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Weakness in economy becoming more broad-based

By: Anine Kilian     22nd September 2016 The weakness in South Africa’s economy is coming from all sectors and increasingly becoming more broad-based, says Nedbank economist Nicky Weimar. Speaking at the eighth Integrated Housing Solutions Affordable Housing Summit, in Johannesburg, on Thursday, she pointed out that the 3.3%... 

Investec says release of updated IRP could ease IPP frustration and uncertainty

By: Terence Creamer     7th September 2016 Banking group Investec, which has supported various renewable energy and peaking power projects in South Africa, including the Avon and Dedisa open cycle gas turbines that recently entered commercial operation, remains convinced that the country will continue with its independent power producer... 

Qhena confident solar project commitment will be ‘honoured’

By: Terence Creamer     30th August 2016 Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) CEO Geoffrey Qhena expressed confidence on Tuesday that projects that had been adjudicated under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) would proceed, despite the recent resistance shown by Eskom to signing a power... 

Opinion: Start electricity reform process now before another crisis 

     26th August 2016 South Africa has not had load shedding for nearly a year. This is a welcome development after years of power cuts that constrained economic growth. Electricity consumption has more or less flattened out, giving the national utility, Eskom, more space to catch up on maintenance and meet demand.... 

Eskom letter opens festering wounds

By: Terence Creamer     12th August 2016 Revelations last month that Eskom is insisting on consultations with Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson before signing any further power purchase agreements with private generators has opened up all manner of wounds that have been quietly festering for the last number of years. Firstly, it... 

Eskom letter sends shock waves through private power sector 

By: Terence Creamer     21st July 2016 News of Eskom’s letter to Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson – seeking clarity on the approach the utility should take to contracting in future with independent power producers (IPPs) – sent shock waves through the private power community, which is only just starting to find its feet in a... 

Creamer Media publishes Real Economy Insight 2016: Electricity research report

     11th July 2016 This eight-page brief is a synopsis of key developments in the electricity sector over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s constrained power system; State-owned power utility Eskom’s financial status and tariffs, capacity expansion programme, funding, independent power... 

East African Power Industry Convention announces platinum sponsorship by Lucy Electric

     20th June 2016 “This is a very exciting time for the electricity sector across East Africa and at Lucy Electric we hope to play a key part in helping to make this a reality” says Phil Dingle, Marketing Director, Lucy Electric, a global secondary distribution leader in the electricity sector and a platinum... 

G20 Nations Jeopardize Energy Transition

     6th June 2016 • Growing gap between investments and needs • South Africa has the highest investment needs • G20 putting climate goals and competitiveness at risk • Germany, UK, France and China the most attractive for investors The G20 nations are at risk of falling short of the climate goals they set in Paris... 

Realities of modern energy planning

By: Saliem Fakir     3rd June 2016 Energy technologies involve two realities that influence the way we do our planning: certainty and uncertainty. There is certainty in tried and tested stuff, and this relates to our experience and knowledge of mature technologies. These technologies give us confidence in several regards:... 

Economic status hinders nuclear developments

By: Simon Sonnekus     6th May 2016 The development of the proposed nuclear energy project in South Africa could become increasingly difficult to complete, should the economy be downgraded to junk status by credit rating companies. According to advisory firm KPMG global infrastructure major projects advisory head De Buys Scott,... 

Low commodity prices hamper South Africa’s job creation efforts

By: Anine Kilian     26th April 2016 There is little hope that South Africa’s manufacturing, mining, electricity, construction and transport sectors will create jobs unless commodity prices strengthen, economist Mike Schüssler asserted on Tuesday. Speaking at an event hosted by union Uasa, he stated that new opportunities would have... 

Redistribution key for Africa’s power future

By: Simon Sonnekus     15th April 2016 The codevelopment and equal distribution of power between countries in Africa, along with focused research and development strategies around redistribution will provide more Africans with electricity in the future, says State-owned power utility Eskom MD for corporate affairs Chose Choeu.... 

