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Electricity News

Moz plant illustrates rapid commissioning potential of gas engines

By: Dylan Slater     14th April 2017 Electricity generation using gas as a fuel has great potential to meet the growing needs of many African countries, especially with a peaking-plant application, according to Cape Town-based engineering firm MTU South Africa, a subsidiary of UK-based engines, propulsion systems and distributed... 

Renewables still largely underexploited in most African countries

By: Dylan Slater     14th April 2017 The biggest challenge faced by the renewable-energy industry is storage, and a lack of wide-spread adoption is impeding renewable-energy sources from realising their full potential in the greater energy mix, according to Eaton Africa operations head Eugèn Ranft.  

Eskom seeking Tegeta ‘consent’ to disclose value of Optimum settlement

By: Terence Creamer     13th April 2017 Department of Public Enterprises director-general Mogokare Seleke revealed on Thursday that Eskom’s legal representatives had approached Tegeta Resources, owner of the Optimum coal mine, to obtain “consent” in making details of a recent arbitration settlement, relating to a R2.2-billion penalty... 

Eskom seeking Tegeta ‘consent’ to disclose value of Optimum settlement
Photo by Duane Daws
Minister Lynne Brown is being asked to release details of the settlement

Salga’s Parks Tau to serve on UN panel

By: Sane Dhlamini     13th April 2017 South African Local Government Association (Salga) president Parks Tau has joined the United Nations (UN) high level independent panel to oversee the effectiveness of UN-Habitat – a programme that promotes socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities.  His appointment follows the... 

Salga’s Parks Tau to serve on UN panel
SALGA President Parks Tau

Kouga municipality gears up for possible nuclear development

By: African News Agency      13th April 2017 Seven work groups are expected to be established to help prepare the Kouga municipal region for the construction of a nuclear plant at Thyspunt should the national power project receive the green light. Kouga executive mayor Elza van Lingen said the work groups will serve as subcommittees of the... 

SA urged to focus on producing components for battery supply chains

By: Schalk Burger     13th April 2017 South Africa can use the development and local production of various battery components in global energy storage supply chains to develop local industrial capacity, says University of the Western Cape South African Institute for Advanced Material Chemistry director Professor Vladimir Linkov.... 

Solar industry registers quality and safety training programme

By: David Oliveira     13th April 2017 Fifteen representatives from tertiary learning institutions in South Africa attended the first workshop – Inform the Trainer – at the South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre (SARETEC) last month. These representatives will train solar photovoltaic (PV) technicians to install solar panels... 

AfriBusiness applies PAIA rule for Eskom, Optimum penalty clarification

By: Natasha Odendaal     12th April 2017 As media reports surface over a settlement agreement between State-owned Eskom and Optimum coal mine, business rights watchdog AfriBusiness is seeking more information on “what transpired” during the alleged payment of the fine by Tegeta Exploration & Resources. Leveraging the Promotion of Access... 

City Power calls on residents not to buy electricity meters from unauthorised sellers

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     12th April 2017 With a spike in the theft of electricity meters in the residential areas of the West Rand, Johannesburg electricity utility City Power has appealed to residents to refrain from buying electricity meters from unauthorised resellers. “This is supporting the illegal trade of stolen meters and... 

Another delay in signing of PPAs for renewables projects 

     12th April 2017 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about the latest delay in the signing of power purchase agreements for new renewables projects. 

Another delay in signing of PPAs for renewables projects
Another delay in signing of PPAs for renewables projects

SMEs, entrepreneurs called to enter clean technology innovation competition

By: Dylan Slater     12th April 2017 The Global Cleantech Innovation Programme of South Africa (GCIP-SA) has opened entries for its yearly competition, which is focused on highlighting the latest clean technology innovations and solutions, to entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).  

SMEs, entrepreneurs called to enter clean technology innovation competition
GCIP-SA top performers for 2016, Yolandi Schoeman and Martin Ackermann, with Gerswynn McKuur (left) and Paul deGive at the Cleantech Open Global Forum in San Francisco

Solar body urges Energy Minister to provide revised PPA signing date 

By: Terence Creamer     11th April 2017 The South African Solar Photovoltaic Industry Association (Sapvia) expressed confidence on Tuesday that the latest delay in signing of power purchase agreements (PPAs) for 37 renewable-energy projects procured in 2015 would be “short-term” in nature. However, it urged newly appointed Energy... 

Solar body urges Energy Minister to provide revised PPA signing date

Renewables contracts will not be signed on April 11 

By: Terence Creamer     10th April 2017 The signing of power purchase agreements (PPAs) for the projects procured under the fourth bid window of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) will not take place on April 11 as initially envisaged. The date had been set by former Energy Minister Tina... 

