Eskom – changing the goalposts and rules of the game at half-time?

  For the third time since awarding a R5-billion tender to Areva in 12 August 2014, Eskom found itself defending its award decision – this time in the highest court of the land. While Eskom and Areva appealed to the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) that the award of the contract for the replacement of six steam […]

DST denies imminent SKA facility in the Cape

  The Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism has published a “Request for Information/Expression of Interest: Cape Big Data Facility”.  The Department of Science and Technology (DST) considers this call and the accompanying detailed specifications suggesting that the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project will be hosted in the facility to be both misleading […]

Collaboration for improved generation and distribution of electricity

  Eskom and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) which will extend the existing agreement between the two parties, which was signed in 2010, to synergise the research capabilities of the two organisations so as to assist the power utility in its efforts to meet strategic […]

Renewable energy contributes positively to electricity supply, economic development

  SAPVIA has read with concern a recent media report [1], attributed to Eskom’s CEO Brian Molefe, about the performance of renewable energy plants in South Africa. If the statements as reported are an accurate representation of the views of the CEO and his advisors, SAPVIA finds those views ill-informed at best, and misleading at […]

Scaling up variable renewable power: the role of grid codes

  The power sector globally is accelerating its transition towards a sustainable energy regime. Since 2011, over 100 GW of annual capacity additions have been from renewables: more than fossil fuel and nuclear power additions combined. The share of renewables in total electricity production in 2014 exceeded 22%. Hydropower accounted for 16,4% and variable renewable […]

Railway solution for grid-scale energy storage

  Advanced Rail Energy Storage (ARES) developed a new storage system for potential energy, which uses gravity, railway lines, shuttles and concrete, and works on a similar concept as a pumped storage hydropower system. The system provides a solution for grid-scale energy storage. The company’s mission is to enable the electric grid to integrate clean, […]

NECSA and Auditor General engage over decommissioning and decontamination costs

  A year after South African Nuclear Energy Corporation SOC Limited (NECSA) refused to sign off its 2014/15 annual report prepared by the Auditor General of South Africa for the financial year ending 31 March 2015, the same issue with the Auditor General has hampered progress in respect of NECSA’s 2015/16 annual audit and financial […]

Satellite launch completes radar pair

  The second Sentinel-1 satellite, Sentinel-1B, was launched on 25 April 2016 to provide more radar vision for Europe’s environmental Copernicus programme. The satellite joins its identical twin, Sentinel-1A, in orbit to deliver information for numerous services, from monitoring ice in polar seas to tracking land subsidence, and for responding to disasters such as floods. […]

SA Department of Energy in quandary as SunEdison files for bankruptcy protection

  After months of financial uncertainty, international solar giant SunEdison (NYSE: SUNE; OTC: SUNEQ), and some of its international subsidiaries, have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US on 21 April 2016. This uncertainty has seen its share price tumble from a high of US $33,45 in July 2015 to $0,34 before filing […]