Geomatics: Addressing the elephants in the room

Following the successful AfricaGEO 2018 Conference in Gauteng, please allow me to share a few observations. After the provisional conference programme was announced, I was excited about the various sessions relating to challenges in the geomatics profession. Despite its profound history, the geomatics profession (particularly land surveying) is becoming less popular compared to professions such […]

Comments on the draft integrated resource plan (IRP2018)

The recently released IRP2018 draft, a discussion document and not cast in stone, differs significantly from both the 2010 and 2016 versions. Changes which steer the plan away from a diverse mix of technologies in the direction of a high dependence on renewable energy have evoked a large amount of comments, both pro and anti. […]

South Africa’s electricity systems to change dramatically

Modern technologies, which have already impacted the way we communicate, are entertained, work and live, are about to change the way we generate, use and pay for electricity. The digital age, which was born with the invention of the microprocessor integrated circuit in the late 1960s, has revolutionised modern society. Digital techniques are used in […]

The myth of “clean coal”: Why coal can only ever be dirty

“Clean coal” is sometimes promoted as the lifeline that will allow governments to continue to depend on coal for energy generation. But there is no such thing as “clean coal”. South Africa is the biggest coal producer in Africa. Over the past 10 years alone, South Africa has produced an average of 254-million tons of […]

Workshop equips industry to respond to Draft IRP 2018

In August 2018, the South Africa Department of Energy released a draft of the Integrated Resource Plan for electricity (Draft IRP 2018) for public comment by 25 October 2018. In order to better prepare themselves to submit responses to the Draft IRP 2018, about 230 energy-industry related people gathered at the Axiz Auditorium in Midrand […]

Funding of two new coal IPPs in South Africa under threat

International and local efforts to restrict funding for construction of new coal-fired power plants are gaining momentum, and threatening financial closure of the planned two new coal independent power producer projects in South Africa, Thabametsi and Khanyisa. In the latest development, it has been reliably learned that last week Standard Bank advised the director general […]

Concerns mount over Eskom’s medium-term system adequacy outlook

. Following the recent exposé by EE Publishers on the deepening coal supply crisis facing Eskom, alarm bells are also sounding regarding the utility’s worsening generation plant performance impacting South Africa’s medium-term (five-year) system adequacy outlook. There are deepening concerns about the overall state of Eskom’s aging fleet of coal-fired power plants, and the ability […]

Eskom’s anticipated long-term strategic recovery plan delayed

Eskom says its long-term strategic recovery plan will be published later than originally announced. This state-owned power utility – the largest in Africa and for many years the model for and envy of many international power companies – is virtually broke. It is in so much debt that servicing that debt is eroding any profit […]