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Electricity News

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... 

SAPVIA mourns the passing of SAWEA CEO Ntombifuthi Ntuli

By: Schalk Burger     13th August 2021 Industry association the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) mourns the passing of Ntombifuthi Ntuli, the CEO of  fellow industry body the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA). SAPVIA described her death as "a tragic loss of a bold and brilliant leader, who was... 

An image of SAWEA CEO Ntombifuthi Ntuli
Ntombifuthi Ntuli

Li-ion batteries to dominate energy storage market for the foreseeable future  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     13th August 2021 An acceleration in the use of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies and climate change mitigation efforts, growing population numbers and higher electricity demand per capita are all major drivers of electricity market growth and, resultantly, energy storage. To this end, University of the... 

Lithium-ion batteries
Photo by Reuters
Lithium-ion batteries

Alien vegetation, biomass can produce electricity while saving water

By: Schalk Burger     13th August 2021 Biomass from offcuts from commercial plantations, including recycled orchards and vineyards, and cleared invasive, alien vegetation from river rehabilitation projects can be used as an alternative, clean heating solution, says biomass harvesting company African Biomass Company (ABC) founding... 

Eskom's Just Energy Transition initiatives  

13th August 2021 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about power utility Eskom's plans for the repowering and repurposing of the Komati power station as part of a larger just energy transition project and financing plan. 

 	Image of Terence Creamer
Eskom's Just Energy Transition initiatives

Arnot Opco enters into coal supply agreement with Eskom

By: Donna Slater     12th August 2021 JSE-listed coal miner Wescoal reports that Arnot Opco, in which it holds a 50% stake, has entered into a long-term coal supply agreement (CSA) with State-owned power utility Eskom to supply coal from the Arnot mine, in Middelburg, Mpumalanga, for the next ten years. The CSA marks the conclusion... 

Mantashe publishes long-awaited amendments to the Electricity Regulation Act 

By: Donna Slater     12th August 2021 Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe, in an August 12 Government Gazette, published the eagerly awaited amendments to Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act to enable distributed generation plants of up to 100 MW to proceed without first obtaining a generation licence. To... 

An image of Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

Jacobs appointed to modify Koeberg’s secondary turbine system

By: Donna Slater     12th August 2021 NYSE-listed consulting, technical, scientific and project delivery company Jacobs has been appointed to carry out essential engineering modifications as part of a R20-billion programme to extend the operating life of South Africa’s only nuclear power station – Koeberg, in the Western Cape. The... 

an image of Eskom's Koeberg nuclear power plant
The Koeberg power plant

Renewable energy sustainability bound to just transition and positive impacts

By: Schalk Burger     12th August 2021 The sustainability of renewable energy is linked to its long-term positive impact within host communities and close collaboration will help bring about a socially just transition to cleaner energy, says renewable independent power producer (IPP) Scatec sub-Saharan Africa GM Jan Fourie. He adds... 

Renewable energy sector sourcing specialist skills for long-term growth

By: Schalk Burger     11th August 2021 The renewable energy sector is preparing for the August 16 close of submissions for Bid Window 5 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), as well as the next two bidding rounds, by sourcing specialist skills to deliver on renewable energy projects, says... 

South Africa needs to commit to transitioning to net-zero by 2050 – report 

By: Simone Liedtke     11th August 2021 As a country with one of the most emissions-intensive power sectors in the world, and as a nation that is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, South Africa needs to commit to find ways to transition to a net-zero emission economy by 2050, National Business Initiative (NBI)... 

South Africa needs to commit to transitioning to net-zero by 2050 – report

Sixth IPCC climate assessment important for international climate policy – DFFE

By: Schalk Burger     11th August 2021 The sixth assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is an important contribution to enhancing scientific understanding on climate change that must inform international policy at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties... 

Treasury publishes draft renewable energy premium rates

By: Donna Slater     11th August 2021 To allay uncertainties associated with the renewable energy (RE) premium rates of the Carbon Tax Act, the National Treasury has published a new draft RE Premium Notice, proposing the removal of the limitation of the tax period for which the RE premium rates would be applicable. The Carbon Tax... 

Polihali dam construction tender marks start of final water transfer component

By: Schalk Burger     10th August 2021 The Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) says the Polihali dam construction tender process marks the start of the final construction phase of the water transfer component under the second phase of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project and follows on the tender, issued in May, for the... 

