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Electricity News

New chair of financially beleaguered Necsa outlines priorities

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd April 2020 The financially-beleaguered South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa), which falls under the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE), had a new board appointed in late January, to oversee and turnaround the agency. The chairperson of this new board, which has a term of three... 

Schneider Electric academy develops smart energy management skills

By: Schalk Burger     3rd April 2020 As global power capacity is set to double by 2040, and with 80% more renewable sources than there are currently, Schnieder Electric is providing energy management training to meet the needs of heterogeneous and automated buildings and infrastructure, says Schneider Electric head of sustainability... 

juwi awarded Touwsrivier solar O&M contract

By: Donna Slater     2nd April 2020 Renewable energy company juwi Renewable Energies has been awarded the contract for the operations and maintenance (O&M) of the Touwsrivier concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) solar project in the Western Cape, effective April 1. The contract was awarded to juwi’s’ subsidiary, juwi Solar ZA O&M 1.  

juwi awarded Touwsrivier solar O&M contract

Self-generation could be key for economic recovery – organisations

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     2nd April 2020 The economy’s recent descent into a recession has piled pressure on the government to throw a lifeline to businesses constrained by State-owned utility Eskom’s load-shedding; while the current onset of the Covid-19 pandemic is a further shock that the economy will have to overcome. In light of... 

Self-generation could be key for economic recovery – organisations
Janine Espin

Gumede appointed regulator member at Nersa

By: Marleny Arnoldi     2nd April 2020 Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe has appointed Nhlanhla Gumede as a full-time regulator member of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa). Gumede will primarily be responsible for electricity regulation for five years, effective April 1.  

Gumede appointed regulator member at Nersa
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Nersa chairperson Jacob Modise

Eskom to temporarily shut Koeberg Unit 2

By: Donna Slater     2nd April 2020 From midnight on April 3, power utility Eskom will take Unit 2 of the Koeberg nuclear power station, in the Western Cape, offline. The unit is scheduled to return to service by April 30, if not required before then. From midnight on April 3, power utility Eskom will take Unit 2 of the Koeberg... 

Eskom to temporarily shut Koeberg Unit 2

Taxis allowed 100% of capacity only with masks – Mbalula  

By: Sane Dhlamini     1st April 2020 Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula announced on Wednesday that taxis could carry their full loads during the national lockdown, provided that all passengers wore masks. Mbalula was addressing taxi operators and commuters at the MTN Taxi Rank in Johannesburg after he held discussions with the... 

Taxis allowed 100% of capacity only with masks – Mbalula
Transport Minister Fikille Mbalula

Perdekraal installs all turbines just ahead of the lockdown

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     1st April 2020 Perdekraal East Wind Farm installed its forty-eighth and final wind turbine, two weeks ahead of schedule, on March 24. The final lifting was a celebratory moment for the largely South African crew, who have since left the construction site, in compliance with the Covid-19 lockdown, which came... 

Perdekraal installs all turbines just ahead of the lockdown
Final turbine lifting

Wind IPPs given some clawback relief as Eskom issues surprise force majeure notices

By: Terence Creamer     1st April 2020 In its force majeure notice to wind independent power producers (IPPs), Eskom has indicated that, should the system operator issue an instruction to a wind farm to reduce energy output during the period of the Covid-19 lockdown, the IPP would be granted an extension equivalent to the period of... 

Wind IPPs given some clawback relief as Eskom issues surprise force majeure notices

Rosatom complies with South African, other countries' safety measures 

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st April 2020 The South Africa-based Central and Southern Africa Office of Russian State-owned nuclear energy group Rosatom has assured that it is both complying with the 21-day lockdown now in force in South Africa (to counter the Covid-19 pandemic) and continuing to support its customers. In a statement... 

Eskom gearing up to run philosophy maintenance ‘as a project’ following Covid-19 hiatus 

By: Terence Creamer     1st April 2020 State-owned electricity producer Eskom is gearing up to implement philosophy maintenance as a centralised project across its unreliable coal fleet, where ongoing breakdowns have increased the risk of growth- and confidence-sapping load-shedding. The utility’s board has given its approval for the... 

Eskom gearing up to run philosophy maintenance ‘as a project’ following Covid-19 hiatus

Eskom issues force majeure to wind plants amid low demand

By: Bloomberg     1st April 2020 Eskom Holdings told operators of some independent wind-power plants that it won’t need their power at certain times of day due to lower demand amid a national shutdown. The amount of power generated from wind is at its highest early in the morning when Eskom’s need is lowest, said Sikonathi... 

Eskom issues force majeure to wind plants amid low demand

Wind farms under construction to declare force majeure

By: Donna Slater     31st March 2020 Twelve wind farms that are still under construction have declared force majeure, as they are are not deemed to be essential service providers during the 21-day national lockdown. The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) says that, following consultation with the Department of Energy’s... 

