Weekly projects and energy updates in South Africa

German-backed initiative to help increase use of solar energy in industrial processes

The South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) and the Southern African-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SAGCCI) announced last month that they had teamed up for the international Solar Payback project, which aims to increase the use of solar thermal energy in industrial processes through a variety of inter-related initiatives.

Supported by the German Federal Environment Ministry and funded by the International Climate Initiative, the three-year project, which started in September last year, will be implemented in South Africa, India, Mexico and Brazil. It is coordinated by the German Solar Association (BSW-Solar) and 11 partner organisations.

Facilitators from Germany include research institute Fraunhofer ISE, the German Investment & Development Corporation and communications and market research agency solrico.

Engineering News, 3 March 2017

Freight firms reject energy projects

Road freight companies that transport millions of tonnes of coal to Eskom power stations annually called on President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday to reverse a decision to press ahead with additional renewable energy projects.

Coal Transportation Forum chairman Steven Mokwana said if the president failed to do this, up to one million direct and indirect jobs would be at stake.

Truck drivers belonging to 52 affiliates of the forum disrupted traffic in Pretoria as they converged to march on the Union Buildings in protest against Zuma’s announcement that the government was committed to the Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme.

Business Day, 2 March 2017

Nearly £1 trillion to be invested in nuclear energy globally over 20 years

It is estimated that, over the next 20 years, more than £930 billion will be invested in expanding civil nuclear energy capacity worldwide. This was affirmed by UK Secretary of State for International Trade Dr Liam Fox in his keynote address at the Civil Nuclear Showcase 2017 in London, on Tuesday. He also pointed out that more than 20 nuclear markets were represented at the Showcase.

“Nuclear power is an industry with a truly global reach,” he highlighted. “As we speak, there are 447 commercial reactors operating in 31 countries across the world, meeting around 11% of global electricity demand. Yet this is only the beginning – there are currently another 60 reactors under construction, and plans for many more.”

The UK alone had a highly skilled and qualified nuclear workforce of more than 65 000, and the country’s nuclear new build programme was expected to increase the nuclear workforce by at least another 40 000. “The nuclear industry is a key wealth creator in the UK, supporting tens of thousands of jobs and raising our international profile,” he stated.

Engineering News, 1 March 2017

Deadlock broken between Eskom and IPPs, Joemat-Pettersson insists

Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson says the “deadlock has been broken” between Eskom and the renewable-energy independent power producers (IPPs), with the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) confirming its willingness to consider an application from the state-owned utility should the connection of IPP projects have implications for its financial sustainability.

Speaking at an Economic Sectors, Employment and Infrastructure Development Cluster briefing in Cape Town on Tuesday, Joemat-Pettersson said there had been “several engagements” with Eskom and the Department of Public Enterprises on the impasse in the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).

The programme, which according to the cluster chairperson Gugile Nkwinti has unlocked ZAR200 billion in investments and created more than 115 000 jobs, was thrown into uncertainty in 2016 after Eskom announced that it would not sign power purchase agreements (PPAs) for projects selected during the fourth bid window before receiving guidance from national government.

Engineering News, 28 February 2017

Solar energy saves costs in South African retail sector

Johannesburg-based Vukile Property Fund has stated that through dedicated energy efficiency projects, it has saved nearly three million kWh of electricity, equivalent to over ZAR3 million (US$231 000) in costs.

The Property Fund owns a direct retail-focused portfolio in South Africa and an indirect portfolio of Real Estate Investment Trust.

CEO of Vukile Property Fund, Laurence Rapp, stated that energy efficiency has been an emphasis across the company’s retail-focused portfolio, because of the multiple benefits it provides.

ESI Africa, 28 February 2017

The above reflects a summary of certain news articles published during the preceding week. It is not an expression of opinion in respect of each matter, nor may it be considered as a disclosure of advice by any employee of Hogan Lovells.