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Electricity News

Wesley-Ciskei wind energy farm supplying electricity to the grid

By: Simone Liedtke     27th August 2021 The 34.5 MW Wesley-Ciskei wind energy farm (WEF), in the Eastern Cape, achieved its commercial operations date this month, reports renewable energy developer and operator EDF Renewables. After successfully completing the final Grid Code Compliance tests, the project has reached commercial... 

Irena guides Botswana govt on its immense renewable energy potential

By: Marleny Arnoldi     27th August 2021 A new report published by the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) has confirmed that Botswana has considerable opportunity to enhance its domestic energy security and increase access to modern energy services. The agency says the country’s significant wind and solar resources, as well... 

Botswana's location on African continent

Steep electricity tariffs cause outcry in Western Cape legislature

By: News24Wire      27th August 2021 Opposition parties in the Western Cape legislature have attacked the City of Cape Town's electricity hike and questioned whether relief to residents will be widened. GOOD general-secretary Brett Herron accused Local Government and Environment MEC Anton Bredell of being a "messenger for the City". 

As Mpumalanga towns plot future beyond coal, workers express pain over mine closures 

By: Terence Creamer     27th August 2021 The Steve Tshwete local municipality, in Mpumalanga, which is at the epicentre of South Africa’s coal industry, is revising its Local Economic Development (LED) strategy to take account of the anticipated closure of coal mines and power stations and create the framework for a more diversified... 

The Komati coal-fired power station, which will be fully decommissioned in 2022
The Komati coal-fired power station, which will be fully decommissioned in 2022

The importance of organisational culture in supporting women

27th August 2021 Project developer G7 Renewable Energies head of development Karen de Bruyn has spoken about the importance of organisational culture in supporting careers for women in previously male dominated sectors. 

An image of Karen de Bruyn the head of development at G7 Renewable Energies
KAREN DE BRUYN The global renewable energy revolution has set in motion new opportunities for women to contribute to the engineering sector

Hydrogen a suitable greener alternative

By: Nadine Ramdass     27th August 2021 South Africa’s Gas Act defines “gas” as natural gas (CH4) and hydrogen (H2). Hydrogen will, in the future, be a suitable substitute for natural gas to support decarbonisation, says South African Oil and Gas Alliance (SAOGA) Gas Economy Leadership Group chairperson Craig Morkel. However, the... 

An image of South African Oil and Gas Alliance (SAOGA) Gas Economy Leadership Group's chairperson Craig Morkel
CRAIG MORKEL Imported LNG can start developing gas market

LNG opportunities abound

By: Nadine Ramdass     27th August 2021 The anticipated decline of Mozambique’s Pande & Temane gasfields creates a need for new sources of natural gas for the local industry, says engineering services consulting firm WSP regional director Martin Mkhabela. “The quickest and most cost-effective option to fill the gap is through the... 

An image of WSP regional director Martin Mkhabela
MARTIN MKHABELA Gas-fired power plants are cost-effective and dispatchable alternatives

Important link between South Africa’s mining industry and its public capital markets is broken

By: Martin Creamer     27th August 2021 With South Africa needing more listings on its stock exchanges, what can be done to encourage companies in general and junior mining companies in particular to go public? A lot of the building blocks are in place. South Africa has a stock exchange that punches way above its weight relative to the... 

Image of Engineering News and Mining Weekly magazine cover

South Africa's GHG emissions increased by 10.4% between 2000 and 2017

By: Schalk Burger     25th August 2021 South Africa’s seventh 'National Greenhouse-Gas (GHG) Inventory' report for 2000 to 2017, released on August 24, shows that emissions have increased by 10.4% over the 17-year period. The report, published by the  Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE), covers sources of GHG... 

Mogajane warns of Budget cuts as expenditure pressures mount to some R105bn  

By: Terence Creamer     25th August 2021 National Treasury director-general Dondo Mogajane is warning that major Budget cuts will be required to offset a range of expenditure pressures that had arisen as a result of recent government decisions, including the 2021/22 wage settlement, which would increase the public sector compensation... 

National Treasury director-general Dondo Mogajane
National Treasury director-general Dondo Mogajane

DMRE outlines timetable for electricity procurement programmes  

By: Terence Creamer     24th August 2021 The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has provided an updated timetable for the implementation of its long-term electricity procurement programmes, which are being pursued in line with a Section 34 Ministerial determination, published in September 2020, and catering for the... 

Photo of workers installing solar panels at a project in South Africa
Photo by Creamer Media
Workers installing solar panels at a project in South Africa

Zimbabwe private power industry held up by currency dispute

By: Bloomberg     24th August 2021 Zimbabwe’s State electricity company is awaiting the outcome of international arbitration in a currency dispute with the country’s biggest private power producer that’s holding up other investments. Nyangani Renewable Energy, which operates solar and hydropower plants in Zimbabwe and Malawi, took... 