Wind farms under construction to declare force majeure
The Noupoort Wind Farm is one of the 22 wind farms that will continue generating power during the lockdown period as it was previously operational and not under construction

SANEDI says 12L tax incentive is paying off

By: Marleny Arnoldi     31st March 2020 The South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) says government’s 12L Tax Incentive has delivered more than 24 TWh in energy savings since November 2013. This equates to a total gross rebate of nearly R20-billion to South African taxpayers. 

SANEDI says 12L tax incentive is paying off

Eskom donates learning academy to government for use as quarantine site

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     30th March 2020 To assist in the fight to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, State-owned utility Eskom has handed its Academy of Learning (EAL) centre in Midrand, Johannesburg, over to the government to be used as a quarantine site. The facility, which has 416 beds and other facilities, will be used to accommodate... 

WEC unpacks energy investment needs

By: Marleny Arnoldi     30th March 2020 The World Energy Council’s 2019 World Energy Trilemma Index indicates there has been a step change in progress toward basic access in some African countries, with many having made substantive improvements, particularly in access to energy and clean cooking under the United Nations Sustainable... 

WEC unpacks energy investment needs

Mantashe sustains 1 MW licence-exemption cap despite calls for higher threshold 

By: Terence Creamer     27th March 2020 Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe Gazetted an amended version of Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act on March 26, which the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) said further clarified the requirements for generation for own use for facilities of under 1... 

Mantashe sustains 1 MW licence-exemption cap despite calls for higher threshold
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

KZN MEC says dept has adopted zero tolerance on price hiking amid lockdown

By: Sane Dhlamini     27th March 2020 KwaZulu-Natal economic development, tourism and environmental affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube says her department  is in communication with the management of Spar KZN with the view of terminating contracts of franchise owners who are involved in price hiking. This follows consumer complaints that... 

KZN MEC says dept has adopted zero tolerance on price hiking amid lockdown
KZN MEC for EDTEA Nomusa Dube-Ncube

Eskom postpones ‘philosophy maintenance’ as it shuts units in response to drop in demand 

By: Terence Creamer     27th March 2020 State-owned electricity producer Eskom has reported that demand dropped by more than 6 000 MW on the afternoon of March 26 as businesses shut in anticipation of the start of the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown. The utility also indicated that a further reduction in demand was anticipated for the... 

Eskom postpones ‘philosophy maintenance’ as it shuts units in response to drop in demand

Industry reaction to Minister’s call for higher levels of clean-coal investment

By: Mamaili Mamaila     27th March 2020 There is much scepticism domestically and internationally about the potential for clean-coal technology (CCT). In South Africa, however, there has been an amplification in recent months of calls for accelerated efforts to be made to finding innovative solutions to the serious environmental and... 

Industry reaction to Minister’s call for higher levels  of clean-coal investment
Photo by GE
POWER PLANT OPTIMISATION Eskom’s Kusile power station’s use of the wet flue gas desulphurisation technology ensures lower emissions

Juwi achieves a million injury-free hours at Bokamoso site

By: Marleny Arnoldi     26th March 2020 Juwi Renewable Energies achieved a record one-million lost-time incident- (LTI-) free hours at the end of the February. The renewable energy company is building the 78 MW Bokamoso Solar Park, near Leeudoringstad, in North West .  

Mining to be ‘scaled down significantly’ during 21-day lockdown 

By: Terence Creamer     25th March 2020 Mining operations in South Africa are to be “scaled down significantly” during the 21-day lockdown period, particularly labour-intensive, deep-level mining activities, Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe reported on March 25. However, mines supplying coal to Eskom would remain in... 

Mining to be ‘scaled down significantly’ during 21-day lockdown

Risk of load-shedding will be low during lockdown - Mantashe  

By: Terence Creamer     25th March 2020 Security of energy supply remains critical during the Covid-19 lockdown period, Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe reiterated on March 25. The supply of fuel to critical and essential services, as well as the supply of coal to Eskom for electricity supply and liquid fuels... 

Risk of load-shedding will be low during lockdown - Mantashe
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe r

South Africa's Eskom says coal stocks healthy ahead of lockdown

By: Reuters     25th March 2020 South African power utility Eskom said on Wednesday that coal stocks at its power stations were healthy, with at least 20 days of supplies at all stations, before a nationwide lockdown over the coronavirus outbreak starting at midnight on Thursday. Eskom said all its activities were considered... 

South Africa's Eskom says coal stocks healthy ahead of lockdown

DMRE, petroleum and mining industries developing framework to execute lockdown

By: Simone Liedtke     24th March 2020 Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe met with the South African Petroleum Industry Association (Sapia) and the Minerals Council South Africa on March 24 to consolidate plans to deal with the impact of Covid-19. The meeting follows President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement on the... 

