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Electricity News

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

Ramaphosa unveils infrastructure, jobs plan after Covid-19 hit  

By: Reuters     15th October 2020 South Africa will roll out a big infrastructure spending programme and large-scale employment stimulus to revive an economy that was ailing even before the coronavirus crisis, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday. Unveiling a Covid-19 economic recovery plan in parliament, Ramaphosa said the... 

Ramaphosa unveils infrastructure, jobs plan after Covid-19 hit
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Standard Bank continues to increase exposure to renewables, move away from coal

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th October 2020 Standard Bank has released its interim Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures report, highlighting that environmental, social and governance aspects remain at the centre of the bank’s agenda of driving sustainable and inclusive growth in Africa. Sustainability head Wendy Dobson... 

Standard Bank continues to increase exposure to renewables, move away from coal

Landmark court judgment enhances Eskom's collection efforts

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th October 2020 The South Gauteng High Court has affirmed Eskom’s right to interrupt, or terminate, electricity supply to nonpaying customers. The case was brought against Eskom by Pioneer Foods, in which the packaged goods company sought to review and set aside Eskom’s decision in 2018 to interrupt... 

Landmark court judgment enhances Eskom's collection efforts

SAPVIA joins forces with European solar association to realise opportunities

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th October 2020 The South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) and the European association for solar SolarPower Europe has joined forces to unlock the potential of solar power and ensure that South Africa reaps the economic and societal benefits of renewable energy. Both associations have been... 

78 MW Bokamoso solar park begins commercial operations

By: Terence Creamer     14th October 2020 Another large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) project procured under the fourth bid window of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) has entered into commercial operation. The fourth bid window eventually closed in 2018, following a four-year... 

78 MW Bokamoso solar park begins commercial operations
The 78 MW Bokamoso Solar Park

Renewable energy tool to assist household applications

By: Donna Slater     13th October 2020 Energy company Total and cloud computing company Google Cloud have pooled their expertise to jointly develop an innovative tool – Solar Mapper – which aims to accelerate the deployment of solar panels for individuals. The business-to-consumer tool works by providing an accurate and rapid... 

Renewable energy tool to assist household applications

Solar ‘new king’ of electricity, but shift to net zero will require ‘unwavering efforts from all’ 

By: Terence Creamer     13th October 2020 The International Energy Agency (IEA) has declared solar the “new king” of electricity, arguing that, while renewables technologies as a whole are poised for rapid growth over the coming several decades, solar will be “at the centre of this new constellation of electricity generation... 

Solar ‘new king’ of electricity, but shift to net zero will require ‘unwavering efforts from all’

Sasol tax break, subsidy support boosts pollution, group says

By: Bloomberg     13th October 2020 Sasol got a R8.1-billion profit boost last year thanks to the country’s fuel subsidies and its exemption from a South African carbon tax, according to the International Institute for Sustainable Development. In a report, the institute says that Sasol’s proprietary coal-to-fuel technology is a... 

Sasol tax break, subsidy support boosts pollution, group says
The Secunda coal-to-liquids plant in Mpumalanga.

Eskom yet to decide next steps after Nersa publishes reasons for 2019 RCA decision

By: Terence Creamer     12th October 2020 State-owned electricity utility Eskom says it is reviewing the detailed reasons for decision published by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa), in which it outlines why the utility was granted a R13-billion regulatory clearing account (RCA) balance for the 2019 financial year... 

Eskom yet to decide next steps after Nersa publishes reasons for 2019 RCA decision

Growing determination for municipalities to build, procure own electricity  

9th October 2020 There is a growing determination among some municipalities to begin building and procuring their own electricity to reduce their dependence on Eskom. Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer unpacks the prospects in this regard. 

Growing determination for municipalities to build, procure own electricity
Growing determination for municipalities to build, procure own electricity

De Ruyter: Benefits of Eskom maintenance to be felt by April 2021, but power cuts won't be over

By: News24Wire      9th October 2020 The effects of Eskom's maintenance programme - which is expected to ease the risk of load-shedding- would be felt by April next year as the power utility works to ensure the long-term sustainability of its infrastructure, its CEO Andre de Ruyter said on Thursday. "We anticipate that by April next... 

De Ruyter: Benefits of Eskom maintenance to be felt by April 2021, but power cuts won't be over
Photo by Donna Slater
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter

Opinion: Black-blade mitigation – a new and exciting mitigation for wind turbines to reduce impacts to birds of prey

9th October 2020 In this opinion piece, ecologist, environmental consultant and conservation biologist Dr Rob Simmons writes about black blade mitigation can help wind farms to prevent thousands of bird deaths each year. The renewable energy industry promises green energy that comes with numerous benefits to the... 

Opinion: Black-blade mitigation – a new and exciting mitigation for wind turbines to reduce impacts to birds of prey
Photo by Bjorn Iuell
The black-blade set up on a cloudy day in Norway. The black-blade (far turbine) is little different to the shadow cast by the all-white blades in the foreground.

Eskom implementing five-step turnaround plan, says De Ruyter

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     8th October 2020 As part of State-owned utility Eskom’s turnaround strategy, it is implementing five urgent and interdependent priorities, Eskom Group CE André de Ruyter told delegates on the second day of the virtual Joburg Indaba on October 8. Firstly, the utility is aiming for operational stability, which... 

Eskom implementing five-step turnaround plan, says De Ruyter
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
André de Ruyter

Energy expert calls for RMIPPPP overhaul to facilitate cheaper, cleaner emergency power 

By: Terence Creamer     8th October 2020 Energy expert Clyde Mallinson is calling on government to urgently overhaul its Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP), which he says not only fails to address the country’s immediate electricity needs, but will also lock in dirty and expensive energy for the... 

Energy expert calls for RMIPPPP overhaul to facilitate cheaper, cleaner emergency power
Clyde Mallinson

World Bank forecasts ‘weak’ recovery for South Africa from Covid-19 

By: Terence Creamer     8th October 2020 The World Bank expects South Africa’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic to be weak relative to most other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, forecasting an economic expansion of only 2.6% in 2021 on the back of a massive 7.2% contraction this year. In its latest ‘Africa’s Pulse’ publication, the... 

World Bank forecasts ‘weak’ recovery for South Africa from Covid-19
Photo by Creamer Media
World Bank highlights power reforms in South Africa to reduce dependence on Eskom
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