Solidarity welcomes investigation into Medupi Unit 4 explosion

By: Schalk Burger     10th August 2021 Trade union Solidarity says it supports State-owned power utility Eskom's investigation following an explosion at Unit 4 of the Medupi coal-fired power station, in Lephalale, on August 8. Eskom had confirmed on August 9 that the unit generator had been severely damaged in the explosion, which... 

Boikanyo Solar comes on line in the Northern Cape

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     10th August 2021 Boikanyo Solar, situated in the Siyancuma local municipality, close to Douglas, in the Northern Cape, started commercial operations earlier this year, having reached grid code compliance on April 9. This project, which took a year to build, is part of a portfolio of six projects owned by the same... 

An image of Boikanyo Solar's project in the Northern Cape
Solar panels

Absa completes R5.2bn debt refinancing for three Globeleq power plants 

By: Schalk Burger     10th August 2021 Independent power producer Globeleq and financial services firm Absa have completed the senior debt refinancing of three of Globeleq's renewable energy power plants in South Africa, the companies said on August 10. The purpose of the refinancing is to enhance the projects’ capital structures,... 

Explosion damages Medupi's Unit 4

By: Creamer Media Reporter      9th August 2021 Power utility Eskom has confirmed that an explosion at the Medupi power station's Unit 4 generator on August 8 has resulted in extensive damage to the generator. Unit 4 had been on a short-term outage since August 6 and the explosion occurred during the displacement of hydrogen with carbon... 

Major new climate report puts pressure on COP26 to ‘consign coal to history’

By: Bloomberg     9th August 2021 A landmark report by climate change scientists released Monday is expected to ratchet up the pressure on world leaders to rapidly end the use of polluting fossil fuels. Some of the most important readers of the 3 949-page report by the United Nations-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate... 

A coal-fired power station owned and operated by South African power utility Eskom

Renewable-energy-focused entity launched to advance uptake in Africa

By: Simone Liedtke     6th August 2021 African Rainbow Energy and Power (Arep) and Absa have launched a new entity, called African Rainbow Energy – an “African-led, world-class, renewable-energy investment platform”. Arep will make an initial investment of assets covering wind, solar photovoltaic (PV) and biomass projects with an... 

LHDA calls for tenders for the construction of Polihali dam and appurtenant works 

By: Natasha Odendaal     6th August 2021 The Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) has called for the submission of tenders for the construction of Polihali Dam and appurtenant works under phase 2 of the multibillion rand bi-national Lesotho Highlands Water Project. Interested and suitably qualified tenderers have until... 

Petrochem giant uses tech for greener fuel

By: Halima Frost     6th August 2021 In April JSE-listed synthetic fuels and chemicals company Sasol announced it will work alongside a consortium comprising multinational chemical company Linde, renewable energy company Enertrag and investment company Navitas Holdings to bid in concept for the production of sustainable aviation... 

An image of a Sasol Chemicals plant
COOL COLAB The collaboration between Sasol and the LEN Consortium will see greener jet fuel and chemicals being produced using Sasol's Fischer-Tropsch technology

Nafcoc appeals to Creecy to reconsider Karpowership South Africa’s EIAs 

By: Simone Liedtke     5th August 2021 The National African Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Nafcoc) is appealing to the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) to reconsider its rejection of the Karpowership South Africa's (SA's) environmental-impact assessment (EIA) applications. The EIAs were... 

Enel contributing to South Africa’s renewable energy industry, communities

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     5th August 2021 Renewable energy company Enel Green Power (EGP) South Africa is contributing to the country’s renewable energy industry, as well as undertaking various initiatives to uplift communities locally, speakers said during a virtual media roundtable hosted by the company on August 5. EGP has 12 wind and... 

Delaying emissions reduction will cost more down the line, climate commission director warns 

By: Terence Creamer     5th August 2021 Presidential Climate Commission executive director Dr Crispian Olver says delaying South Africa’s transition away from coal will only add to the final adjustment costs and will also place the domestic business sector at a competitive disadvantage as other countries implement measures to restrict... 

Photo of coal mining in the foreground with an Eskom power station in the background
Photo by Creamer Media
Coal mining in the foreground with an Eskom power station in the background

South Africa's plans for COP26  

5th August 2021 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about what South Africa is aiming to achieve at the upcoming COP26 climate negotiations, what a just transition could look like for South Africa and the main risks to achieving a successful just energy transition. 