Renewables contracts will not be signed on April 11

Pushing ahead with nuclear deal will guarantee SA junk status, says DA 

By: African News Agency      10th April 2017 It is an undeniable fact that South Africa cannot afford, and does not need, government’s planned nuclear energy deal, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Sunday. Media reports on Sunday that the nuclear deal was going full-steam ahead were extremely concerning and would essentially guarantee... 

Pushing ahead with nuclear deal will guarantee SA junk status, says DA

Opinion: Renewables IPP programme an example of impeccable governance

     7th April 2017 It is important to regularly pause, reflect and appreciate a job well conceived and well executed. Back in 2010, the South African government took the bold decision to create a legislative and practical environment in which the Department of Energy could procure power generated by private... 

Opinion: Renewables IPP programme an example of impeccable governance
Brenda Martin

Eskom says will have to contend with higher cost of debt following ratings downgrade

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     7th April 2017 State-owned Eskom’s CFO Anoj Singh says the entity’s funding requirements for the 2017/18 financial year will not be affected by Standard and Poor’s (S&P’s) decision to downgrade its corporate credit rating, as 72% of the current fiscal year’s funding of R72-billion will be secured by end-April.... 

Least-cost base case essential starting point for IRP process – Sawea

By: Mia Breytenbach     7th April 2017 The South African Wind Energy Association (Sawea) has rejected the current base case scenario used for the 2016 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) Update for Electricity, calling for the scenario to be remodelled as a “least-cost energy plan” and re-issued for consultation. The public participation... 

Least-cost base case essential starting point for IRP process – Sawea

Construction of Northern Cape wind farm ramping up as first components arrive

By: Dylan Slater     7th April 2017 Construction of the Northern Cape-based Khobab Wind Farm has begun in earnest with the transportation and arrival of various wind turbine components to its construction site in the Hantam municipality, 60 km north of Loeriesfontein, both in the Northern Cape.  

Construction of Northern Cape wind farm  ramping up as first components arrive
MASSIVE UNDERTAKING Transporting the individual wind turbine components for the Khobab Wind Farm is expected to be completed in August, 2017

Data-rich Atlas shows SA having higher bio-energy potential than believed

By: Keith Campbell     7th April 2017 The South Africa Bio-energy Atlas, recently launched in Pretoria, will allow the country to identify opportunities for sustainable bio-energy and be able to achieve much more in terms of developing a Green Economy. This was affirmed by Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor in her keynote... 

Engineers set benchmark in sustainable building

     7th April 2017 Multidisciplinary engineering consultancy WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff has achieved the first Green Star rating in Namibia for FNB Namibia Holdings’ Parkside building.  

Engineers set benchmark  in sustainable building
Photo by Duane Daws
GREEN STAR BUILDING The building was awarded its 4-Star Green Star Office South Africa-Namibia ‘Design’ rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa

SA firm sees potential for elevated-track solution in everything mining to public transport

By: Irma Venter     7th April 2017 South African company Milotek will later this year start construction of a fractional rapid transit (FRT) system at a private coal mine in Mpumalanga. Milotek director and inventor Andries Louw believes this system will revolutionise the way goods are moved in the mining industry and also,... 

SA firm sees potential for elevated-track solution in everything mining to public transport

South Africa has real bioenergy potential

By: Keith Campbell     7th April 2017 "South Africa definitely has exploitable bio-energy potential," stated Council for Scientific and Industrial Research Principle Engineer Crescent Mushwana at the recent launch of the South Africa Bio-energy Atlas in Pretoria. "Bio-energy is feasible from organic waste, residues from forestry and... 

AfDB lends Tanzania $29.8m for natural gas developments

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     6th April 2017 The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $29.8-million loan to Tanzania to help the country mobilise domestic resources and unlock the potential of its natural gas resources through leveraging domestic markets and local content initiatives. The project will help Tanzania “capture the... 

Renewables remain a priority for African economies – WEC

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     6th April 2017 Three critical uncertainties facing South Africa this year includes commodity prices, electric storage and exchange rates, the World Energy Council’s (WEC’s) ‘World Energy Issues Monitor 2017’ suggests. The report states that, given the strong linkage of the South African economy to commodity... 

Madonsela calls on Zuma to withdraw 'state capture' report court challenge

By: News24Wire      6th April 2017 Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela on Wednesday called on President Jacob Zuma to withdraw his High Court in Pretoria application to review and set aside the remedial action recommendations in the State of Capture report. She said Zuma should immediately appoint a commission of inquiry or... 

