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OPINION: Enabling renewable energy with flexibility

     23rd March 2017 In this thought leadership article, Wärtsilä's Wayne Glossop explores the issue of building flexibility into the South African power system as the penetration of renewable energy rises  

Soweto hearings on prepaid electricity begin

By: African News Agency      22nd March 2017 Petition hearings on Soweto prepaid electricity metering concerns get underway Wednesday morning at the St John’s Church, Jazzyville in Diepkloof extension 1, Parliament has announced. “The hearings will be held under the auspices of Parliament’s Committees on Public Enterprises and Cooperative... 

S&P affirms Eskom rating on ‘extremely high’ likelihood of govt support as liquidity weakens 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd March 2017 S&P Global Ratings has sustained a negative outlook on Eskom after affirming its 'BB-' sub-investment-grade rating this week, pointing to the State-owned electricity utility’s weakening liquidity position as a result of a “lower-than-expected” tariff increase for 2017/18. On February 23, the... 

Transnet mourns passing of board member

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     17th March 2017 Transnet chairperson Linda Mabaso on Friday said the passing of human rights lawyer and Transnet board member Peter Williams was a “double blow to our nation”, noting that he still had many years of wisdom and guidance to bestow upon the country. Williams, 49, passed away on Wednesday after... 

NUM up in arms over proposed closure of five Eskom power stations 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     16th March 2017 The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) on Thursday delivered memorandums at the Arnot, Komati and Duvha power stations, setting out their grievances over State-owned power provider Eskom’s decommissioning plan, which will see it close five power stations over five years, threatening 6 000 direct... 

Eskom initiates talks on triggering government support to cover IPP costs 

By: Terence Creamer     15th March 2017 Eskom has written to the signatories of the Government Support Framework Agreement (GSFA) – which guarantees support for the State-owned utility in meeting its obligation to buy electricity from renewable-energy independent power producers (IPPs) – to discuss a possible triggering of government... 

Brown calls for Eskom to bring Dentons report to Parliament 

By: African News Agency      8th March 2017 Eskom should be called before Parliament to brief MPs on the Dentons report, Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown said on Wednesday. “Eskom should come and run you through the report,” the minister told the portfolio committee on public enterprises after she was asked for her view on the... 

Deadlock broken between Eskom and IPPs, Joemat-Pettersson insists 

By: Terence Creamer     28th February 2017 Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson says the “deadlock has been broken” between Eskom and the renewable-energy independent power producers (IPPs), with the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) confirming its willingness to consider an application from the State-owned utility... 

Coordination key to successful nuclear new build programme

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     21st February 2017 There is a pressing need for a clear definition of the roles different governmental departments, power utility Eskom and other industry participants will play in the nuclear new build programme, as there is a currently “chaos around who is doing what job”. This was the overall theme that emerged... 

Sarec says Eskom dragging its feet in honouring Zuma’s renewables ‘injunction’ 

By: Terence Creamer     17th February 2017 The South African Renewable Energy Council (Sarec) claims that Eskom has yet to issue any updated budget quotes for projects that President Jacob Zuma said in his State of the Nation address (Sona) would proceed, following a protracted impasse that arose as a result of the State-owned utility’s... 

Efforts to salvage wind-tower plant shut in wake of Eskom’s refusal to sign new IPP contracts

By: Terence Creamer     17th February 2017 The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) is hoping to salvage the domestic manufacturing capability established to produce wind-tower sections in the Eastern Cape that was set up in response to government’s demand for higher levels of local content in the renewable-energy sector. However, it... 

AMSA keen to tap power tariff deal as Eskom mulls ‘incentive pricing’  

By: Terence Creamer     10th February 2017 Steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) is optimistic that Eskom, with the support of the energy regulatory, could extend pricing incentives to it and other energy-intensive businesses in light of its surplus position and government’s appeal for interventions to reignite growth in the... 

IDC hopes to salvage wind-tower plant, but warns liquidation can’t be ruled out 

By: Terence Creamer     8th February 2017 The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) is hoping to salvage the domestic manufacturing capability established to produce wind-tower sections in the Eastern Cape that was set up in response to government’s demand for higher levels of local content in the renewable-energy sector. However, it... 

