SUSTAINABLE ENERGY NEWS on EMAIL (SENSE) number 5 Welcome to the fifth edition of the email newsletter – Sustainable Energy News (SENSE) – a service of the Sustainable Energy and Climate Change Project (SECCP), a partnership between Earthlife Africa, Johannesburg, and WWF, Denmark. SENSE is published monthly and we welcome any feedback and submissions. It will be edited by Erika Schutze (Research and Information Co-ordinator) and Mette Nedergaard will be assistant editor based in Denmark. Please let us know if you wish to be removed from this list or suggest recipients for the list. Also, please indicate if you would like to receive our separate Climate Change email newsletter, edited by the climate change facilitator, Mamashoabathe Noko.
SUSTAINABLE ENERGY NEWS on EMAIL (SENSE)
1. SECCP news: Helio Energy Sustainability Indicators press conference, SECCP press conference on “Energy and
the WSSD”; revised Civil Society position paper on energy for WSSD; new brochures available.
2. SA’s renewable energy progress: Thesis proves wind energy is viable in SA; Exelon and feasibility team deal SA
nuclear energy plan a major blow; Sasol shifts to natural gas; Free basic electricity supply pilot projects launched in rural areas; Johannesburg plagued by electricity cut-offs and high service charges.
3. Preparing for the WSSD: Wind power revolution in North Sea seen by EU ministers as way of setting agenda at
WSSD; Green electricity plans for main venues of WSSD; Civil society and JOWSCO sign an agreement; Zero Waste at the Summit.
4. General Sustainable Energy News: France to spend 10 bln euros on boosting wind power; India plans 6,000 MW
wind power in next 10 years; Domestic feed-in tariffs boost wind energy in Europe; California sues power wholesalers for
from energy crisis; Nevada Government Takes Nuke Veto to D.C.
5. SA Energy Bills & conferences: Sustainable Energy in Southern Africa Seminar; Services for All conference. 6. Questions & Answers: “Access to Energy” – more evidence that poor households spend a large portion of their income on energy.
1. SECCP News 1.1 Helio Energy Sustainability Indicators In a bid to contribute to the process of setting progressive targets for sustainable energy in South Africa, and measuring such progress, it is necessary to have clear and credible indicators, and a resource base of publicly available data, which do not exist at present. Even where data exists on the performance of the sector, this is not tracked, used to benchmark South Africa’s performance, or linked to policy debates. To fill this gap in data, SECCP commissioned the Energy Development Research Centre, UCT, to provide concise, publicly accessible set of data on key social, economic and environmental impacts and performance of the energy sector, based on the Helio International Sustainable Energy Watch indicators (see www.helio-international.org). It will also provide a crucial component of the debate on energy and sustainable development in South Africa is progress toward sustainability, as we move towards WSSD. SECCP commissioned the research for the following reasons:
The existing report on sustainable energy indicators for South Africa would benefit from further substantiation,
removing any distortion due to US$ measures.
Reporting of progress towards sustainable energy and the supporting data need to be made more accessible for
civil society users that are not energy experts.
The document can be used effectively by the SECCP to build capacity in relation to energy indicators and
awareness of the overall impacts of South Africa’s energy policy.
The product will empower lobbying on energy policy and decision-making, including input to the Integrated Energy
Planning (IEP) process and motivating progressive targets for political commitments prior to or at WSSD.
A workshop could facilitate NGO engagement with energy indicators for both the Agenda 21 review and the
National Strategy Study on Sustainable Development.
This report has been completed and it illustrates the trends over time and compares South Africa to other key countries and regions. It is available from SECCP: Erika@earthlife.org.za 1.2 Press conference The SECCP invites press, government and NGO representatives to a WSSD Press Briefing on Energy Issues & Launch of the South African Sustainable Energy Indicators Report Time: Wed 15 May 9 a.m. – 12.30 p.m. in Johannesburg Programme: 9 a.m.
Introduction by SECCP (a project of Earthlife Africa, Johannesburg); Presentation of Sustainable Energy Indicators Report by the author, Randall Spalding-Fecher of the Energy and
Development Research Centre (EDRC), UCT, followed by questions of clarity and discussion amongst stakeholders (incl. how NGOs can use the report).
Input by Dept Minerals and Energy SA - Kosi Lisa
Brief presentations of a number of WSSD-related energy initiatives including:
A status report on sustainable energy indicator reports being prepared in Botswana, Ghana, Tanzania, Zambia
Heinrich Böll Foundation’s Global Energy Strategy process; Energy and Sustainable Development in Africa, an initiative of EDRC and ENDA (Energy Development Third
Tea/coffee break 11 a.m.
