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Terence Creamer

Terence Creamer

Terence Creamer is the Editor of Engineering News and a Deputy Editor for Mining Weekly.

He also has editorial responsibility for Polity.org.za and Creamer Media's Research Channel Africa.

Tel: +2711 622 3744

Email: terence@engineeringnews.co.za

Editorial Insight

Energy required

By: Terence Creamer     5th August 2022 Opponents of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s strategy for tackling South Africa’s 14-year-old electricity crisis continue to argue, without evidence, that the interventions will have no impact on load-shedding because of the absence of ‘baseload’. In reality, there is no, and never has been, a... 

Confusing signals

By: Terence Creamer     29th July 2022 Given the high levels of mistrust and misinformation in energy markets currently it has become increasingly difficult to discern what is required to improve the situation in the short-term, while also ensuring that those immediate actions do not come back to haunt us in the future. Without doubt,... 

The need for speed

By: Terence Creamer     22nd July 2022 A recent bidders conference hosted by the Independent Power Producer (IPP) Office was instructive for many reasons. For one, it highlighted the technical and legal sophistication of the procurement processes that have emerged, and evolved, since the start of the Renewable Energy Independent Power... 

Stage 6 shake-up

By: Terence Creamer     15th July 2022 It’s beyond maddening that it has taken 15 years for government to respond with any real sense of purpose to the intensifying and increasingly debilitating load-shedding crisis. Doubly so, given that there have been persistent warnings over the period that, despite zero to negative demand growth,... 

Tipping point?

By: Terence Creamer     8th July 2022 The implementation of Stage 6 load-shedding in late June should surely be viewed as a tipping point in the electricity crisis. True, the unlawful and unacceptably violent labour protests merely exacerbated an entrenched reality. 

Slow but steady

By: Terence Creamer     1st July 2022 Some solid, albeit slow, progress is being made to convert the $8.5-billion offer of concessional climate finance to accelerate South Africa’s transition from coal to renewables and to support workers and communities currently reliant on the coal value chain into project transactions. It has been... 

With political will, there’s a way

By: Terence Creamer     24th June 2022 Besides analysis that has been conducted by Eskom in recent months to find solutions to South Africa’s intensifying electricity crisis, there are now at least three well-considered public-interest proposals outlining how the scourge of load-shedding can be ended over the coming two years. The... 

Settle on a solution

By: Terence Creamer     17th June 2022 There is no scarcity of advice on how best to stabilise Eskom and end the load-shedding crisis, which a new Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) report shows intensified again in 2021 to its worst-ever level. The report shows that load-shedding occurred for 13% of the year, when... 

Cut procurement coat to grid cloth

By: Terence Creamer     10th June 2022 As Eskom moves to draft a comprehensive plan for ending the protracted electricity crisis, a series of interesting proposals are emerging on ways to end load-shedding over the coming two years. Most commentators agree that there is an urgent need to accelerate the introduction of new electricity... 

Glimmers of light

By: Terence Creamer     3rd June 2022 Two recent energy events offered glimmers of light amid the intensifying risk of power cuts and the creeping threat of worker and community dislocation as a result of the transition from coal to renewables. The Joburg Energy Indaba, which attracted much media attention and hundreds of delegates,... 

Bedevilled

By: Terence Creamer     27th May 2022 The gap between infrastructure ambition and implementation is now widening faster than the country’s power utility is able to shift its load-shedding stages from two to four. While the electricity generation shortfall of up to 6 000 MW is the most high-profile backlog not being closed, a report... 

Much still to do

By: Terence Creamer     20th May 2022 There is no question that Operation Vulindlela has done a good job in identifying the main obstacles to important structural reforms in key growth- and job-creating sectors such as electricity, transport, water, tourism, and digital infrastructure. There is also no doubt that the initiative,... 

Procurement delays

By: Terence Creamer     13th May 2022 News that the 25 solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind projects selected late last year as preferred bids would not achieve financial close by the end of April as advertised came as no surprise. There had been murmurings about difficulties in the run-up to the deadline and a precedent for a delay had... 

Politics of power

By: Terence Creamer     6th May 2022 The politics surrounding both Eskom and South Africa’s now protracted electricity crisis has always been problematic. It was politics that prevented the implementation of the necessary market reforms, as outlined in the 1998 White Paper, that would have gone some way to ensuring that South... 

New look and feel

By: Terence Creamer     29th April 2022 Dear valued reader, Those of you who receive the physical Engineering News & Mining Weekly magazine will no doubt have noticed already that we have made a fairly dramatic change to our paper. 

Breaking point?

By: Terence Creamer     22nd April 2022 There will be much interest in the coming days as to whether all 25 of the wind and solar photovoltaic projects named as preferred bids in October are able to reach financial close. The projects were selected following bid window five (BW5) of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer... 

Investment gap

By: Terence Creamer     15th April 2022 South Africans have rightfully paid detailed attention to the state of the country’s generation assets over the past decade and a bit as load-shedding has progressively intensified, precipitated by the undermaintained coal fleet beginning to decommission itself. Despite this, progress has been... 

Global momentum

By: Terence Creamer     8th April 2022 Last week I wrote that South African policymakers should not misread the energy market signals that have arisen since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. A note of caution written in light of indications that some domestic officials were interpreting the crisis as a signal that energy independence... 

