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Electricity News

Grid could be under pressure with succession of cold fronts, Eskom warns

By: Simone Liedtke     20th July 2021 Following a warning from the South African Weather Service that a succession of cold fronts is expected to sweep across the country this week and going into the weekend, State-owned Eskom is appealing to the public to reduce electricity use as the cold conditions “will put severe pressure on the... 

Carbon emissions to reach record levels in 2023 as stimulus spending fails to match net-zero ambition  

By: Terence Creamer     20th July 2021 The financial resources allocated by governments globally to clean-energy measures in response to the Covid-19 crisis currently represents only 2% of the $16-trillion in total fiscal support set aside for economic stimulus, the International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) new Sustainable Recovery... 

Photo of IEA executive director Fatih Birol
IEA executive director Fatih Birol

Ethiopia says second filling of giant dam on Blue Nile complete

By: Reuters     20th July 2021 Ethiopia has completed filling the reservoir of its huge dam on the Blue Nile river for a second year and the plant may start generating power in the next few months, a minister said on Monday, a move that has already angered Egypt and Sudan. Addis Ababa says the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam... 

ArcVera Renewables sets up office in Cape Town

By: Simone Liedtke     19th July 2021 Wind, solar and energy storage project consultancy and technical services provider ArcVera Renewables has set up a permanent office and new subsidiary company in Cape Town, strengthening its six-year local presence to offer and meet the growing renewable energy ambitions of South Africa and... 

Pic/Image of ArcVera Solar and wind operations South Africa

Cape Town electricity outages the work of syndicates, Eskom says

By: News24Wire      16th July 2021 Recurring vandalism of Cape Town electricity infrastructure could be the work of syndicates, Eskom believes. The vandalism of Eskom kiosks in Eerste River has left customers without electricity supply for the second time in less than a month, the power utility said in a statement. 

ATI provides Malawi solar PV plant with liquidity support

By: Schalk Burger     16th July 2021 Insurance agency African Trade Insurance (ATI) Agency has provided the 60 MW Salima solar photovoltaic (PV) plant, in Malawi, with a revolving liquidity guarantee that can be drawn following any payment delays by the national offtaker, namely the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom).... 

SIDS fast-tracks infrastructure- boosting projects

16th July 2021 As part of the Sustainable Infrastructure Development System (SIDS) methodology launched last year, the government announced 50 projects, along with 12 special projects, that the methodology has already been applied to. These projects were fast-tracked for implementation along with all regulatory... 

INTERCHANGE Transport sector has 15 SIDS projects across the country
INTERCHANGE Transport sector has 15 SIDS projects across the country

The coolest, and now greenest, place in KZN

16th July 2021 Food logistics company iDube Cold Storage (iDube), based at Dube Tradeport, King Shaka International Airport in KwaZulu-Natal, handles a large amount of frozen goods, both imported and for export, daily. With a storage capacity of 12 000 t, and with most of the frozen items stored being... 

A photo of SolarSaver's solar panels installed installed on a roof
STAYING ON TOP SolarSaver approached iDube with the intent to educate and inform the company about solar energy

Manufacturer provides solutions for distance learning

By: Cameron Mackay     16th July 2021 Educational engineering equipment manufacturer and importer Amtec Techniquip has developed new products to assist in local distance learning at a time when learners cannot physically access their engineering learning institutions. “Two trends we’ve been adapting to are the integration of... 

Opinion: Inclusive process now vital to define a collective electricity industry vision

15th July 2021 In this opinion article, Energy Intensive User Group CEO Fanele Mondi says that, although reforms allowing for higher levels of own generation will make a significant difference, there is also an urgent need for South Africans to collectively shape the future of the electricity supply industry... 

An image of Fanele Mondi, the CEO of the Energy Intensive User Group

IEA report points to growth in global electricity demand this year

By: Donna Slater     15th July 2021 The International Energy Agency (IEA) expects global electricity demand to rebound strongly this year and next. Electricity demand decreased by about 1% in 2020, but is expected to grow by 5% this year and by 4% in 2022, a new IEA report shows.  

Eskom starts forum to strengthen relations with strategic suppliers

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     15th July 2021 To strengthen its relationship with its strategic suppliers, State-owned power utility Eskom has introduced the Strategic Supplier Engagement Forum, with the first session held virtually on July 15. Addressing the supplier forum, which was attended by 29 suppliers, Eskom group CE André de Ruyter... 

New initiative launched to raise awareness on key role of power grids in Africa 

By: Terence Creamer     15th July 2021 The RES4Africa Foundation, an Italian non-profit organisation that promotes the development of renewable energy on the continent, has launched a Grids4Africa initiative to support the development of the transmission and distribution networks needed to raise levels of renewables deployment and... 

