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Hydropower News

NGO International Rivers calls on SA not to support Grand Inga scheme

By: Schalk Burger     23rd February 2021 International rivers and river communities rights nongovernmental organisation International Rivers has called on South Africa to withdraw its agreement to offtake electricity from the Inga 3 hydropower project being built in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). South Africa continues to... 

Construction on Inga 3 hydropower project could start by year end, ambassador says

By: News24Wire      17th February 2021 Democratic Republic of Congo's ambassador to Ethiopia and the African Union, Jean Le'on Ngandu Ilunga has hinted that construction on the Inga 3 hydro-power project could start by the end of the year. "We believe in the coming month we will see concrete steps towards implementation. Towards the... 

Filling Ethiopia's Renaissance Dam in July threatens Sudan's security - Minister

By: Reuters     8th February 2021 Any unilateral step by Ethiopia to fill its hydropower project, called the Renaissance Dam, in July would directly threaten Sudan's national security, Sudanese Irrigation and Water Resources Minister Yasser Abbas said on Saturday. Sudan is also proposing a mediation role for the United States,... 

ZRA clarifies stakeholder engagement process, confirms Batoka construction has not started

By: Marleny Arnoldi     2nd February 2021 Binational organisation the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) has reiterated and clarified its Covid-19-impacted stakeholder engagement process amid preparations to start building the multibillion-dollar 2 400 MW Batoka Gorge hydropower project on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. The... 

Scatec acquires SN Power

By: Schalk Burger     1st February 2021 Renewable power producer Scatec on February 1 confirmed that it had received all necessary approvals for its $1.16-billion buyout of SN Power from Norfund and that all suspensive conditions have been met. “This acquisition forms a very important part of our broadened growth strategy, with... 

Moody’s upgrades Enel’s long-term credit rating

By: Donna Slater     25th January 2021 Credit rating company Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded the long-term rating of energy company Enel to Baa1, from the previous level of Baa2, with a stable outlook. The ratings agency has also affirmed the Prime-2 short-term ratings of the subsidiaries Enel Finance International and Enel... 

Three-way talks on Ethiopian dam reach new impasse

By: Reuters     11th January 2021 Negotiations between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt, in a long-running dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Blue Nile, have reached a new impasse, the three countries said on Sunday. "We cannot continue this vicious cycle of circular talks indefinitely," Sudanese irrigation... 

Tembo Power appoints new financial structuring MD

By: Donna Slater     5th January 2021 Africa-focused hydropower developer Tembo Power Holdings (TPH), formerly Tembo Power Limited, has appointed Jacques Barouhiel to lead its financial structuring business as MD. TPH is an independent power producer (IPP) with a focus on small hydropower in sub-Saharan Africa. It holds rights over... 

Proposed 2 400 MW Batoka Gorge hydro scheme to have major impact on adventure tourism  

By: Terence Creamer     2nd December 2020 The main environmental and social impacts of the propose 2 400 MW Batoka Gorge Hydroelectric Scheme (BGHES) on the Zambezi river, including serious negative impacts on adventure tourism and on the habitat of a rare bird species, were highlighted during a virtual stakeholder engagement on... 

Proposed 2 400 MW Batoka Gorge hydro scheme to have major impact on adventure tourism
Batoka Gorge site

Africa’s ‘staggering’ hydropower potential discussed at event

20th November 2020 Hydropower plays a key role in all of the African Development Bank's (AfDB’s) High Five priority areas that are intended to support the continent's achievement of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. This is according to AfDB power systems development director Batchi Baldeh, who... 

Africa’s ‘staggering’ hydropower potential discussed at event
ENERGY EVENT The potential for hydropower in Africa is staggering

Renewables display Covid immunity with record 2020 and strong outlook 

By: Terence Creamer     10th November 2020 New additions of renewable-energy capacity worldwide will increase to a record level of almost 200 GW this year, shrugging off the demand slump that accompanied the Covid-19 crisis and which negatively affected the demand for fossil fuels. In addition, a new International Energy Agency (IEA)... 

Renewables display Covid immunity with record 2020 and strong outlook

Sasol unveils first carbon-offset deal as it seeks yet more projects 

By: Terence Creamer     2nd November 2020 Energy and chemicals group Sasol reports that it has secured more than 100 000 carbon credits in a transaction concluded under the South African Carbon Offset Administration System (COAS), set up to facilitate the listing, transfer and retirement of such credits to offset carbon tax liabilities.... 

