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Electricity News

Municipal power procurement trickier than just getting the go-ahead from Minister

By: Marleny Arnoldi     Updated 30 minutes ago Although national government has opened the door for municipalities to procure electricity from independent power producers (IPPs), a lot of "regulatory ironing out" still needs to happen before power purchase agreements (PPAs) can be signed. In May last year, the Energy Minister gave... 

Industrial investment will flow if South Africa ‘consistently’ builds 1.6 GW of wind yearly 

By: Terence Creamer     Updated 5 hours ago Leading wind-energy project developers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are convinced that South Africa’s plan to install 1.6 GW of new wind capacity yearly until 2030 is more than sufficient to attract large-scale industrial investment. These captains of industry warn, however, that... 

Industrial investment will flow if South Africa ‘consistently’ builds 1.6 GW of wind yearly

Lower renewables costs driving up demand – Windaba panel

By: Marleny Arnoldi     Updated 7 hours ago Renewables remain the lowest-cost source of new power generation in most parts of the world, with prices continuing to decline and making it a promising sector for development in most countries. The price of onshore wind, for example, declined from $86/MWh in 2009 to $53/MWh in 2019, representing... 

Lower renewables costs driving up demand – Windaba panel

South Africa’s cities to switch to solar as power monopoly ends

By: Bloomberg     Updated 7 hours ago South Africa’s biggest cities are preparing to source their own power after the energy ministry this month approved letting them wean themselves off the state utility that’s subjected cities to outages for the past 13 years. 

South Africa’s cities to switch to solar as power monopoly ends

IDC aims to ‘catalyse’ recovery plan, but won’t go it alone as impairments bite 

By: Terence Creamer     26th October 2020 The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) – which reported a R3.8-billion loss for the 2019/20 financial year, driven by a surge in impairments from R4.8-billion to R9.6-billion – has revised its investment strategy with the aim of “catalysing” government’s Reconstruction and Recovery Plan... 

IDC aims to ‘catalyse’ recovery plan, but won’t go it alone as impairments bite
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
IDC CEO TP Nchocho

Nxuba Wind Farm starts generation, delivery of energy

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     26th October 2020 With the commissioning of the final wind turbine at the 140 MW Nxuba Wind Farm in the Eastern Cape, Enel Green Power (EGP) has started with the generation and delivery of energy. The company says this is despite challenges attributed to Covid-19 containment measures and national lockdown. 

Nxuba Wind Farm starts generation, delivery of energy
Nxuba Wind Farm

UCT research unit shares considerations for REIPPPP going forward  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     26th October 2020 Power auctions are fast becoming the dominant procurement method for renewable energy globally, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, but it is not without its crucial requirements for success. University of Cape Town (UCT) specialist research unit Power Futures Lab research fellow Wikus Kruger... 

Nuclear regulator confirms early talks with Eskom to extend Koeberg nuclear plant’s life 

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th October 2020 The National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) has confirmed that it is in preliminary talks with State-owned national electricity utility Eskom regarding extending the operating life of the country’s only nuclear power plant (NPP) at Koeberg, north of Cape Town. Currently, Koeberg is licensed by the NNR... 

‘Great opportunity’ to tap Mpumalanga’s grid capacity for just transition – IPP Office  

By: Terence Creamer     26th October 2020 The extension of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Development Zones (REDZs) to areas where coal jobs are at risk, but where grid capacity is available, represents a “great opportunity” to connect new renewable-energy generators while also supporting a just transition for coal workers, a senior... 

‘Great opportunity’ to tap Mpumalanga’s grid capacity for just transition – IPP Office
IPPO head of technical Pervelan Govender told participants attending the virtual 2020 edition of Windaba that there was potential grid and just-transition virtue to be derived from locating new renewables projects in Mpumalanga. Video & Editing: Kutlwano Matala & Nicholas Boyd. 16.10.2020

Cape Town’s largest bus company becomes a net exporter of green energy 

By: Irma Venter     26th October 2020 Cape Town’s largest bus company, Golden Arrow Bus Services (GABS), has become a net exporter of electricity. This achievement is the culmination of a multiyear collaborative effort between Golden Arrow, New Southern Energy and the City of Cape Town. 

Cape Town’s largest bus company becomes a net exporter of green energy 
The solar farm at Golden Arrow

Ethiopia slams pressure after Trump remark on destroying dam

By: Bloomberg     26th October 2020 Ethiopia slammed international pressure regarding its long-running dispute with Egypt and Sudan over a hydropower dam on the Nile River, after US President Donald Trump suggested Cairo could destroy the dam. “Ethiopia will not cave in to aggressions of any kind,” the office of Ethiopian Prime... 

Eskom's State of the System briefing 

23rd October 2020 Eskom delivered its State of the System briefing this week. Engineering News editor Terence Creamer attended the session and unpacks the prognosis for electricity supply for the summer months. 

Eskom's State of the System briefing
Eskom's State of the System briefing

Eskom moves to appoint advisers to structure 'green' transaction 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd October 2020 South Africa’s coal-heavy power utility is moving to appoint financial advisers to assist it in structuring a potential transaction that could unlock discounted ‘green’ funding for the debt-laden State-owned entity in return for it meeting agreed decarbonisation targets. Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter... 

