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Transmission & Distribution News

Zuma promises ‘seamless’ ANC transition at energy indaba that sidesteps IRP debate

By: Terence Creamer     7th December 2017 President Jacob Zuma used his address at the Energy Indaba, taking place in Johannesburg this week, to assure business and investors that the upcoming African National Congress (ANC) elective conference would be “orderly and peaceful”, while promising a “seamless” handover to the new ANC... 

Renewables-heavy mix is South Africa’s cheapest option, yet another study confirms

By: Terence Creamer     1st December 2017 A new, independently produced techno-economic model of South Africa’s cost-optimal power generation mix in 2040 outlines a system where 69% of the electrical energy is produced from onshore wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) generators, supported by batteries and gas-fired generators. Conducted by... 

Renewables-heavy mix is South Africa’s cheapest option, yet another study confirms

Civil rights groups voice opposition to ‘rushed’ Energy Indaba

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     29th November 2017 Twenty-three South African civil rights and environmental activist groups have sent a letter to Energy Minister David Mahlobo seeking clarity on the nature and purpose of the upcoming Energy Indaba, scheduled for December 7 to 8 in Johannesburg. “It appears that the indaba will relate to the... 

Civil rights groups voice opposition to ‘rushed’ Energy Indaba

Eskom inquiry cancelled for this week

By: Reuters     27th November 2017 Parliament announced on Monday that the inquiry into the mismanagement of funds at state power utility Eskom will not sit this week. In a statement, Parliament said the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises will not meet this week to conduct its inquiry on Eskom into the mismanagement of... 

Hawks probing Brian Molefe's R30m pension payout claims

By: News24Wire      24th November 2017 Trade Union Solidarity announced on Thursday that it would launch legal proceedings to force former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe to repay the "unlawful" R30-million pension payout he received. "Unlawful actions must bear consequences. An apology and even pay back [from Molefe], is not enough,"... 

Hawks probing Brian Molefe's R30m pension payout claims
Photo by Duane Daws
Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe

Microgrids add new arrow to Africa’s electricity access quiver

By: Mia Breytenbach     24th November 2017 The launch of a R25-million solar energy, lithium-ion battery storage microgrid on Robben Island – the World Heritage Site in Table Bay, Cape Town, which, until recently, relied on diesel to generate electricity – not only showcases the versatile advantages of microgrid technology, but also... 

Microgrids add new arrow to Africa’s electricity access quiver

Power and utilities drone market worth more than $9bn

By: Dylan Slater     24th November 2017 The international drone market comprising solutions that use drones for the power and utilities industries is worth as much as $9.46-billion a year, according to a report published by professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).  

Africa specialist punts local presence as key to capitalising as infrastructure spend set to boom

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     23rd November 2017 Through innovation in the energy sphere, Africa is slowly starting to overcome historical blockages that have prevented the continent from achieving economic growth and creating sustainable jobs, according to energy consultancy Africa House director Duncan Bonnett. Speaking at a PowerGen and... 

Africa specialist punts local presence as key to capitalising as infrastructure spend set to boom

Eskom’s ‘death spiral’ under the microscope 

By: Terence Creamer     21st November 2017 A major topic of discussion during recent public hearings into Eskom’s 2018/19 revenue application, was whether a further double-digit tariff hike could trigger a “utility death spiral”, whereby rising tariffs and utility costs spark an exodus of energy-intensive customers from the network,... 

Eskom’s ‘death spiral’ under the microscope

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

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'

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

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

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.

Manufacturing Circle implores Eskom to do internal clean-up before seeking electricity tariff increase

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     8th November 2017 Around 88% of respondents in the Manufacturing Circle Investment Tracker survey for the third quarter noted that they still relied on electricity as the primary energy source for their organisation, followed by gas and other energy sources. For this reason, the Manufacturing Circle is imploring... 

Manufacturing Circle implores Eskom to do internal clean-up before seeking electricity tariff increase
Photo by Duane Daws
Manufacturing Circle chairperson Andre de Ruyter

Johannesburg faces R17bn electricity infrastructure challenge

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     8th November 2017 The undoings of the previous administration has resulted in the City of Johannesburg requiring an investment of around R17-billion over the next ten years to upgrade its ageing electricity infrastructure. City of Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba said his administration was facing serious... 