Photo of Terence Creamer
South Africa's plans for COP26

City Power clamps down on illegal connections  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     4th August 2021 Johannesburg utility City Power plans to impose steep fines on those who connect to the Johannesburg power grid illegally, in efforts to recoup non-technical losses that amount to about R2-billion a year. The move also follows the fatal electrocution of two people in Crosby, during which City... 

Business seeks to nudge localisation debate beyond import substitution 

By: Terence Creamer     4th August 2021 Business is aiming to progress ongoing negotiations on the use of local-content regulations to revive manufacturing in South Africa beyond calls for blanket import substitution by identifying specific products or sectors where the country has the competitive advantages in place to increase... 

A photo of a worker welding

Battery Electric delivers on diesel machine conversion tech 

4th August 2021 As investors place greater emphasis on carbon footprints, underground railway control systems manufacturer Battery Electric is ready to assist companies on their decarbonisation journey. Tracy Hancock tells us more. 

Image of Battery Electric diesel machine conversion tech
Battery Electric delivers on diesel machine conversion tech

South African lawmakers plan probe into emergency power contracts 

By: Bloomberg     3rd August 2021 South African lawmakers plan to probe the country’s emergency power procurement program, the bulk of which was won by Turkey’s Karpowership. A program and terms of reference will be drawn up by the Mineral Resources and Energy Portfolio Committee, its chairman, Zet Luzipo, a lawmaker for the... 

From a coal-to-gas conversion to a microgrid factory, Eskom builds Komati’s just energy transaction case 

By: Terence Creamer     3rd August 2021 State-owned electricity utility Eskom is hoping to transform the workshops at the Komati power station – identified as the flagship site for the piloting of a broader ‘just energy transition’ programme that couples decarbonisation with social upliftment – into a factory capable of manufacturing... 

Photograph of the Komati power station
A file photo of the Komati power station, which has generated electricity since 1961

Coal-reliant South Africa is turning to gas power

By: Bloomberg     3rd August 2021 Power failures have become routine in South Africa. At the same time, the country wants to wean itself off the coal that generates more than 80% of its electricity and makes it the world’s ­twelfth‑biggest source of greenhouse gases. Most of South Africa’s power stations are near the end of their... 

Other procurement plans not affected by RMIPPPP deadline delay to end Sept – DMRE  

By: Terence Creamer     2nd August 2021 The deadline for projects selected as preferred bids under the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP) to reach commercial close has been extended to September 30, from an initial deadline of the end of July. However, the Department of Mineral Resources and... 

Photo of Minister Gwede Mantashe
Photo by Creamer Media Chief Photographer Donna Slater
Minister Gwede Mantashe announced the initial end-July commercial-close deadline on March 18

Ongoing decline in Eskom’s coal performance drove another ‘intensive’ period of load-shedding in first half of 2021 

By: Terence Creamer     2nd August 2021 A continuing decline in the performance of the Eskom coal fleet drove yet another “intensive” period of load-shedding in South Africa during the first six months of 2021, when rotational power cuts were implemented for 650 hours, or 15% of the time. A new Council for Scientific and Industrial... 

Photo of an Eskom substation
Eskom substation

Medupi construction complete after 14 years  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     2nd August 2021 The last of six power generation units at the Medupi power station, in Lephalale, is now operational, marking the completion of all building activities on the 4.7 GW project. Construction at Medupi started in May 2007 and the power station has an operational life of 50 years. The last unit was... 

Medupi power station, in Lephalale
Medupi power station, in Lephalale

Kibo forms working relationship with IGES to pursue South African waste-to-energy projects

By: Donna Slater     30th July 2021 Africa-focused energy company Kibo Energy has satisfied all conditions required, and completed an agreement with South Africa-based Industrial Green Energy Solutions (IGES), to jointly develop a portfolio of waste-to-energy projects in South Africa. The companies entered into an agreement to... 

Ramaphosa sees big green economy opportunity in ‘bold’ climate commitment  

By: Terence Creamer     30th July 2021 President Cyril Ramaphosa says it is time for South Africa to “grasp the nettle” and embark on a “transformative path” towards a climate-resilient society both to fulfil its moral obligations in the face of an intensifying crisis, but also to seize the economic and job opportunities that are... 

Photo of President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa
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