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With drought threatening food security, farmers turn to drip irrigation

By: Anine Kilian     Updated 2 hours 47 minutes ago With the recent drought in Southern Africa compounding the unpredictable impact of climate change on food production, local farmers are converting to drip irrigation in an attempt to conserve water, using less to produce more, according to Crookes Brother’s Limited (CBL) MD Guy Clarke. During a... 

Opinion: Another look at South Africa’s electricity generating options

     21st July 2017 In this opinion article, economic risk consultant Rob Jeffrey calls for a re-evaluation for the draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2016 planned and recommended electricity mix going forward Energy is the critical component of the country’s future policy mix. Electricity is the necessary... 

Hold my hand, you silly girl

By: Terry Mackenzie-hoy     21st July 2017 On the November 26, 2011, I wrote: "After a recent tour, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba has said the December 2013 deadline for the Medupi power station, in Lephalale, Limpopo, to start delivering power still stands. 'I have no intention of allowing any delays to the target of December... 

I’m all for solar and wind energy, but only for specific situations

By: Kelvin Kemm     21st July 2017 We have just passed midwinter’s day or, more correctly in the southern hemisphere, midwinter’s night, which, for us in the south, is the longest night of the year. In the highveld, winters are rather pleasant, largely because there is no rain. In fact, there mostly are not even clouds.  So, our... 

Sakuto solar photovoltaic project, Japan

By: Sheila Barradas     21st July 2017 Sakuto is the largest solar photovoltaic scheme under construction in Japan to date. 

Sugar industry to make the most of yield recovery

By: Robyn Wilkinson     21st July 2017 As KwaZulu-Natal’s sugar cane growers start to recover from the effects of the drought, the South African Canegrowers’ Association (SA Canegrowers) is urging the industry to remain resilient and look for opportunities to diversify their operations. 

New approach needed to develop Africa’s energy landscape

By: Natasha Odendaal     20th July 2017 Emerging from the closing panel at the PowerGen Africa conference is a strong new message – a different approach is needed to unlock 100% electricity access across Africa. There was no more time for discussions, no more time for political ramblings and no more time to rely on the traditional... 

A pearl at a time, Fission redefines Saskatchewan’s Athabasca basin 

By: Henry Lazenby     19th July 2017 Since the November 2012 discovery of a new high-grade uranium deposit just outside the south-western corner of Saskatchewan’s famed Athabasca basin, where the world’s highest-grade uranium mines are found, explorer Fission Uranium has succeeded in stringing together new uranium discoveries “like... 

State capture casts long shadow over Eskom’s results  

By: Terence Creamer     19th July 2017 South Africa’s worst kept corporate secret was confirmed on Wednesday, when Eskom reported a sharp fall in after-tax profits to R888-million in 2017, from over R5-billion in the previous financial year. However, the results were overshadowed by serious allegations of corruption and... 

Developed economy methodologies not the key to solving Africa’s energy poverty

By: Anine Kilian     19th July 2017 To overcome energy poverty, Africa will have to stop relying on Western solutions, that are appropriate for developed economies, to ensure access to electricity for citizens. Energy Security Services Africa head Gareth Gregory on Wednesday told delegates at the PowerGen Africa conference, in... 

Nuclear is essential to Africa’s energy mix – Rosatom 

By: Natasha Odendaal     19th July 2017 If Africa is to ensure it places itself on its expected path of becoming the future growth market of the world, nuclear energy needs to be included into its plans, as a lack of energy access is a major hurdle for the continent, Rosatom regional VP of sub-Saharan Africa Viktor Polikarpov said on... 

Hybrid solutions key for Africa’s energy growth  

By: Anine Kilian     19th July 2017 Solar photovoltaic (PV) hybrid technology is fast becoming a cost- and energy efficient solution for remote locations throughout sub-Saharan Africa. There is huge demand for electricity across the continent; however, poor and unreliable grid infrastructure is becoming a major challenge in... 

Africa’s energy future lies in solar energy, says CEO 

By: Anine Kilian     19th July 2017 The future of Africa’s energy sector must rest in solar power if it is going to overcome the obstacles it currently faces, according to Zimbabwe-based renewable energy company Samansco CEO Nyasha Bamhare. Addressing delegates at the PowerGen Africa conference, which is taking place in Sandton... 

