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1,3-million new electricity connections in Africa
Progress on substations in Kenya
Cote d’Ivoire plans new hydro scheme
Ethiopia-Kenya interconnection
Morocco focuses on wind and hydro energy
Burkino Faso expansion project
Thermal power station for Swaziland
Zambia – Kabompo growth project… (more)


by Chris Yelland, managing director, EE Publishers
Within a few weeks, Judge Kgomo of the South Gauteng High Court will rule on whether Eskom must hand over certain documents requested by Media 24 in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act that would reveal details of secret pricing deals with BHP Billiton that have long been held to be confidential. However the matter may not end here, but could be heading for the Constitutional Court… (more)

by Chris Yelland, managing director, EE Publishers

In recent months and at various venues Eskom has been lobbying and punting the view that a new dispensation and enabling environment is required for the utility to secure the cheap and abundant supplies of coal needed for its current and future fleet of coal-fired power stations. When pressed for details, Eskom officials become a little coy. But stripping aside the euphemisms, what Eskom is saying is that, in the light of higher global demand and world market prices for even the low-grade coal used in Eskom power stations, the utility is having difficulty matching these prices and contracting on a voluntary basis with the coal miners to secure its medium and long-term coal supplies… (more)

by Chris Yelland, managing director, EE Publishers

Get The Daily EE News free – a round-up of local and international news and information in the energy, power, electricity, electronics, measurement, automation, computer, telecomms and geographic information science sectors. The Daily EE News organises information and links shared by EE Publishers on Twitter into an easy-to-read newspaper-style format. Simply bookmark to view The Daily EE News at any time, or click the Subscribe button on The Daily EE News to receive a two-line plain-text email reminder and link when The Daily EE News is published each day at 12 noon. The Daily EE News is also archived daily, to enable you to view all back issues… (more)

by Chris Yelland, managing director, EE Publishers,

Once again, public sector governance issues, and battles between the CEO, the board and the responsible minister have rocked South Africa. Eskom, SAA, Transnet, the SABC… and now, in the latest saga, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA). On 15 November 2010, Chairperson Cecilia Khuzwayo indicated that the regulator had suspended its CEO, Smunda Mokoena, for “alleged gross transgression of NERSA’s code of conduct”. Whilst official spokesman Charles Hlebela would not be drawn on the specifics, an article in The Times on 15 November went a step further, quoting a source alleging that that “quite recently he (the CEO) chaired a meeting completely drunk”, and that “he had a drinking problem that was getting out of hand”… (more)

by Chris Yelland, managing director, EE Publishers,

This article was first published on 12 November 2010 in Critical Thinking Forum, a supplement to the Mail & Guardian,

In a world of rising energy demand, natural gas as a low carbon energy solution is playing an increasingly important role in many countries. Natural gas is more energy efficient and environmentally friendly than other fossil fuels, but is in relatively scarce supply in South Africa. Given its environmental benefits and the need to diversify and secure energy supply, what is the role of natural gas in meeting electrical energy demand in South Africa, and what building blocks are needed today to establish a vibrant gas industry for South Africa in future?… (more)

by Mike Rycroft, editor of Energize

This article was first published in Critical Thinking Forum, a supplement to the Mail & Guardian,

Three announcements in the last few weeks have created new hope that the long-awaited renewable energy (RE) programme will get underway, namely: the request-for-information on renewable energy projects from the Department of Energy (DoE); the announcement by the minister of energy of the establishment of a solar park in the Upington area; and the release of the draft integrated resource plan for electricity (IRP2010) for public comment… (more)

Cigré stands for “International council on large electric systems”. It is a body of experts whose primary focus is the dissemination of information for the good of the electrical power transmission industry. The issues facing Cigré are, due to the nature of its activities, issues facing the power transmission and distribution industry as a whole. This editorial hopes to summarise some of these issues… (more)

Celebrating 150 years in the country this year, Siemens is turning it eyes towards South Africa’s future beyond 2010. As a frontrunner in its commitment towards the environment, South Africa plays a key role for Siemens in the development of the African continent. “We have built a sustainable business based on 150 years of strong relationships with our South African customers and we are striving to expand our partnership with the countries of Southern Africa,” says Stuart Clarkson, CEO of Siemens Southern Africa, on the occasion of the company’s anniversary festivities… (more)

by Chris Yelland, EE Publishers

There has been some criticism of the lack transparency and inadequate time allowed for effective stakeholder engagement in the 20-year Integrated Resource Plan for Electricity (IRP 2) currently under development by the Department of Energy (DoE) in South Africa (Energize, May 2010 issue, page 15).

