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Hydropower News

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

Mantashe seeks comment on draft regulations enabling municipalities to buy own power  

By: Terence Creamer     6th May 2020 Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe has released, for public comment, draft amendments to the Electricity Regulations on New Generation Capacity that would enable municipalities “in good financial standing” to develop or procure their own power generation. In a statement,... 

Mantashe seeks comment on draft regulations enabling municipalities to buy own power
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

Renewable energy law proves 20 years success

1st May 2020 Since the introduction of the German Renewable Energies Act (EEG), the share of renewable energy in gross power consumption in Germany has continually increased from 6.2% in 2000 to 42.1% in 2019.  

Renewable energy law  proves 20 years success
INEVITABLE POWER In Germany, regenerative energies are the number one power source

Debt funders appointed for 15 MW Kenya hydropower project 

By: Terence Creamer     16th April 2020 Africa-focused independent power producer Tembo Power, of Mauritius, has announced the appointment of two senior debt financiers – the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) and Finnfund – for its 15 MW Kaptis hydropower project in Kenya. The $44-million run-of-river project is located near... 

Debt funders appointed for 15 MW Kenya hydropower project
Tembo Power has a portfolio of ten projects across Kenya, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo

South African private equity firm teams up with IPP to develop 14.7 MW hydro plant in Kenya 

By: Terence Creamer     7th April 2020 South African private equity firm teams up with IPP to develop 14.7 MW hydro plant in Kenya South African private equity fund manager Metier has signed an agreement with Tembo Power, of Mauritius, for the joint development of the 14.7 MW Kaptis project, a run-of-river hydropower project near the... 

South African private equity firm teams up with IPP to develop 14.7 MW hydro plant in Kenya
The 5.25 MW Sindila hydropower project, in Uganda.

Privatisation slowly becoming reality

By: Tracy Hancock     20th March 2020 The type of participants attending this year’s Power & Electricity World Africa & The Solar Show are proof that Africa seeks to become less reliant on governments for its electricity supply, says event organiser Terrapinn Power & Electricity World Africa conference producer Caroline Mubima.... 

Privatisation slowly becoming reality
DRIVEN DISCUSSION The growing adoption of electric vehicles is one trend expected to dominate discussion at Power & Electricity World Africa 2020

Africa can develop on low-carbon growth path

By: Tracy Hancock     20th March 2020 Choosing between a low-carbon future and Africa’s economic growth is a false dichotomy, as these goals do not need to be in competition, says independent power producer Pele Energy Group founder Fumani Mthembi, a speaker at this year’s Power & Electricity World Africa. “The global investment... 

Africa can develop on low-carbon growth path
SUNNY DISPOSITION The global investment sector is increasingly more interested in funding renewable-energy projects, such as solar farms, as opposed to coal projects

Collaboration needed in electrical sector

By: Tracy Hancock     20th March 2020 South Africa’s entire electrical sector needs a “shake up” and a lot more collaboration, Electrical Conformance Board of South Africa (ECBSA) MD Peter Pedrick has learnt since taking up his position in May last year. Historically, South Africa was internationally recognised for its effective... 

Collaboration needed in electrical sector
FIRE STARTER There has been a significant rise in fire damage in South Africa over the past ten years amid a lack of regulation policing and governance

Re-engineering of coal sector skills needed

By: Tracy Hancock     20th March 2020 The South African renewable-energy sector will not have an adequate pipeline of competent individuals to train if it does not endeavour to re-engineer the skills of workers in the Limpopo and Mpumalanga coal mining regions, South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre (Saretec) director Naim... 

Re-engineering of coal sector skills needed
Jacobs Transport strives to be a reliable and ethical company, providing its clients with the most efficient services possible.

IRP to be reviewed frequently, says DMRE

By: Kim Cloete     3rd March 2020 The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) says it has started with its work to implement the Integrated Resources Plan (IRP) 2019 from a policy and regulatory point of view. A Section 34 determination is needed to operationalise the IRP 2019, which supports a diverse energy mix. 

