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Electricity News

Parliament hears call to cut air pollution, improve health 

By: Kim Cloete     Updated 1 hour 10 minutes ago Government has a golden opportunity to improve public health in South Africa and mitigate global climate change if it drops plans for the construction of more coal-fired power stations and focuses more sharply on renewable energy in its Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), says the Public Health... 

Energy storage seen as an enabler for grid modernisation in realising IRP 2030 vision 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     Updated 5 hours ago The advent of technologies such as energy storage, small-scale embedded generation and smart grid solutions are set to fundamentally change South Africa’s electricity landscape, outgoing Eskom generation group executive Thava Govender said during an opening address at the SA Energy Storage... 

Energy storage seen as an enabler for grid modernisation in realising IRP 2030 vision
Photo by Dylan Slater
Eskom generation group executive Thava Govender

Pollutec 2018 shines the spotlight on Burkina Faso

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     23rd October 2018 Pollutec 2018, which will mark the fortieth anniversary of this international environmental trade show, is set to cover 14 key industry sectors, and focus keenly on Africa – notably Burkina Faso – as well as other key regions, such as South America and South-East Asia. Pollutec has featured an... 

Pollutec 2018 shines the spotlight on Burkina Faso

Eskom gearing up for big grid-scale battery storage roll-out 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd October 2018 State-owned electricity utility Eskom is preparing to roll-out battery energy storage systems (BESS) across multiple sites as part of a replacement plan for the 100 MW Kiwano concentrated solar power (CSP) project initially approved as part of the $3.75-billion World Bank loan extended to the... 

Eskom gearing up for big grid-scale battery storage roll-out
Photo by Creamer Media
Eskom has been testing battery storage solutions at its research facility in Rosherville for the past few years

Nersa initiates public consultation process on two Eskom applications

By: Marleny Arnoldi     22nd October 2018 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has initiated a public consultation process on two Eskom applications. The first application is the regulatory clearing account (RCA) application of R21.6-billion for the fifth year (2017/18) of the multiyear price determination (MYPD) 3... 

Congo sets deadline for plan on 11 000 MW hydropower plant

By: Bloomberg     22nd October 2018 The Democratic Republic of Congo gave two groups of investors a four-week deadline to submit a joint proposal on the development of the multibillion-dollar Inga 3 hydropower plant. The government signed an accord with Chinese and Spanish consortia this week to advance the 11 000 MW facility, the... 

Eskom director resigns

By: Marleny Arnoldi     19th October 2018 Eskom nonexecutive director George Sebulela has resigned, effective immediately, chairperson Jabu Mabuza confirmed on Friday. Sebulela resigned after considering legal advice on his continued role as an Eskom director after the board was made aware of certain conflicts of interest.  

Eskom director resigns

Growing risk of ‘reform by default’ as South Africa battles to adapt to electricity transition 

By: Terence Creamer     19th October 2018 There is a growing risk of “reform by default” in South Africa’s electricity industry, which is already showing symptoms of the “proverbial utility death spiral”, whereby sales volumes fall as tariffs rise, with consumers opting for alternatives. This argument is outlined in a paper titled ‘The... 

Growing risk of ‘reform by default’ as South Africa battles to adapt to electricity transition

Breytenbach welcomes greater certainty for renewable energy projects 

By: Kim Cloete     19th October 2018 Participants in the renewable energy sector say they are encouraged by the dedicated infrastructure team that will be set up in the Presidency, as it will give investors more certainty and confidence to back projects. “We’ve seen what the last two years of delays in the signing of renewable... 

Breytenbach welcomes greater certainty for renewable energy projects
Photo by Dylan Slater
IPP Office CEO Karen Breytenbach

Kibo Energy says submits documents in bid for Tanzania coal to power project

By: African News Agency      19th October 2018 Africa-focused energy company Kibo said on Friday it had submitted its formal tender qualification document to the Tanzania Electricity Supply Company (Tanesco) for the Mbeya coal to power project, in line with the government’s new initiative to develop independent power projects. "Our visionary... 

IRP 2018 suffers from major failings, nuclear analyst claims

By: Rebecca Campbell     19th October 2018 South Africa's Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2018 contained serious flaws which significantly undermined confidence in its recommendations. So affirmed University of the Witwatersrand Honorary Research Fellow and South African Network for Nuclear Education, Science and Technology National... 

Germany's Voith to supply more turbines for Ethiopia's Renaissance Dam

By: Reuters     18th October 2018 German mechanical engineering conglomerate Voith has signed an agreement to supply turbines for a $4-billion dam Ethiopia is building along the River Nile, state-affiliated media said on Wednesday. The 6 000 MW Grand Renaissance Dam is the centrepiece of the Horn of Africa country's bid to become... 