Presentation of South African Civil Society WSSD Position Paper on Energy, Presentation and distribution of Civil Society/SECCP press release and information package, Q & A for press; Guest speaker (International NGO representative to be confirmed)
Lunch for all (finger-lunch) NOTE: At least one member of the SECCP international Research Reference Group and staff member(s) based at our partner organisation WWF Denmark, as well as the national co-ordinator of the South African Climate Action Network (SACAN) and other NGO representatives will be in attendance and available for interviews. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or Ph: (011) 339 3662 (Lerato) 1.3 New Brochures available SECCP has printed two brochures for popular distribution: “Renewable Energy is People’s Power” and “Climate Change can be deadly”. If you would like to distribute some of these, as well as our “What Causes Climate Change” poster, email email@example.com. We have translated the brochures into Zulu and South Sotho and are looking for people who can volunteer to proof read them. Any offers? Email Erika@earthlife.org.za. 1.4.SECCP’s revised civil society position paper on energy for the WSSD The first draft of the South African civil society position paper on energy for input to WSSD, entitled “Towards a South African NGO / civil society Energy Position Paper for the World Summit on Sustainable Development & the Johannesburg Programme of Action” drafted by Richard Worthington of SECCP, has been circulated for comment in April. A second draft, informed by comments from a range of civil society representatives has been circulated for comments before the end of April. The final draft will be circulated on 2 May for final comments and/or endorsement. Once finalised, it will be hosted on the WSSD Civil Society Secretariat’s Website: http://www.worldsummit.org.za/. For a copy of the position paper, contact SECCP project co-ordinator: Richard Worthington: firstname.lastname@example.org 2. SA’s renewable energy progress Thesis proves wind energy is viable in SA A recently-completed UCT thesis entitled “Wind Energy in the Western Cape: Grid connected renewable distributed electricity generation”, by Jason Schaffler proves what the SECCP has been arguing all along: that the potential for harnessing wind energy is extremely good, much cheaper than coal, and presents a great opportunity for promoting black economic empowerment. All that is needed is the legal framework for enabling access to the electricity grid for Independent Power Producers (IPPs). In the graph illustrated below…. Exelon and feasibility team deal SA nuclear energy plan a major blow SA’s plans to build pebble-bed modular nuclear reactors (PBMR) have been dealt a blow with a key investor, US group Exelon, saying it will pull out of the project. Exelon had planned to buy 40 of the PBMRs if the project got the go ahead from government. This was over and above the $7,5m it paid in 2000 for a 12,5% stake in the project. Exelon said that it had shifted its focus away from nuclear to generation, transmission, and distribution. Eskom is looking for a replacement investor. Other investors will remain with the project: UK’s British Nuclear Fuels which has 22,5% and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) which has 25%. Eskom has 30%. In a further blow, the international task team studying the experimental PBMR technology has handed its report to government saying that it could not come to a conclusion on the feasibility of the project. Gordon Sibiya, chairman of the team, said that there was a lack of clarity on several issues concerning the PBMR. These included financial and economic feasibility as well as the technical design of the scheme, mainly because the PBMR company had not come up with a final design. When there is a final design, Minerals and Energy Minister Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka might decide to recall the team to study the technology. Sibiya said he believed it was necessary for the team to study the PBMR concept at this stage so that government could get a feel for how much work still had to be done. – Business Day. Sasol shifts to natural gas Sasol Chemical Industries is in the process of changing from coal to natural gas in one of their plants. Earthlife Johannesburg has been involved in commenting on the Environmental Impact Assessment and generally sees this as a positive step as natural gas produces less pollution and greenhouse gasses, and will use less water. The loss of jobs associated with this shift is a major drawback and Earthlife requested that individuals who lose employment be given training to decrease the impact. Free basic electricity supply pilot projects launched in rural areas In October last year, Minister of Minerals and Energy, Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka launched one of the free basic energy pilot projects in the Northern Province. She visited various homes to conduct switch-ons in the Mathopestad area near Magaliesburg. Residents in Ga-Mapangula, in Northern Province, have subsequently received electricity for the first time as part of the electrification programme. The Department has thus far initiated 11 pilot projects on free basic electricity. Plans are however in the pipeline to initiate five further projects, that is two non-grid and three grid projects. Cabinet is expected to take a policy decision on free basic electricity by the end of June 2002. The objective of free