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Electricity News

Eskom rejects call for inflation-capped hike, as Nersa gears up for Dec 7 decision

By: Terence Creamer     Updated 13 minutes ago State-owned power utility Eskom has rejected calls for its 2018/19 tariff to be capped at the level of inflation, arguing that such a move would be financially unsustainable as it would result in a revenue reduction, which would further squeeze its liquidity and could place the country’s credit... 

First commercial solar insurance launched in South Africa

By: African News Agency      Updated 5 hours ago South African firms All Power Systems and Synthesis said on Monday they had launched the country’s first commercial solar savings insurance to protect companies from risks associated with adverse weather and system failure. In a statement, the companies said firms using rooftop solar energy faced... 

Shell collaboration helps power London buses with coffee waste

By: Nica Schreuder     20th November 2017 International energy and petrochemicals group Shell, in partnership with London-based clean technology company bio-bean and UK biodiesel producer Argent Energy, is helping power some of London’s buses through a new coffee biodiesel project – launched on Monday – which uses a biofuel made partly... 

NUM postpones planned coal sector strike

By: Creamer Media Reporter      17th November 2017 The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) will postpone its planned strike in the coal sector, as some coal companies have decided to table new offers to NUM members. The union on Friday said the coal companies would present the new wage offers on Monday, after which the union would decide to... 

Eskom’s business model is ‘no longer fit for purpose’

By: Terence Creamer     17th November 2017 Organised business made an impassioned plea this week for government to urgently review Eskom’s business model, which it said was “no longer fit for purpose”. In a presentation to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa, business also warned that, in the absence of a holistic view within... 

Eskom’s business model is ‘no longer fit for purpose’
Photo by Duane Daws
Busa VP Martin Kingston

City of Cape Town gearing up for battle to directly procure power from IPPs

By: Kim Cloete     17th November 2017 The City of Cape Town says it is prepared for a legal battle with the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) in a bid to directly procure power from independent power producers (IPPs). This was the culmination of two years of trying to get permission, said City of Cape Town enterprise... 

Siemens to cut 6 900 jobs to tackle flailing turbines business

By: Reuters     17th November 2017 Siemens will cut about 6 900 jobs, or close to 2% of its global workforce, mainly at its power and gas division, which has been hit by the rapid growth of renewables. Most of the cuts, about 6 100, will be made before 2020 at Siemens's Power and Gas division, which once thrived on supplying large... 

Financing secured for solar projects in Egypt

By: Nadine James     17th November 2017 European photovoltaic (PV) specialist Scatec Solar announced that it had secured financing of $335-million to fund its portion of the development of six 400 MW utility scale PV power plants which will be located in the Benban solar park in the City of Aswan in Egypt. The company secured funding... 

Investment in solar has overtaken coal globally, says IEA

By: Kim Cloete     16th November 2017 Breaking all-time records, renewables currently account for two thirds of global net capacity additions, according to one of several reports about how renewable energy is powering ahead. The trend is set to continue. “All renewables will grow at double the velocity of fossil fuels within the next... 

Investment in solar has overtaken coal globally, says IEA

Eskom executives, managers to undergo lifestyle, conflict of interest audits – interim CEO

By: Anine Kilian     16th November 2017 Power utility Eskom will implement independent audits on its leadership, with members of the executive committee, as well as divisional executives and senior general managers to undergo regular independent lifestyle and conflict of interest audits, interim CEO Sean Maritz announced on Thursday.... 

Eskom executives, managers to undergo lifestyle, conflict of interest audits – interim CEO
Photo by Duane Daws
Eskom interim CEO Sean Maritz

Global wind power continues to propel forward in 2017

By: Kim Cloete     16th November 2017 China is surging ahead in wind power, blowing away the US – the world’s second-largest wind power market – by a long margin, while African countries are making more inroads despite facing challenges, delegates attending the yearly Windaba conference and exhibition, in Cape Town, have heard.... 

Eskom’s ‘business-as-usual’ tariff application comes under fire

By: Terence Creamer     16th November 2017 The “business as usual” stance adopted by Eskom in its application for a 19.9% increase in tariffs for 2018/19 came under sustained attack during the Gauteng leg of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s (Nersa’s) public hearings on Thursday. Eskom interim CEO Sean Maritz kicked off the... 

Eskom’s ‘business-as-usual’ tariff application comes under fire
Photo by Duane Daws
Nersa's Chris Forlee, Khomotso Mthimunye, Mbulelo Ncetezo, Jacob Modise and Nomfundo Maseti

CSIR signals renewables-led electricity mix by 2050

By: Terence Creamer     16th November 2017 The CSIR Energy Centre has published updated research outcomes indicating that South Africa’s least-cost electricity mix, by 2050, includes predominantly solar photovoltaic (PV) and onshore wind contributing nearly 80% of the country’s electrical energy. The research outcomes, which were released... 

CSIR signals renewables-led electricity mix by 2050
CSIR Energy Centre principal engineer Jarrad Wright

Wind energy industry optimistic despite frustrations

By: Kim Cloete     15th November 2017 The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) is confident that the tide will turn and that Eskom will soon, and finally, sign the outstanding power purchase agreements (PPAs) that have delayed the renewable energy industry for the past two years. SAWEA chairperson Mark Pickering outlined the... 

