The minister of public enterprises, Lynn Brown yesterday announced that she had approved the Eskom board’s recommendation that Group Executive of Generation Matshela Koko be appointed as acting group CEO.

The appointment comes after former Eskom group CEO Brian Molefe stepped down from the position in November.

Molefe’s exit followed the release of former Public Protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela’s State of Capture report in which Molefe and Eskom feature quite prominently.

“Mr Koko has a wealth of experience, and understands the challenges Eskom faces. Mr Koko must ensure that the current trajectory at Eskom continues,” Brown said in a statement.

“His appointment will also ensure continuity at Eskom. I have also asked the board to immediately start the process to appoint a permanent group CEO and that this process needs their urgent attention,” the minister added.

It is public knowledge that Koko is fond of nuclear power. The executive wrote an opinion piece for Business Day in October in which he alleged that renewable energy would ultimately hurt consumers, in their pockets.

“The CSIR recently provided information on the cost of new power from wind, solar photovoltaic (PV), base-load coal IPP and nuclear-power generation technologies in SA,” wrote Koko. “That study shows levelised cost of electricity calculations for new base-load coal at 105-116c/kWh and new base-load nuclear at 117-130c/kWh.”

The executive goes on to say that while new power from solar PV and wind is shown to be 40% cheaper a study published in 2011 shows that, “levelised cost comparisons are a misleading metric for comparing intermittent and dispatchable generating technologies because they fail to take into account differences in the production profiles of intermittent and dispatchable generating technologies.”

However, since that opinion piece was penned, the Department of Energy has released new assumptions regarding the Integrated Resource Plan and Integrated Energy Plan which put greater sway on renewables and push back the need for nuclear energy.

Koko starts his new position at Eskom today.

[Source – EWN]