Madonsela calls on Zuma to withdraw 'state capture' report court challenge
Photo by Duane Daws
Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela

CSIR’s formal IRP submission deviates dramatically from Base Case 

By: Terence Creamer     5th April 2017 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR’s) formal input into the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) public consultation process, which ended on March 31, proposes a new-build mix that deviates materially from the IRP Base Case released by the Department of Energy (DoE) in November.... 

CSIR’s formal IRP submission deviates dramatically from Base Case

US launches partnership with African electricity company

By: African News Agency      5th April 2017 The US Department of State, in partnership with the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), officially launched the African Utility Power Sector Exchange (AUPSE) on Tuesday with a summit in Washington, DC, attended by African and US utility CEOs. The summit was opened by acting Special Envoy and... 

Eskom and Botswana Power Corporation seal long-term power supply deal

By: African News Agency      5th April 2017 Eskom, which has excess capacity of about 4 000 MW, on Wednesday said it has signed a three-year “firm power supply agreement” with Botswana Power Corporation (BPC). The power utility said the move was is in line with its plan to increase electricity exports to neighbouring states. 

Bushveld’s Lemur, Sinohydro to build coal-fired power plant in Madagascar

By: Mia Breytenbach     5th April 2017 Aim-listed Bushveld Minerals’ Lemur Resources subsidiary has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Chinese State-owned hydropower engineering and construction company Sinohydro Corporation to codevelop an initial 60 MW independent power producer (IPP) coal-fired power plant and an... 

‘No firm decisions’ on nuclear, Gigaba insists as he seeks to soothe post-junk anxieties

By: Terence Creamer     4th April 2017 Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba has reiterated South Africa’s stance that the proposed nuclear programme be implemented only at a “pace and scale” that is affordable and denied that any “firm decisions” had been made on the issue, besides Cabinet’s endorsement of a plan to add 9 600 MW of new... 

‘No firm decisions’ on nuclear, Gigaba insists as he seeks to soothe post-junk anxieties
Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba

Hulisani signs R26.5m agreement to earn a stake in Rustmo1 Solar Farm

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     3rd April 2017 JSE-listed Hulisani has entered into a R26.5-million share sale agreement with Pravin Semnarayan and Gareth Warner to acquire 100% of the issued ordinary shares in holding company Momentous Technologies. Momentous is currently a 15% shareholder of Rustmo1 Solar Farm (RF) – a 7 MW solar... 

Index shows South Africa is wasting its renewable energy potential

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     3rd April 2017 Although South Africa is the country with the most potential “by far” in terms of its renewable energy programmes, it is stuck in a the “(Fitfully) Waking Giant” category, financial services provider Fieldstone Africa said in its first renewables index for the year. When the Fieldstone Africa... 

Eskom’s Medupi Unit 5 reaches commercial operation

By: Natasha Odendaal     3rd April 2017 State-owned power utility Eskom announced on Monday that Unit 5 at the Medupi coal-fired power station project, in Limpopo, has reached commercial operation. “Commercial operation status ensures technical compliance to statutory, safety and legal requirements. This signatory milestone marks the... 

Eskom’s Medupi Unit 5 reaches commercial operation

Economics now key driver of commercial rooftop solar adoption as supply stabilises - juwi

By: Terence Creamer     3rd April 2017 Renewable energy engineering, procurement and construction services group juwi Renewable Energies expects the commercial solar market in South Africa to undergo a significant shift in the coming months as independent power producers (IPPs) begin playing a more prominent role. CEO Greg Austin says... 

Economics now key driver of commercial rooftop solar adoption as supply stabilises - juwi
The rooftop solar photovoltaic facility at Growthpoint’s Brooklyn Mall

High-temperature reactor phoenix emerging from PBMR ashes? 

By: Terence Creamer     3rd April 2017 Early-stage research into the possible revival of the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) has yielded a revamped reactor concept that incorporates an entirely new operational philosophy, as well as the use of construction materials and manufacturing techniques that were either not considered or... 

High-temperature reactor phoenix emerging from PBMR ashes?
Photo by Duane Daws
Eskom chief nuclear officer David Nicholls

Treasury shoots down nuclear deal allegations

By: News24Wire      3rd April 2017 National Treasury on Sunday set the record straight on news that was circulating on social media of a nuclear deal allegedly signed by incoming Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba. African National Congress (ANC) member Sibusisiwe Mngadi had alleged on Facebook earlier on Sunday that “the nuclear deal... 

Treasury shoots down nuclear deal allegations
Photo by Duane Daws
Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba

Biomass solution brings new energy to degraded land

By: Dylan Slater     31st March 2017 A case study into an opportunity for renewable energy development in conjunction with community upliftment, has led to a proposal for biomass production and a 2 MW bio-energy power plant to be built in the Merafong local municipality, west of Johannesburg.  

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