DMRE, petroleum and mining industries developing framework to execute lockdown
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

Lawyers question whether Nersa’s concurrence timeline truly reflects power-shortfall urgency 

By: Terence Creamer     24th March 2020 Project finance and energy specialists from a leading domestic law firm have questioned whether the timetable outlined by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) for providing its concurrence with two Ministerial determinations for new power generation “truly reflects the urgency of... 

Lawyers question whether Nersa’s concurrence timeline truly reflects power-shortfall urgency

Greenpeace against granting of MES compliance postponement to Eskom 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd March 2020 South Africa’s National Air Quality Officer Dr Thuli Khumalo’s decision on Eskom’s application for a postponement from complying with the Minimum Emission Standards (MES) at the end of this month could have implications as far reaching as the country’s water security, says Greenpeace Africa.... 

Greenpeace against granting of MES compliance postponement to Eskom

IEA urges governments to integrate clean-energy transition into Covid-19 stimulus packages 

By: Terence Creamer     23rd March 2020 The stimulus plans being developed by governments to counter the economic damage of the Covid-19 pandemic “offer an excellent opportunity to ensure that the essential task of building a secure and sustainable energy future doesn’t get lost amid the flurry of immediate priorities”, International... 

IEA urges governments to integrate clean-energy transition into Covid-19 stimulus packages

Eskom: No power cuts expected this week, but keep reducing demand

By: News24Wire      23rd March 2020 Power utility Eskom says it is not planning to implement load-shedding during this week. With South Africa's electricity system still constrained and vulnerable, however, the utility says it may need to implement rotational power cuts at short notice should the system performance deteriorate.... 

 Eskom: No power cuts expected this week, but keep reducing demand

Privatisation slowly becoming reality

By: Tracy Hancock     20th March 2020 The type of participants attending this year’s Power & Electricity World Africa & The Solar Show are proof that Africa seeks to become less reliant on governments for its electricity supply, says event organiser Terrapinn Power & Electricity World Africa conference producer Caroline Mubima.... 

Privatisation slowly becoming reality
DRIVEN DISCUSSION The growing adoption of electric vehicles is one trend expected to dominate discussion at Power & Electricity World Africa 2020

Africa can develop on low-carbon growth path

By: Tracy Hancock     20th March 2020 Choosing between a low-carbon future and Africa’s economic growth is a false dichotomy, as these goals do not need to be in competition, says independent power producer Pele Energy Group founder Fumani Mthembi, a speaker at this year’s Power & Electricity World Africa. “The global investment... 

Africa can develop on low-carbon growth path
SUNNY DISPOSITION The global investment sector is increasingly more interested in funding renewable-energy projects, such as solar farms, as opposed to coal projects

Re-engineering of coal sector skills needed

By: Tracy Hancock     20th March 2020 The South African renewable-energy sector will not have an adequate pipeline of competent individuals to train if it does not endeavour to re-engineer the skills of workers in the Limpopo and Mpumalanga coal mining regions, South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre (Saretec) director Naim... 

Re-engineering of coal sector skills needed
Jacobs Transport strives to be a reliable and ethical company, providing its clients with the most efficient services possible.

Growing interest in green bonds

By: Tracy Hancock     20th March 2020 Local interest in green bond and/or securitisation instruments is robust and growing, says financial services provider Nedbank’s Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) debt capital markets origination principal, Arvana Singh. Nedbank issued R2.7-billion in 2019 across two auctions, which it says... 

Growing interest in green bonds
ARVANA SINGH Increasing pressure is being placed on investors and financiers to allocate capital responsibly

Collaboration needed in electrical sector

By: Tracy Hancock     20th March 2020 South Africa’s entire electrical sector needs a “shake up” and a lot more collaboration, Electrical Conformance Board of South Africa (ECBSA) MD Peter Pedrick has learnt since taking up his position in May last year. Historically, South Africa was internationally recognised for its effective... 

Collaboration needed in electrical sector
FIRE STARTER There has been a significant rise in fire damage in South Africa over the past ten years amid a lack of regulation policing and governance

Kangnas turbine installations completed ahead of schedule

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     19th March 2020 Kangnas Wind Farm on Tuesday completed the installation of all 61 wind turbines – two weeks ahead of schedule. With all turbines now installed, the project is advancing to its commercial operations date, later this year. 

Kangnas turbine installations completed ahead of schedule
Last lift

Eskom talks to get coal for Kusile plant drag on for 13 years

By: Bloomberg     19th March 2020 State-owned power utility Eskom has yet to agree a supply contract for the bulk of coal needed for its newest power station, more than a decade after approving a plan to negotiate with Anglo American. In 2007, an Eskom committee signed off on the start of talks with Anglo for as much as... 

Nersa finally initiates public process for concurring with Mantashe’s power determinations  

By: Terence Creamer     18th March 2020 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) published two consultation papers on Wednesday for two separate Ministerial determinations submitted by Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe for the regulator’s concurrence as required by the National Energy Regulator Act. By... 

Nersa finally initiates public process for concurring with Mantashe’s power determinations
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