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Current and Forthcoming Issues in the South African Electricity Sector

ASSET MANAGEMENT AVAILABILITY AVERAGE TARIFF BALANCE CAPACITY EXPANSION CAPITAL INVESTMENT CAPITAL INVESTMENT COSTS CATASTROPHIC FAILURE COAL COAL GAS COAL PRODUCER COAL RESERVES COMMERCIAL CUSTOMERS COMPETITIVE BIDDING CONSUMER OF COAL CONSUMER PRICE INDEX COST RECOVERY DISTRIBUTION ASSETS DISTRIBUTION BUSINESSES DISTRIBUTION COMPANIES DISTRIBUTION FACILITIES DISTRIBUTION NETWORK DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM ECONOMIC COSTS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ECONOMIC EFFICIENCY ECONOMIC GROWTH ECONOMIES OF SCALE ELECTRIC POWER ELECTRIC POWER DISTRIBUTION ELECTRIC UTILITIES ELECTRICAL ENERGY ELECTRICAL GENERATION ELECTRICAL GRID ELECTRICAL POWER ELECTRICITY ELECTRICITY CONSUMPTION ELECTRICITY DISTRIBUTION ELECTRICITY DISTRIBUTION NETWORKS ELECTRICITY EXCHANGE ELECTRICITY GENERATION ELECTRICITY INDUSTRY ELECTRICITY MARKET ELECTRICITY MARKETS ELECTRICITY NETWORKS ELECTRICITY PRICES ELECTRICITY REFORMS ELECTRICITY REGULATION ELECTRICITY REGULATOR ELECTRICITY RESTRUCTURING ELECTRICITY REVENUE ELECTRICITY SALES ELECTRICITY SECTOR ELECTRICITY SERVICES ELECTRICITY SUPPLY ELECTRICITY SYSTEM ELECTRICITY SYSTEMS ELECTRICITY TARIFFS ELECTRICITY UTILITIES ELECTRIFICATION ENERGY GENERATION ENERGY LOSSES ENERGY POLICIES ENERGY POLICY ENERGY RESEARCH ENERGY SOURCES ENERGY SUPPLY ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGES ENVIRONMENTAL IMPLICATIONS ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE EXCESS POWER FINAL CUSTOMERS FINANCIAL VIABILITY FOREIGN CURRENCY DEBT FOREIGN INVESTORS GAS FIELDS GAS TURBINE GAS TURBINES GENERATING CAPACITY GENERATING UNITS GENERATION GENERATION OF ELECTRICITY GOVERNMENT GUARANTEES GROWTH IN DEMAND HYDROELECTRIC STATIONS HYDROPOWER INCOME INFRASTRUCTURE PERFORMANCE INTERNATIONAL CAPITAL MARKETS INTERNATIONAL COMPETITIVENESS INTERNATIONAL ENERGY INTERNATIONAL ENERGY AGENCY INVESTMENT INCENTIVES INVESTMENT PROGRAM KEROSENE NATURAL GAS NETWORK PLANNING NUCLEAR POWER NUCLEAR POWER STATION OIL PEAK DEMAND PEAK POWER PEAK POWER GENERATION PERFORMANCE INDICATORS PLANT PERFORMANCE PLANT RELIABILITY POWER POWER DISTRIBUTION POWER PLANT POWER PLANT CONSTRUCTION POWER SECTOR POWER SECTOR REFORM POWER SHORTAGES POWER STATION POWER STATIONS POWER SYSTEM PRICE INCREASES PRICE OF ELECTRICITY PRIMARY ENERGY PRIMARY FUEL PRIVATE SECTOR PARTICIPATION PUBLIC UTILITY RECOVERABLE COAL RENEWABLE ENERGY RENEWABLE ENERGY RESOURCES RESIDENTIAL CUSTOMERS RETAIL ELECTRICITY RURAL ELECTRIFICATION SUPPLY INTERRUPTIONS SUPPLY OF ELECTRICITY SURPLUS CAPACITY SYNTHETIC FUELS TARIFF ADJUSTMENTS TAX RATE TRANSMISSION ASSETS TRANSMISSION CAPACITY TURBINE GENERATOR TURBINE GENERATORS VOLTAGE WORLD ENERGY WORLD OIL
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World Bank, Washington, DC
Africa | South Africa
2012-06-04T18:34:05Z | 2012-06-04T18:34:05Z | 2007-04

One of the contentious issues in electricity reform is whether there are significant gains from restructuring systems that are moderately well run. South Africa's electricity system is a case in point. The sector's state-owned utility, Eskom, has been generating some of the lowest-priced electricity in the world, has largely achieved revenue adequacy, and has financed the bulk of the government's ambitious electrification program. Moreover, the key technical performance indicators of Eskom's generation plants have reached world-class levels. Yet the sector is confronted today with serious challenges. South Africa's electricity system is currently facing a tight demand/supply balance, and the distribution segment of the industry is in serious financial trouble. This paper provides a careful diagnostic assessment of the industry and identifies a range of policy and restructuring options to improve its performance. It suggests removing distribution from municipal control and privatizing it, calls for vertical and horizontal unbundling, and argues that the cost-benefit analysis of different structural options should focus on investment incentives and not just current operating efficiency.

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