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Terence Creamer

Terence Creamer

Terence Creamer is the Editor of Engineering News and a Deputy Editor for Mining Weekly.

He also has editorial responsibility for Polity.org.za and Creamer Media's Research Channel Africa.

Tel: +2711 622 3744

Email: newsdesk@engineeringnews.co.za

Editorial Insight

Historic opportunity

By: Terence Creamer     16th April 2021 Have a listen to this for an energy roadmap: “We are a relatively small country located at the end of the world, but this moment calls us all to be ambitious and that’s exactly what we are trying to do. It’s what we did when we launched our Energy Efficiency Act. It’s what we did when we launched... 

Low and high ambition

By: Terence Creamer     9th April 2021 There will be some criticism and disappointment that South Africa’s draft updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) unveiled by Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Minister Barbara Creecy on March 30, is not aligned to an outcome that is premised on net-zero-emissions by 2050. Several... 

Ignorance is not bliss

By: Terence Creamer     2nd April 2021 A snapshot of what the world’s total final electricity consumption should look like in 2050 to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels has been published by the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) for the first time. Importantly, it is based on a portfolio... 

Reality bites

By: Terence Creamer     26th March 2021 The six-year gap in South Africa’s procurement of new electricity capacity is biting and will continue to do so for another five years at least, unless urgent action is taken to reform those aspects of the electricity supply industry that continue to hamper non-Eskom investment. True, the country... 

Bouncing forward?

By: Terence Creamer     19th March 2021 The rhetoric about the need for economies to use Covid-19 rescue and recovery packages to not only “bounce back” but to “bounce forward” by deploying fiscal resources to stimulate greater climate, health and social resilience is not yet being translated into action. A recent report, commissioned... 

Tangible opportunity

By: Terence Creamer     12th March 2021 Globally, countries are increasingly  prioritising the development of local capacity to improve the resilience of their energy systems in times of crisis. This trend is reflected in the World Energy Council’s upcoming ‘World Energy Issues Monitor 2021’, to be released next week, and has been... 

One-stop-border boost?

By: Terence Creamer     5th March 2021 One of the unsung highlights of Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s Budget 2021 speech was his announcement that the border posts at South Africa’s six busiest land borders were to be upgraded and expanded. It was also heartening to hear that these one-stop border posts will be developed using a... 

Tariff tussle

By: Terence Creamer     26th February 2021 Much attention is, quite correctly, being given to the 15.68% tariff increase granted to Eskom by the energy regulator following a court order arising as part of an ongoing battle over the National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s (Nersa’s) treatment of a R69-billion equity injection. This... 

Wake-up call

By: Terence Creamer     19th February 2021 It is positive that South Africa has been working on a hydrogen strategy since 2007. It is equally positive that this work has started to deliver solid thought leadership regarding the production and export of green hydrogen and tradable green-hydrogen derivatives such as ammonia, kerosene,... 

Welcome development

By: Terence Creamer     12th February 2021 The importance of Eskom’s endorsement of a lifting of the generation licensing cap from 1 MW to 50 MW cannot be overstated. CEO Andre de Ruyter expressed support for the proposal, made by Meridian Economics in January, during a webinar this month, explaining that distributed investments could... 

Promise of progress

By: Terence Creamer     5th February 2021 A leaked slide on the implementation of the Integrated Resource Plan 2019 (IRP 2019) included as part of a larger presentation made during the African National Congress’ (ANC’s) January lekgotla offers visibility, at last, of government’s approach to the procurement of utility-scale projects.... 

Escalating crisis

By: Terence Creamer     29th January 2021 During a recent briefing on the escalating humanitarian crisis in the gas-rich Cabo Delgado province, of northern Mozambique, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ Valentin Tapsoba related that, during his 26 years at the agency, he had “seldom been exposed to such desolation, heard... 

Poverty setback

By: Terence Creamer     22nd January 2021 The Global Economic Prospects report, released by the World Bank earlier this month, makes for disturbing reading. The report states that the Covid-19 pandemic has precipitated a dramatic fall in per capita income, pushing millions more into extreme poverty and reversing the downward... 

Good news amid the bad

By: Terence Creamer     15th January 2021 The prognosis for stable electricity supply remains precarious and has deteriorated following the unplanned early shutdown of Unit 1 at the Koeberg nuclear power station during the first week of January. Consumers also face the unhappy prospect of yet more tariff hikes above those already... 

2020’s brutal lessons

By: Terence Creamer     11th December 2020 While the glow from the embers of this historic year remain visible, the fire of 2020 is now truly dying – not a moment too soon for many, no doubt. Nevertheless, it would be an opportunity missed not to reflect on the lessons from the year, no matter how brutal many are. The first, surely, is... 

North-South divide?

By: Terence Creamer     4th December 2020 Editorial Insight 4 December 2020 The energy policy stance of North Africa’s largest economy, Egypt, is not only increasingly aligned with the global energy transition but is also beginning to diverge materially from that of Southern Africa’s largest economy, South Africa. 

Framework urgently needed

By: Terence Creamer     27th November 2020 For years, South Africans have had a vague awareness that some of Eskom’s coal stations are approaching the end of their useful lives and that decommissioning is inevitable. That future prospect is fast becoming an imminent reality. Over the coming five years, Eskom will officially decommission... 

Baffling distraction

By: Terence Creamer     20th November 2020 While South Africa is distracting itself with a post-2030 nuclear mirage, much of the rest of the world is preparing to ride a very real energy wave that will help them recover immediately from the Covid-19 crisis and create the energy platforms needed for long-term growth and development. As a... 

Debt compact?

