Eskom begins phase two of energy efficiency programme

Eskom will be distributing a further 10 million energy-saving lamps in all nine provinces up to end of March 2017.

This follows a successful campaign in which 64 million energy-saving lamps were distributed around the country since 2006‚ the electricity parastatal said on Saturday.

Business Day, 13 February 2016

South Africa "should pursue shale gas opportunities", report suggests

South Africa has the potential to become a major unconventional gas producer‚ according to a new World Energy Council report launched at the Africa Gas Forum.

However‚ to take advantage of these opportunities‚ the study says that South Africa needs to take three key actions: plan infrastructure and ensure water management is taken into account; build local expertise and provide financial incentives such as tax incentives.

Business Day, 15 February 2016

Smaller hydro projects fill a power gap – panel

The mass deployment of often-overlooked mini, or small-scale, hydropower projects to complement existing energy generation in Africa emerged as a key theme during a panel discussion at the Africa Energy Indaba in Sandton on Tuesday. 

A panel, comprising four industry proponents, agreed that, with increasingly complex financing options and growing concerns around the environmental impact of large hydropower projects, smaller projects of less than 20 MW could fill a critical gap in electricity generation on the continent.

Engineering News, 16 February 2016

France promotes its nuclear expertise to South Africa

The French government is building its case for supporting South Africa’s nuclear build programme, with a visit to South Africa by the Special Envoy of the French President for the nuclear partnership, Dr Pascal Colombani.

He met with South African government officials and industrial leaders this week to advocate the benefits of French expertise, with the French government hoping South Africa will consider it as a partner in its proposed nuclear build programme.

Engineering News, 17 February 2016

Green technology uptake slow in Africa owing to risk to jobs

While it makes economic and environmental sense for African governments to adopt green energy technologies at a macro level, the continent is reluctant to do so as green technologies are currently not economically viable for households or individuals, says the Sam Tambani Research Institute’s Dr Martin Kaggwa.

He explained that governments and green energy stakeholders needed to acknowledge that the roll-out of green technologies would have unintended consequences on the continent’s workforce, as most jobs in this sector were still hypothetical. “We know these green technologies create new jobs, but it also destroys jobs [as] it cannot absorb all employees from traditional energy-creating sectors.”

Engineering News, 17 February 2016

South Africa seeks US$250 million from BRICS bank to build power transmission lines

South Africa has asked the BRICS New Development Bank for US$250 million of funding to connect new power plants to the national grid, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said on Wednesday.

If approved, the money would be used to build transmission lines connecting solar and wind power plants to a national grid, Patel said, as Africa's most industrialised economy turns to green energy to diversify away from coal.

Reuters, 17 February 2016