Energy in Southern Africa

  • How to boost private sector investment in Africa’s electricity infrastructure

    BOTSWANA, 2017/06/15 A new World Bank statement has called for increased private sector investment in Africa’s under-developed electricity transmission infrastructure, a vital ingredient for reaching Africa’s energy goals. The statement which was made available to the Ghana News Agency on Thursday by the World Bank indicated that Africa lags behind the rest of the world at the same time as it comes to electricity, with just 35 % of the people with access to power and a generation capacity of only 100 GW. According to the statement those who do have power typically consume relatively little, face frequent outages and pay high prices.
  • Treasury disputes Eskom claims on Gupta-linked firm

    SOUTH AFRICA, 2016/08/30 The national treasury said Eskom wrongly stated that coal supply contracts between itself and Tegeta Exploration and Resources had been audited by the finance ministry and has ignored queries regarding the company. Tegeta is part owned by the Gupta family, who are friends with President Jacob Zuma and are in business with his son. Treasury is reviewing Eskom’s coal contracts.
  • Barack Obama’s Power Africa initiative makes slow progress

    UNITED STATES, 2016/07/25 Crumbling, mismanaged energy systems have long been an oppressive brake on economic increase in the region’s 49 nations, which have less grid-connected electricity than South Korea and about 600m power-starved people. However, three years next Mr Obama promised to bring “light where currently there is darkness” and “clean energy to protect our planet”, evolution on the ground is proving painfully slow. The Power Africa programme, which the president launched in 2013, is supposed to add 30,000 megawatts of electricity by 2030, equal to nearly a third of sub-Saharan Africa’s existing generating capacity.
  • Zimbabwe: Zera Seeks Ban On Electrical Gadgets

    ZIMBABWE, 2015/10/09 The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority is pushing for legislation to ban importation and use of electrical gadgets that consume a lot of power, an official said. The new legislation being considered will prohibit the use of all electrical products, local and imported, that gobble too much power, as the country is facing deficits. Zera said the law will compel rating of all electrical appliances or gadgets for energy efficiency and provide for strict inspection of the same at the ports of entry. Zimbabwe has by presently crafted legislation prohibiting the use of incandescent lights/bulbs, as part of the widespread measures meant to manage its power crisis. Only on Wednesday, Government launched a programme to outlaw and replace electric geysers with solar water heaters to ameliorate the current power deficit. It is believed the initiative will result in power savings of 300MW to 400MW.
  • Zimbabwe: Cabinet Approves U.S $77 Million Rural Electrification Agency's (REA) Project

    ZIMBABWE, 2015/08/27 CABINET has approved the Rural Electrification Agency's (REA) $77 million comprehensive electrification programme, to be undertaken by Indian company, Angelique International Limited. The approval follows recent awarding of the appropriate project tender to Angelique by the National Procurement Board to electrify 144 rural public institutions and grid electrification of 357 public institutions. The programme will as well result in the construction of two mini hydro power stations (Manyuchi and Muzoro) with a combined capacity of 2,5 megawatts. Documents at hand show that the urgency of the electrification project was emphasised as a priority area in all four clusters of the Zim-Investment policy that relate to price addition and beneficiation, food security and nutrition, social services and poverty reduction, infrastructure and utilities.
  • Vandalism, Theft Cost Zesa U.S.$30 Million Zimbabwe

    ZIMBABWE, 2015/07/11 Power utility Zesa Holdings lost about $30 million worth of equipment due to vandalism and theft in the last 18 months, resulting in interruption of power supply in a country by presently grappling with power shortages. Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company managing director Engineer Julian Chinembiri said about $15 million equipment was vandalised. An equivalent price in potential revenue was as well lost as a result. "We lost about $10 million worth of equipment last year and so far we have lost about $5 million worth of equipment this year," the ZETDC boss said, adding "the moment they vandalise infrastructure, supply of power to the industry and domestic customers is interrupted".
  • South Africa: Eskom Cuts Load Shedding, but It Could Restart Later

    SOUTH AFRICA, 2015/07/11 Eskom ended stage 1 load shedding on Friday, which started at 08:30, but said it could be re-instated at 17:00. The power utility said in a statement at 14:10 on Friday that "due to the improved performance at our power stations and thanks to customers decreasing electricity request, Eskom stopped load shedding at 13:41 on 10 July 2015. It is significant to note that restoration of power takes longer in some areas." While Eskom had implemented stage 1 load shedding across the country, two of the country's biggest cities - Johannesburg and Cape Town - announced on Friday that they had averted the need cut power in certain areas due to independent plans they had initiated to bypass Eskom's request, while still shedding the required load.
  • South Africa weighing up nuclear power

    SOUTH AFRICA, 2015/05/21 A decision expected later this year on a tender for the provision of a series of nuclear power stations in South Africa could provide a long-term solution to the country’s power shortfall. South Africa President Jacob Zuma has pledged to double the all of electricity from nuclear by 2023. To date the government has carried out vendor “parade” workshops in which five nations, inclunding the US, South Korea, Russia, France and China, came to present their proposals on nuclear.
  • Either We Break the Eskom Monopoly, or It Breaks Us in South Africa

    SOUTH AFRICA, 2015/02/04 If anyone still has any doubts about the severity of our electricity crisis, two recent articles should act as a final wake up call. The initial reported that Cabinet had been briefed by Eskom on the risk of a nationwide blackout. This is what happens at the same time as the grid fails and everything shuts down indefinitely. In other words, at the same time as load-shedding wasn't enough to protect the grid from collapse. If this happens, we'd need to source a huge all of electricity elsewhere to "re-start" the grid. This is not available from any of our neighbours. To avoid this catastophe, it is inevitable that we will face heavy load-shedding for the foreseeable next.
  • In Blackout-Hit South Africa, Could Hydrogen Be the Answer?

    SOUTH AFRICA, 2015/01/05 At initial glance, the Cape Flats Nature Reserve building at the University of the Western Cape doesn't seem exceptional. The modest two-storey structure hosts office space and utility rooms for the six staff who care for the plants and animals living in the 30-hectare reserve. But the building is a major milestone in South Africa's struggle to relieve its dependence on fossil fuels. It runs on hydrogen, an infinitely renewable fuel that, at the same time as used to generate power, produces no emissions apart from water and heat. The building's electricity is supplied by a prototype hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) power generator that was launched in November by the university's Hydrogen South Africa (HySA) Systems Centre of Competence.