IRP to be reviewed frequently, says DMRE

Ethiopia asks US to postpone final talks on Blue Nile dam

By: Reuters     26th February 2020 Ethiopia has asked the United States to postpone what was expected to be the final round of talks on the giant Blue Nile hydropower dam, it said on Wednesday, delaying the potential resolution of a dispute that sparked a years-long diplomatic crisis. "We have asked that we need more time for... 

Nigeria clears hurdle for Africa’s second-biggest hydro plant

By: Bloomberg     21st February 2020 Nigeria will build the second-largest hydroelectric plant in Africa after the government settled a legal dispute that was delaying the project, Power Minister Sale Mamman said. “We have now overcome the major problem stopping this project and it is nearly over,” Mamman said in an interview in... 

As South Africa prepares to resume renewables procurement, new global report points to rising popularity of auctions 

By: Terence Creamer     21st February 2020 As South Africa prepares to restart its electricity procurement programmes, following a five-year hiatus, the global popularity of competitive auctions as the preferred instrument for procuring renewable energy has again been highlighted in a newly released report. Published by the International... 

As South Africa prepares to resume renewables procurement, new global report points to rising popularity of auctions

Uganda says Chinese firm applies to build $1.4bn power plant on the Nile

By: Reuters     12th February 2020 A Chinese firm has applied to Ugandan authorities for a licence to develop a $1.4-billion hydropower plant that could potentially expand the country's generation capacity by 40% according to a regulatory official and papers seen by Reuters. The firm, POWERCHINA International Group Limited (PIGL),... 

South Africa to fast-track continental infrastructure projects

By: Bloomberg     10th February 2020 South Africa will fast-track four continent-wide infrastructure projects in which it’s involved, including a $14-billion dam on the Congo river, President Cyril Ramaphosa said as the country assumed the chair of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa. The country will drive the Inga III power... 

DRC to benefit from rise in global copper demand  

By: Kim Cloete     5th February 2020 Canadian mining company Ivanhoe Mines chairperson Robert Friedland is capitalising on the rising need for more copper globally, with a mission to restore the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC's) position as the number one producer of copper metal in the world. Friedland told the 2020 Investing... 

DRC to benefit from rise in global copper demand
Ivanhoe Mines chairperson Robert Friedland addresses the Investing in African Mining Indaba. Video and editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Spain's ACS withdraws from Inga 3 hydro project in Congo

By: Reuters     22nd January 2020 Spain's ACS is withdrawing from the multibillion-dollar Inga 3 hydroelectric project in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the company said on Tuesday, dealing a further setback to plans to develop Africa's largest hydro plant. A consortium led by Actividades de Construccion y Servicios signed a... 

Malawi seeking a strategic investor for 350 MW hydropower plant

By: Marcel Chimwala     17th January 2020 The Malawi Government is seeking a strategic investor to develop the 350 MW Mpatamanga Hydro Power Plant on the Shire River, which is estimated to cost US$472-million.   

Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan agree to US-brokered deal over Nile dam

By: Bloomberg     16th January 2020 Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan said they reached an agreement on the operation of a giant dam on a Nile tributary, a sign of easing tensions in the region. The countries issued a joint statement along with the US and World Bank, which had participated as observers at meetings in Washington this week.... 

Zimbabwe power utility in talks with Afreximbank on debt plan

By: Bloomberg     13th January 2020 Zimbabwe’s State electricity utility is in talks with the African Export–Import Bank to help clear $70-million of arrears it owes power producers in neighbouring South Africa and Mozambique. Zesa Holdings needs to repay the debt to avoid having supplies shut off. Zimbabwe relies on imports... 

Zimbabwe power utility in talks with Afreximbank on debt plan

Ethiopia seeks mediation over Nile dam deadlock with Egypt

By: Bloomberg     13th January 2020 Ethiopia’s Prime Minister asked South Africa’s President to intervene in the Nile dam deadlock between Egypt and his country. The three countries and neighboring Sudan are being hosted by the US Treasury for negotiations in Washington on Monday. 