Sasol unveils first carbon-offset deal as it seeks yet more projects
The 7 MW Bethlehem Hydro IPP

Ethiopia slams pressure after Trump remark on destroying dam

By: Bloomberg     26th October 2020 Ethiopia slammed international pressure regarding its long-running dispute with Egypt and Sudan over a hydropower dam on the Nile River, after US President Donald Trump suggested Cairo could destroy the dam. “Ethiopia will not cave in to aggressions of any kind,” the office of Ethiopian Prime... 

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... 

Ethiopia says GERD dam will begin generating power in next 12 months

By: Reuters     5th October 2020 Ethiopia's giant new hydropower dam on the Blue Nile will begin generating power in the next 12 months, the country's president said on Monday. “This year will be a year where the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will start generating power with the two turbines," Sahle-Work Zewde said in a speech... 

Ethiopia bans flights over dam for security reasons - aviation chief

By: Reuters     5th October 2020 Ethiopia has banned all flights over its giant new hydropower dam on the Blue Nile for security reasons, the head of its civil aviation authority said on Monday. Ethiopia is locked in a dispute with Egypt and Sudan over its $4-billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which Cairo has said could... 

Solar retains top jobs spot as renewables employment climbs to 11.5m

By: Terence Creamer     29th September 2020 Renewable-energy jobs rose to 11.5-million globally last year, from 11-million in 2018, with the solar photovoltaic (PV) industry retaining its leading position with 3.8-million jobs, a new study shows. The ‘Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review 2020’, published by the International Renewable... 

Solar retains top jobs spot as renewables employment climbs to 11.5m

Cameroon seeking to build $3bn dam to export electricity

By: Bloomberg     18th September 2020 Cameroon will build a $3-billion hydropower plant as part of an ambitious plan to make the central African nation an exporter of electricity by 2035. The 810 MW Grand Eweng project on the Sanaga river, a joint venture between the government and the US-based energy company Hydromine, is the fifth... 

Zambezi River Authority gears up for community consultations on proposed 2 400 MW Batoka Gorge hydro scheme 

By: Terence Creamer     1st September 2020 The Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) is preparing to conduct disclosure meetings with communities in Zambia and Zimbabwe whose land or livelihoods could be affected by the construction of the proposed 2 400 MW Batoka Gorge Hydro Electric Scheme (BGHES), a transboundary project located 47-km... 

Zambezi River Authority gears up for community consultations on proposed 2 400 MW Batoka Gorge hydro scheme
Batoka Gorge Hydro Electric Scheme site

Ethiopia seeks US clarification on reports of planned aid cut

By: Bloomberg     31st August 2020 Ethiopia asked the US government to clarify reports it may withhold about $130-million of aid in a bid to pressure the Horn of Africa nation to review its plans to fill a new dam that have affronted its neighbors. “We have asked for clarification on reports of the United States’ decision not to... 

Sudan and Ethiopia pledge to push for deal on Blue Nile dam

By: Reuters     26th August 2020 Ethiopia's prime minister and Sudan's leadership said on Tuesday they would make every effort to reach a deal on a giant hydropower dam on the Blue Nile that has caused a bitter dispute between Addis Ababa and Cairo over water supplies. Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan failed to strike an agreement on... 

Congo hydrogen plant being considered by European turbine maker

By: Bloomberg     21st August 2020 German turbine makers and natural gas companies are exploring producing green hydrogen in the Democratic Republic of Congo, home to what could become the world’s largest hydropower complex. Should the project go ahead Congo would join Morocco as a potential site for hydrogen production in Africa.... 

Noncarbon future epitomises ideal energy mix

By: Mamaili Mamaila     21st August 2020 In about 2060, the ideal energy mix would be one with only non-carbon sources, such as wind, solar, pumped hydro and hydrogen, says global energy advisory UL. 

Noncarbon future epitomises ideal  energy mix
JAMES TRUDEAU It is “very critical” that Eskom increases its energy storage capacities to support a more diversified energy portfolio

Madagascar solar roll-out to address access issues, reduce fossil fuel dependency

By: Donna Slater     18th August 2020 Renewable energy, real estate and free zone project developer Groupe Filatex is rolling out a series of renewable energy power projects in Madagascar in partnership with Canada-based energy development company Dera Energy as part of its efforts to address a dire electricity deficit, increase... 

Madagascar solar roll-out to address access issues, reduce fossil fuel dependency

World Bank approves $300m for promotion of electricity trade in West Africa

By: African News Agency      30th July 2020 An amount of $300-million has been approved by the World Bank Group from the International Development Association (IDA) credits and grants to support reforms that will help promote electricity trade in west Africa.   In a statement released on Wednesday, the World Bank said the West Africa... 

