Wind power producers complain to NERSA about Eskom

The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) has lodged a complaint with the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) against Eskom’s public refusal to enter into power-purchase agreements with independent power producers.

The association says this refusal is in violation of determinations by Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson relating to government’s renewable-energy IPP procurement programme.

In the event that Eskom is found guilty, SAWEA has requested that NERSA impose the maximum legislated penalty of 10% of Eskom’s annual daily turnover for each day that Eskom continues to delay the programme.

Business Live, 17 October 2016

Renewables cheaper than coal - CSIR

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and energy experts have called for the Department of Energy to factor in the latest research on renewables that shows that solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind energy are 40% cheaper than coal, before it approves and publishes the latest Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).

The IRP was scheduled to be presented to the Cabinet last week but was postponed. The CSIR on Monday released a report that shows a drop in the cost of energy generated from wind and solar PV technologies since the submission of bids for window 1 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme on November 4, 2011. 

Tobias Niemz, head of the CSIR's Energy Centre, said such an update needed to be included in the IRP before it is gazetted.

Business Day, 19 October 2016

Eskom forges ahead with nuclear project

Eskom is forging ahead with nuclear procurement despite the absence of an updated energy blueprint while also defying the government on signing power purchase agreements with independent power producers (IPPs).

South Africa's new nuclear-build programme is highly contested terrain, shrouded in secrecy and the subject of court action instituted by non-governmental organisations, the Southern African Faith Communities' Environment Institute and Earthlife Africa Johannesburg.

There is disagreement between Eskom, the Department of Energy and other stakeholders over the timing and scale of new nuclear power and the role of independent power producers.

Business Day, 20 October 2016

Enel expects renewables to prevail in South Africa despite current uncertainty

Enel Green Power South Africa country manager William Price says he is “surprised” by Eskom’s current resistance to signing power purchase agreements (PPAs) for new renewable-energy projects in light of the undeniable success of the competitive-bidding model pursued by the Department of Energy (DoE), which has stimulated ZAR194 billion worth of investment and facilitated a dramatic fall in solar and wind prices.

Enel Green Power is the renewable-energy unit of Italian energy group Enel, which has conventional and renewables operations in more than 30 countries and across four continents. In South Africa, the company has successfully bid 12 onshore wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) projects into the country’s much-vaunted Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). The projects have a collective capacity of 1.2 GW.

Engineering News, 20 October 2016

Eskom executive upbeat about entity’s performance

Eskom customer service operations GM Marion Hughes on Thursday highlighted the many achievements of the power utility in the past year, including the fact that it has not had the need to load-shed for a year.

Speaking at the yearly South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry convention, she added that, in the first six months of its 2016/17 financial year, Eskom achieved 101 067 electricity connections. “We are well on our way to 800 000 connections in the next three years,” she noted.

Meanwhile, Hughes pointed out that the Ingula pumped storage scheme – the largest of its kind in Africa – was on track for the fourth unit to be brought into operation.

Engineering News, 20 October 2016