An image of power lines

DMRE continues to monitor safety, security of energy and mining sectors

By: Simone Liedtke     15th July 2021 The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) continues to monitor the safety and security of the energy and mining sectors amid ongoing acts of looting, destruction in violence across South Africa, but particularly in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede... 

AfDB sustainable energy fund secures $90m in new funding

By: Schalk Burger     15th July 2021 The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (Sefa), managed by development finance institution the African Development Bank (AfDB), approved seven high-impact projects worth $54-million in 2020, the fund's 2020 Annual Report shows. The fund also attracted increased donor funding and secured... 

Nedbank leverages additional tier one instruments to help drive a net-zero economy

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     14th July 2021 To strategically finance the transition to a net-zero economy, financial services provider Nedbank has once again approached the investment market to raise ‘use-of-proceeds’ green finance, this time through the issuance of the first listed green additional tier one instrument by a financial... 

Consortium unveils plans for zero-emission Eastern Cape e-methanol plant 

By: Terence Creamer     14th July 2021 An agreement for the development of a greenfield facility in Humansdorp, in the Eastern Cape, to manufacture zero-carbon e-methanol for sale locally and for export has been concluded by a consortium comprising Earth and Wire, ENERTRAG South Africa and 24Solutions. The proposed facility will... 

Image of an ENERTRAG green hydrogen facility in Germany
An ENERTRAG green hydrogen facility in Germany

Affected parties invited to comment on Eskom’s latest ash, gypsum disposal proposal

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th July 2021 The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment has published, for comment, a draft amendment report on a proposed ash and gypsum co-disposal facility owned by State-owned power utility Eskom. The Integrated Environmental Authorisation initially issued by the department in 2015 has... 

Steel giant to harness green hydrogen, renewables to produce zero-carbon steel

By: Terence Creamer     14th July 2021 Steel group ArcelorMittal has signed an undertaking with the Spanish government in support of a €1-billion plan to construct a green hydrogen direct reduced iron (DRI) plant and a new hybrid electric arc furnace (EAF) at its facility in Gijón, in Asturias, as part of a pioneering move to... 

An image of flat steel being rolled

AfDB provides $6m grant to launch West Africa desert-to-power programme

By: Schalk Burger     13th July 2021 Development finance institution the African Development Bank (AfDB) has provided a $6-million grant to the West African Power Pool (WAPP) to conduct prefeasibility studies for the construction of the Sahel Transmission Backbone that will link regional solar parks in five countries that contribute... 

Trina Solar expands into South Africa with new distribution facility

By: Simone Liedtke     13th July 2021 Solar photovoltaic (PV) and energy solutions provider Trina Solar will be launching a new distribution facility in South Africa. The expansion, the company says in a statement on July 13, comes as a step that further “caters to the company’s overarching expansion strategy to grow in the region”. 

An artist's impression of Trina Solar's new distribution facility.

Shell expresses concern over RMIPPPP delays as it confirms Karpowership SA partnership  

By: Terence Creamer     13th July 2021 Shell South Africa country chairperson Hloniphizwe Mtolo has confirmed that the energy group is the exclusive supplier of liquified natural gas (LNG) to Karpowership SA, whose three projects, totalling 1 220 MW, were named in March as preferred bidders under government’s Risk Mitigation... 

Photo of Shell South Africa country chairperson Hloniphizwe Mtolo
Shell South Africa country chairperson Hloniphizwe Mtolo

Cape storm could cause lengthy power outages, warns Eskom

By: News24Wire      12th July 2021 Severe winter weather in the Western Cape poses a threat to Eskom's network, the power utility warned on Monday. In a statement, Eskom said strong winds, extreme cold and heavy rainfall could affect electricity supply, potentially leaving some customers with prolonged periods without power. 

Despite tailwinds, South Africa’s recovery could fade into ‘another lost decade’ without reforms 

By: Terence Creamer     12th July 2021 The World Bank expects South Africa to grow by 4% in 2021, supported by the strong global economic recovery from Covid and favourable commodity prices. However, the bank also warns that the medium-term outlook remains uncertain and will depend largely on whether the country is able to implement... 

Image of large mining vehicles at an iron-ore mine
Commodity prices supporting South Africa rebound

Eskom remembers former chairperson Dr Ben Ngubane

By: Donna Slater     12th July 2021 State-owned power utility Eskom has conveyed its “heartfelt” condolences on the death of former chairperson Dr Ben Ngubane, who succumbed to Covid-19-related illness on the morning of July 12.   Ngubane joined the Eskom board of directors as a nonexecutive director on December 11, 2014, and was... 