Opinion: New issues with amended amended Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act for private power generation

24th August 2021 In this opinion article, law firm Webber Wentzel's Jason van der Poel, Alexandra Felekis and Mzukisi Kota write about uncertainties that remain following the latest amendments to Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act. 

SANEDI develops new strategic plan to address modern energy issues

By: Donna Slater     23rd August 2021 Various challenges in the South African energy sector must be addressed for wider socioeconomic advancement – for which the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) has developed a new strategic plan, positioning it to address key energy sector issues. SANEDI interim CEO... 

South Africa aims to bring pilot carbon capture project online in 2023 

By: Reuters     23rd August 2021 South Africa has started geological mapping at the country's first carbon capture and storage (CCS) site, where it plans to inject vast quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2) deep underground from 2023, a senior Council for Geoscience official said. The project will be based around the town of... 

Outa notes with concern Nersa subcommittee’s recommendation to approve new nuclear capacity

By: Donna Slater     20th August 2021 The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) reports with “extreme concern” that the National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s (Nersa’s) electricity subcommittee has conditionally indicated approval, on August 20, of the government’s proposal that South Africa should build another 2 500 MW of... 

Ability to sell electricity to multiple customers made explicit in updated 100-MW reform amendment  

By: Terence Creamer     20th August 2021 Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe has gazetted an updated version of the amendment to Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act that he first gazetted on August 12. The update, which is dated August 19, makes it clear that electricity sales from sub-100 MW projects, which... 

Photo of Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe
Photo by Creamer Media Chief Photographer Donna Slater
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

DMRE confirms 102 solar and wind bids as renewables procurement resumes  

By: Terence Creamer     20th August 2021 The Independent Power Producer Office (IPPO) has released the project names and technologies bid in response to Bid Window 5 (BW5) of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), the bid deadline for which was August 16. The list released shows that 63 solar... 

A photo of a utility scale solar farm

US moves to secure critical minerals for EV supply chain

By: Darren Parker     20th August 2021 Modern civilisation was built on fossil fuels, with the invention and commercialisation of the internal combustion engine during the 1800s setting the stage for petroleum-based vehicles to be dominant worldwide for the next 150 years. Various oil majors continue to produce huge volumes of oil and... 

Image of Engineering News and Mining Weekly magazine cover

Repower, repurpose plans under way for utility

By: Cameron Mackay     20th August 2021 State-owned power utility Eskom is progressing with plans to repower and repurpose some of its coal power stations, build greenfield power plants with cleaner technologies and invest in necessary grid infrastructure to support these plans. Repowering and repurposing the Komati power station, in... 

Image of the rock statue outside of Eskom's Megawatt Park
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
A JUST ENERGY TRANSITION Eskom is undertaking modelling work to determine the pace of the utility’s transition to use more renewable energy sources to meet decarbonisation targets

Court decision could increase electricity prices, revenue

By: Cameron Mackay     20th August 2021 National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) is appealing a High Court application that State-owned power utility Eskom brought against Nersa last year, which states that Nersa exceeded its boundaries regarding the determination on tariff adjustments requested by Eskom. Energy sector law... 

Image of LNP Attorneys CEO Nikita Lalla
NIKITA LALLA Eskom’s argument is that Nersa had gone beyond its statutory or regulatory regime, and the information it was allowed to consider in determining tariff increases

Energy study on grid capacity to assist Eskom

By: Cameron Mackay     20th August 2021 Stellenbosch University (SU), in the Western Cape, is conducting a study to examine grid capacity and determine ideal locations for renewable-energy projects that will support the grid. The study is funded by global organisation the European Climate Foundation (ECF); SU reports on the results of... 

Image of Stellenbosch Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies Director Professor Sampson Mamphweli
PROFESSOR SAMPSON MAMPHWELI We have plenty of solar resources and wind energy resources in South Africa, and we haven’t exploited the energy storage systems to their fullest

Legislative guidance needed to unlock renewable- energy-storage benefits

By: Cameron Mackay     20th August 2021 The use of renewable energy, such as solar photovoltaic, and exploring energy storage technologies, are integral to balancing the local energy mix in South Africa, including in the domestic and commercial sectors of the country. However, government needs to provide more guidance in terms of... 

Image of a solar energy system roof mounting installed by Valsa Energy
AFFORDABLE ENERGY The reduction in the cost of solar generation technologies will make energy storage more viable locally

Company offers solutions to manage decentralised power systems

By: Cameron Mackay     20th August 2021 The shift to renewable sources of power generation that are decentralised and have to be managed presents opportunities for technology company Hitachi ABB Power Grids to be involved in the local energy sector. Hitachi ABB Power Grids lead sales and marketing manager Stuart Michie states that new... 