Keep coal’s current share of the energy mix, says NUM

By: Kim Cloete     18th October 2018 The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has called for coal to be retained far more strongly in the country’s energy mix. In its submission on the draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2018, the NUM Western Cape said it was concerned that coal’s share in the energy mix was set to be reduced. “As... 

Renewable energy industry comments on draft IRP

By: Kim Cloete     17th October 2018 The renewable energy sector in South Africa has welcomed the draft Integrated Resource Plant (IRP) 2018, but has also expressed concerns. “While the IRP forecasting is rational in its choices, it unfortunately requires us to accept some overly optimistic assumptions,” said the South African... 

Organisations raise objections to the draft IRP

By: Kim Cloete     17th October 2018 Industry bodies and organisations have welcomed aspects of the draft Integrated Resource Plan 2018 but have also raised concerns during public hearings held in Parliament on Wednesday. They are hoping that their suggestions will be included in a final plan for South Africa’s energy future. 

First electricity from Imaloto slated for 2021 

By: Simone Liedtke     17th October 2018 Aim-listed Bushveld Minerals, parent company of coal and energy company Lemur Holdings, on Wednesday announced that the Imaloto project is on track to deliver electricity to south-western Madagascar by 2021. The Imaloto project is a developing integrated thermal coal mining and independent power... 

First electricity from Imaloto slated for 2021
Bushveld Minerals CEO Fortune Mojapelo

GE calls for more coal power within the IRP 

By: Kim Cloete     17th October 2018 General Electric (GE) has called on the South African government to reconsider investing in a further 1 600 MW of coal-fired power generation capacity, describing it as "the lifeblood" of South Africa’s economy, a significant job creator and important source of foreign exchange. “The removal of 1... 

City of Johannesburg, Eskom reach agreement to electrify Zandspruit

By: News24Wire      17th October 2018 Eskom and the City of Johannesburg have reached an agreement to rid the Zandspruit informal settlement of illegal electrical connections. The area has been rocked by protests, which flared up when two children were reportedly electrocuted last week. The protests entered their second day on... 

Calls for greater transformation in the energy industry 

By: Kim Cloete     16th October 2018 Calls for greater participation by black professionals in the energy industry were made during public hearings into the Integrated Resources Plan (IRP), held at Parliament, on Tuesday. The Black Energy Professionals Association, an organisation of black professionals that practice their trade... 

Organisations oppose coal in IRP public hearings 

By: Kim Cloete     16th October 2018 Public hearings into the Integrated Resources Plan (IRP) kicked off in Parliament on Tuesday, with several organisations voicing their concerns about the plan’s provision for new coal-fired power stations. Attorney Robyn Hugo of the Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) told Parliament’s... 

AfDB to provide €229m for Rwanda electricity programme

By: Marleny Arnoldi     16th October 2018 The Rwandan government has signed a €229.20-million funding agreement with the African Development Bank (AfDB) to support the country’s electricity supply improvement programme and expand access to electricity under the Scaling Up Electricity Access Program Phase II (SEAP II). This builds on... 

AfDB to provide €229m for Rwanda electricity programme
African Development Bank power, energy, climate change and green growth VP Amadou Hott

EnviroServ returning to its roots following Shongweni malodour issue

By: Simone Liedtke     16th October 2018 After acknowledging that its KwaZulu-Natal-based Shongweni landfill was a contributor to malodour, waste management company EnviroServ has returned to its “old way of disposing of waste”, which comprises using lime to raise the alkalinity (pH) levels at its landfill sites. This decision,... 

EnviroServ returning to its roots following Shongweni malodour issue
Shongweni landfill, in KwaZulu-Natal.

CSIR seeks municipal partners for energy master plan pilot project 

By: Terence Creamer     16th October 2018 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) aims to partner with a metropolitan council and a district municipality to compile pilot municipal energy master plans for electricity (MEMPs), which will provide the two councils with insight into the best electricity supply blends for... 

CSIR seeks municipal partners for energy master plan pilot project
CSIR Energy Centre head Dr Clinton Carter-Brown

Eskom executive for generation Thava Govender quits

By: African News Agency      15th October 2018 Eskom's group executive for generation, Thava Govender, on Monday tendered his resignation after assuming the position only in March this year, the power utility's spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said. Govender, who was also acting group executive of risk and sustainability, has worked for Eskom for... 