Run-of-river hydropower partnership extended to Burundi projects

By: Terence Creamer     21st July 2020 Africa-focused independent power producer Tembo Power has announced that its strategic partnership with WK Construction has been extended to the 7.5 MW Dama and 12 MW Siguvyaye run-of-river hydropower projects located in the south-west region of Burundi. WK Construction is already the preferred... 

Run-of-river hydropower partnership extended to Burundi projects
The Kaptis project site in Kenya

Ethiopia starts filling Grand Renaissance dam, minister says

By: Reuters     15th July 2020 Ethiopia has started filling the Grand Renaissance dam, a giant hydroelectric project it is building on the Blue Nile, its water minister said on Wednesday, a day after talks with Sudan and Egypt on the issue became deadlocked. "The construction of the dam and the filling of the water go hand in... 

Talks over Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam remain deadlocked

By: African News Agency      10th July 2020 Negotiations between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia over the filling and operation of the controversial Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) have produced no results after seven straight days of talks, reported Daily News Egypt. According to the report, Egypt’s Ministry of Water Resources and... 

Shift from high- to low-carbon must be systematic and just – Mantashe  

By: Terence Creamer     9th July 2020 South Africa’s Mineral Resources and Energy Minister, Gwede Mantashe, used the platform created by the International Energy Agency (IEA) Clean Energy Transitions Summit on July 9 to stress that South Africa’s shift from a high-carbon to a low-carbon path needed to be both systematic and just.... 

Shift from high- to low-carbon must be systematic and just – Mantashe
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

African countries urged to allocate 25% of stimulus spending to renewable energy 

By: Terence Creamer     8th July 2020 African countries should aim to invest 25% of their Covid-19 stimulus budgets in renewable energy, Sustainable Energy for All CEO Damilola Ogunbiyi said on Wednesday, noting that renewable energy had emerged as the cheapest source of new electricity for most countries on the continent. Speaking... 

African countries urged to allocate 25% of stimulus spending to renewable energy

More than 90% of issues in Nile dam negotiations resolved, AU chief says

By: Reuters     29th June 2020 More than 90% of issues in the tripartite negotiations on the giant Nile dam between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan have been resolved, the African Union Commission Chair Moussa Faki Mahamat said in a statement on Saturday. The African Union has two weeks to help broker a deal to end a decade-long... 

Tussle for control of the Nile escalates as megadam talks falter

By: Bloomberg     18th June 2020 A last ditch attempt to resolve a decade-long dispute between Egypt and Ethiopia over a huge new hydropower dam on the Nile has failed, raising the stakes in what - for all the public focus on technical issues - is a tussle for control over the region’s most important water source. The talks... 

New Africa-focused IPP venture emerges following buy-out

By: Terence Creamer     1st June 2020 A new Africa-focused renewables independent power producer (IPP) has been formed following a buy-out of Building Energy’s Africa and Middle East business by a joint venture comprising Building Energy’s management and Inspired Evolution’s Evolution II Fund. Rebranded Red Rocket and headquartered... 

New Africa-focused IPP venture emerges following buy-out
10MW solar plant in Tororo, Uganda

Why a giant hydropower dam in Africa worries the US, China

By: Bloomberg     22nd May 2020 China and the United Nations backed calls for Ethiopia to resume talks over its plan to begin filling a giant hydropower dam that is opposed by Egypt. Ethiopia wants to flood the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam when the next rainy season begins in July. Egypt insists on having a say in how... 

Place clean energy at the centre of post-Covid-19 recovery efforts – IEA 

By: Terence Creamer     20th May 2020 A new International Energy Agency report forecasts that the world will add 167 GW of new renewables capacity in 2020, a 13% decline when compared with record 2019 renewable-power connections of 192 GW. Besides being the first fall in new additions in 20 years, the Covid-19-induced downward... 

Place clean energy at the centre of post-Covid-19 recovery efforts – IEA

Herbert Smith Freehills releases guide to assist green energy developers

By: Donna Slater     12th May 2020 Professional services firm Herbert Smith Freehills says Africa-focussed developers and sponsors in the renewable energy market can fast-track project development and enhance bankability by using development funds (DFs). The firm lays out the plans and their benefits in a newly launched renewable... 

DMRE to test market appetite for 2 500 MW of small nuclear reactors  

By: Terence Creamer     7th May 2020 The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) told lawmakers on May 7 that the development of a roadmap for a 2 500 MW nuclear new build programme would commence soon and that the market would be tested for “robust funding options”. A request for information would be issued to assess... 

DMRE to test market appetite for 2 500 MW of small nuclear reactors
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe
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