Wind energy industry optimistic despite frustrations

Study urges Eskom to accelerate station decommissioning, curtail Kusile to shore up solvency

By: Terence Creamer     15th November 2017 A new study argues that cash-strapped Eskom could make immediate costs savings of up to R17-billion and boost its liquidity, without undermining security of supply, by accelerating the decommissioning of three of its older coal-fired power stations and by halting construction of units 5 and 6 at... 

Study urges Eskom to accelerate station decommissioning, curtail Kusile to shore up solvency
Meridian MD Dr Grové Steyn

Solidarity ranks SOEs, lambastes 'cadre merry-go-round'

By: Anine Kilian     14th November 2017 Trade union Solidarity has ranked South African Airways (SAA) as the most poorly managed State-owned enterprise (SOE) in the country. Speaking at the launch of its latest report ‘South African State Institutions and the Value for Tax Money’, on Wednesday, Solidarity CEO Dirk Hermann said SAA... 

Solidarity ranks SOEs, lambastes 'cadre merry-go-round'

Solar to power ahead as it emerges as ‘cheapest’ source of generation

By: Terence Creamer     14th November 2017 The World Energy Outlook 2017, released by the International Energy Agency (IEA) in London on Tuesday, presents a base case scenario that foresees the world’s growing energy needs being met increasingly by renewables and natural gas over the coming 25 years, as “coal strikes out” and nuclear’s... 

Solar to power ahead as it emerges as ‘cheapest’ source of generation

Environmental activists to appeal enviro authorisation for proposed new nuclear power station

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     14th November 2017 Earthlife Africa Johannesburg, Greenpeace Africa and the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (Safcei) have officially filed a notice informing the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) that they intend to jointly appeal the environmental authorisation for the... 

Eskom says has 'healthy' coal stockpiles ahead of strike

By: Reuters     14th November 2017 South Africa's State-run power utility Eskom said on Monday it had healthy stockpiles across its coal-fired power stations and was building them further ahead of a potential coal wage strike by the National Union of Mineworkers. "To mitigate the impact from this impending strike, the utility is... 

IEA lists South Africa as possible hub for production of ‘green’ hydrogen-rich chemicals, fuels

By: Terence Creamer     14th November 2017 A new International Energy Agency (IEA) report lists South Africa, together with a handful of other territories, as having the potential to tap its abundant solar and wind resources to produce “green” hydrogen-rich chemicals and fuels, such as ammonia and methanol. The insight paper, titled... 

IEA lists South Africa as possible hub for production of ‘green’ hydrogen-rich chemicals, fuels

Eskom admits liquidity is ‘not at desired levels’

By: Terence Creamer     13th November 2017 State-owned electricity producer Eskom acknowledged on Monday that its liquidity levels were “not at the desired levels” and indicated that securing the balance of its funding requirement for the current financial year would depend on addressing pressing governance and leadership issues.... 

Eskom admits liquidity is ‘not at desired levels’
Photo by Duane Daws
Eskom interim CEO Sean Maritz

Schletter South Africa appoints new MD

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     13th November 2017 Solar photovoltaic (PV) mounting system supplier Schletter South Africa has appointed Trevor DeVries MD, effective November 6. DeVries is heading the company that serves the sub-Saharan Africa business of the globally active Schletter Group. 

Eskom not insolvent but facing cashflow trouble

By: Reuters     13th November 2017 South Africa's scandal-plagued power utility Eskom said on Monday it was not insolvent but was facing serious liquidity issues and would be in "trouble" if the situation persisted. "We are not insolvent but we are projecting that if we continue along this trajectory we might be in trouble," Eskom... 

As Mozambique marks historic Cahora Bassa transfer, attention shifts to big capex plan

By: Terence Creamer     13th November 2017 Hidroelectrica Cahora Bassa (HCB), the Mozambique concession company which operates the Cahora Bassa dam and the 2 075 MW hydropower plant, is poised to move into a period of sustained investment, having settled all debt associated with the 2007 transfer of ownership of the scheme from Portugal... 

As Mozambique marks historic Cahora Bassa transfer, attention shifts to big capex plan
Cahora Bassa: HCB to commemorate historic transfer of ownership of Cahora Bassa from Portugal to Mozambique on November 27

Innovative civil engineering solution to social ills – Manuel

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     10th November 2017 Unless South Africa and its citizens deal with the issue of widespread corruption, the country will not be able to provide the “kinds of engineering services” that it ought to provide to people, former Finance Minister and Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel has said. Speaking at a South... 

Innovative civil engineering solution to social ills – Manuel
Photo by Duane Daws
Trevor Manuel

1 000 locally manufactured valves sold to aid electrical power distribution

By: Nadine James     10th November 2017 National research institution Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR’s) collaboration with valve manufacturer Paltechnologies (Paltech) has led to the first locally manufactured aluminium valve. To date, about 1 000 butterfly valves, each 80 mm in diameter, have been manufactured... 