basic services is to provide social relief to those who earn less than R800 per month per household. This will affect paraffin, electricity and solar home systems. Poor households that are currently receiving electricity will qualify for free basic electricity. A basic amount of 50kWh per household per month has been considered as a national standard. Regarding rural households currently using solar energy, a limited operation and maintenance subsidy to a maximum of R40.00 per household will be made available. The end user will pay any amount above R40.00 per month. In order to make paraffin more affordable, Value Added Tax (VAT) has been removed. The department has proposed pilot projects, and the focus will be on identified development nodal areas and selected urban renewal areas, as announced by the President in his State of the Nation Address on the 9th of February 2001. They are: Sekhukhune; Kalahari-Kgalagadi; Central Karoo; Eastern; North East; Ukahlamba; O.R.Tambo; DC44; Mofutsanyane; Ugu; Umzinyathi; Zululand; Umkhanyakude; Mopani; Vhembe; Central. Experience gathered from these pilot projects will assist Government in the ultimate roll-out of free basic energy that will begin in 2002/2003. – Contact Trust Johannesburg plagued by electricity cut-offs and high service charges In South Africa, access to essential resources is being compromised by the privatisation of those essential services as well as their commodification. Foreign corporations have been appointed to administer services instead of circulating those resources back into South Africa municipalities and communities. The free lifeline services promised in the 1994 election (and again in 2000) have not been provided, and the parastatal ESKOM is cutting electricity at the rate of 20 000 houses per month in Soweto. In addition, ESKOM digs out cables and destroys connections in a wanton destruction of infrastructure. And the South African government has cut off the water and electricity supplies of more than ten million people. In response to the escalating evictions, service cut-offs and high service charges, in a context of spiralling unemployment, the Soweto Electricity Crisis Committee (SECC) launched Operation Khanyisa – a daring step residents are taking in
order to break the impasse and to force the issue onto ESKOM and the government 's lap. In early April this culminated in a protest to the Kensington house of Johannesburg Mayor Amos Masondo. 100 people were arrested after the protest and after being shot at by the mayor's bodyguards, injuring one of the protestors and 87 SECC members were detained at the Jeppe police station for 'malicious damage to property'. They were later released on free bail and the court case will be held on May 10. ” It is regrettable that the demonstration took an ugly turn but the union calls on the government to address the legitimate demands for basic services that poor communities are making," said SAMWU General Secretary Roger Ronnie. The demand for free electricity has got to be set off against the vast waste of energy resources in the Minerals Energy Complex, and against the fact that access to energy should not be confused with the extension of the national grid. - http://www.cosatu.org.za/samwu/seccjun9.htm EU requests on service liberalisation in the WTO reveal threats for people, the environment and democracy South Africa is one of the countries included in a list of countries that the EU is targeting for service liberalisation. The European Commission has requested from member states of the WTO a full range of service liberalisation that could pose threats to people, the environment and democracy. EC requests services liberalisation from WTO partner countries, including on controversial matters such as water, energy, tourism and transport. The requests directed at 27 WTO member countries focus on eliminating trade barriers and regulations that restrict trade in services in WTO member countries. For instance, on water, the EC request to open up the water sector including water collection and distribution to international competitors. WTO members need to file their request for service liberalisation by 30 June 2002 as a follow up of the last WTO Ministerial Conference in Doha in November 2001. The EC will also receive requests to liberalise their service market that will also be negotiated in secrecy behind closed doors. –http://www.gatswatch.org/requests-offers.html. 3. World Summit Wind power revolution in North Sea seen by EU ministers as way of setting agenda at WSSD Just five months before the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), European countries held a conference where they pledged to promote wind power from the North sea to battle climate change. In March European ministers signed agreements during the 5th North Sea Conference in Bergen, Norway, and a number of ministers referred to the WSSD, saying that they wanted the decisions taken at the North Sea Conference to set their agenda in the run up to the Summit. Access to clean energy is a key driver of sustainable development and a necessary tool for poverty alleviation. Ministers from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the European Commission recognised that climate change, caused by fossil fuel use, threatened North sea coastal regions and ecosystems, and emphasised the need to develop safe renewable energy solutions. UK Environment Minister Michael Meacher said: "The 20th century was the century of oil, the 21st