Nuclear is not just about energy – Niasa MD

By: Natasha Odendaal     19th July 2017 South Africa’s controversial nuclear energy plans have overwhelmingly overshadowed the more expansive, overall industry that has quietly developed in the country, which has become a world leader in nuclear medicine. Speaking at the one-day nuclear forum on the sidelines of the PowerGen Africa... 

Africa, Asia still lagging in Internet, electrification, banking access

By: Natasha Odendaal     19th July 2017 With a worldwide focus on connecting the last four-billion of the world’s unconnected population to the Internet, a push to ensure the last 1.2-billion people have access to electricity and unlocking the world of finance to the world’s 2.5-billion unbanked, there is a need to start thinking... 

Brown acknowledges cost competitiveness of renewables as she calls for deal that goes ‘beyond price’ 

By: Terence Creamer     18th July 2017 Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown, who in June criticised the high cost of renewable energy, offered a tacit acknowledgement on Tuesday of the growing competitiveness of solar and wind, while calling for a long-term deal with the renewable-energy sector to avoid job losses in the energy... 

Visions of African super grid at POWER-GEN & DistribuTECH Africa

     18th July 2017 Urging faster, more innovative power generation and distribution, pan-African power experts attending POWER-GEN & DistribuTECH Africa this week predict that Africa could share infrastructure, knowledge and skills to take affordable, reliable and cleaner power across the continent. Speaking at the... 

Opinion: Hybrid energy solutions can boost viability of African mines

     18th July 2017 In this opinion article, juwi Renewable Energies MD Greg Austin reflects on prospects in Africa for bilateral power purchase agreements for both grid-connected and behind-the-meter hybrid energy solutions 

Black-led energy investment firm encouraged by moves to restore IPP policy certainty 

By: Terence Creamer     17th July 2017 The head of a black-managed and led JSE-listed energy investment company says he is encouraged by the framework outlined by Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba for re-establishing policy certainty for the electricity sector and for independent power producers (IPPs). IPPs have been left in limbo since... 

Eskom refutes cash-crunch reports

By: Reuters     17th July 2017 South African power producer Eskom is not facing liquidity challenges, the utility said on Sunday, after media reports alleging it would be unable to pay salaries by November. Eskom, which produces nearly all of the electricity in Africa's most industrialised economy and exports energy to... 

Despite electric-car future, SA must pursue clean fuel agenda, says VWSA MD

By: Irma Venter     14th July 2017 Research published by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) this month shows that electric vehicles (EVs) may account for 54% of all new light-duty vehicle sales globally by 2040. However, it is unlikely that South Africa will follow this trend to the same degree. 

Elon Musk exposes deep coal divide in energy-hit Australia

By: Bloomberg     14th July 2017 Elon Musk’s intervention in Australia’s energy crisis is widening a divide over the future of coal. The billionaire Tesla Inc. founder, who has promised to help solve an Australian state’s clean energy obstacles, sees no place for the fossil fuel. That conflicts with the national government’s... 

Low grades, high power costs key snags to SA chromite sector’s competitiveness

By: David Oliveira     14th July 2017 Despite South Africa’s rich chromite endowment, the low chromium oxide (Cr2O3) grades in its orebodies and the high cost of electricity are significant barriers to the country becoming the dominant player in the global industry. Mintek metallurgical project development consultant Dr Nic Barcza... 

Decentralise, find optimal mix

     14th July 2017 Decentralisation of generation and determining the optimal energy mix for available resources and needs are crucial for addressing Africa’s energy challenges, say industry experts on the advisory board of the upcoming POWER-GEN & DistribuTECH Africa conference and exhibition in Johannesburg. 

Focus shifts to power distribution

     14th July 2017 Global professional services provider Accenture resources MD and associate director Ken Robinson – who will be speaking at this year’s POWER-GEN & DistribuTECH Africa – says South Africa’s generation crisis is largely under control, but that power supply challenges loom in distribution. 