Green independence

By: Terence Creamer     1st April 2022 Policymakers should not misread the admittedly confusing energy market signals that have arisen since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The confusion has been driven largely by the scramble under way within Europe to wean itself off Russian energy faster than initially planned, which has led to... 

Spillover effects

By: Terence Creamer     25th March 2022 There is significant concern, and rightfully so, about the outlook for fuel prices and security of supply following Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine in late February. No country is immune from the fallout and South Africa, which is a crude and fuel importer, is expected to feel the effects... 

Overexposed

By: Terence Creamer     18th March 2022 The most recent bout of load-shedding not only reconfirmed South Africa’s debilitating overexposure to coal, but also this country’s growing vulnerability to diesel price spikes and supply squeezes. As usual, the poor performance of the Eskom coal fleet lay at the heart of the problem. At times,... 

Contested territory

By: Terence Creamer     11th March 2022 The just transition was always going to be a highly contested concept and the battle, it appears, is only but beginning. South Africa has already made remarkable progress in adding some flesh to the concept’s bare bones: first through the diligent work of the second National Planning Commission... 

Focus on Growth

By: Terence Creamer     4th March 2022 Having some breathing space as a result of a R182-billion tax windfall is one thing, using it wisely is quite another. Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana’s maiden Budget has provided the scaffolding for making the best use of these unexpected revenues. Instead of directing it all towards new... 

Public paralysis

By: Terence Creamer     25th February 2022 To the outside observer, the recent debate on the importance of the private sector in creating employment must have come across as almost surreal given South Africa’s economic predicament and the poor state of the public sector. For one, it is painfully obvious that South Africa is still... 

Let’s get it right

By: Terence Creamer     18th February 2022 Minerals Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe is correct about the need to update the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). Even on the very day, October 18, 2019, when the document was finally Gazetted the so-called IRP 2019 was out of date. The technology cost, electricity demand and... 

Precarious tipping point

By: Terence Creamer     11th February 2022 Government and its energy policymakers in particular seem oblivious to the predicament South Africa is in when it comes to the electricity supply industry. True, few, if any, Ministers or officials seek to deny the crisis these days – intensifying load-shedding offers a regular reality check on... 

Vicious cycle

By: Terence Creamer     4th February 2022 It was obvious for all those who took the time to listen in to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s (Nersa’s) most recent hearings into Eskom’s allowable revenue application that the gap between the utility’s needs and those of its customers is wider than it has ever been. Eskom is... 

Democracy still best vaccine against populism

By: Terence Creamer     28th January 2022 South Africa is not immune to pandemics and 2022 has, thus far, proved something of a super-spreader event for the virus of populism. From obnoxious rhetoric against the Constitution by a person who has sworn to protect it and unsubstantiated and racially tinged attacks on the judiciary, to... 

Urgent solution needed

By: Terence Creamer     21st January 2022 A year can feel extremely long when events run away from you, but awfully short if one is trying to implement a turnaround. 2021 is a case in point. 

Avoidable distraction

By: Terence Creamer     10th December 2021 By the time you read this, Justice Jody Kollapen would have delivered his judgment in the latest – and arguably the most worrying – legal tussle between Eskom and the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa). The case arose after Nersa rejected, on September 30, Eskom’s latest revenue... 

Delivery deferred?

By: Terence Creamer     3rd December 2021 There was justifiable amazement last week, when several councils, including three large Gauteng metropolitan councils, were put out of the reach of the African National Congress (ANC). Words such as earthquake and collapse were used liberally across the print, online and broadcast media, while... 

Opportunity knocks

By: Terence Creamer     26th November 2021 South Africans have become quite accustomed to government never failing to miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. And nowhere has this been more apparent than in the electricity milieu. After producing a sensible policy in 1998 outlining the restructuring of the industry, it failed to follow... 

Taking stock

By: Terence Creamer     19th November 2021 South Africans are approaching the prospect of ongoing load-shedding with a mixture of anger and resignation. The anger manifests mainly in the form of predictable calls for the resignation of the current Eskom board and CEO. 

Now for the detail

12th November 2021 South Africa and Eskom can be rightfully pleased with the political declaration – signed with France, Germany, the UK, the US and the European Union – opening the way for an initial $8.5-billion to support the country’s energy transition and its plans to offer social protection for workers and... 

Credible plan?

By: Terence Creamer     5th November 2021 There is much scepticism about the ability of Eskom to deploy the grid capacity needed to unlock the 30 GW of new, mostly renewable, generation capacity that has to be introduced into the network over the coming ten years so as to ensure security of supply as some coal plants are decommissioned.... 

State of despair

By: Terence Creamer     29th October 2021 In the run-up to the municipal elections, various media outlets have carried excellent, albeit highly distressing, reports detailing the collapse of basic services in towns and townships across the country. The North West town of Lichtenburg rose to particular prominence on News24 after Clover... 

What crisis?

By: Terence Creamer     22nd October 2021 South Africa has experienced yet another terrible year of electricity supply disruption. Even before the most recent bout of power cuts in October, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research had indicated that load-shedding during the first half of 2021 was equivalent to more than 70% of... 

Transition risks

By: Terence Creamer     15th October 2021 Recent developments in Europe and Asia – which have seen oil, gas, coal and electricity prices surge, as well as supply disruptions – have raised questions globally about the energy transition, its trajectory and the resilience of future energy systems that are based increasingly on renewable... 

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