century must be the century of renewable energy." The North Sea provides a huge potential for renewable wind power – just 1% of this resource could power over 6 million homes. However, such a plan would only succeed if conditions were created for the massive investment in the offshore wind industry. In contrast to the billions of Euros of state support for the nuclear industry, renewables still receive insufficient funding. This would be the first real sign of the Rio Earth Summit spirit shown 10 years ago when governments promised to prioritise sustainable development. – www.greenpeace.org Green electricity plans for main venues of WSSD AGAMA Energy has received confirmation that, as leads agents of a team comprising AGAMA Energy, GEO, Future Capital and RAMBOLL, it has been awarded a USAID grant of R1.4 million (inclusive of kR400 co-financing) to supply green electricity to the main venues of the WSSD. Civil society and JOWSCO sign an agreement The Johannesburg World Summit Company (JOWSCO) has signed a memorandum of agreement with the Civil Society Management Council (CSMC) on the way forward in preparation for the Civil Society Global Forum that will take place parallel to the United Nations Summit. The working relationship between the two is welcomed in the wake of the derailing of the preparation process a few months ago. For a brief article highlighting major portions of the memorandum, email email@example.com. PrepCom III for the World Summit began on 25 March 2002 in New York and will continue until 5 April 2002. The Director-General of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Dr Crispian Olver, will lead the South African delegation to PrepCom III. On 9 April, a US-SA multi-stakeholder dialogue on outcomes for the World
Summit was held in Johannesburg. The focus was governance and partnerships for sustainable development. For a copy of the keynote address given by Minister Valli Moosa, email firstname.lastname@example.org. - Contact Trust Zero Waste at the Summit Earthlife has proposed to help turn the WSSD into a zero waste summit. The last Summit received substantial criticism for the amount of waste it generated. The Zero Waste concept targets waste minimisation and the selection of products based on the resources used in their production. Choosing which materials may and may not be used will make it easier to reuse and recycle products. Zero Waste has been a growing trend at major events such as the Olympics. With 60 000 people expected to be attending the Summit, it will be a major task to monitor the waste at the event. 4. General Sustainable Energy News France to spend 10 bln euros on boosting wind power France, a European wind power laggard, said on April 2 it planned to invest 10 billion euros ($8.81 billion) to build 10,000 megawatts of wind generating capacity by 2010 to boost its dependence on renewable energy, planning to boost its renewable energy sources to 21% of total demand in 2010 from the current 15%, mainly by tapping wind power, Industry Minister Christian Pierret said at the recent Global Windpower Conference in Paris. The conference also saw France and India release their wind investment schemes, which will mean a substantive increase from present (<100 MW, France) and (1,300 MW, India) installed capacity. In terms of money, the French government apparently calculates with a cost of about EURO cents 2.5 per kWh wind (based on my assumption of an average load factor of 2500 hours per MW installed per annum and a typical 15 years "economic" lifetime of a wind power plant). This compares to present global production costs of approx. EURO cents 6 - 14 per kWh produced from wind (see "World Energy Assessment", WEC, NeW York 2000, page 266) and would mean that power from wind is substantively CHEAPER as any new coal, gas or nuclear power plant (and excluding non- internalised externalities!) "Wind power will be the largest contributor to this growth, because it has great potential in France," Pierret said. France hosted a global conference early April on wind power, a growing source of clean energy, amid fears of continued high oil prices and international concern about so-called greenhouse emissions blamed for warming the atmosphere. By the end of last year, France had 78 MW of wind power generation, just a fraction of Europe's wind powerhouse Germany with 8,754 MW of windpower capacity. – Reuters India plans 6,000 MW wind power in next 10 years India said early April it plans to produce 6,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity from private investment in wind power in the next 10 years with the help of a new electricity law. India is implementing one of the world's largest renewable energy programmes and has installed over 3,400 MW of capacity based on renewable energy, including wind, solar, biomass and small hydropower plants. It plans to boost this clean energy production by 10,000 MW by 2012, mainly by tapping the wind. "The industry is facing some problems because the states have different policies and the government policy is not correctly followed by the states," M. Kannappan, India's minister of non-conventional energy resources, told Reuters on the sidelines of the wind power conference in Paris. "To make it mandatory, we are planning to bring out a new electricity act to have uniform participation by all states. It will make investment a lot easier," he said, adding that the bill was being considered by an expert committee. Investment in India, which