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Electricity News

Hulking nukes trying to get nimble in volatile power markets

By: Bloomberg     Updated 3 hours ago Nuclear reactors, the lumbering giants of electricity generation, are trying to become more agile. Power grids have become so swamped with volatile wind and solar that traditional plants are being forced to abruptly adjust their own output to keep systems stable – or pay a penalty. That’s... 

Africa's sole nuclear plant undergoes revamp to extend lifespan

By: Bloomberg     Updated 3 hours ago Eskom Holdings, the State utility that supplies 95% of South Africa’s power, is overhauling the continent’s sole nuclear plant with the aim of extending its lifespan by at least 20 years. The revamp of the 1 860 MW Koeberg facility comes as Eskom struggles to produce enough electricity to meet... 

Africa's sole nuclear plant undergoes revamp to extend lifespan

Load-shedding may cut growth close to zero, SARB says

By: Bloomberg     Updated 3 hours ago South Africa’s power cuts could bring economic growth for the year close to zero if they continue at the same severity seen in March, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) said. The wave of rolling blackouts that started in November and are among the worst the country has yet experienced could... 

Load-shedding may cut growth close to zero, SARB says
SARB deputy governor Kuben Naidoo

Eskom CEO says 'days of surprises' over as problems exposed 

By: Bloomberg     17th April 2019 Almost 15 months into the job, and the boss of South Africa’s state-owned electricity company is getting to grips with issues spanning corruption to defective power plants that threatened to collapse the grid. “The days of surprises are over,” Eskom Holdings CEO Phakamani Hadebe said in an... 

Acumen closes $70m impact fund for clean energy in Africa

By: Bloomberg     17th April 2019 Jacqueline Novogratz’s impact investing group closed an almost $70-million fund to back companies delivering affordable and renewable energy to mostly poor consumers in East Africa. KawiSafi Ventures seeks to bring clean energy to ten-million people with investments in fast-growing companies... 

Impediments to small-scale embedded generation 

17th April 2019 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about the policy and regulatory impediments that are standing in the way of investment in small-scale embedded generation. 

Impediments to small-scale embedded generation
Impediments to small-scale embedded generation

Policy and regulatory malaise undermining efforts to address power deficit 

By: Terence Creamer     16th April 2019 Lingering policy uncertainty and regulatory delays are continuing to impede the development of hundreds of small-scale embedded generation (SSEG) projects, which are seen at the quickest and cheapest way for South Africa to address its current electricity supply deficit. The South African... 

Policy and regulatory malaise undermining efforts to address power deficit

New Kusile unit powers up, 8 months ahead of schedule

By: News24Wire      16th April 2019 For the first time on Sunday Kusile Unit 3 produced power, according to an internal memo to Eskom staff. According to the note from Eskom's chief operating officer Jan Oberholzer, sent out to staff on Monday, the synchronisation of the unit happened eight months ahead of the scheduled December... 

 New Kusile unit powers up, 8 months ahead of schedule

GIZ launches tender for LED streetlights

By: Simone Liedtke     16th April 2019 The Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammernarbeit, in rolling out its Energy Efficiency Street Lighting Retrofit Project, has called for companies to submit bids for the supply of 36 light-emitting-diode (LED) floodlight luminaires with telemanagement systems. In cooperation with the... 

Eskom executive appointed to EPRI board

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     15th April 2019 Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer has been appointed to the board of directors of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) – an international organisation that conducts research and development related to the generation, delivery and use of electricity for the benefit of the public. EPRI’s... 

Activists push South African pension funds to tally climate costs  

By: Bloomberg     15th April 2019 Pension funds in South Africa have a legal obligation to account for the financial effects of climate change on their investments, according to two groups lobbying money managers to pay closer attention to the issue. Shareholder activists Just Share and environmental law organisation ClientEarth... 

Lemur invites EPCTC contractors to tender for Imaloto project

By: Marleny Arnoldi     12th April 2019 Aim-listed Bushveld Minerals’ subsidiary Lemur Holdings has put out an invitation for expressions of interest for the engineering, procurement, construction, testing and commissioning (EPCTC) of some parts of the company’s Imaloto power project, in Madagascar. The company urged interested... 

High risk of load-shedding for Thursday evening 

By: News24Wire      11th April 2019 For the first time in almost three weeks South Africans may be faced with rotational power outages on Thursday evening, as Eskom again battles a shortage of capacity.  The power utility announced on Thursday afternoon that there is a high risk of Stage 1 load-shedding for Thursday evening between... 