Many stakeholders and interested parties may wish to be involved but may not be aware of the stakeholder engagement process currently in progress, of the DoE website at where information and documentation on the process may be obtained, and of the tight time-lines involved… (more)

by Chris Yelland, EE Publishers
On 16 April 2010, Fin24 sent out a report that may have startled some, and sent shudders through ideological die-hards within the Tripartite Alliance.
The article was apparently based on discussions with Eskom’s new finance director, Paul O’Flaherty, and human resources director, Bhabhalazi Bulunga. It stated that “Eskom is planning a major restructuring, which could involve a partial privatisation and a major shake-up of its labour force”, and that “the company may be split up, and certain of its assets privatised, in a similar fashion to that of arms utility Denel”.
The very same day, this was promptly and vehemently denied in a press release from Eskom’s media desk, in which O’Flaherty is quoted as saying that “Eskom is looking at standardising and streamlining its systems and processes across the business. We have had no discussions about reducing our workforce and have not made any changes to our labour policies”. The press release stated categorically that Eskom has no plans of restructuring as outlined in the Fin24 article.
Two apparently contradictory reports? Let’s take a closer look at the three pillars of Eskom’s business – generation, transmission and distribution – to try and understand what’s actually going on here… (more)

by Chris Yelland, EE Publishers

After gazetting a flawed and widely criticised 3-year interim electricity integrated resource plan (IRP 1) on 31 December 2009, well after Eskom had submitted its initial (45% pa for 3 years) and revised (35% pa for 3 years) multi-year price applications to NERSA in the second half of 2009, the DoE is now franticly working on the long overdue real thing – a 20-year national integrated resource plan for electricity (IRP 2) as required in terms of the National Energy Act of 2008, the Electricity Regulation Act of 2006, and the Electrical Regulations on New Generation Capacity of 2009… (more)

by Chris Yelland, EE Publishers

It’s official – we’ve got the loan. And from the limited information available at this time it appears that it is unconditional, this despite the lack of support from significant shareholders of the World Bank. It has been reported that the USA, UK, Italy, Norway and Netherlands abstained from voting on the loan application.

The award will come as a great relief to the government, the ANC, Eskom and those concerned about security of supply in South Africa through the construction of the 4800 MW Medupi coal-fired power station, scheduled to start coming on stream in 2012. The loan will ensure that there should be no delays to Medupi as a result of funding issues… (more)

by EE Publishers staff reporter
Various media have already reported Anglo American CEO Cynthia Carroll as saying that Anglo would consider investing in a power station if necessary. Fin24 has reported sighting documents showing that Anglo is being considered as an investor in Kusile, the R142-billion coal-fired power station being built near Delmas, in which Eskom is seeking a 30% to 49% private equity partner, although this has since been denied. Now the Anglo website has officially announced its study for the construction of a new coal-fired power station using circulating fluidised-bed combustion technology. What will be next?… (more)

by EE Publishers staff reporter

There’s been a lot of media coverage of the pending World Bank loan of US$3,75-billion for Eskom. According to analysts, it is unlikely that the loan will not be granted. But who is the World Bank, how does it make its decisions, and what are the stakes?

The current funding shortfall for Eskom’s new build programme (Medupi, Kusile and Ingula) will only partially be met by the World Bank loan, and one must not lose sight of what funding is still to be secured, namely: the $3,75-billion (R27-billion) World Bank loan itself; the R8,5-billion additional borrowings required as per MYPD2; the cash shortfalls of R14-billion and R7,9-billion as per MYPD2; a price increase of some R17-billion for Medupi in coming years; and R20- to R40-billion private equity funding for Kusile. This gives a total current funding shortfall of R94- to R114-billion!… (more)

If you haven’t measured energy before, take a minute to understand how it differs from volts and current. When we talk about the “energy” supplied by the utility, we’re talking about two primary components: power and demand. Power, kW, is commonly measured in watts (W), which indicate the rate With energy costs getting higher, many facilities are trying to reduce their energy consumption. Most have not previously analysed their monthly energy usage. And until you understand how you’re using energy, it’s hard to make smart decisions on how to reduce consumption. at which energy is expended in one second… (more)

Many companies are beginning to consider the carbon consumption of their ongoing operations and realising that data centres are significant contributors to the environmental burden of business and industry. Research by APC-MGE and others is showing that efficiency varies widely across similar data centres, and – even more significant – the actual efficiencies of real installations are well below the practical achievable best-in-class values. A mathematical model that accurately represents the workings of a specific data center, and accepts as inputs the IT load, outdoor weather statistics, etc., could be used effectively in an energy management program… ( more)

Companies rely on a UPS to deliver continuous power without any disruption to their business, a maintenance plan is a critical component in ensuring that a UPS minimises the risks of downtime and performs as expected. Implementing a preventive maintenance service plan for a UPS is much like completing routine repairs and inspections on a vehicle. Not only is completing scheduled maintenance recommended by every auto manufacturer, but the findings can help detect a wide range of ailments before they become serious issues. In the same way, preventive maintenance helps ensure the ongoing integrity of the UPS… (more)