opened up its power sector to foreign investors in the early 1990s, has been overshadowed by a dispute between its biggest foreign direct investor, collapsed U.S. power group Enron Corp, and a local state utility. To attract 100% private investment in renewable energy, including wind power, the government is offering policy and fiscal incentives such as soft loans, concessional rates of customs duty, exemption from excise duty and sales tax, income tax benefits and accelerated depreciation, Kannappan said. India is already the fifth largest wind power producer in the world, with over 1,500 MW of capacity, but it is looking to expand output by 6,000 MW, especially for remote villages where the costs of linking up to a grid would be too expensive. – REUTERS NEWS SERVICE A Pyramidal PV Gas Turbine Cogeneration Hybrid System Utilising the Rooftop of a Building An 80 kW pyramidal photovoltaic (PV) system made up of 1,412 PV modules (60 Wp each) was installed on the roof of a five-storey building in the centre of Tokyo at the end of February 2001. This structure functions as the outer envelope of a 1,500 kW gas turbine cogeneration system (GCS) and lends an interesting architectural feature to the building, while annually generating about 80,000 kWh of power and reducing carbon dioxide emission by 50 tonnes. This multi functional hybrid PV system was built relatively economically, and is to be monitored for a period of four years
under the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation's (NEDO) Field Trial Programme for PV Power Generation. – Caddet-re.org
Domestic feed-in tariffs boost wind energy in Europe Between 2000 and 2001, total wind energy's installed capacity in Europe (almost 99% of it in the EU) grew from approximately 12,800 MW to 17,300 MW, a remarkable 35% increase in just one year. Thanks to domestic feed-in-tariffs, the largest growth by more than 40% last year was in Germany and Spain, resulting in installed capacity of 8750 and 3340 MW respectively by the end of 2001. For comparison, countries with no feed-in-tariffs increased installed wind power in a less dynamic way, such as Denmark (from 2300 to 2400 MW), Netherlands (450 to 490 MW) and UK (400 to 470 MW) with the notable exception of Italy where wind power grew drastically from 430 to 700 MW last year. – cantalk California sues power wholesalers for profiteering from energy crisis California Attorney General Bill Lockyer sued four wholesale power companies in April, charging them with profiteering during the state's energy crisis and they could face penalties of up to $1billion. The suit, filed in Superior Court in San Francisco, accused Mirant Corp, Williams Cos. Inc., and Coral Energy, a Houston-based trading subsidiary of Royal Dutch/Shell Group and Powerex Corp, a unit of Canada's BC Hydro, with "charging unjust, unreasonable and illegal rates for electricity during California's recent energy crisis". "Today we are seeking to make the power pirates pay a California penalty for their illegal profiteering," Lockyer said in a statement. He said his office had determined the companies repeatedly violated the state's Unfair Competition Act with "hundreds of thousands" of illegally priced energy sales from early 2000 through 2001. He said the alleged violations could bring civil penalties totalling more than $1 billion. – Reuters Turby – the turbine for the city The Dutch company, CORE International, has developed a new wind turbine designed especially for use in built up areas. The new vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) – called Turby – is smaller than a horizontal axis turbine, is less visible and operates with a lower noise level and less vibration. It does not need a tower and is ideal for roof mounting. It has a nominal power of 1,2 – 2kW at a wind speed of 12m/s.At the moment it is being tested at an open-air test facility in Delft. – www.caddet-re.org Nevada Government Takes Nuke Veto to D.C. Nevada stepped up its campaign against burying nuclear waste in the state with the governor's veto of a presidential endorsement and activists readying a lobbying campaign to reinforce his action. In February, President Bush picked Yucca Mountain as the place to entomb up to 77,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel that will remain radioactive for 10,000 years. The site is 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas. A veto of Bush's endorsement was signed by Republican Gov. Kenny Guinn and was delivered to the House and Senate on Monday. ``Let me make one thing clear, crystal clear in fact. Yucca Mountain is not inevitable,'' Guinn told supporters Monday before heading to Washington to lobby on behalf of the state's position. Energy Department spokesman Joe Davis said the Yucca Mountain project has received a thorough review by scientists. ``It is strongly in the interest of national security, energy and homeland security and environmental protection to move forward and not leave waste stranded in 131 scattered sites around the country,'' Davis said. Guinn's veto was allowed under rules Congress wrote for developing a national nuclear waste dump. Congress will have the final say, however, and a vote on whether to override Guinn is expected before August. Opponents of the Yucca Mountain plan were organizing a coast-to-coast lobbying campaign against an override vote. The governor asked Nevada residents to each donate $1 or more to the lobbying campaign ``We will expose the Department of Energy's dirty little secrets about Yucca Mountain,'' Guinn said, saying Americans have not been told of the danger of transporting nuclear waste through their neighbourhoods. Opposition to the project is overwhelming in Nevada. Spent nuclear fuel has accumulated for decades at power plants and defence facilities in 34 states, as lawmakers debated whether and where to establish a national repository. Nevada's campaign will focus on lingering questions about the safety of the Yucca Mountain site and fears that the thousands of truck and train trips it will take to haul the waste across the country will lead to accidents and potential radioactive spills. – Assoc. Press