PPA stand-off risks future wind energy jobs as new graduates enter saturated market

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th February 2017 South Africa’s fledgling wind turbine service technician training programme will be "training its graduates for unemployment" if construction on the next round of State-commissioned wind farms does not get under way this year, warns South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre (Saretec)... 

Eskom releases redacted version of Dentons report, but only to PAIA applicants 

By: Terence Creamer     7th February 2017 State-owned electricity utility Eskom has agreed to release a redacted version of a “final report” compiled by international legal firm Dentons in July 2015, following a board-initiated probe into the operational and financial underperformance of the organisation at the time. However, the report... 

Outa calls on Ministers to establish commission of inquiry into ‘excessive’ GFIP costs 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     6th February 2017 The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) on Monday called on Transport Minister Dipuo Peters and Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown to intervene and commit to introducing a commission of inquiry into the “excessive costs” of the first phase of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP),... 

The big questions when Ministers meet on renewables standoff

By: Terence Creamer     6th February 2017 When the Ministers responsible for seeking resolution to the current impasse in South Africa’s renewable-energy sector meet this month, they will be expected to weigh the serious legal and policy implications of backtracking from a Ministerial determination – as well as from one of the country’s... 

Eskom’s refusal to sign new renewables PPAs costing jobs, investments – DCD 

By: Natasha Odendaal     3rd February 2017 Fears that State-owned Eskom’s protracted delay in concluding power purchase agreements (PPAs) with selected independent power producers (IPPs) could result in job losses and the idling of projects, are emerging, as DCD Wind Towers starts cutting jobs. The R536-million DCD Wind Towers venture,... 

New Nersa chief insists regulator will not act illegally when determining 2017 power tariffs

By: Terence Creamer     31st January 2017 Newly appointed National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) CEO Christopher Forlee insists that the Energy Regulator will not take any “illegal” decisions when making a determination in February about the trajectory of Eskom’s 2017 tariffs. Instead, any decision will seek to navigate the... 

Opinion: How Minister Brown can address Eskom’s conflicting interests 

     30th January 2017 In this article, Mark Pickering argues that the short answer to the current impasse between Eskom and renewables generators is to instruct Eskom to comply with the law and sign the agreements. The longer answer, however, will involve a more complex restructuring of the utility. 

Anglo confident of ‘favourable outcome’ with Eskom on sale of three tied coal mines  

By: Terence Creamer     25th January 2017 Mining group Anglo American says it has held discussions with and continues to engage with Eskom, government and potential bidders on its plan to exit its Eskom-tied mines – Kriel, New Denmark and New Vaal. Responding to Eskom interim CEO Matshela Koko’s insistence that Eskom had assets at the... 

Lynne Brown throws weight behind Eskom’s coal procurement policy

By: African News Agency      24th January 2017 Eskom will continue to “radically but fairly” transform coal procurement because this is a non-negotiable national imperative, Public Enterprise Minister Lynne Brown said on Tuesday. Eskom is currently embroiled in a bitter disagreement with one of its suppliers, Exxaro, over the diversified... 

AfriForum to take legal action against defaulting municipalities

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     20th January 2017 Civil rights organisation AfriForum on Friday said it would call on the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to withdraw the licences of municipalities that have defaulted on their payments to power provider Eskom. “[We will be approaching] the courts in terms of the protection of... 

Eskom acknowledges payment extension decision for defaulting municipalities

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     20th January 2017 Eskom has welcomed Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown’s decision to grant municipalities until the end of January to settle their arrear debt with the power utility. Brown on Thursday instructed the parastatal to allow municipalities until January 31 to settle arrears before switching off... 

Portia Derby joins Aurecon, advances company’s transformation efforts

By: Ilan Solomons     19th January 2017 Employee-owned consulting engineering company Aurecon is moving its transformation process up a gear with the appointment of Portia Derby to the position of Gauteng senior regional director. She is the first black woman appointed to a senior management position involved in the operations of the... 