Eskom moves to appoint advisers to structure 'green' transaction

University of Pretoria team come second in Brics youth energy event

By: Rebecca Campbell     22nd October 2020 A South African team took second place in the recent 2020 Brics Youth Energy Outlook event, hosted in Moscow. Brics is the acronym for the Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa alignment and the Youth Energy Outlook involves teams of young researchers submitting papers on energy and the... 

Procurement of 11.8 GW only the ‘first step’ in full elimination of load-shedding threat – De Ruyter 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd October 2020 State-owned power utility Eskom, which is ramping up the maintenance of its unreliable and unpredictable coal power stations, anticipates that there will be a ‘step change’ in the performance of the fleet from April 2021, but has also warned that the risk of load-shedding will persist until at... 

Procurement of 11.8 GW only the ‘first step’ in full elimination of load-shedding threat – De Ruyter
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
CEO Andre de Ruyter and COO Jan Oberholzer

Fund establishes collective investment scheme with an infrastructure focus

By: Simone Liedtke     22nd October 2020 South Africa’s first preference shares with an infrastructure focus were listed on October 22 on 4 Africa Exchange (4AX), Gaia Fund Managers and Kruger International Asset and Wealth Management confirmed. Gaia, together with Kruger, is listing Gaia Fund 1 (the Fund), which complies with... 

Mantashe reiterates energy sector efforts to complement economic recovery plan

By: Marleny Arnoldi     22nd October 2020 During a sitting of Parliament on the debate of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe has reiterated government’s targets to deliver 16 313 MW of additional electricity generation capacity from a mix of energy sources. Mantashe... 

Mantashe reiterates energy sector efforts to complement economic recovery plan
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

Schneider Electric says digital transformation a ‘key step’ to improve energy efficiency

By: Simone Liedtke     22nd October 2020 Embracing digital transformation in the power and energy sector is a key step in national and regional plans to improve energy efficiency throughout sub-Saharan Africa. As economies throughout the region power up and organisations focus on how they can resume their operations, research by... 

Schneider Electric says digital transformation a ‘key step’ to improve energy efficiency

South African coal industry to reach tipping point in 2025

By: Simone Liedtke     21st October 2020 The South African coal industry will likely reach a tipping point by 2025, when renewable energy should be cheaper, both in terms of capital and operational expenditure, than existing coal-fired electricity capacity. This means that, by 2030, the South African coal landscape will look "completely... 

Koeberg Unit 2 returns to service

By: Chanel de Bruyn     21st October 2020 Unit 2 of the Koeberg nuclear power station on October 21 successfully completed its twenty-fourth outage since it first started to generate electricity. The unit is synchronised onto the electricity grid and will load up to full capacity by next week, power utility Eskom reports. 

Phola communities allowed to intervene in Thabong, South32 coal merger; SAEF's application dismissed

By: Simone Liedtke     21st October 2020 The Competition Tribunal has dismissed the South African Energy Forum’s (SAEF’s) application to intervene in proceedings regarding the proposed large merger between Thabong Coal and South32 South Africa Coal Holdings (South African Energy Coal or SAEC). 

Renergen drilling programme back on track

By: Simone Liedtke     21st October 2020 Emerging domestic natural gas and helium producer Renergen’s re-drill of the inclined drilling programme (referred to as P2V2) at its flagship Virginia gas project, in the Free State, is expected to be at, or be close to, target by the end of the first week of November. In a statement on October... 

Ministerial Renewable Energy Sector Engagement Forum structure ratified 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     20th October 2020 The second meeting to establish a stakeholder-based Ministerial Renewable Energy Sector Engagement Forum (Resef) and associated Resef Working Group was held online on October 20, during which attendees voted overwhelmingly to ratify the structure of the forum and the names proposed by the... 

Massive grid investment needed to unlock IRP’s 30GW-by-2030 vision 

By: Terence Creamer     20th October 2020 State-owned electricity utility Eskom is warning that a significant and accelerated expansion of South Africa’s grid infrastructure, beyond that catered for by its current R118-billion investment plan to 2030, is required to integrate the 30 GW of mainly wind and solar generators that will have... 

 Massive grid investment needed to unlock IRP’s 30GW-by-2030 vision

Eskom moves to secure R23bn granted by High Court for 2021, despite Nersa appeal 

By: Terence Creamer     19th October 2020 Eskom has launched a fresh legal bid to ensure that the automatic reintroduction of a R23-billion equity injection to its allowable revenue in 2021/22, as granted by the High Court in July, is not negated by the fact that the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has been granted... 

 Eskom moves to secure R23bn granted by High Court for 2021, despite Nersa appeal
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Eskom CFO Calib Cassim presenting the utility's case at MYPD4 hearings in 2019

Eskom to resume construction of 400 kV line in SA's KwaZulu-Natal province 

By: African News Agency      19th October 2020 Eskom said on Monday work was set to resume on the final leg of an approximately 123 km transmission power line running through the uMgungundlovu and uThukela district municipalities of KwaZulu-Natal province. In a statement, the state power utility said final construction of the 47 km leg of... 