Creamer Media publishes Electricity 2016: A review of South Africa's electricity sector research report

     4th April 2016 Creamer Media’s Electricity 2016 report provides an overview of South Africa’s electricity sector, focusing on State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues. 

EDF’s travails at Hinkley Point have no relevance to wider UK nuclear sector

By: Keith Campbell     25th March 2016 Normally, I like to vary my columns from month to month, but I find myself, for the the second month in a row, impelled to remain with the topic of nuclear energy. The reason is the current difficulties being experienced by the predominantly (about 84.5%) French State-owned group EDF regarding... 

Employment in formal nonagricultural sector inches up 0.5% in Q4

By: Natasha Odendaal     23rd March 2016 Employment in the formal nonagricultural sector of the South African economy edged up marginally during 2015, with increases recorded over the past three quarters, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) revealed on Wednesday. The latest Stats SA Quarterly Employment Statistics (QES) survey showed the... 

Africa viable option for investment in power infrastructure

By: Simon Sonnekus     4th March 2016 Expanding Africa’s power and electricity infrastructure remains a viable prospect for investors and businesses, with numerous investment opportunities available owing to new developments, says infrastructure investment and asset management company African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM)... 

S Australia nuclear royal commission publishes draft findings

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     15th February 2016 The South Australian Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission has released a tentative findings report into its evaluation of South Australia’s role in the nuclear fuel cycle. The report found that South Australia could safely increase its participation in nuclear activities, and by doing so could... 

Eskom: No secrecy around Zim power deal 

By: News24Wire      5th January 2016 Eskom has confirmed the sale of electricity to Zimbabwe but denied that the power supply agreement with its Zimbabwean counterpart the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) is secret. Eskom said the deal is part of an arrangement among southern African power utilities to sell surplus... 

A year of missed opportunities

By: Terence Creamer     11th December 2015 On a number of fronts, 2015 has been a year of own goals and missed opportunities for South Africa. No economic own goal was more high profile than the visa debacle, where the road to tourism hell was paved by seemingly good child-protection intentions. Maddeningly, the misalignment between... 

Brown hints to major changes in shareholder management of State companies 

By: Terence Creamer     1st December 2015 Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown reported on Tuesday that far-reaching interMinisterial committee (IMC) discussions were advancing on how best to reform South Africa’s State-owned companies (SoCs), many of which were currently underperforming. There are around 700 SoCs, with Brown having... 

Eskom must find way of becoming part of renewables ‘in a big way’ 

By: Terence Creamer     19th November 2015 A senior Eskom official has made the case for the utility playing a more active role in deployment of large- and small-scale renewable-energy solutions in South Africa, suggesting that previous arguments against its participation in the sector were becoming less relevant. In fact, Barry MacColl,... 

Eskom plans six major power corridors ahead of decentralised capacity trend 

By: Natalie Greve     15th September 2015 The increasing decentralisation of electricity generation capacity in South Africa will require a new approach to grid planning that is underpinned by the development of six major power corridors linking the primary load centres in the centre of the country and along the KwaZulu-Natal coast with... 

Intelligent grid to shape S Africa’s electricity future – researcher

By: Natalie Greve     15th September 2015 South Africa would realise a far greater return on its energy investments were it to introduce a “smarter”, more flexible electricity grid that incorporated an appropriate transmission and distribution network, Institute for Security Studies (ISS) researcher Steve Hedden said on Tuesday.... 

Diversification of S African energy mix a no-brainer – Gibb 

By: Natalie Greve     1st September 2015 South Africa’s growing energy crisis should be addressed through a well thought-through and phased programme that included economically feasible renewable-energy alternatives, nuclear energy and traditional fossil fuel-based sources, multidisciplinary engineering and consulting firm Gibb has... 

Economic growth fears emerge as S Africa's GDP contracts 1.3% in Q2

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     25th August 2015 South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 1.3% quarter-on-quarter in the quarter ended June 30. “The real economy has not performed that well, including construction, which has always been one of the main job creators,” Statistics South Africa statistician-general Pali Lehohla... 

Carbon tax – some pragmatism is needed

By: Saliem Fakir     7th August 2015 The furore over the carbon tax that is playing itself out in public and behind closed doors is leading to an impasse. From the submissions made to the Davis Commission (which is reviewing the general tax system), it can be said that industry does not want it and probably never wants to ever see... 

Scientists say there is ‘no debate’ that SA is experiencing a ‘water crisis’ 

By: Terence Creamer     29th July 2015 Leading water scientists say it is no longer debatable that South Africa is experiencing a water crisis given that there are already serious problems in supplying enough water of sufficient quality to meet the country’s social and economic needs. Council for Scientific and Industrial Research... 

BEE engineering specialist to increase power-sector presence

By: Bruce Montiea     3rd July 2015 Black-owned engineering specialist Tswelopele Engineering is taking part in Power-Gen Africa (PGA) “to enter new markets and to reach potential solution seekers in all of Africa,” says company CEO Bongane Madondo. PGA, which Madondo describes as a product-awareness platform for engineering... 

Power event partners with local organisations

By: Bruce Montiea     3rd July 2015 In the interest of being accepted by local communities, events such as Power-Gen Africa (PGA) should partner with local organisations such as coal and energy nonprofit trust the Fossil Fuel Foundation (FFF), says FFF media and web liaison manager Denise O'Callaghan. PGA will be held from July 15... 

Power-Gen Africa highlights renewables storage

By: Bruce Montiea     3rd July 2015 Renewable alternative energy solutions promoter the Southern African Alternative Energy Association (SAAEA) will chair a debate on renewable-energy storage at this year’s Power-Gen Africa (PGA) event, to be held from July 15 to 17 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. SAAEA energy... 

Grid management could mitigate SA power crisis

     11th June 2015 Better management of the power distribution network and harnessing of smart grid technology could deliver faster, more cost-effective solutions to the power crisis than building new power plants, say power sector experts. Speaking ahead of the DistribuTECH Africa power distribution conference to... 

From nuclear to privatisation, SA electricity sector in flux 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      21st May 2015 Creamer Media's Tracy Hancock speaks to Engineering News editor Terence Creamer about South Africa's electricity sector. 

Significant developments

By: Terence Creamer     1st May 2015 A number of interesting developments have taken place in the electricity sector over the past few weeks that could have major long-term implications. Undoubtedly the most high profile of these was the decision by Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown to lean on the high-regarded Brian Molefe... 

SA to mop up near-term renewables prospects, ahead of revamped process for 6 300 MW more 

By: Terence Creamer     16th April 2015 Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson has announced plans to accelerate and expand the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), reporting that she will be seeking the concurrence of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) for an additional 6 300... 

Aluminium council calls for clarity on renewable-energy target

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     11th March 2015 The Australian Aluminium Council has called on the federal government to resolve uncertainty around the Renewable Energy Target (RET). The call comes after federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt reportedly said that an agreement was “very close” with the clean energy sector around the RET. 

World needs immediate carbon-price signal, Global Electricity Initiative chair argues 

By: Terence Creamer     19th February 2015 Executive chairperson of the Global Electricity Initiative (GEI) Philippe Joubert says energy utilities globally, together with the business community more generally, have come to terms with the science of climate change, particularly as extreme weather events begin impacting their profitability.... 

Power-sector stabilisation plan needs support of business

By: Sisa Njikelana     23rd January 2015 Government recently announced a five-point stabilisation plan to address the country's electricity crisis and the establishment of a technical implementation 'war room' on the crisis, housed at State-owned power utility Eskom. What is encouraging is the propensity of the 'war room' for welcoming... 

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