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, president of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and IndustryThe new Integrated Resources Plan for electricity will not encourage industrial investment or economic growth and it fails to provide the energy security the country desperately needs.One good thing about the IRP is that it does acknowledge the need for distributed generation and we predict that the business sector will take up this challenge.We are already seeing huge numbers of solar panels on shopping centre roofs and other commercial buildings as well as on homes and we can expect this trend to gather pace.The reason is that businesses has done its sums and found that investing in solar panels is not only viable but a good investment with great cost control and long-term savings.This is the reality but the IRP still places artificial limits on renewable energy and favours more expensive new coal plants.South Africa has not come to terms with the fact that the electricity industry is over centralised. We have put all our eggs into the Eskom basket and that basket has been dropped. We need to decentralise and get the municipalities back into the business of generating electricity or allowing them to buy power directly from independent power producers.Cape Town is able to convert stage-two load shedding into stage-one by using 160 MW of electricity from its Steenbras pump storage scheme. Pump storage is expensive to build and it takes a long time, but some countries are already using huge batteries to do a similar job. The exciting thing is that the batteries are getting better and cheaper so that is another opportunity to decentralise and use electricity more efficiently.Eskom’s ability to raise loans for capital projects is severely limited, but a municipality like Cape Town has a much better credit rating and will have little difficulty in raising funds for sound renewable energy projects.The other great disappointment is that the IRP does not provide for more gas power stations which are the ideal support for variable renewable energy. They can be powered up quickly and they are at least 50% cleaner than coal. In addition, they use little water and the combined cycle gas power stations have a thermal efficiency of 60% compared to 35% to 40% for the best coal-fired power stations.Let Cape Town and other municipalities build their own gas power stations and the economy of the Western Cape and South Africa will be a lot safer and more attractive to investors.
Bamford has impressed for BoroPatrick BamfordThe Chelsea youngster has been nominated for the Football League young player of the year award. The 21-year-old has scored 16 times in the Championship during a season-long loan at Middlesbrough and is up against MK Dons’ Dele Alli and Norwich winger Nathan Redmond for the award. The winner will be announced on Sunday.BrentfordZain Westbrooke netted for the Bees’ development side as they drew 1-1 at Charlton. The 18-year-old scored in the eighth minute but his goal was cancelled out early in the second half by Mikhail Kennedy.Julius Fenn-EvansThe Brentford academy striker has been called up to the Wales Under-16 squad for the Uefa Development Tournament in the Faroe Islands next week. Fenn-Evans, who turned 16 this month, will hope to play a part in matches against Iceland on Saturday, the hosts on Sunday and Northern Ireland next Tuesday.AdChoices广告Hampton & Richmond BoroughThe Ryman Premier side will host Brentford’s development squad in a pre-season friendly on 8 July. Kick-off at the Beveree will be 7.45pm.Dawid MalanThe Middlesex batsman underwent surgery on a broken finger on Tuesday. Malan suffered the injury while fielding on the opening day of the new County Championship season against Nottinghamshire at Lord’s on Sunday. The finger will be in a splint for up to four weeks.HarlequinsThe club’s midweek A team will play a friendly against 11-time Russian champions Krasny Yar on Wednesday evening. The visitors from Siberia boast a number of Russian, Lithuanian, Moldovan, Tongan and New Zealand Maori internationals, and beat the Leicester Tigers academy last year. Kick-off at the Stoop is 7.30pm.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook