Article Summary:

  • Emissions at two-thirds of Eskom’s plants are in excess of the new minimum emission standards in terms of NEM:AQA, for existing plants, for which the deadline for compliance is 01 April 2015
  • Eskom has applied to the Department of Environmental Affairs (“DEA”) for deadline postponement for these plants, until April 2020
  • Environmental groups anticipate that the DEA will grant this on request condition that Eskom conducts “air quality offsets”
  • Environmental groups are critical of this condition: “It enables companies like Eskom to “continue polluting” while undertaking small interventions towards improving air quality, such as providing households with free electricity and electric stoves.” – Dominique Doyle, the energy policy officer at Earthlife Africa Johannesburg
  • The DEA is expected to make this decision at the end of February 2015
  • “Eskom is broke. How is it going to pay for off-sets?”
  • The sentiment however seems to be that the SA government has no choice since Eskom is in a capacity/production crisis and by forcing Eskom to comply with the minimum emissions standards, the government would be further constraining Eskom’s ability to “keep the lights on” 

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