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Electricity News

New Eskom report warns of possible generation gaps in coming five years  

By: Terence Creamer     31st October 2018 Eskom’s newly released Medium-Term System Adequacy Outlook (MTSAO) report highlights several risks to South Africa’s electricity supply for the period 2018 to 2023 and indicates that additional capacity will be required during the period to restore generation adequacy should the energy... 

Offgrid firm BBOXX targets two new African markets with EDF – CEO

By: Reuters     30th October 2018 UK-based off-grid power company BBOXX is looking to enter two new African markets in partnership with France's EDF Group next year as it capitalises on growing interest in the sector from large energy companies, its chief executive said on Monday. The two companies announced last week that the... 

Greenpeace Africa affirms Mpumalanga is a nitrogen dioxide air pollution hotspot

By: Marleny Arnoldi     29th October 2018 Greenpeace Africa states that analysis from satellite data between June 1 and August 31 shows that Mpumalanga is the world’s largest nitrogen dioxide air pollution hotspot across six continents. The data points to coal and transport as the two principal sources of the nitrogen dioxide air... 

Calls to even out procurement for wind energy

By: Kim Cloete     29th October 2018 The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) has called for energy planners to even out the procurement of wind energy allocations between 2021 and 2030 to prevent a "stop-start" scenario.  The current draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) has a gap in the years, 2022, 2023 and 2024, when no... 

Fossil Fuel Foundation sees clean coal as a solution for South Africa 

By: Kim Cloete     29th October 2018 The Fossil Fuel Foundation (FFF) has advocated strongly for coal to be retained as a sustainable part of South Africa's energy mix for the short to medium term. “Contrary to the popular belief that ‘coal is dead’, South Africa’s coal resources are abundant and can provide low-emitting,... 

DA to tackle Eskom's 'monopoly' via new bill

By: News24Wire      29th October 2018 Introducing competition in the energy sector will keep electricity prices down, according to the Democratic Alliance (DA). DA leader Mmusi Maimane on Monday announced plans at a briefing to address "Eskom's monopoly" in the energy sector, through the introduction of a private member's bill known... 

 DA to tackle Eskom's 'monopoly' via new bill

Business concerned about coal sector job losses

By: Kim Cloete     26th October 2018 The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and the Black Business Council (BBC) have called for amendments to the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2018, telling Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Energy, on Friday, that the draft plan, with its emphasis on renewable energy rather than coal,... 

NGOs criticise IRP public hearings process

By: Kim Cloete     26th October 2018 Energy Governance South Africa (EGSA) has expressed concern about the way the public hearings process into the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) has been conducted in Parliament, saying it had been a "one-way flow of information, without interrogation and interaction". The organization has penned a... 

Salga calls for new electricity demand forecasts

By: Kim Cloete     26th October 2018 The South African Local Government Association (Salga) has called for a reduced demand forecast for electricity to be included in the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2018, in line with the slowdown in electricity sales and a drop in customer demand. Salga says the forecasts contained in the draft... 

Eskom welcomes Fitch Ratings’ decision

By: Marleny Arnoldi     26th October 2018 Ratings agency Fitch Ratings has affirmed Eskom’s long-term local currency issuer default rating and unguaranteed local currency senior unsecured ratings of ‘BB-’ . Fitch also maintained the national long-term rating at ‘A(zaf)’ and the national short-term rating at ‘F1(zaf)’.  

Eskom welcomes Fitch Ratings’ decision

CSIR points to 30 000 net jobs gain in electricity to 2030, despite fall in coal jobs 

By: Terence Creamer     26th October 2018 An analysis of the Department of Energy’s (DoE’s) recommended plan in the draft Integrated Resource Plan 2018 (IRP 2018) shows that there will be a 30 000 net increase in employment in the electricity industry to 2030, despite a 100 000 fall in coal jobs over the period. In its formal response to... 

CSIR points to 30 000 net jobs gain in electricity to 2030, despite fall in coal jobs

South Africa prepares for an electrified future

By: Paige Müller     26th October 2018 Amid the conclusion of this year’s Sasol Solar Challenge (SSC), founder and director Winstone Jordaan tells Engineering News that South Africa is poised to adopt electrified transport. “Without any doubt in my mind, we are heading for an electric future. This means we must find better, cleaner... 

South Africa prepares for an electrified future
INSPIRING STUDENTS The Sasol Solar Challenge aims to inspire students to take up science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects

Sasol poised to improve operational performance in 2019

26th October 2018 Integrated chemicals and energy company Sasol reported that it is well positioned to continue improved operational performance in the 2019 financial year despite electricity supply interruptions, as its sales volumes increased by 1% for its performance chemicals business owing to robust market... 

Sasol poised to improve operational performance in 2019
LOWER VOLUMES Liquid fuels sales volumes for Sasol were down 2% as a result of lower production volumes and a challenging local retail liquid fuels market

Progress made to deliver value-based company strategy

By: Paige Müller     26th October 2018 Integrated chemical and energy company Sasol’s 2018 financial year – which came to a close in June of this year – has proven positive in terms of realising the company’s strategy. “The company has made significant strides in bettering its organisational culture and advancing opportunities in its... 

Progress made to deliver value-based company strategy
REMAIN COMPETITIVE Sasol is looking to further enhance its performance by ensuring it is able to remain competitive at an oil price of $40/bl

Klawer awaits PPA signature, while Roggeveld surges ahead

By: Tracy Hancock     26th October 2018 Having received preferred bidder status three years ago, Cape Town-based wind farm developer G7 Renewable Energies’ Klawer wind farm project awaits a power purchase agreement (PPA) signature before undertaking the 18 months of construction needed to add 5 MW of electricity to the national grid. 