 Eskom to resume construction of 400 kV line in SA's KwaZulu-Natal province

Kepco cancels investment in South African coal energy plant

By: African News Agency      16th October 2020 South Korea’s State-owned power utility Kepco will either cancel its investment in coal-driven South African independent power producer Thabametsi, or transition the project to gas. A statement issued on Friday by Seoul-based nongovernmental organisation Solutions for Our Climate said Kepco... 

Scatec Solar advances growth strategy through hydropower developer acquisition

By: Simone Liedtke     16th October 2020 European photovoltaic (PV) company Scatec Solar will be acquiring 100% of the shares in hydropower developer and independent power producer (IPP) SN Power from Norwegian investment fund Norfund for just over $1.17-billion. The acquisition forms an important part of Scatec’s broadened growth... 

Electricity regulations amended to allow municipalities to develop or buy power 

By: Terence Creamer     16th October 2020 Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe has gazetted amendments to the electricity regulations for new electricity generation capacity, opening the way for “municipalities in good financial standing to develop their own power generation projects”.  The Gazette notice amends the... 

Electricity regulations amended to allow municipalities to develop or buy power
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

Ramaphosa announces a renewables-led recovery plan 

16th October 2020 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Creamer Media Editor Terence Creamer about the unveiling of the Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, the role of electricity and renewable energy in that plan and whether South Africa will be able to solve its power crisis within the next two years.   

Ramaphosa announces a renewables-led recovery plan
Ramaphosa announces a renewables-led recovery plan

Recognition of LPG benefits in energy mix growing

16th October 2020 For many years, the benefits of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for South Africa “have been largely, frustratingly, moot”, according to a statement from industry association LPG South Africa (LPGSA). The doubt surrounding LPG’s benefits stems from an historically inconsistent and unreliable supply... 

Recognition of LPG benefits in energy mix growing
BIG BOY Bidvest Tank Terminal’s large-scale mounded LPG storage facility in Richards Bay was scheduled for completion this year

Natural gas to play important role in the energy future

By: Darren Parker     16th October 2020 Energy solutions company GE expects gas power to play an increasingly important role in the medium- to long-term future of the country’s energy mix as government continues to pursue decarbonisation through balancing the demands between a coal-fired past and a renewables future. GE Gas Power... 

Natural gas to play important role in the energy future
GAS FOR GROWTH The industrialisation ambitions of African nations depend on cleaner energy sources such as renewables and gas

Gap analysis needed to guide gas-to-power industry growth

By: Darren Parker     16th October 2020 With the potential of gas as an alternative energy source in South Africa an encouraging prospect, South African Oil and Gas Alliance (Saoga) CEO Adrian Strydom says the gas-to-power industry needs to conduct an accurate gap analysis, and engage in upskilling and capacity building to ensure that... 

Gap analysis needed to guide  gas-to-power industry growth
Photo by Adobe
FLOATING GAS South Africa will need to import liquid natural gas for the short-term future, which will serve to stimulate the market

Gas-powered solutions offer lower upfront cost

By: Darren Parker     16th October 2020 In a capital-constrained Covid-19-affected market, gas-fired generators offer the advantage of a relatively low upfront capital cost, compared with coal- or diesel-fired alternatives, says energy solutions company GE Gas Power Sub-Saharan Africa  executive Nosizwe Dlengezele. She adds that it is... 

Gas-powered solutions offer lower upfront cost
NOSIZWE DLENGEZELE Gas plays an important role in bridging the energy gap to help create a lower-carbon energy future

Pump energy efficiency, maintenance critical to address water scarcity 

By: Simone Liedtke     16th October 2020 Although not many realise it, South Africa is an arid country and there is a pressing need to address water scarcity, which is why pump manufacturer Grundfos places such emphasis on energy efficiency and addressing water leakages in pumping systems, says team leader Andrew Brunette. He laments... 

Pump energy efficiency, maintenance critical to address water scarcity
Grundfos team leader Andrew Brunette discusses the company’s energy efficiency and maintenance offerings.

Independent grid and market operator ‘required’ to attract much-needed generation investment – De Ruyter 

By: Terence Creamer     15th October 2020 Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter has drawn a direct link between securing the investment required to address South Africa’s growth-sapping electricity supply gaps – including some R100-billion to further develop the grid in ways to unlock what will be mostly private generation investment ­– and the... 

Independent grid and market operator ‘required’ to attract much-needed generation investment – De Ruyter
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter

Ramaphosa promises rapid power roll-out, but two-year timeframe for solving crisis ambitious 

By: Terence Creamer     15th October 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa listed the rapid expansion of South Africa’s electricity generation, primarily through the building of additional renewable-energy capacity, as a key priority in government’s long-waited ‘Reconstruction and Recovery Plan’, which he unveiled in Parliament on Thursday. The... 

Ramaphosa promises rapid power roll-out, but two-year timeframe for solving crisis ambitious
President Cyril Ramaphosa
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