrocarbon fuels we convert each fuel into a cost per KWH. On the production of ethanol a bushel of corn produces about 2.76 gallons of ethanol according a study by AgUnited .
Emission of CO2 from hydrocarbon fuels depends on the carbon content and hydrogen-carbon ratio. SunPower (SPWR) and First Solar (FSLR) are budgeting their R&D spending towards the single digits as a percentage of revenues.
Eskom increased its prices by 12,69% on 1 April 2015, while municipalities increase their prices on 1 July each year. Whatever further Eskom price increase is finally determined by Nersa is likely only to become effective on 1 September 2015.
For all practical purposes, these supplies limit consumption to less than 1,000 kWh per month.
Tshwane provides the highest pricing of the limited-capacity supplies, over the full range from 0 – 1,000 kWh per month.
Its design was inspired "by the vision of an ark embarking on a journey towards the 21st century", a symbol of Sanyo's goal of achieving a "clean energy society." At the center of the Solar Ark is an unusual museum of solar energy, called Solar Lab, which helps to raise children's awareness to global environmental issues, making science more interesting and appealing. A ton of coal produces about 6,000 KWH of electricity for about $40 per short ton (2,000 lbs.) A barrel of oil produces 1,700 KWH at a cost of about five cents per KWH when the price of oil is about $75 per barrel.
It is common to consider the lifetime of the installation and the number of hours of available sunlight, which changes with location.
So depending on current fuel cost, which varies by location, ethanol could be higher or lower than diesel or gasoline. If the average peak sunlight hours per day is 4.0, the average annual output of the solar energy panels can be calculated. In addition to the total electric output, utilities offer rebates and governments offer tax incentives that should be calculated and taken into account when assessing a project’s overall costs. In New Jersey, for example, conventional electricity currently costs about $.17 per kilowatt hour (KWH). Hydrogen (H) combines with oxygen (O) to form water (H2O), and carbon (C) combines with oxygen to form carbon dioxide (CO2). How can a gallon of gas produce 20 pounds of CO2 To measure the amount of CO2 produced from a hydrocarbon fuel, the weight of the carbon in the fuel is multiplied by (44 divided 12) or 3.67.

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