Photo of Eskom's former chairperson Dr Ben Ngubane
Photo by Creamer Media
Dr Ben Ngubane

Botswana woos Chinese investors as lenders shun coal projects

By: Bloomberg     12th July 2021 At a time when funding for fossil fuel projects is drying up, Botswana is racing to develop six new coal mines and a rail link for exports, with the government prepared to put its own money into the projects. The southern African nation, the world’s second-biggest diamond producer, has more than... 

Schneider’s Africa president joins Res4Africa in green energy drive

By: Marleny Arnoldi     9th July 2021 Nonfprofit think tank Res4Africa Foundation has appointed technology company Schneider Electric’s Middle East and Africa president Caspar Herzberg to its executive committee. Res4Africa has, since 2012, been promoting a green energy transition in Africa and appointed Herzberg for four years to... 

Ivorian engineer wins Royal Academy award for biowaste innovation

By: Schalk Burger     9th July 2021 Côte d'Ivoire chemical engineer Noël N’guessan has won the Royal Academy of Engineering’s 2021 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation. He developed biowaste equipment for smallholder farmers in West Africa to efficiently manage and generate income from biowaste. 

Benefits of licence exemption depend also on expedited effort from enviro, water departments

By: Marleny Arnoldi     9th July 2021 Now that the licence exemption threshold for self-generation has been extended to 100 MW, it encourages the development of a robust embedded energy sector, says law firm Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr (CDH). CDH says the risks to South Africa’s energy security, in addition to the economic impacts of... 

Giant dam is messing up water in Africa even before it is filled

By: Bloomberg     9th July 2021 As Ethiopia begins diverting 13.5-billion cubic meters of water from the Blue Nile river to its controversial new megadam, residents of Sudan to the south fear a repetition of last year’s devastating drought. The second stage of filling the $4.5-billion reservoir is ratcheting up tensions between... 

Another hurdle in embedded generation licensing exemption saga  

9th July 2021 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe's latest update on amendments to be made to Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act to lift the licensing-exemption threshold for embedded generation... 

Image of Terence Creamer
Another hurdle in embedded generation licensing exemption saga

Drone and NDT firm join forces

By: Halima Frost     9th July 2021 Materials testing and inspection service provider Dekra Industrial has joined forces with aerial solutions and drone services company Sky Africa Drones to offer a drone inspection service that combines the technologies of high scope non-destructive testing (NDT) systems with the manoeuvrability... 

The use of drones to conduct non-destructive testing on taller installations and hard to reach areas is even more possible
SKY HIGH The use of drones to conduct non-destructive testing on taller installations and hard to reach areas is even more possible

Range standardised for mining and construction

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     9th July 2021 In 2020 Atlas Copco Power Technique announced the launch of its PAC H centrifugal pump range, which consists of four models, for high-pressure applications. The pumps have been designed to reduce downtime, prolong the life span of the equipment used in an application and save operational costs.... 

The company’s high head pumps range comprises the PAS dry prime pump and the VAR wet prime pump.
CATERS FOR ALL The company’s high head pumps range comprises the PAS dry prime pump and the VAR wet prime pump.

Kyalami receives energy performance certificate

By: Schalk Burger     8th July 2021 The Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit and International Convention Centre has received its energy performance certificate with a rating of B, says South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) energy efficiency and corporate communications GM Barry Bredenkamp. “The facility is... 

Mantashe 'grapples' with difference between a permit and licence as 100-MW reform drafting nears completion  

By: Terence Creamer     7th July 2021 Mineral Resource and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe says that a revised amendment to Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act, reflecting an increase in the licence-exemption cap from 1 MW to 100 MW, will be finalised within the coming week and will be shared with The Presidency “so that we... 

Photograph of Mineral Resource and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe
Mineral Resource and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

Business alliance joins appeal against DFFE’s Karpowership EIA rejections  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     7th July 2021 The West Coast Black Business Alliance (WCBBA) has come on board alongside other organisations to appeal the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment’s (DFFE’s) decision to not approve Karpowership South Africa’s environmental-impact assessments (EIAs) for three powership... 

Green Climate Fund contributes $170m to African energy access programme

By: Marleny Arnoldi     7th July 2021 The board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) has approved $170.9-million in financing for the African Development Bank’s (AfDB’s) Leveraging Energy Access Finance Framework (LEAF) programme. The programme aims to unlock commercial and local-currency financing for decentralised renewable energy... 

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