Johannesburg faces R17bn electricity infrastructure challenge

Trillian whistleblower says Eskom’s Singh paid R30.6m for no reason

By: African News Agency      3rd November 2017 A whistleblower on Friday told the parliamentary inquiry into Eskom the power utility settled a fraudulent invoice from Trillian for R30.6-million. Former Trillian Management Consulting (TMC) chief executive Bianca Goodson said she found her signature on a cover letter to the invoice that was... 

South Africa’s capital city replacing electricity meters after court ruling

By: African News Agency      2nd November 2017 South Africa’s capital city is replacing thousands of electricity meters after the high court ruled that the contract for their procurement was invalid, an official said on Thursday. Cilliers Brink, member of the mayoral committee for the municipality of Tshwane, which incorporates the capital... 

Treasury grilled on R74bn deviation procurement

By: News24Wire      2nd November 2017 Treasury's Director General Dondo Mogajane was grilled by members of SCOPA on Wednesday on how it was possible for state entities and institutions to have been allowed to deviate from required procurement processes to the tune of a total of R74-billion in 2016/17. While the public procurement... 

Heavy increase in irregular expenditure in South Africa, now pegged above R45bn, says AG 

By: African News Agency      1st November 2017 Irregular expenditure by government departments and State-owned entities has ballooned by over 50% in 2016/2017 when compared to the previous financial year, topping R45-billion, Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu revealed on Tuesday. “Irregular expenditure has increased by 55% since the previous year... 

Heavy increase in irregular expenditure in South Africa, now pegged above R45bn, says AG
Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu

City of Joburg's anti-corruption unit makes major bust 

By: News24Wire      1st November 2017 The City of Johannesburg’s anti-corruption unit made one of its biggest busts since its inception a year ago, with about R80-million worth of City Power equipment seized from sub-contractors. The City's anti-corruption unit, which was established by Mayor Herman Mashaba last year, and headed by... 

Loeriesfontein Wind Farm connected to grid

     27th October 2017 Loeriesfontein Wind Farm as well as Khobab Wind Farm, both located in the Northern Cape, are now connected to State-owned power utility Eskom’s grid, through Eskom’s Helios substation and the commissioning of wind turbines has started. “We energised the wind farm substations with Eskom... 

Loeriesfontein Wind Farm connected to grid
STATE CONNECTIONS Loeriesfontein and Khobab should start supplying electricity to the national grid by early December, in the meantime the developers continue to work closely with Eskom

Conference aims to strengthen cross-border relations

By: Nadine James     27th October 2017 The prospects for wind power within and beyond the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) will be discussed at this year’s Windaba conference and exhibition, exploring opportunities outside South Africa’s borders, and consider ways of establishing cross-border... 

Conference aims to strengthen cross-border relations
ANSWERS IN THE WIND The Windaba programme has been designed to be relevant regardless of whether the mid-term outlook is good or uncertain

Wind energy sector still attractive to investors

By: Nadine James     27th October 2017 Shorter fabrication time, lower costs for parts, and increased repeatability and uniformity have led to impressive improvements in the wind energy sector, says multidisciplinary engineering consultancy WSP Africa power director Dinesh Buldoo. “For instance, there is significant focus on advanced... 

Wind energy sector still attractive to investors
DINESH BULDOO WSP Africa states that several wind projects have progressed through the planning pipeline, and the industry continues to generate significant investor and developer interest

Eskom a ‘risk to entire economy’, Gigaba says as he reaffirms unaffordability of nuclear 

By: Terence Creamer     25th October 2017 As guarantor over a significant portion of Eskom’s debt, the prevailing governance problems at the State-owned utility were of “grave concern” and had become an “enormous risk” to government and the entire economy, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Wednesday. Delivering his first Medium-Term... 

Eskom a ‘risk to entire economy’, Gigaba says as he reaffirms unaffordability of nuclear

New initiative to be launched at tenth Africa Energy Indaba

By: Simone Liedtke     24th October 2017 In the run-up to the tenth yearly Africa Energy Indaba (AEI) in February, the South African Electrotechnical Export Council (SAEEC) on Tuesday announced that it would launch its African Energy Consultants initiative at the event. The SAAEC, which is a partner of the AEI Trade Association that... 

