Weekly projects and energy updates in South Africa

Sky is the limit for opportunities in renewable energy market

The global solar industry is a fascinating sector. For a technology that is essentially fairly simple relative to other sources of electricity generation, the growth in solar power generation globally has been phenomenal.

The solar market in the UK, Europe and Asia Pacific has begun to mature, leading to a secondary market for new investments as these assets change hands. At the same time, new installations are on the rise in Africa, South America and the Indian subcontinent. 

Business Day, 17 March 2017

South Africa is not about to turn its back on power from coal

On the day last week that the High Court in Pretoria found that the climate change effects of a proposed new coal-fired power station had been inadequately considered, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) announced its intention to take action to stop job losses in the coal sector.

This followed protest action two weeks ago by coal truck drivers who nearly brought Tshwane to a halt. They were protesting against renewable energy because their livelihood depends on transporting coal to coal-fired power stations and they had heard that four such power stations were to be closed. 

Business Day, 17 March 2017

Joburg mayor replaces City Power board

On Thursday, Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba made the decision to replace the entire board of City Power and many of the city’s utilities nonexecutive directors. The mayor has previously indicated the he wants to reincorporate service delivery bodies under the city's jurisdiction and this may be the first step in this direction.

According to Business Day: "Mashaba promised that as part of his election platform that he would reincorporate the service delivery entities, which exist as stand-alone companies, back into the city’s structure."

ESI Africa, 17 March 2017

Eskom collaborates with CDC for nuclear new build

On Tuesday, South African power utility, Eskom, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Coega Development Corporation (CDC) to support the nuclear new build programme, SA News reported.

Under the MoU, the two state-owned companies will work together in support of government's plans to build local capacity through supplier development and localisation around the unfolding infrastructure for the nuclear programme. 

Eskom's Group Executive for Group Capital, Abram Masango, commented: "We are gearing ourselves up in preparation for the nuclear new build programme in order to deliver the project within the set timelines and budget.”

ESI Africa, 17 March 2017

Zimbabwe seeks new electricity deal but owes Eskom US$40m

Zimbabwe is negotiating a new deal to continue importing power from South African utility Eskom to make up for shortfalls in generating capacity at its Kariba hydropower station, the energy minister said on Monday.

In January last year Eskom agreed a one-year deal to sell up to 300 MW of capacity to Zimbabwe, which was facing biting shortages of electricity caused by low water levels in the Kariba dam. Generation capacity fell to a low of 275 MW from 750 MW, causing widespread blackouts.

Samuel Undenge told reporters after a meeting between Eskom and state power utility ZESA Holdings that the two utilities were still discussing how much Eskom would supply to Zimbabwe, adding that imports would be paid for upfront.

Business Day, 13 March 2017