Committee calls for permanent solution to municipal electricity debt problem 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     18th January 2017 The Select Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs on Wednesday said it was concerned about Eskom’s plans to cut electricity to certain municipalities that were defaulting on payments and that it would hold a meeting with all the affected parties to find a lasting solution to... 

IPPs ‘entitled’ to approach courts to force Eskom to sign PPAs 

By: Terence Creamer     18th January 2017 A legal opinion secured by the South African Renewable Energy Council (Sarec) relating to the refusal by Eskom to conclude contracts with 37 independent power producers (IPPs) selected as preferred bidders by the Department of Energy (DoE) more than a year ago states that the IPPs “would be... 

Fedusa takes aim at SoEs with Section 77 notice  

By: Natasha Odendaal     16th January 2017 The Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) is taking a stand against government’s alleged failure to appoint “suitably qualified, accountable, responsible and responsive” management at some of South Africa’s vital parastatals. A Section 77 Protest Action Notice has been lodged with the... 

IPPs want solution for all 26 outstanding renewables projects, not only some 

By: Terence Creamer     13th January 2017 The South African Renewable Energy Council (Sarec) indicated on Friday that, while it welcomed indications that Eskom was willing to reopen lines of communication on 26 outstanding renewables projects, it could only entertain a solution that remained faithful to the procurement process already... 

Sarec slams Eskom for distorting facts in calculating renewables-related loss 

By: Terence Creamer     12th January 2017 The South African Renewable Energy Council (Sarec) has slammed as a “blatant distortion of facts” Eskom’s claim that the country suffered a net economic loss of R9-billion in 2016 as a result of the State-owned utility’s purchases of power from the country’s renewable-energy plants. It has also... 

Comair CEO raises questions on State airlines merger 

By: News24Wire      12th January 2017 It is unclear what a merger between the three State-owned airlines SAA, Mango and SA Express would achieve that cannot be achieved by each airline individually, Erik Venter, CEO of Comair, told Fin24. This was in reaction to a parliamentary response by Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown.... 

Bushveld Energy upbeat about IRP, but concedes challenges remain

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     5th December 2016 While independent power producers await government’s updated Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) with bated breath, as it could possibly impact on the roll-out of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), electricity storage provider Bushveld Minerals is excited... 

Eskom reiterates 50%-plus black ownership requirement for coal suppliers

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     5th December 2016 State-owned electricity provider Eskom on Monday reiterated its commitment to procure coal for its power stations from companies that have a black ownership of more than 50%, throughout the life of the mine. This comes after Exxaro Resources recently revealed a new black economic empowerment... 

Govt appoints consultants to help decide future course for airlines

By: Keith Campbell     2nd December 2016 A notice (NT008-2016) on the website of National Treasury has confirmed that a joint venture between Bain and Company South Africa and Abacus Advisory has been appointed the “professional service provider(s) for developing the optimal group corporate structure for the realignment of the... 

Guptas, Eskom still not budging on R2bn coal fine payment 

By: News24Wire      1st December 2016 The Guptas, who part-own Optimum Coal Mine through Tegeta Resources and Energy with President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane Zuma, have yet to pay the R2.176-billion fine imposed on it by Eskom. That is according to a written Parliamentary response by Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown on Wednesday. 

Eskom: What now?

By: Terence Creamer     25th November 2016 The fast-moving nature of developments at Eskom following the November 2 release of Thuli Madonsela’s ‘State of Capture’ report, have left many of us expecting the unexpected. To steal a phrase from some post-Brexit and post-Trump commentators, it is as though “all the world’s black swans have... 

Consultants appointed to help government decide future course for SAA, SA Express 

By: Keith Campbell     22nd November 2016 A notice (NT008-2016) on the website of National Treasury has confirmed that a joint venture between Bain and Company South Africa and Abacus Advisory has been appointed the “professional service provider(s) for developing the optimal group corporate structure for the realignment of the... 

Brown to make new Eskom board proposals to Cabinet after Pamensky quits

By: Terence Creamer     16th November 2016 Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown says she intends submitting recommendations to Cabinet soon regarding the strengthening the Eskom Board, after confirming that she had accepted Mark Pamensky request to step down. Pamensky’s resignation follows days after CEO Brian Molefe announced that he... 

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