CER attorneys to address MPs on new coal in the IRP

By: Creamer Media Reporter      15th October 2018 Attorneys from the Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) plan to, on Tuesday, tell Members of Parliament (MPs) that an Integrated Resource Plan for Electricity (IRP) that provides for expensive new coal-fired power, at a time when South Africa needs to be urgently transitioning away from... 

Roman’s Pizza head office kitted out with solar PV plant

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th October 2018 Fast food franchise Roman’s Pizza’s head office in Centurion, Gauteng, has installed a 137 kW grid-tied photovoltaic (PV) solar plant, which is one of several actions the company is implementing to help conserve the environment. Other green initiatives by Roman’s include eliminating plastic... 

Renewable energy sector could provide jobs boost to SA

By: African News Agency      15th October 2018 The renewable energy sector could provide an unexpected but much-needed jobs boost to South Africa’s employment levels, as the sector continues to mature, solar enery company SOLA Future Energy said on Monday. SOLA Future Energy is the company that replaced Robben Island’s diesel-powered... 

South Africa’s synfuels know-how could give it edge as world mulls power fuels 

By: Terence Creamer     15th October 2018 The newly formed Global Alliance Power Fuels believes that South Africa is well positioned to become a leading site for the large-scale production of liquid fuels from renewable energy and has confirmed with Engineering News Online that the country is on its radar for possible future... 

South Africa’s synfuels know-how could give it edge as world mulls power fuels
Photo by Creamer Media
Transmission lines with Sasol's Secunda complex in the background, where synthetic fuels and chemicals are produced from coal

KenGen says new geothermal plant nearly ready

By: Reuters     12th October 2018 KenGen's new 165.4 MW capacity plant powered by geothermal steam is three quarters complete and on schedule for commissioning next July, Kenya's main electricity producer said on Friday. Geothermal steam, hot underground steam found in the Rift Valley which is used to drive turbines for... 

Exxaro looks to fill Eskom coal shortage

By: Reuters     12th October 2018 Exxaro Resources said on Friday it was looking to supply coal to state-owned power utility Eskom, which has been hit by supply shortages, posing a threat to the power supply in Africa's most industrialised economy. Eskom, which has fewer than 20 days of coal supply at 10 of its power stations,... 

Lethabo unit to remain out of service for 3 months following boiler rupture

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th October 2018 Based on a preliminary inspection by State-owned power utility Eskom, it is expected that Unit 5 at the Lethabo power station will remain out of service for a minimum of three months. This follows after the death of one employee and the injury of another at the power station on Wednesday when... 

Wind body to request smoothing of procurement profile in IRP submission

By: Terence Creamer     11th October 2018 The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) will appeal for a “smooth rolling procurement” of new wind-energy capacity in its response to the draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP 2018) so as to close a three-year procurement gap in the current document. The Draft IRP 2018 was released on... 

Wind body to request smoothing of procurement profile in IRP submission
The Nojoli wind farm

Cape vulture provides inspiration for homegrown vertical-axis wind turbine 

11th October 2018 A South African inventor has developed a new flexible wing, which he believes could have application in everything from wind energy and sailing to aviation and motoring. 

Cape vulture provides inspiration for homegrown vertical-axis wind turbine
Cape vulture provides inspiration for homegrown vertical-axis wind turbine

One killed in explosion at Eskom power station

By: News24Wire      11th October 2018 An employee at the Lethabo Power Station in the Free State died and another was seriously injured in a "major incident" on Wednesday afternoon, Eskom said. The power utility said in a statement that police officials were on the scene at Unit 5 and emergency response teams had been activated. "The... 

Govt urged to include IRP adjustment that steers renewables jobs the way of coal regions 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      10th October 2018 South Africa should consider including a policy adjustment in its upcoming Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) directing developers of new renewable-energy infrastructure to build projects in regions currently geared towards coal mining and coal-fired electricity production. University of Johannesburg... 

Govt urged to include IRP adjustment that steers renewables jobs the way of coal regions
Photo by Creamer Media
Dr Tobias Bischof-Niemz

Medupi’s fifth unit synchronised to the national grid – Eskom

By: Simone Liedtke     9th October 2018 Unit 2 at Eskom-owned Medupi power station, in Limpopo, was loaded to 400 MW on Sunday afternoon, making it the fifth of the six Medupi units to be synchronised to the national grid. The unit produced first power on Sunday morning, at around 11:53. 

Technology cost assumptions used to produce IRP explained 

By: Terence Creamer     9th October 2018 An experienced electricity system modeller has corrected a suggestion that the draft 2018 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP 2018) uses levelised cost assumptions for the various generation technologies tested, explaining that overnight capital cost assumptions for each technology are key inputs. The... 

Technology cost assumptions used to produce IRP explained
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