Brian Molefe’s young wife boosted his pension payout

By: News24Wire      20th October 2017 Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe's marriage to Arethur Moagi in December 2016 boosted his pension payout, according to Sibusiso Luthuli, CEO of the Eskom Pension and Provident Fund (EPPF). Luthuli was briefing Parliament’s public enterprises committee as part of its state capture inquiry. 

Eskom’s new R174bn grid plan includes R18bn for IPP connections

By: Terence Creamer     19th October 2017 State-owned electricity utility Eskom says all connection costs relating to 27 outstanding renewable-energy projects have been included in its latest Transmission Development Plan (TDP), which covers the ten-year period from 2018 to 2027. The renewable-energy projects were legally procured in... 

Eskom’s new R174bn grid plan includes R18bn for IPP connections

What the Cabinet reshuffle means for the electricity supply industry 

     19th October 2017 Creamer Media’s Samantha Herbst talks to Engineering News editor Terence Creamer about the appointment of David Mahlobo as the new Energy Minister. 

What the Cabinet reshuffle means for the electricity supply industry
What the Cabinet reshuffle means for the electricity supply industry

‘Absolutely no need' for nuclear, Dames says in State-capture testimony

By: Kim Cloete     18th October 2017 Former Eskom CEO Brian Dames has revealed that he faced a breakdown in communication between the board and management, as well as death threats during his time at the state utility.  He has also told Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises that there is "absolutely no need" for... 

‘Absolutely no need' for nuclear, Dames says in State-capture testimony
Former Eskom CEO Brian Dames

Evidence of blatant corruption at Eskom unpacked at Parliament’s inquiry into State capture

By: Kim Cloete     17th October 2017 Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises has kicked off its inquiry into alleged State capture with a report revealing “overwhelming evidence of grand corruption”, governance failure and a stream of irregularities at Eskom, South Africa’s largest State-owned entity. Research... 

Evidence of blatant corruption at Eskom unpacked at Parliament’s inquiry into State capture
Research professor Anton Eberhard

Sending right economic signals key to integration of distributed energy resources

By: Terence Creamer     16th October 2017 The transition from centralised electricity systems to ones that increasingly comprise both large-scale centralised resources and distributed energy resources (DERs) is under way globally. However, to successfully manage the shift will depend substantially on sending the right economic signals, a... 

 Sending right economic signals key to integration of distributed energy resources

Eskom suspends power cuts in MP municipality after receiving payment

By: African News Agency      16th October 2017 South African power utility Eskom on Monday suspended its planned supply interruption to the Govan Mbeki local municipality in Mpumalanga after it reached a payment agreement with the municipality. This comes after Eskom started cutting the power supply to Govan Mbeki Local municipality from... 

DA to report minister Brown to public protector and ethics committee over Eskom contract

By: African News Agency      16th October 2017 The Democratic Alliance (DA) will ask Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to investigate Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown for any role she played in awarding lucrative oil contracts worth R1.2-million from Eskom “to her lover and close business associate” despite their lack of expertise in... 

Court declares contract between City of Tshwane, two service providers invalid

By: African News Agency      13th October 2017 The North Gauteng High Court on Friday declared a contract between the City of Tshwane and two service providers PEU Capital Partners and it’s subsidiary TUMS invalid. The court ordered that the R950-million, placed in a special trust account set up for the purchase of PEU’s infrastructure, to be... 

SA weighs market opportunities as utility-scale battery storage prospects improve

By: Mia Breytenbach     13th October 2017 Following the release of an energy storage techno-economic study ‘The South Africa Energy Storage Technology and Market Assessment’, advocating that South Africa requires market preparation to take advantage of growth opportunities in the stationary and mobility value chains of energy storage,... 

SA weighs market opportunities as utility-scale  battery storage prospects improve

SA black consumer body urges regulator to reject Eskom’s tariff hike application

By: African News Agency      11th October 2017 The National Black Consumer Council (NBCC) on Wednesday said that it opposed Eskom’s proposed application for a 20% electricity tariff increase next year. TheNBCC urged the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to reject the troubled power utility’s application and rather grant it “a... 

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