High risk of load-shedding for Thursday evening

Goldman says Eskom's crisis leaves no time for unbundling plan

By: Bloomberg     11th April 2019 South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s plan to split the State-owned power utility into generation, distribution and transmission divisions will take longer than the government has to revive the business, according to Goldman Sachs Group. Eskom Holdings is focusing on trying to avoid... 

Manufacturing Indaba to focus on negative effects of power outages

By: African News Agency      11th April 2019 Organisers of the Manufacturing Indaba 2019 said on Thursday that this year's conference is set to unpack promising solutions that manufacturers can implement in an attempt to recover their losses resulting from the nation's rolling blackouts. Major concerns have surfaced among South African... 

Bushveld subsidiary advances Imaloto project towards financial close

By: Marleny Arnoldi     10th April 2019 Aim-listed Bushveld Minerals’ coal and energy subsidiary Lemur Holdings has signed a project preparation finance facility agreement with the Development Bank of Southern Africa for $1-million, which will be used for the development of the Imaloto project, in Madagascar. The loan will enable Lemur... 

Western Cape schools to become solar-powered using solar-leasing funding

By: Schalk Burger     10th April 2019 Solar microleasing marketplace Sun Exchange announced on Wednesday that it would be a key partner in providing solar power for several Western Cape Education Department schools, starting with Protea Heights Academy, in Cape Town. Sun Exchange enables schools and businesses to have solar power... 

Cost of decarbonising global energy system falls sharply, new report shows 

By: Terence Creamer     9th April 2019 Rapidly falling renewable-energy costs, together with emerging opportunities to electrify other energy end-uses such as transportation and heating, are continuing to reduce the investment premium associated with placing the world on a more climate-friendly path, a new international report... 

Cost of decarbonising global energy system falls sharply, new report shows

Eskom to class action firm: We can’t be sued for load-shedding and here’s why 

By: News24Wire      9th April 2019 Eskom says that based on legal advice it has received, a law firm seeking to initiate a class action suit against it on behalf of companies which have been affected by load-shedding, has little ground to stand on. Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said that the legal advice the power utility had... 

 Eskom to class action firm: We can’t be sued for load-shedding and here’s why

Winter plan to minimise load-shedding requires South Africans to use electricity efficiently, says Eskom 

By: African News Agency      8th April 2019 The State-owned power utility Eskom on Monday urged South Africans to use electricity efficiently to minimise load-shedding during cold weather conditions. Eskom said the demand for electricity was projected to increase and the power system was forecast to be tight for this week. The winter plan... 

Winter plan to minimise load-shedding requires South Africans to use electricity efficiently, says Eskom

Economic growth in Africa below population growth for the fourth year in row 

By: Terence Creamer     8th April 2019 Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest economies, including South Africa, continued to act as a drag on the economic performance of the region in 2018, new analysis by the World Bank shows. The nineteenth edition of the bank’s bi-annual ‘Africa’s Pulse’ publication indicates that growth across the... 

Economic growth in Africa below population growth for the fourth year in row
Report says digital transformation has potential to accelerate development in Africa

Globeleq, Aurora Power Solutions to build PV projects in Zambia

By: Simone Liedtke     8th April 2019 Independent power producer Globeleq and renewable energy company Sola Group’s Aurora Power Solutions have been awarded two 20 MW solar photovoltaic projects, in Zambia. These projects form part of the Get Fit Zambia programme, through which the government aims to procure 200 MW of renewable... 

Globeleq, Aurora Power Solutions to build PV projects in Zambia

Power shortages in South Africa could get a whole lot worse

By: Bloomberg     8th April 2019 An electricity-supply crisis is looming in South Africa that could make intermittent outages in the past few months seem trivial by comparison. Eskom Holdings, which supplies almost all the nation’s power, will lose more than a quarter of its current generating capacity over the next decade as it... 

Get Fit Zambia successfully awards six solar PV projects

By: Simone Liedtke     5th April 2019 Get Fit Zambia, which was designed to assist the Zambian government in the implementation of its Refit Strategy, on Friday announced that six solar photovoltaic independent power producer projects, totalling 120 MW, have been awarded. Get Fit Zambia aims to procure 200 MW of renewable energy... 

Clough JV awarded civil works contract for Australian hydropower project

By: Marleny Arnoldi     5th April 2019 The Clough Salini joint venture (JV) has been appointed as the contractor for the Snowy 2.0 hydropower project, in New South Wales, Australia. The JV’s scope of work on the project is valued at about A$1.8-billion, spanning over the next five years.  

Ncondezi, GridX start JV for solar, battery projects in Africa

By: Marleny Arnoldi     5th April 2019 Aim-listed Ncondezi Energy has entered into a term sheet with power developer GridX Africa Development, enabling the companies to enter into a joint venture (JV) that is focused on building and operating captive solar and battery storage solutions for the African commercial and industrial sector.... 