Ethiopia warns of last chance to reach agreement on $5bn dam

By: African News Agency      10th January 2020 Ethiopia has warned of a “last chance” to reach an agreement on the filling and operation of the $5-billion dam being built by Addis Ababa (the country’s commercial and cultural hub) on the Nile.  According to Anadolu Agency (AA), Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan have been in talks on the Grand... 

Renewable-energy projects well under way

By: Darren Parker     13th December 2019 Construction on several Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) fourth bid window projects are well under way. The REIPPPP fourth window bids include 12 wind farms, 12 solar photovoltaic (PV) projects, a biomass project, a mini-hydro project and a concentrated... 

Renewable-energy projects well under way
BLADE RUNNING About half of the turbine components had been delivered to Kangnas and Perdekraal Wind Farms in October

Success of renewables programme continues

By: Darren Parker     13th December 2019 Over the past eight years, the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) has attracted about R209.4-billion in committed private-sector investment, with the successful fourth window bids being valued at about R56-billion. South African companies, such as... 

Success of renewables programme continues
WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY 27 preferred bidders signed agreements last year and their respective renewable energy projects are well underway

Additional renewable energy development zones proposed

13th December 2019 The second phase of the Strategic Environmental Assessment for wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) energy in South Africa proposes three additional renewable energy development zones for wind and solar PV energy projects. The renewable energy development zones support the responsible implementation... 

Additional renewable energy development zones proposed
RENEWABLE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT ZONES The Phase 2 proposed zones support the responsible implementation of the Integrated Resource Plan 2019

Water project underway and making progress

13th December 2019 Last month, the official ground-breaking function for Phase II of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) took place and was attended by Kingdom of Lesotho Minister of Water Samonyane Ntsekele and South Africa Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu. “Implementing Phase... 

Water project underway and making progress
DAM BIG PROJECT The site of the 2.3-billion-cubic-metre Polihali dam

Environmental studies essential to REIPP success

By: Darren Parker     13th December 2019 In most renewable-energy independent power producer (REIPP) project cases, environmental sensitivities can be successfully avoided if developers embrace advice given by environmental consultants during the environmental impact assessment (EIA) stage. This enables developers to better ensure that... 

Environmental  studies essential  to REIPP success
NOT WINGING IT Embracing the advice given by professional environmental consultants early on can lead to the avoidance of many environmental issues

Zambia's power supply deficit worsens as water levels sink

By: Reuters     12th December 2019 Zambia's electricity supply shortage increased to 810 MW in November from around 750 MW in September, State power firm Zesco said on Thursday, adding it would quickly commission new power plants to plug the gap. Africa's second-biggest copper producer has seen electricity supply dwindle due to... 

Uganda's Umeme gets $70m loan for national grid expansion

By: Reuters     12th December 2019 Umeme, the Ugandan power distributor, said on Thursday it has secured $70-million in a syndicated loan to fund infrastructure upgrades and grid expansion. The loan was agreed with the World Bank's private lending arm IFC, South Africa's Standard Bank and Dutch development bank FMO. 

Water levels at world’s biggest dam sink to two-decade low

By: Bloomberg     10th December 2019 The Kariba dam has plunged to its lowest level since 1996, raising further risks to the hydropower plants that Zimbabwe and Zambia depend on for nearly half of their power. Water levels at the world’s largest man-made freshwater reservoir that straddles the two countries, fell to 10% of usable... 

Victoria Falls shrink to a trickle, feeding climate change fears

By: Reuters     6th December 2019 For decades Victoria Falls, where southern Africa's Zambezi river cascade down 100 metres into a gash in the earth, have drawn millions of holidaymakers to Zimbabwe and Zambia for their stunning views. But the worst drought in a century has slowed the waterfalls to a trickle, fuelling fears that... 

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