In view of Eskom’s current network expansion at 765 kV, it was necessary to address occupational exposure of substation workers to electric fields, particularly in 765 kV substations with busbar height of 12 m. This paper reports on the assessment of 50 Hz electric field levels that substation workers may be exposed to in 765 kV open air substation.It was found that at 12 m busbar height, at 800 kV line voltage, the maximum calculated electric field, 21,9 kV/m, exceeds the International Commission for Non-ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) reference level (20 kV/m) at two locations covering a small area… ( more)

Apollo is the inverter end of the Cahora Bassa HVDC scheme. It is situated in RSA while the rectifier is at the Songo Station 1414 km to the North in Mozambique. The present rating of the HVDC link is 1920 MW at ±533 kV. In 2006 Eskom placed a contract with ABB for the replacement of eight six-pulse converters and two AC filters, while retaining the old transformers and the DC yard equipment including smoothing reactors. A basic requirement was that renewed equipment should not become obsolete as the Cahora Bassa HVDC link has the potential to be uprated to 3960 MW using the present full current rating of the line and extending the voltage to ± 600 kV DC… (more)

Dr.Willie-de-BeerADAM , the Approach to Distribution Asset  Management, aims to identify and develop strategies to address maintenance, refurbishment and funding gaps, and also provides EDI Holdings with a plan that covers every aspect of distribution asset management.
Mike Rycroft, editor of Energize, interviews Dr. Willie de Beer, CEO of EDI Holdings on the status of ADAM… (more)

As you know, my principal aim since shuffling off this mortal coil all those years ago is to prevent my friends, and even executives, from amassing chains of guilt and regrets, of keys, padlocks, cash-boxes and heavy purses by showing them the error of their ways. So I recently felt obliged to visit, in the dead of night, a well-known senior executive in the industry and take him to see the three customary ghosts. Not the ghosts of christmas, of course, but it was cold and dark nevertheless… (more)

Doug_KuniIf there are not sufficient megawatts under construction, the problem will not go away – irrespective of how much we talk. We can mitigate the extent to which we feel the pain, by means of the PCP (Power Conservation Program, where large users must cut 10% or face penalties), and energy efficiency measures such solar heaters, light bulbs etc. But that will not make the problem go away. And economic growth will be proportional to the new megawatts coming on stream. So why aren’t there sufficient megawatts under construction?… (more)

There is an enormous dormant energy potential in the desert regions on our Earth’s solar belt, where the sun is available for power generation for over 4800 hours a year, equivalent to more than three times the total annual insolation in Germany. Within six  hours the desert regions receive more energy from the sun than mankind consumes within a year. An area measuring 300 x 300 km fitted with parabolic mirrors would be sufficient to meet the world’s entire power demand. The Desertec concept describes sustainable power supply for Europe, the Middle East and Northern Africa based on renewable energy sources. The power is to be generated by solar thermal power plants primarily located in Northern Africa and by wind farms off the coast of Northern Africa and northern Europe… (more)

The expressive eyebrows that underline the towering forehead are a bit more unruly but as impressive as ever, questioning, prodding and encouraging. His ever-present hands with their long, fingers, now gnarled as if to emphasise each point, gesture as he expounds on his thoughts and ideas in all-encompassing arcs. There is nothing small about him. His blue eyes pierce directly into the soul of his interlocutors and his soft, almost drawling voice, persuasive and convincing as ever, belies the steely resolve of his Scottish ancestry. Ian Campbell McRae is eighty now, but the former Eskom Chief Executive has lost none of the determination that saw him build the company into a world class utility, bring electricity to all South Africans and lay the foundations for a Southern African Grid… (more)

It is an incontrovertible fact that ever since that marvellous invention of that genius Faraday and that somewhat strange man Tesla, and that loud Yankee from Menlo Park, electricity has been harnessed for the greater good of man – and dare I say it, womanhood. Economies rise and fall not so much by the rise and fall of empires any longer, but by the price of electricity; nowhere more so than in a country that thrives on mines and heavy industry, smelters and furnaces. It is therefore all the more disturbing – disappointing? – in any case, outrageous, the way the price of electricity in your beloved country has escalated of late… (more)

The National Electricity Response Team (NERT) has issued a communication brief is to update key electricity customers and stakeholders on the status of the power conservation programme (PCP) and to recap on its purpose and key objectives. It also summarises the latest decisions and short term plan. It is the first in a series of communication messages that will be distributed to keep key customers and stakeholders informed…(more)

Audio cast: Listen to Dr. Pat Naidoo on the dream of low-cost renewable energy for Africa (MP3 file)

Audio cast: Listen to Dr. Pat Naidoo on the harsh reality of global resource business and DRC politics (MP3 file)

Westcor CEO Dr. Pat Naidoo

Dr. Pat Naidoo

At an executive business briefing hosted by the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE) on Friday 31 July 2009, Dr. Pat Naidoo, CEO of the Western Power Corridor Company (Westcor), provided a sad update on the dream of a pan-African project to harness the renewable hydro-electric energy resources of Central Africa for the benefit of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the wider African continent … (more)

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