IPPs and distributed energy solutions drive innovation

5th April 2019 While the obligation to deliver safe, reliable power to customers through aging assets is paramount, utilities face a rapidly evolving market as independent power producers (IPPs) and distributed generation solutions drive innovation and investment, says engineering, procurement and construction... 

IPPs and distributed  energy solutions  drive innovation
SOLAR POWER Distributed energy resources are forcing utilities to find ways to distribute electricity in a sustainable and efficient manner or risk losing customers

Demand for utility-scale battery solutions increasing

By: Thabi Madiba     5th April 2019 Advancements in energy storage technology are starting to reflect in the rise of utility-scale battery solutions, which could revolutionise the ability of intermittent renewables to have higher penetration into the grid, says solar energy company SOLA Future Energy CEO Dr Dom Wills. The company... 

Demand for utility-scale battery solutions increasing
ROBBEN ISLAND BATTERY ROOM SOLA stores excess solar power in lithium-ion batteries and deploys it as the sun sets, resulting in an overall reduction of the diesel used to operate generators

Energy storage a viable solution to load-shedding

By: Thabi Madiba     5th April 2019 Amid State-owned power utility Eskom’s announcement of there being a high risk of rotational load-shedding, which will be implemented only if absolutely necessary, power management company Eaton South Africa MD Seydou Kane says energy storage solutions can play an important role in creating more... 

Energy storage a viable solution to load-shedding
SEYDOU KANE Energy storage solutions provide not only flexibility but also cost savings, should they be integrated into a company’s power grid

Interest in hydrogen storage increasing

By: Thabi Madiba     5th April 2019 Interest in hydrogen energy storage continues to grow, owing to the very large storage capacity that liquid organic hydrogen carrier (LOHC) technology offers, compared with other technologies. Currently, most hydrogen is stored as a cryogenic liquid or is compressed under high pressure, which are... 

Opinion: If renewables are so cheap, why are we paying so much for them?

By: Tobias Bischof-Niemz     5th April 2019 Hardly a week passes without a statement being made about the high costs of renewable energy in South Africa. Typically, the argument is made on social media and is framed to suggest that Eskom is buying electricity at R2.22/kWh from renewable-energy independent power producers (REIPPs) and that... 

Opinion: If renewables are so cheap, why are we paying so much for them?

Uptick in demand for water-sector consulting

By: Cameron Mackay     5th April 2019 Despite subdued demand for consulting engineering services in South Africa, engineering consulting firm SRK Consulting South Africa has noted an increase in demand for the group’s water-sector consulting services. “As the country faces a backlog in water infrastructure maintenance, it must also... 

Uptick in demand for water-sector consulting
THE MATZIKAMMA MUNICIPALITY The Matzikamma municipality coastline was deemed suitable for land-based aquaculture farming

Lucas calls Northern Cape Africa’s renewables hub as she inaugurates Kathu Solar Park 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     4th April 2019 The Kathu Solar Park, in the Northern Cape, was inaugurated by the province’s Premier Sylvia Lucas, on Thursday. The project was commissioned in February. 

Lucas calls Northern Cape Africa’s renewables hub as she inaugurates Kathu Solar Park

Eskom review team says strong leadership key for restoration of plant performance 

By: Terence Creamer     4th April 2019 The Eskom Technical Review Team, appointed in March to provide an independent assessment of the performance of the State-owned utility’s power stations, says several coal plants can, with strong and empowered leadership, meet the much-vaunted energy availability factor (EAF) goal of 80%. It has... 

Eskom review team says strong leadership key for restoration of plant performance

'The whole country is counting on us': What Eskom boss told staff when stage 4 hit 

By: News24Wire      4th April 2019 "The whole country is counting on every one of us to do the right thing".  This is what Eskom's COO, Jan Oberholzer, wrote to staff in a memo mid-March when the power utility was implementing stage 4 load-shedding to keep the lights on.  

 'The whole country is counting on us': What Eskom boss told staff when stage 4 hit
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer

Eskom provides system update 

4th April 2019 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about a media briefing hosted by Eskom and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan at the Lethabo power station this week to update the country on the state of Eskom’s power system and whether the country is... 

Eskom provides system update
Eskom provides system update

Strong renewable energy capacity growth continues

By: Simone Liedtke     4th April 2019 The decade-long trend of strong growth in renewable energy capacity continued in 2018 with global additions of 171 GW, according to data released by the International Renewable Energy Agency this week. The year-on-year increase of 7.9% was bolstered by new additions from solar and wind energy,... 

Strong renewable energy capacity growth continues
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