Renewables can benefit from repurposed batteries uptake

By: Cameron Mackay     20th August 2021 Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe’s announcement of the opening of Bid Window 5 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) in March this year will result in significant opportunities to use more energy storage technologies locally, says... 

Image of REVOV chief technology officer Felix von Bormann
FELIX VON BORMANN The most ideal chemistry for storing energy is by far the 2nd LiFe EV lithium ferro phosphate cells that we supply

Gauteng ‘day-zero drought’ is South Africa’s biggest near-term climate risk, IPCC scientist warns 

By: Terence Creamer     19th August 2021 A leading South African climate scientist believes a ‘Gauteng day-zero drought’ represents the biggest near-term climate change risk faced by the country, which is poised to become hotter and drier as average global temperatures rise. Francois Engelbrecht, who is a distinguished professor of... 

An image of a drought stricken landscape

South32 posts higher manganese, aluminium output from South African operations 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     19th August 2021 Diversified miner South32 has posted a 21% year-on-year increase in manganese output from its South African mines to 2.26-million tonnes for the year ended June 30. The JSE-, ASX- and LSE-listed miner has a 44% interest in two manganese mines – Mamatwan and Wessels – in South Africa, based in... 

Hillside Aluminium, in Richards Bay
Hillside Aluminium, in Richards Bay

Emissions ‘unavoidable’ even if cleanest coal generation technology is used – report

By: Simone Liedtke     18th August 2021 Dr Ranajit Sahu, an engineer with more than three decades of experience in power plant design, has found that large quantities of greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions are “unavoidable”, even if the cleanest available technology is used for new coal-fired power generation. South Africa’s Integrated... 

UK Climate Investments fulfils commitment, investing R500m in African renewables fund

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     18th August 2021 Pilot investment programme UK Climate Investments on August 18 fulfilled its cornerstone commitment of R500-million to help establish Africa’s first dedicated renewable energy yieldco, which is managed by majority black-owned fund manager Revego Fund Managers. Revego aims to tackle the challenge... 

Committee pleased Sasol is complying with air-quality obligations, Eskom lagging

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     18th August 2021 The Portfolio Committee on Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment says it is generally satisfied with the compliance of chemicals company Sasol with its obligations on air quality; however, State-owned power utility Eskom is not complying with its obligations owing to delays encountered in its... 

De Ruyter outlines green reindustrialisation vision for South Africa 

By: Terence Creamer     18th August 2021 Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter has outlined the case for leveraging South Africa’s transition to green energy to reverse the country’s “vicious cycle of deindustrialisation and unemployment” and to trigger a “virtuous cycle of local demand for local goods to create investment and jobs”. Delivering the... 

Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter

Nersa signals intent to treat sub-100 MW registration as ‘administrative’ process 

By: Terence Creamer     17th August 2021 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) is still analysing the implications that a recent amendment to Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act, exempting grid-tied generation facilities below 100 MW from licensing, will have on its processes, rules and guidelines. However,... 

Photo showing rooftop solar

Engineering bursary launched with a solar PV focus

By: Simone Liedtke     16th August 2021 Solar technology and engineering expert Sola has launched its first engineering bursary. The bursary will pay for the tuition of a final-year electrical engineering student and provide them with a job opportunity as a graduate engineer in the solar photovoltaic (PV) field. 

Sasol’s new 2030 and 2050 decarbonisation targets to be ‘substantially higher’ 

By: Terence Creamer     16th August 2021 South Africa’s carbon-heavy fuels and chemicals group Sasol is poised to announce a “substantially higher” target for the reduction of its greenhouse-gas emissions following an intensive period of financial and organisational restructuring during its 2021 financial year. The JSE-listed group took... 

Photo of Sasol CEO Fleetwood Grobler
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Sasol CEO Fleetwood Grobler

AfDB finalises $20m off-grid recovery platform financing agreements

By: Schalk Burger     16th August 2021 Development finance institution the African Development Bank (AfDB) has reached financial close on financing agreements for a $20-million of concessional investment from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (Sefa) for the Covid-19 Off-Grid Recovery Platform (CRP). The five-year, $50-million CRP... 

New renewable projects should be built in the Western Cape, North West, Free State or Limpopo - Scatec

By: Schalk Burger     13th August 2021 The recent Generation Connection Capacity Assessment (GCCA) report published by State-owned power utility Eskom shows there is limited available capacity for renewable energy capacity to be connected to the Northern Cape grid, says renewable independent power producer Scatec sub-Saharan Africa GM... 

Eskom, W Cape govt welcome amendments giving effect to 100 MW reform

By: Donna Slater     13th August 2021 The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy’s (DMRE’s) August 12 Gazetting of its amendment to Section 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act has been welcomed by State-owned power utility Eskom and the Western Cape provincial government. The amendment permits private electricity generators to... 

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