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Electricity News

Enel, Novartis sign ten-year renewable energy deal

By: Donna Slater     20th November 2020 Enel Group renewable energy subsidiary Enel Green Power and medicines company Novartis have signed a ten-year, 100% renewable virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) for 78 MW of renewable power. This pan-European VPPA will start in January 2022 and will help Novartis achieve its goals for 100%... 

Emira continues investment in renewable energy

By: Donna Slater     20th November 2020 JSE-listed real estate investment trust (Reit) Emira Property Fund has been increasing its use of renewable energy since the 2015 installation of a 271 kW solar plant on the roof of its Epsom Downs Shopping Centre, in Bryanston. Since then the company has been continuing the rollout of solutions... 

Emira continues investment in renewable energy
Emira's Boskruin photovoltaic installation

Repurposing of Eskom power stations key in SA's just transition  

20th November 2020   Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Creamer Media Editor Terence Creamer about plans by Eskom to repurpose and repower three coal-fired power stations that are due for decommissioning, why it is important for creating a just transition framework and the need for South Africa to determine... 

Repurposing of Eskom power stations key in SA's just transition
Repurposing of Eskom power stations key in SA's just transition

Partnership improves dry-type transformers access in Africa

By: Darren Parker     20th November 2020 Access to dry-type transformer technology has been boosted throughout Africa, following the partnership of South African transformer supplier Trafo Power Solutions with Italian transformer manufacturer TMC Transformers at the end of 2018. “The business prospects for TMC in Africa are quite good... 

Partnership improves dry-type transformers access in Africa
DAVID CLAASSEN Dry-type transformer technology is safer and requires less maintenance

Joint agenda for energy events

20th November 2020 Private sector participation in the energy sector, small-scale hydro and minigrid opportunities, desalination as an option to secure water security and helping sustainable small and medium-sized enterprises with a toolkit are just some of the highlights of the digital African Utility Week and... 

Joint agenda for energy events
POWER AGENDA Amid the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the energy sector in Africa, the organisers of the Digital Energy Festival seek to address critical issues

New launch expands LED lighting options

20th November 2020 Light manufacturer BEKA Schréder recently announced the launch of the Omnistar Micro and Mini. Together with the Midi and Maxi, the Omnistar family is now complete.  

New launch expands  LED lighting options
SHINING BRIGHT The Omnistar Micro/Mini is designed and manufactured in South Africa, it is highly efficient and energy saving

Africa’s ‘staggering’ hydropower potential discussed at event

20th November 2020 Hydropower plays a key role in all of the African Development Bank's (AfDB’s) High Five priority areas that are intended to support the continent's achievement of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. This is according to AfDB power systems development director Batchi Baldeh, who... 

Africa’s ‘staggering’ hydropower potential discussed at event
ENERGY EVENT The potential for hydropower in Africa is staggering

Wind turbine prototype gives impressive results

20th November 2020 Energy solutions company GE Renewable Energy – which will be exhibiting at African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa 2020 – announced last month that its Haliade-X prototype, the world’s most powerful wind turbine operating to date, has been optimised and is now operating at a 13 MW power output.... 

Rolls-Royce signs two international agreements on small modular nuclear reactors

By: Rebecca Campbell     20th November 2020 UK-based global major industrial technology group Rolls-Royce recently signed, in rapid succession, two memorandums of understanding (MoUs) regarding the development and operation of small modular reactor (SMR) nuclear power plants (NPPs). Rolls-Royce is leading a consortium, supported by both... 

World Bank says ‘flagship’ Eskom battery scheme to open way for private investment in the technology 

By: Terence Creamer     19th November 2020 The World Bank reports that Eskom’s large-scale battery energy storage initiative, which will involve the installation of  battery energy storage systems (BESS) across up to eight sites, is being treated as a “flagship” initiative by the global development finance institution, which has committed... 

World Bank says ‘flagship’ Eskom battery scheme to open way for private investment in the technology
The Skaapvlei site, with the Sere wind farm in the background

Green economy faces challenge to replace carbon energy sources

By: Bloomberg     19th November 2020 The march toward a greener global economy is headed into a more difficult second phase that will aim to replace carbon as an energy source, said panelists during the Bloomberg New Economy Forum. Companies including Honeywell International and Schneider Electricare offering solutions to reduce... 

Climate Transparency questions South Africa’s commitment to phasing out coal

By: Marleny Arnoldi     18th November 2020 A report by Climate Transparency has cautioned the Group of Twenty (G20) countries against quick-fix Covid-19 stimulus packages that favour fossil fuel industries. The global partnership has a shared mission to stimulate a “race to the top” in climate action in the G20 countries through enhanced... 