1 000 locally manufactured valves sold to aid electrical power distribution
PALTECH BUTTERFLY VALVE Forms part of a number of products selected by Eskom for localisation

Monitoring energy consumption fosters efficiency

By: Nica Schreuder     10th November 2017 Being aware of how much energy one consumes is key in energy efficiency and management, and has the potential to significantly reduce energy consumption in businesses and residential households, says industrial switchgear, automation and energy efficiency product distributor ElectroMechanica (EM)... 

Monitoring energy consumption  fosters efficiency
SMART SOLUTIONS ElectroMechanica’s smart home solutions enable users to control and monitor their energy consumption from their smartphone

Affordability makes energy efficient solutions accessible

By: Nica Schreuder     10th November 2017 Increasing emphasis on the importance of energy efficiency and sustainable energy solutions has resulted in energy efficient lighting solutions using solar power becoming more cost effective. Subsequently, this has enabled disadvantaged communities, with minimal access to lighting, to afford... 

Affordability makes energy efficient solutions accessible
ECOBOXX ACDC Dynamics offers portable, cost effective solar power solutions

Competition equips students with practical energy efficiency knowledge

By: Nica Schreuder     10th November 2017 International digital industrial company General Electric (GE) Africa held the University Business Challenge Competition last month, putting into practice its commitment to helping boost learning and skills development through technology, and stimulating students to create energy efficient... 

Competition equips  students with practical  energy efficiency knowledge
ROTI BALOGUN The competition is a proactive way of bridging the needs of industry

Energy-saving guide promotes sustainable mindset industry

By: Nica Schreuder     10th November 2017 International oil and gas company ExxonMobil has recently launched an energy- saving guide for the plastics industry to demonstrate to major companies in plastics how they can better manage their energy consumption. The guide, launched last month, is a practical approach designed to help with... 

Energy-saving guide  promotes sustainable mindset industry
ESSENTIAL ADVICE ExxonMobil’s energy-saving guide is aimed towards assisting the plastics industry in managing their energy consumption

Student competition fosters innovative energy solutions

By: Nica Schreuder     10th November 2017 In a bid to allow South African engineering students to explore and understand energy efficiency and solutions, Gauteng-based tertiary institution the University of Johannesburg (UJ) has partnered with international energy and petrochemicals group Shell Global for the fourth time to host the... 

Student competition fosters innovative  energy solutions
ECO-MARATHON Fostering an energy efficient-conscious mind-set among students is the first step towards embracing energy efficiency

Nigeria, Russia sign nuclear agreements

By: Keith Campbell     10th November 2017 Nigeria has signed agreements with Russia covering the construction and operation of a nuclear power plant (NPP) and a nuclear research reactor and associated research facilities, Russia’s State-owned nuclear group Rosatom has announced. The two countries also signed a cooperation roadmap... 

Competence Centre promotes energy efficiency awareness in Africa

By: Nica Schreuder     10th November 2017 The South African-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Competence Centre for Sustainable Energies (CC:SE), in Cape Town plays an important role in creating awareness and fostering conversations among African stakeholders in the renewable energy and energy efficiency sector. CC:SE manager... 

Competence Centre promotes energy efficiency awareness in Africa
Photo by Bloomberg
LIGHTING THE WAY EUREM trainees are taught basic knowledge of energy efficiency, with an emphasis on energy efficient lighting systems

Organisation assists business in becoming energy efficient

By: Nica Schreuder     10th November 2017 Lack of energy supply security, economic costs associated with energy, and environmental costs, such as depleting resources, contributing to climate change are just some of the factors that can be mitigated if South Africa embraces energy efficiency and reliable renewable energy alternatives,... 

Organisation assists  business in becoming  energy efficient
MONITORED CONSUMPTION NCPC-SA is trying to find ways to optimise South Africa’s energy consumption

Upcoming energy event to showcase African project opportunities  

By: Simone Liedtke     10th November 2017 A key focus point of the African Energy Indaba (AEI) – which celebrates its ten-year milestone next year – is to provide access to project opportunities across the African continent. 

Upcoming energy event to showcase African project opportunities
Africa Energy Indaba (AEI) MD Liz Hart, AEI chairperson Brian Statham and South African Electrotechnical Export Council CEO Chiboni Evans discuss the AEI next year. Camera: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Lionel da Silva.

Gas company secures onshore petroleum production right

By: Mia Breytenbach     10th November 2017 The Petroleum Agency of South Africa has granted integrated alternative and renewable-energy business Renergen’s Tetra4 subsidiary environmental authorisation for its Free State natural gas development. The authorisation, the processing of which has taken more than two years, with multiple rounds... 

Gas company secures onshore petroleum production right
PRODUCTION EXPANSION While Tetra4 already produces compressed natural gas, new expansions will include the liquefaction of the gas – the first in South Africa

Ncondezi signs non-binding agreement to develop Mozambique project

By: Anine Kilian     9th November 2017 Aim-listed solar energy equipment supplier Ncondezi Energy has signed a non-binding offer (NBO) with China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) and General Electric (GE) South Africa to develop, construct and operate the integrated Ncondezi 300 MW coal-fired power project and openpit coal... 

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