Environmental issues start to influence business strategy & markets Businesses that wish to survive and thrive in a global economy must respond to major social and environmental trends that are reshaping markets, says a report released today by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), and the World Resources Institute (WRI). Since the world economy depends on a base of natural resources that is being severely degraded, reducing consumption and waste creates new opportunities for businesses to grow through the innovation of less wasteful process and with life-
enhancing goods and services. Tomorrow's Markets argues that future markets will favour businesses that partner with government and civil society groups to serve basic needs, enhance human skills, increase economic capacity, and help remedy inequities. "This report will provide companies with information to identify the fundamental signals that influence their success and drive their innovation," said Bjoern Stigson, WBCSD president. He added that developing economies will present companies with new market opportunities to help meet health, education, and nutrition needs. The report stresses that wherever they operate, businesses must meet both increasingly rigorous governmental regulations as well as societal expectations of socially responsible behaviour. – www.wri.org 5. SA Energy Bills & conferences Renewable Energy white paper A consultant is busy finalising the draft Renewable Energy white paper document into a policy format. Public comment on the draft will take place in May 2002, and cabinet approval is expected in June 2002. The commenting period is to last for 4 weeks. It is hoped that Cabinet will table the White Paper for approval by the end of June 2002. The draft document is available at: http://www.dme.gov.za/energy/renewables.htm – Contact Trust Seminar: Sustainable Energy in Southern Africa 18th and 19th June 2002 (or 25th and 26th June 2002); Midrand, South Africa This seminar will consider access to energy for poverty reduction and sustainable development in Southern Africa, with the following key themes:
• Partnerships between government and private sector at national, regional and international levels to deliver on energy
for the poor and increase supply of clean energy.
• Policies, institutions and networks to encourage and support rural energy markets and cleaner energy.
• Energy-related processes in the run-up to the World Summit for Sustainable Development and the role of industry in
implementation of WSSD initiatives.
Contacts: Dominique Lallement: World Bank / EMSAD: Dlallement@worldbank.org Mark Radka: UNEP: email@example.com Jacquilene Aloisi: firstname.lastname@example.org Calestous Juma: Africa Universities: Calestous_Juma@Harvard.Edu Services for All? A conference of local & international research relevant to social-justice strategies & struggles of labour, communities, women and environmentalists; will take place on 16-18 May 2002, Johannesburg; Wits University Graduate School of Public and Development Management, Parktown, and Ipelegeng Centre, Soweto. The Municipal Services Project (http://www.queensu.ca/msp) and their partners are hosting a conference with leading local researchers, activists, municipal workers and global-justice strategists: Dennis Brutus (SA/US), Oscar Olivera (Bolivia), Njoki Njehu (Kenya/US), Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke (Canada), and Colin Leys (Britain). The Johannesburg conference sponsored by the Municipal Services Project and partners will educate, inspire and allow for sharing of experiences and views. It will begin on the evening of May 17 with New Social Movements Films, featuring new, entertaining documentaries that make the links between local and international campaigns for water, electricity and a decent environment, and the neo-liberal economic policies which so many campaigns seek to confront and defeat. For further information, contact Greg Ruiters (email@example.com) (phone 2711-717-4373) or Patrick Bond (firstname.lastname@example.org) (2711-717-3917). –http://www.queensu.ca/msp 6. Questions and Answers Access to Energy With reference to SENSE 4, in SECCP’s energy position paper entitled “Energy for sustainable development – access to energy should not be confused with the extension of the national grid”. I read your summary and noted: "since poor households pay 25-30% of income to energy costs". I think you are low by a factor of about 2. It depends where you are, but on the Highveld I have come across a household with a total income of R150/month and an energy bill of R90/month,
while in Natal I found an elderly couple with a total income of R220/month paying R125/month for their energy. These are the worst cases I know of from personal experience. Regards Philip Lloyd Senior Research Fellow ERI UCT