Klawer awaits PPA  signature, while  Roggeveld surges ahead
KILIAN HAGEMANN A key area of improvement would be greater visibility and certainty of future power procurement, but G7 Renewable Energies is confident that the new Integrated Resource Plan will address this

Wind farm to power local development

By: Tracy Hancock     26th October 2018 The R3.1-billion Perdekraal East Wind Farm, in the Western Cape’s Witzenberg local municipality, has started work on its electrical distribution network, edging closer to not only making an impact on the national grid but also on the economies of surrounding communities. 

Wind energy investors watching S Africa closely

By: Tracy Hancock     26th October 2018 For the last several years, from the wind industry’s perspective, the South African government has done everything it can to discourage investor confidence; however, that has changed with the new government, states Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). 

SAWEA CEO bullish about SA wind energy outlook

By: Tracy Hancock     26th October 2018 As forecast, 2018 is shaping up to be a landmark year for the South African energy sector, South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) CEO Brenda Martin tells Engineering News. Bolstering South Africa’s energy sector is much-improved policy certainty, transparent decision-making and public... 

SAWEA CEO bullish about SA wind energy outlook
MONEY IN THE WIND Wind power is a significant foreign direct investment contributor and a driver of local socioeconomic growth in South Africa

Industry growth demands maintenance skills

By: Tracy Hancock     26th October 2018 With the growth in wind energy utilities, the demand to install, repair and maintain such facilities in Africa, including South Africa, is on the rise, says Knowledge Pele (KP) Academy head Richard Setati. He tells Engineering News that many reports and commentators attest to the overall growth... 

Eskom to add 6 500 km of high-voltage transmission lines by 2028

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th October 2018 Power utility Eskom plans to add about 6 500 km of high-voltage transmission lines and 46 000 MVA of transformer capacity in the next ten years, its latest Transmission Development Plan (TDP), for the period from 2019 to 2028, shows. The TDP, which was released on Thursday, also demonstrates... 

South32 foresees short-term volatility, but long-term growth, sustainability 

By: Schalk Burger     25th October 2018 Diversified mining and metals company South32 on Thursday forecast short-term price volatility for the commodities it produces, but also highlighted its strong cash position and its work to further optimise its global portfolio of assets. In a speech delivered at the company’s 2018 annual general... 

Siemens launches distributed energy system as solution to Africa’s energy transition

By: Simone Liedtke     25th October 2018 German electronics manufacturer Siemens on Wednesday launched, at its headquarters in Midrand, its end-to-end distributed energy system (DES) as a solution to assist the African continent in its energy transition. The DES provides for the targeted use of renewable energy, combined heating and... 

Siemens launches distributed energy system as solution to Africa’s energy transition
Photo by Dylan Slater
Siemens HQ and its solar car park in Midrand, Johannesburg

Mali's first independent power project to start up next week

By: Reuters     25th October 2018 Mali's first independent power project – a €122-million ($139.06-million), 90 MW diesel plant – will go online next week in the country's gold-rich southwest, a board member of the operator said on Wednesday. The new plant could spur more of the foreign investment Mali has struggled to attract... 

Concerned citizens have their say on IRP 2018 

By: Kim Cloete     24th October 2018 Concerned citizens and activists have come to Parliament to speak out about the draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), with fracking, high electricity tariffs and coal-fired power stations among their concerns. Ann October from the Eastridge Women’s Circle in Mitchell’s Plain, Cape Town, said... 

Cosatu calls for overhaul of draft IRP

By: Kim Cloete     24th October 2018 The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has rejected the draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2018, calling for an overhaul. It also called for a firm commitment not to retrench workers as well as tougher, hard-hitting plans to halt looting and recover money stolen from Eskom. 

Mboweni calls for ‘open-minded’ approach to reconfiguration of State firms 

By: Terence Creamer     24th October 2018 Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has called for a reconfiguration of South Africa’s debt-laden State-owned companies (SoCs) and has appealed to stakeholders to adopt an open-mind with regard to the form such restructuring could take, particularly in the cases of Eskom and South African Airways... 

Mboweni calls for ‘open-minded’ approach to reconfiguration of State firms

Don’t limit renewables in IRP, urges prominent activist

By: Kim Cloete     24th October 2018 Prominent activist Liz McDaid has called on the government not to limit the construction of renewable energy capacity under the draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2018. “A look at the IRP says renewables must be constrained. The rationale for restricting renewables is to pull nuclear or coal... 

NGOs call for more time to deliberate on the draft IRP

By: Kim Cloete     23rd October 2018 Earthlife Africa has called for more time to deliberate on the draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), saying the 60-day period for public comment is "highly ambitious" and many citizens have been left out of the process. Makoma Lekalakala of Earthlife Africa said South Africans had a right to... 

Nersa unveils adjudication schedule for Eskom’s 15% hike application

By: Terence Creamer     23rd October 2018 The National Energy Regulator of South African (Nersa) has unveiled its adjudication timetable for Eskom’s fourth multiyear price determination (MYPD4) revenue application, which will include public hearings in all nine provinces between January 14 and February 1, 2019. The regulator has also... 

Nersa unveils adjudication schedule for Eskom’s 15% hike application

Parliament hears call to cut air pollution, improve health 

By: Kim Cloete     23rd October 2018 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     23rd October 2018 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

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