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Hydropower News

EU grants Zambia $69m for energy projects

By: Reuters     20th January 2017 The European Union (EU) has given Zambia about $69-million to expand electricity supply in the continent's second biggest copper producer, which faces a power deficit that has hit mining and agriculture. In a statement, the EU said the grant would fund projects to provide access to reliable and... 

Tanzania seeks $200m World Bank loan to clear arrears of State utility

By: Reuters     16th January 2017 Tanzania is seeking a loan of $200-million from the World Bank for debt-ridden state power supplier Tanesco, the country's energy ministry said on Monday, two weeks after the president refused to allow the utility to hike prices to cover costs. President John Magufuli wants cheap electricity to... 

Eskom’s delay in approving PPAs could cost country 15 000 jobs – Sarec 

By: Ilan Solomons     19th December 2016 The South African economy is in jeopardy of losing 15 000 possible jobs, associated with 26 Department of Energy- (DoE-) approved renewable energy plants, if State-owned power utility Eskom does not follow through with its legal obligations to finalise power purchasing agreements (PPAs) with the... 

Sawea considers legal options to get Eskom to sign PPAs

By: Kim Cloete     2nd November 2016 The South African Wind Energy Association (Sawea) is considering legal options in a bid to get Eskom CEO Brian Molefe to sign power purchase agreements (PPAs) for round four of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). Sawea says 26 projects totalling... 

Sawea considers legal options to get Eskom to sign PPAs

Final Ingula unit synchronised to grid

By: Terence Creamer     31st October 2016 Electricity producer Eskom has confirmed that Unit 3 at the 1 332 MW Ingula pumped-storage scheme, in the Drakensberg, was synchronised to the national grid on October 29, making it the fourth and final 333 MW unit to be synchronised at Ingula. Unit 3 was previously synchronised on March 6, 2016,... 

Final Ingula unit synchronised to grid

South African IPP pioneer laments the ‘dampening effect’ of Eskom’s refusal to sign PPAs 

By: Terence Creamer     28th October 2016 A South African developer of medium-sized hydropower projects is increasingly turning its attention to regional opportunities, largely because of the hydrological potential to the north of the border, but also because of the prevailing uncertainty domestically about the future of the country’s... 

South African IPP pioneer laments the ‘dampening effect’ of Eskom’s refusal to sign PPAs
Renewable Energy Holdings CEO Anton-Louis Olivier

Eskom and Cahorra Bassa threaten to pull the plug on Zimbabwe 

By: Reuters     21st October 2016 Zimbabwe has been given two months to pay its bills for power from South African power utility Eskom and Mozambique’s Hydro Cahora Bassa, HCB. Zimbabwe imports at least 30 percent of its power and owes Eskom about R250-million and HCB about R126-million. 

Lake Kariba dam wall structural rehabilitation to commence in February 2017 

By: African News Agency      7th October 2016 Work on the long-awaited rehabilitation of the Kariba Dam wall, which hosts the giant Kariba Hydro-Electric Station that generates electricity for Zimbabwe and Zambia is set to commence in February 2017, the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) has announced. Addressing journalists in the southern... 

Water dept revisiting climate change, hydropower policies

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     15th September 2016 With ongoing water restrictions across the country, the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) is revisiting its policies on hydropower and the effect climate change has on the water sector. South Africa has been struck by drought conditions over the last two years, which has had a significant... 

Water dept revisiting climate change, hydropower policies

Renewables investment in 2015 more than covers global power demand growth for first time

By: Terence Creamer     14th September 2016 A new report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) states that global electricity sector investment rose 4% to a record $682-billion in 2015 – a year when overall investment in the energy sector fell to $1.8-trillion, from $2-trillion, mainly as a result of lower oil and gas investment. The... 

Renewables investment in 2015 more than covers global power demand growth for first time

World Bank advises Zambia to stop power and fuel subsidies

By: African News Agency      6th September 2016 The World Bank has advised the Zambian government to cut its expenditure bill by dropping a fuel and power subsidy programme which gobbles nearly $600-million in public funds from the treasury annually. In its latest country-focused cost-cutting advisory report, the global financial institution... 

Third Ingula unit enters into commercial operation 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      31st August 2016 Unit 1 of Eskom’s Ingula pumped storage scheme entered into commercial operation on Tuesday, with the three units now in operation contributing nearly 1 000 MW to the national grid. “The commercial operation of Unit 1 is further proof that we are well on our way to ensure security of power supply... 

Third Ingula unit enters into commercial operation

Eskom under fire as Ingula costs said to balloon to R36bn 

By: News24Wire      22nd August 2016 Eskom’s board is facing calls to appear before Parliament with documents relating to the Ingula pumped storage scheme, which has allegedly seen costs spiral from R8.9-billion to R36-billion. On July 27, President Jacob Zuma unveiled the first of four turbines at Ingula, which is on the border of... 