By: Terence Creamer     13th November 2020 For some time now, Eskom has been arguing that its debt load, which stood at R484-billion at the end of March, could only be considered sustainable if it were reduced to less than half that level, or to around R200-billion. Until then, the State-owned utility’s going-concern status could be... 

Grid(un)locked

By: Terence Creamer     6th November 2020 Most of us have probably not fully grasped the scale and significance of the changes set to unfold in the South African electricity sector over the coming decade. For energy planners, however, the Integrated Resource Plan 2019 (IRP2019) represents the most dramatic reset of the industry since the... 

Some progress

By: Terence Creamer     30th October 2020 Despite much head scratching over the timelines provided in the Reconstruction and Recovery Plan for the commissioning of much-needed electricity supply, October otherwise proved to be an important month helping to provide greater definition around the future of the electricity industry and the... 

Thriving sustainably

By: Terence Creamer     23rd October 2020 In his powerful new documentary ‘A Life On Our Planet’, veteran natural history broadcaster Sir David Attenborough offers an authoritative yet disturbing witness statement on the harm humanity has inflicted on the planet over his lifetime – he is 93. But he also uses the platform to offer a... 

Beyond tariffs

By: Terence Creamer     16th October 2020 There are growing signals that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), trading under which stalled as a result of the lockdowns instituted across the continent to contain the coronavirus pandemic, is slowly coming back to life. Ahead of the pandemic, trading under the arrangement was... 

Voice of the vulnerable

By: Terence Creamer     9th October 2020 In a helpful recent article, Bloomberg’s Akshat Rathi outlined how the term ‘carbon neutrality’ can have strikingly different meanings depending on who is using it. For California, Rathi writes, achieving carbon neutrality by 2045 involves cutting all greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions, including... 

Transition sweet spot

By: Terence Creamer     2nd October 2020 There will naturally be some cynicism over BP’s strategy overhaul, designed to transition the oil major into an integrated energy company that is progressively made up of a portfolio of low-carbon technologies, including renewables, bioenergy, hydrogen and carbon capture utilisation and storage.... 

Powering up?

By: Terence Creamer     25th September 2020 It has taken far too long, but there is finally some positive momentum building in the electricity sector. Cause for optimism has arisen as a result of confirmation by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) that the National Energy Regulator of South Africa had, on September 2,... 

Vital lessons

By: Terence Creamer     18th September 2020 With terms like ‘implementation’ and ‘infrastructure’ dominating South Africa’s current Covid-19 recovery narrative, timely insights on what distinguishes successful projects from unsuccessful ones are provided in a recent paper prepared for the National Planning Commission. Written by engineers... 

Build back better?

By: Terence Creamer     11th September 2020 The ‘build back better’ refrain has taken hold globally as countries weigh up strategies for dealing with the social and economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic. Implicit in the slogan is an acknowledgement that the pre-pandemic economic model is no longer fit for purpose and that a return to... 

Wrong instrument

By: Terence Creamer     4th September 2020 The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has finally initiated the process to procure 2 000 MW of electricity capacity aimed at closing the immediate supply gap identified in the Integrated Resource Plan of 2019 (IRP 2019), published in October last year. The bid documentation is... 

Fit for the future?

By: Terence Creamer     28th August 2020 Major changes are on the cards at the Central Energy Fund (CEF) and the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa). In both cases, the organisational overhauls are being driven by the need to address deep financial and operational distress and serious governance problems. As has been widely... 

Time to act

By: Terence Creamer     21st August 2020 If one scrutinises the actions taken, since 2014, to extricate South Africa from a power crisis that has sapped business and investor confidence and has undermined trust across society for over a decade one would be excused for questioning whether there is a crisis at all. Besides a short period... 

Mind the Gap

By: Terence Creamer     14th August 2020 A maddening mismatch between big infrastructure promises and small delivery has been a constant and trust-destroying feature of South Africa for decades. Apart from a short period in the run up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the pipeline of shovel-ready projects has been insufficient to address both... 

Wake-up call

By: Terence Creamer     7th August 2020 Whether or not the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) appeals the recent adverse High Court judgment against it in relation to its mistreatment of a R69-billion equity injection into Eskom, the ruling serves as a wake-up call for energy policymakers and regulators. Judge Fayeeza... 

Investment milestone

By: Terence Creamer     31st July 2020 The fact that Mozambique has been able to preside over Africa’s biggest-ever financing deal for a project located in what is the epicentre of an increasingly aggressive conflict, with international undertones, to produce a product, liquefied natural gas (LNG), that has been hit hard by the... 

The good, bad and ugly

By: Terence Creamer     24th July 2020 First, some good news. The fact that the economic recovery plans presented this month by business and the governing party have strong areas of overlap should not be overlooked and should be welcomed. The consensus that has emerged on the need to pick up the pace and scale of infrastructure... 

Time for action

By: Terence Creamer     17th July 2020 There is a growing sense that, unless key stakeholders, especially labour, begin to see some practical planning and action around South Africa’s so-called just transition to a low-carbon economy opposition to the transition could rise. The lack of action to date is frustrating, especially given... 

Maximising impact

By: Terence Creamer     10th July 2020 As South Africa weighs an infrastructure-led economic recovery at a time when, owing to extreme fiscal pressures and warnings of a sovereign-debt crisis, government itself is likely to have to play a backseat funding role, new delivery, funding and business models will have to be considered. Key... 

Good, sobering and bad

By: Terence Creamer     3rd July 2020 News out for the inaugural Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium South Africa  – held last week both physically at the Union Buildings, in Pretoria, and virtually with hundreds of online participants – was a mixture of good, sobering and bad. The good news is that President Cyril... 

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