Ramaphosa stresses South Africa’s gateway-to-Africa role as he seeks to reignite investment amid Covid  

By: Terence Creamer     18th November 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa used the platform of the third South Africa Investment Conference to underline the country’s potential to act a gateway to the African market, as he sought to reignite investor interest in an economy that has been underperforming for more than a decade and has been... 

Ramaphosa stresses South Africa’s gateway-to-Africa role as he seeks to reignite investment amid Covid
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Green hydrogen, exploration offer best opportunities for South Africa’s mining sector 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     18th November 2020 There are a myriad of opportunities that the mining industry can capitalise on, and the Covid-19 pandemic has provided a major catalyst for the collaboration required to unlock it, speakers said during a mining-focused session at the South African Investment Conference on November 17. Hydrogen... 

Solar power industry has opportunity to build recycling value chain from scratch  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     18th November 2020 Solar photovoltaic (PV) power users, both utility-scale and rooftop users alike, will have to start thinking about, and develop, ways in which the waste of solar power generation facilities will be managed at the end of their lives. In terms of the industry’s regulatory requirements, the solar... 

Solar power industry has opportunity to build recycling value chain from scratch
DEFF hazardous waste management and licensing chief director Mishelle Govender shares insight on solar PV recycling

Britain to ban new petrol cars and vans by 2030 on road to net zero emissions

By: Reuters     18th November 2020 Britain will move up a ban on new petrol and diesel cars and vans to 2030 and is eyeing 250 000 new jobs as part of a green industrial revolution, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said as he tries to meet Britain's net zero emissions climate target. Johnson is seeking to show his government is on... 

More than 60 power firms signal intention to bid into ‘emergency’ scheme – IPP Office 

By: Terence Creamer     17th November 2020 South Africa’s Independent Power Producer (IPP) Office reported on Tuesday that more than 60 respondents had signalled their intention, by the October 31 deadline for doing so, to participate in the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP), through which... 

More than 60 power firms signal intention to bid into ‘emergency’ scheme – IPP Office
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
IPP Office CEO Tshifhiwa Bernard Magoro

Institutions call for more awareness on skills development in the solar sector 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     17th November 2020 The decommissioning of coal-fired power stations without repurposing of labour will considerably exacerbate the unemployment crisis in South Africa and, therefore, workforce relocation and the associated skills development it calls for, needs to be considered ahead of time. Energy & Water... 

Institutions call for more awareness on skills development in the solar sector
EWSETA CFO and acting CEO Mpho Mookapele explains the skills needed for a burgeoning solar power sector

Eskom moves to finalise just energy transition framework as shutdown of Grootvlei, Komati and Hendrina draws near 

By: Terence Creamer     17th November 2020 State-owned power utility Eskom expects to complete its socioeconomic impact studies by the end of March for the planned shutdown of the Grootvlei, Komati and Hendrina power stations, in Mpumalanga, which are the first of ten coal plants scheduled for decommissioning by 2040. The decommissioning... 

Eskom moves to finalise just energy transition framework as shutdown of Grootvlei, Komati and Hendrina draws near

World Bank helps South African govt develop energy efficiency financing mechanisms

By: Marleny Arnoldi     17th November 2020 The World Bank has provided a $305 000 grant for South Africa to develop a study on sustainable financial mechanisms for demand-side energy efficiency market transformation. The beneficiaries of the study, the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) and the Department of... 

Municipalities have integrated 282 MW of embedded power and see benefits in embracing transition 

By: Terence Creamer     16th November 2020 A total of 29 South African municipalities have already approved tariff frameworks for small-scale embedded generation (SSEG), with 282 MW of mostly rooftop solar capacity having be formally integrated into municipal networks, the South African Local Government Association (Salga) reports. The... 

Municipalities have integrated 282 MW of embedded power and see benefits in embracing transition

Kangnas Wind Farm starts commercial operations

By: Donna Slater     16th November 2020 The Kangnas Wind Farm on November 15 achieved its commercial operations date, making it the first Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) Bid Window 4 wind farm in the Northern Cape to come on stream. Construction started in June, 2018 but was halted by the... 

Kangnas Wind Farm starts commercial operations
The Northern Cape-based Kangnas Wind Farm

Opinion: Breathing fresh air into old coal power stations

13th November 2020 In this opinion piece, Wärtsilä South African business development manager Wayne Glossop writes about the benefits of converting old coal-fired power plants to modern gas engine power plants. AGL Energy Limited undertook a successful transformation of an old coal plant to a modern flexible gas... 

Sasol working to reset business for low-carbon world 

13th November 2020 Financially and environmentally beleaguered energy and chemicals group Sasol is working to reset its business for a low-carbon world. Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer unpacks the emerging strategy. 