Exxaro eyes more renewables

By: Natasha Odendaal     18th August 2016 Following the success of its entry into renewable energy through a 50% wind farm joint venture (JV) with Tata Power, diversified miner Exxaro Resources is exploring further opportunities in clean energy. Independent power producer (IPP) Cennergi had marked its first income generation following... 

Exxaro eyes more renewables
Photo by Duane Daws
Exxaro CEO Mxolisi Mgojo

Nontransparent development plans leave Free State community in lurch

By: Dylan Slater     12th August 2016 Relocated families and local residents of farms bordering State-owned power utility Eskom’s newly constructed Ingula hydroelectric power scheme have been left in the dark about how the power utility plans to develop the area.  

Phase II update: Polihali dam construction expected in 2019

By: Nadine James     29th July 2016 Construction of the Polihali dam – an integral part of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) Phase II – is expected to begin in 2019.  The Polihali dam, Polihali-Katse transfer tunnel and other infrastructural aspects of the LHWP Phase II should be completed by 2024. Once Phase II is... 

Phase II update: Polihali dam construction expected in 2019
ONTO PHASE II To date, five contracts have been awarded for various elements of the advance infrastructure works

Eskom hints at earlier Ingula completion as it marks start-up of first unit 

By: Terence Creamer     27th July 2016 With the first 333 MW unit, Unit 4, of Eskom’s Ingula pumped-storage scheme officially in commercial operation, the State-owned utility has expressed optimism that the full 1 332 MW, four-unit peaking plant will be completed ahead of its official timeline of July next year. Unit 4 was officially... 

Eskom hints at earlier Ingula completion as it marks start-up of first unit
Photo by Duane Daws
A reflecion of an Eskom employee in the control room window looking out on to the Ingula access tunnel

Financing and legal frameworks key for successful renewables projects in Africa

By: Anine Kilian     19th July 2016 Less than 30% of renewable energy projects in Africa reach financial close, with the development process highlighted as the riskiest part of the development cycle, according to advisory firm Castalia Africa practice leader Patrick Longmire. “Renewable energy project development is expensive and... 

Financing and legal frameworks key for successful renewables projects in Africa

Temporary power plants an immediate solution to energy challenges

     8th July 2016 Temporary power plants represent an immediate, reliable, scalable and cost-efficient solution to Southern Africa’s power concerns, says large-scale power solutions provider Altaaqa Global Cat Rental Power marketing manager Robert Bagatsing. 

Temporary power plants an immediate solution to energy challenges
ORANGE RIVER South Africa’s hydropower stations on the river have also been affected by drought

S Africa still reliant on coal, struggling to transition to low-carbon economy 

By: Anine Kilian     29th June 2016 South Africa is the twelfth-greatest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the world, as well as the biggest polluter on the African continent, according to German political foundation Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) South Africa director Renate Tenbusch, speaking at a roundtable event on black... 

S Africa still reliant on coal, struggling to transition to low-carbon economy

Ingula power station’s unit 4 goes into commercial operation

By: African News Agency      13th June 2016 The first unit – unit 4 – of the Ingula pumped-storage power station on the escarpment of the Little Drakensberg mountain range straddling the border of KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State has come into commercial operation, Eskom said on Sunday. Eskom’s group capital division handed over the unit... 

Ingula power station’s unit 4 goes into commercial operation

Electricity connections rise to 85.5% – Stats SA

By: News24Wire      3rd June 2016 Eskom took credit for accelerating the number of households connected to the electricity supply, after Stats SA revealed on Thursday that levels increased “consistently from 77.1% in 2002 to 85.5% in 2015”. This as Stats SA also revealed that electricity generation increased by a relatively small... 

Electricity connections rise to 85.5% – Stats SA

Piano key weir solutions investigated at ICOLD 2016

By: Simon Sonnekus     27th May 2016 The investigation into the structural behaviour of piano key weirs was put under the spotlight at the 2016 annual International Commission on Large Dams Meeting (ICOLD), which was held at the Sandton Convention Centre from May 15 to 20. Speaking at the eighty-fourth edition of the meeting,... 

Piano key weir  solutions investigated  at ICOLD 2016
PIANO KEY WEIRS The rectangular keys are made with sloped bases, which guide flow over and away from the crest of the weir

Tricky hydro scheme checks completed

By: Simon Sonnekus     27th May 2016 Difficult-to-complete inspections, high up at a water-storage scheme, in KwaZulu-Natal, were easily completed within the allotted time using  rope access.  Rope access solutions provider Skyriders marketing manager Mike Zinn notes that the operation – which took place after the conclusion of one... 

