Projects and Energy Weekly Snippets

Weekly projects and energy updates in South Africa

Climate change impacts global energy system, says Shell boss

The CEO of Shell, Ben van Beurden, has noted the importance of taking a global perspective on tackling climate change as energy system undergoes transformational change.

Van Beurden said this while participating in a panel discussion at the recently concluded World Petroleum Congress, in Turkey.

The discussion’s theme was about shaping the future of energy, where he said there have already been huge advances in efficiency, through digitalisation and in the field of renewables.

“With wind and solar, costs have come down fast and are predicted to fall further. All of this is good news for the world and must accelerate. All this change also offers many opportunities for energy companies,” he noted.

ESI Africa, 21 July 2017

New approach needed to develop Africa’s energy landscape

There was no more time for discussions, no more time for political ramblings and no more time to rely on the traditional models that had managed to light up the continent so far, a panel of speakers discussing the “Vision of Africa’s Energy Future” agreed on Thursday.

Some movement is being seen, with several conference sessions over the last three days highlighting several successful pilot projects, case studies and expansion projects.

Engineering News, 20 July 2017

Nuclear is not just about energy – NIASA MD

Speaking at the one-day nuclear forum on the sidelines of the PowerGen Africa conference, on Wednesday, Nuclear Industry Association of South Africa (NIASA) MD Knox Msebenzi said it was in South Africa’s interest to stimulate the nuclear industry across the entire nuclear cycle.

“It is not just about gigawatts, it is about an industry,” he said.

Engineering News, 19 July 2017

Nuclear is essential to Africa’s energy mix – Rosatom

Addressing delegates at the one-day nuclear forum on the sidelines of this year’s PowerGen Africa conference, in Sandton from 18 to 20 July, Rosatom regional VP of sub-Saharan Africa, Viktor Polikarpov explained that 25 of sub-Saharan Africa’s 54 countries were in an energy crisis, with some 625 million citizens without access to electricity.

Only seven countries in Africa have electricity penetration rates exceeding 50%.

“Africa is not developing because of that [energy crisis]. It cannot industrialise and cannot beneficiate its resources,” Polikarpov commented, adding that nuclear energy could address the energy trilemma of economics, security of supply and the environment.

“Nuclear ticks all the boxes: low-level carbon footprint, cheap electricity, economic growth and energy security, [besides others],” he assured, adding that the whole world was on the path of nuclear development.

Engineering News, 19 July 2017

Africa’s energy future lies in solar energy, says CEO

Addressing delegates at the PowerGen Africa conference, in Sandton, Nyasha Bamhare noted that, from a social and political perspective, and owing to Africa’s growing middle class and technological capabilities enabling development, solar energy is an obvious and inexpensive energy choice.

“Africa needs to be powered from the bottom up; it has to be green and it has to use solar,” he said. 

Bamhare added that, in establishing Africa’s power future, it is important to look at the scope of available energy on the continent, and for it to be sustainable and cost effective.

“Solar energy is already 50% cheaper than coal – it’s a no-brainer,” he said.

Engineering News, 19 July 2017 

Brown acknowledges cost competitiveness of renewables as she calls for deal that goes “beyond price”

Speaking at the PowerGen and DistribuTech Africa Conference in Sandton Minster Brown said the deal should go “beyond the price Eskom pays per kilowatt at the check-out counter, although that is obviously important”. Any deal should also incorporate the necessity for “serious localisation and labour upskilling or reskilling strategies”.

The Minister, therefore, dismissed arguments that the deployment of renewable energy provided a “simple” solution to decarbonising the country’s coal-heavy electricity system.

Engineering News, 18 July 2017 

Black-led energy investment firm encouraged by moves to restore IPP policy certainty

IPPs have been left in limbo since early 2016 when Eskom indicated that it would no longer sign new power purchase agreements for projects procured by government in 2015. As a result, 38 solar and wind projects with a collective investment value of nearly ZAR60 billion have been left undeveloped, while the future of South Africa’s much-vaunted Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) has been thrown into doubt.

As part of government’s 14-point economic stimulus plan, Gigaba said a review into the pace and scale of adding new generation capacity would be finalised by August. He indicated, too, that the review would take account of Eskom’s current financial “hardship” and the expectation of there being surplus capacity until 2021.

In addition, a “lowest cost” Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for electricity would be finalised by February, taking into account “extensive comments received during public consultation”.

Engineering News, 17 July 2017 

The above reflects a summary of certain news articles published during the preceding week. It is not an expression of opinion in respect of each matter, nor may it be considered as a disclosure of advice by any employee of Hogan Lovells.

For more information contact Charles MaraisPhilip van Rensburg or Mzimasi Mabokwe.

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