Greener rotary compressor can deliver savings exceeding 20%

     14th July 2017 Compressor engineering firm Lontra founder Steve Lindsey devised a more efficient, oil-free rotary compressor that offers a greener solution to traditional compression technology, able to deliver energy savings of more than 20%. His efforts gained recognition of the European Patent Office (EPO)... 

Special deals, again?

By: Terence Creamer     14th July 2017 South Africans will no doubt remember the ugly 2008 standoff between Standard Bank and BHP Billiton over whether Eskom should, in the midst of power shortages, honour a favourable metal-price-linked electricity supply deal with the diversified miner’s aluminium smelters in South Africa and... 

Finalisation of ‘lowest cost’ IRP included in growth action plan 

By: Terence Creamer     13th July 2017 The finalisation of the “lowest cost” Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for electricity has been included in a list of energy-related interventions unveiled by Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba as part of ‘Government’s Inclusive Growth Action Plan’ published on Thursday. Likewise, the National Treasury... 

Platinum for new fuel cell Mercedes cut to autocat level  

By: Martin Creamer     12th July 2017 German car manufacturer Daimler has cut the platinum loading of its new fuel cell Mercedes to catalytic converter level. “We reduced the amount of platinum by 90%, which provides a significant cost reduction. Our fuel cell is not much above the platinum loading of a catalytic converter on a... 

Sub-Saharan Africa mobile users to exceed 500m by 2020

By: Anine Kilian     12th July 2017 More than 500-million people across sub-Saharan Africa will be subscribed to a mobile service by the end of the decade, a new report shows. The report ‘The Mobile Economy: Sub-Saharan Africa 2017’, which was published by GSMA on Wednesday, forecasts that the number of unique mobile subscribers in... 

Congo to double capacity of Inga 3 hydro project in bid to cut costs

By: Reuters     12th July 2017 Democratic Republic of Congo has decided to more than double the size of its planned Inga 3 hydroelectric plant to make it more economical, after the $14-billion project was hit by financing problems. Inga 3 is part of a $50-billion to $80-billion project to expand hydroelectric dams along the... 

World energy investment drops for second consecutive year

By: Creamer Media Reporter      11th July 2017 Global energy investment fell by 12% in 2016, the second consecutive year of decline, as increased spending on energy efficiency and electricity networks was more than offset by a continued drop in upstream oil and gas spending, according to the International Energy Agency's (IEA’s) latest ‘World... 

Manganese makes list of key tech metals heading for short supply

By: Martin Creamer     11th July 2017 Nothing can stop the proliferation of iPhones, solar panels and Teslas, except perhaps a shortage of key natural resources, comments the latest Fortune magazine, which puts manganese from South Africa on the list of crucial technology metals needed in the US. Fortune’s world map showing the... 

Clean energy’s global investment share grew to record 43% in 2016 

By: Terence Creamer     11th July 2017 The share of clean-energy spending rose to a record 43% of total energy-related investment in 2016, the International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) yearly World Energy Investment report shows. Global energy investment fell by 12% to $1.7-trillion last year, the second consecutive year of decline.... 

Civil society, business speak out against Eskom for MYPD noncompliance 

By: Anine Kilian     7th July 2017 The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) has requested the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to reject State-owned power utility Eskom’s application for permission to omit critical statistics in its upcoming Multi-Year Price Determination (MYPD) electricity price application. The... 

Zambia to build $548m cement plant

By: Reuters     7th July 2017 Zambia will build a $548-million cement plant in a joint venture between the nation's mining investment arm and China's Sinoconst, President Edgar Lungu said on Friday, as it aims to diversify the economy to reduce reliance on copper mining. Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investment Holdings... 

Eskom has over recovered R7.6bn in renewables-related costs since 2014 

By: Terence Creamer     7th July 2017 The affordability of South Africa’s growing fleet of renewable energy plants has been questioned on several occasions by Eskom and Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown also weighed in recently, telling Parliamentarians in late June that, while electricity arising from the renewables plants was... 

Lack of contractual commitments hindering solar-geyser manufacturing growth

By: David Oliveira     7th July 2017 The current economic climate and a lack of mid- to long-term contractual agreements from the Department of Energy (DoE) have slowed plant expansion and capacity increases by local solar water heater (SWH) manufacturers. Local manufacturer Satchwell Controls Appliance Controls division key account... 

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