Sasol working to reset business for low-carbon world
Sasol working to reset business for low-carbon world

Eskom ordered to rectify pollution issues at three power plants

By: Bloomberg     13th November 2020 Eskom Holdings, South Africa’s state power utility, was ordered to comply with pollution limits at three of its coal-fired plants this year while two more are being investigated, the government’s environment department said in its first disclosure about most of the orders. The violations listed... 

Vivo sees growth potential for hybrid fuel, solar energy solution in Africa's mining sector

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     13th November 2020 Vivo Energy, which sells and distributes Shell- and Engen-branded fuels and lubricants in Africa, believes it will be able to transform how energy is supplied to mines across the continent. It announced last month that it had reached an agreement to supply Canadian mining company Robex Resources'... 

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

By: Irma Venter     13th November 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. 

Glencore tests market for self-generation solutions at chrome, vanadium operations  

By: Terence Creamer     12th November 2020 Mining group Glencore has issued a pre-qualifying tender for companies interested in supplying ‘alternative green’ electricity and storage solutions to its chrome and vanadium operations in South Africa. In the tender notice, Glencore Alloys states that the generation facilities should have a... 

Glencore tests market for self-generation solutions at chrome, vanadium operations

Makwetu hailed as gentle, unwavering giant in the fight against corruption

By: Sane Dhlamini     12th November 2020 Business Unity South Africa (Busa) president Sipho Pityana has hailed outgoing Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu as a gentle and yet unwavering giant in the fight against corruption and maladministration, following the news of his death. Makwetu died on Wednesday, at a hospital in Johannesburg,... 

Makwetu hailed as gentle, unwavering giant in the fight against corruption
Kimi Makwetu

CER lauds court halting Thabametsi power station plans

By: Marleny Arnoldi     12th November 2020 The Centre for Environmental Rights says major climate impacts and exorbitant costs have managed to sound the death knell for one of the last new proposed coal-fired power stations in South Africa. The environmental organisation’s statement follows the successful setting aside of plans for the... 

CER lauds court halting Thabametsi power station plans

Marubeni to pull out of South African coal-fired power plant project

By: Reuters     12th November 2020 Japanese resources company Marubeni Corp will pull out of the Thabametsi South African coal plant project, the group told Reuters on Wednesday, following the withdrawal of some South African investors this week. Marubeni's exit from the 630 megawatt (MW) Thabametsi coal-based power plant project... 

European firms say South Africa’s poor utilities deter investment

By: Bloomberg     12th November 2020 European businesses are delaying investment in South Africa because of poor power and water supply and the costs of complying with Black economic empowerment legislation, representatives of an industry body said. South Africa has suffered intermittent power outages since 2008 after the state... 

Rolls-Royce cites jobs potential if UK government enables small modular reactor fleet

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th November 2020 UK-based global major industrial technology group Rolls-Royce stated on Wednesday that it expected to create 6 000 jobs in the midlands and north of England within five years, if the British government clearly committed itself to enabling the construction of 16 small modular nuclear reactors... 

Rolls-Royce cites jobs potential if UK government enables small modular reactor fleet
Photo by Rolls-Royce
An artist’s impression of a UKSMR power plant 

SANEDI rolls out cool roof project in Cape Town

By: Simone Liedtke     11th November 2020 The South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) is rolling out 26 000 m2 of cool roofing technology in the City of Cape Town as part of the Cool Roofs and Insulation Collaboration. The purpose of the roll out is to demonstrate the power of passive cooling when cool coatings are... 

SANEDI rolls out cool roof project in Cape Town

Bushveld nears construction of solar plant at Vametco mine  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th November 2020 Aim-listed Bushveld Minerals continues to progress with the hybrid minigrid project being developed at the Vametco vanadium mine, near Brits, on the Western Limb of the Bushveld Complex in South Africa. The project comprises 3.5 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) generation and 4 MWh of vanadium... 

Bushveld nears construction of solar plant at Vametco mine
Bushveld's Vametco mine will see built a 3.5 MW solar photovoltaic and storage plant

UP partners with Bambili, EWSeta, DSI to train graduates on fuel cell systems

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th November 2020 The University of Pretoria (UP) will, for the next month, provide training for technical and vocational education and training college graduates on hydrogen fuel cell systems. The training, which is provided in partnership with Bambili Energy, the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and... 

Sasol pins low-carbon ‘reset’ hopes on gas, renewables and green hydrogen  

By: Terence Creamer     11th November 2020 Energy and chemicals group Sasol, which is coming under increasing pressure to reduce its carbon emissions, reports that climate change is now “front and centre” in its unfolding ‘strategic reset’, which will involve a transition away from coal to gas, renewable energy and green hydrogen. In... 

Sasol pins low-carbon ‘reset’ hopes on gas, renewables and green hydrogen
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Sasol CEO Fleetwood Grobler
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