Tricky hydro scheme checks completed
ROPE ACCESS The shafts inspected at a KZN hydro scheme were over 700 m long, 6 m in diameter and with 25˚ slopes

Water and sanitation priority at WISA 2016

By: Simon Sonnekus     27th May 2016 African cities are developing rapidly and existing water management systems cannot keep up, leading to a projected quadrupling in demand for water over the next 25 years, said ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability - Africa professional officer Tarryn Quayle during the Water Institute of... 

Water and sanitation  priority at WISA 2016
WATER SHORTAGE ICLEI cited figures which suggested 565-million people are still using unimproved sanitation and 330-million using unimproved drinking water in sub-Saharan Africa.

Energy sector headed in a positive direction

By: Sascha Solomons     13th May 2016 With State-owned power utility Eskom’s Medupi and Kusile power stations contributing about 10 GW jointly at full operation, global consulting firm KPMG believes the Department of Energy is proactively working towards reaching the National Development Plan’s (NDP) 2030 goal of having about 17 GW... 

Power utility opts to use renewable energy source

By: Sascha Solomons     13th May 2016 Solar system specialists and engineering design company ZRW Mechanika completed the installation of a 50 kW hybrid solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant at Wilgers education and community centre near the Kusile power plant in Witbank, Mpumalanga, in January 2016. ZRW Mechanika was awarded the... 

Power utility opts to use renewable energy source
HYBRID SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAIC Renewable and cost efficient energy source

Alternators ensure electricity solutions for industry

     22nd April 2016 Electrical power generation, alternators and drive systems manufacturer Leroy Somer alternators, available in Southern Africa from power generator supplier Vert Energy, ensure dependable electricity production in diverse industries, including the telecommunications sector. According to Vert... 

Energy storage possible standby for grid failure

By: Simon Sonnekus     22nd April 2016 While energy storage may seem like a viable option for standby power initiatives during grid failure, several issues first need to resolved for it to be implemented, South African National Energy Development Institute’s Renewable Energy Centre of Research and Development manager Dr Karen... 

Redistribution key for Africa’s power future

By: Simon Sonnekus     15th April 2016 The codevelopment and equal distribution of power between countries in Africa, along with focused research and development strategies around redistribution will provide more Africans with electricity in the future, says State-owned power utility Eskom MD for corporate affairs Chose Choeu.... 

Redistribution key for Africa’s power future
Photo by Duane Daws
CHOSE CHOEU Eskom and other power providers across the continent should also increase efforts to decentralise electrification solutions

Ethiopia’s Gibe III dam starts partially generating power

By: African News Agency      30th March 2016 Ethiopia’s second biggest hydroelectric power plant, the 1 870 MW Gibe III Hydro project, which was commissioned this year, has started test trials and is generating 500 MW of electricity into the national grid, an official has said. This brings Ethiopia one step closer to solving chronic power... 

Ethiopia’s Gibe III dam starts partially generating power

AfDB extends $24m loan to Rwanda for hydropower project

By: Creamer Media Reporter      18th March 2016 The African Development Bank (AfDB) has extended a $24-million loan to support Rwanda’s contribution to the development of the multinational 147 MW Ruzizi III hydropower project. The project – a joint initiative between Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – would entail the... 

LHWP Phase II hydropower feasibility studies to start in second quarter

By: David Oliveira     18th March 2016 Work on feasibility studies for the hydropower aspect of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) Phase II is expected to start in the second quarter of this year, says LHWP implementation body the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) CE Refiloe Tlali. The feasibility studies are... 

LHWP Phase II hydropower feasibility studies to start in second quarter
HYDROPOWER Feasibility studies for the hydropower aspect of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project Phase II is expected to start in the second quarter of this year

Solar energy comes slowly out of the shadows in Ethiopia

By: African News Agency      17th March 2016 When it comes to energy generation in Africa, Ethiopia stands out for its ambitious 6 000 MW Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) hydro project. While this huge dam being built on the Blue Nile is getting all the attention, the country is also embarking on other ambitious electricity projects... 

Solar energy comes slowly out of the shadows in Ethiopia

Eskom needs new nuclear power to meet country's needs 

By: Keith Campbell     16th March 2016 South African national electricity utility Eskom is excited about its imminent new nuclear era. So affirmed Group CEO Brian Molefe on Wednesday in an address to the Nuclear Africa 2016 conference, that was delivered on his behalf by Eskom's recently appointed Chief Nuclear Officer, Dave Nicholls.... 

Eskom needs new nuclear power to meet country's needs

Unit 3 of Ingula pumped-storage scheme synchronised to the grid 

By: Anine Kilian     10th March 2016 Unit 3 of State-owned Eskom's Ingula pumped-storage scheme was synchronised to the national power grid at the weekend, a year ahead of schedule. Speaking at a media briefing on Thursday, Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown said an additional 330 MW of capacity would be available to the grid,... 

Unit 3 of Ingula pumped-storage scheme synchronised to the grid
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