Author Archives: lawrence

SSEG Pricing in 2022 – Has Cape Town seen the light?

New fees and tariffs for 2022 have been published, and it seems that Cape Town has finally realised that Solar is not the enemy, and is in fact a good thing. Residential solar falls under what the council calls Small Scale Energy Generation or SSEG.

The new tariffs have removed the onerous daily SSEG fees, and now seem to actually make a mild amount of sense to feed back to the grid. I suspect that they are keen to have people feed back now. City of Cape Town (CoCT) can make a profit on reselling cheaper power, and it will help to reduce load-shedding. Oh, and it will also reduce pollution. Win-win!

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Commenting is re-enabled!

I was wondering why I had no feedback for so long on any of the posts.

Seems that somewhere along the line Disqus decided to bork itself. Uninstalling and reinstalling the plugin, and reconfiguring seems to have fixed it again, so we’re back in business.

People can now add their 2 cents again to the articles.

Please do comment, I love feedback – good, or bad!

Solar vs Coal – the Math

Solar, solar solar.

If Solar doesn’t work for most of the evening, how can it compete?
Wouldn’t we be better off with Coal? Isn’t coal better for generation – you know, its baseload!

Yes, its another post based of an answer to something asked on MyBB!

At first glance, you’d think so, however the math tells a different story.

As I like to do in my posts, I’ll first go over some basics

Solar PV farms are built to supply electricity at a certain price. This price per kW.h is usually awarded with an REIPP auction where vendors bid to supply a given amount of electricity – typically 100MW or less at a certain price.
The price paid is then guaranteed by the government for every kW.h supplied for a 20 year contract, typically with small escalations per year.

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Why is there Load Shedding at night (if we have plenty of extra capacity)

I was asked this as a followup on MyBB to my previous post about EV Cars and Load Shedding at night.

It’s a great question.

Why is there load shedding at night?

Eskom has a generation capacity of roughly 45GW in total.
Due to decades of neglect, horrifically bad decision making, and outright theft in some cases, this generation capacity is now closer to 30GW; sometimes even less.

What does generation capacity have to do with anything though?

This is easily answered by looking at demand. Sigh, I hear you say. What’s demand?

Demand is the counterpart to capacity. Demand is the amount of power we need to supply at a given time point.
Luckily this is fairly predictable on a daily weekly or monthly basis, and usually measured for time periods between daytime, evening and night.

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Feasibility of Electric Cars in a Load Shed SA

One thing I’ve continually had to refute is whether we could support EV’s on Eskom’s grid in South Africa.
Yes, even with our current load shedding woes, it won’t be an issue, has long been my answer.

So, with that in mind, let’s put my money where my mouth is, and do some basic math to prove this.

I’ll start – let’s hand wave, and convert 500,000 cars to EV.

500,000 EV’s – woohoo! Go SA. 

To work out how much extra power is going to be needed by Eskom, we first need to work out a few things. Assumptions are a good thing to start with, so let’s make some of those..

As I’ve stated previously (and if you look at some of my previous posts, referenced with data), the average car journey in SA is 40km/day. Let’s use that as our first assumption.

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Battle of the Grocery delivery apps – Checkers Sixty60 vs PnP Bottles – who won?

My PnP Bottles Review
Pick and Pay Bottles Grocery delivery – a review | Going Solar
My Checkers Sixty60 Review
Checkers Sixty60 Delivery – a review | Going Solar

Both orders I made had teething issues.
Process for managing issues on both apps / services is a bit lacking, as is driver training.
Overall the Checkers app is substantially better, although limited in the size of orders you can make (one motorbike load). The Checkers App substitution mechanism is highly non-optimal though, as it needs to be done on a item by item basis. I also couldn’t see any “specials” via the App. i.e Store Card specials. If you wanted to get those, you’d need to go to the shops in person. Not sure why that can’t be integrated into the App – they have your store card details already in there, tie it in! PnP had some specials in app, although similarly to Checkers, none of the PnP store card specials are listed.

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Pick and Pay Bottles Grocery delivery – a review


PnP Bottles (bit of a weird name for a grocery app, I suspect they bought an existing app off someone else) is similar to the Checkers Sixty60 grocery ordering app, in that you can order online. Similarly to the Checkers Sixty60 ordering app, its also App only. Bleh!

PnP want a whole slew more personal info for sign up ahead of ordering, in comparison to the Checkers60 App though.

Score -1 for that.
There was also no indication of what they want to do with all my info.

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Checkers Sixty60 Delivery – a review

While (or should I say when) I live in Cape Town, I do live in a slightly rural part, so don’t have much in the way of food delivery.
No uber eats, and the only junk food delivery is so-so pizza (Debonair’s).

Grocery delivery on the other hand seems to be picking up, as this last year – (referrring to 2020 – seeing as we’re barely into 2020+1), I now have two, yes two grocery delivery options.

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Weep, for this is whats in charge of Nuclear Energy

tina-joemat

I’ve uploaded a video of the Honorable Tina Joemat-Pettersson giving a speech at parliament.
I am strongly convinced that either she’s on drugs, or her speech writer is.

Sadly this is whats in charge of Energy in this country.

I weep for us.

Tesla Powerwall Payback Math for South Africa

The Tesla PowerWall is finally becoming available in South Africa, so I thought I’d do some “30% for math” calculations to work out payback periods.

This post is mostly inspired by the comments here – http://mybroadband.co.za/news/energy/154888-here-are-the-tesla-powerwall-systems-you-can-buy-in-south-africa.html

Thanks to MacAfrican for the criticism in my comments, otherwise I’d be too lazy to do this post 🙂

Onto the math –

Predicted cost at the moment for a daily use PowerWall is $4000.
Rand is currently hovering at R16 (lets hope Zuma doesn’t open his mouth in the near future, as that historically has lead to large drops in Rand values).

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