Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Impact of CSP delays in South Africa

 A recent CSP Today article that gives comprehensive insight into the impact that current delays in South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme will have on investor confidence – Read it here

The article also considers the challenges that have caused delays and the implications for CSP going forward.

See the full article here

Please let me know your thoughts


Jack Ahearne
Global Events Director
CSP Today
+44 (0) 20 7375 7556
US toll free: 1800 814 3459 ex: 7556
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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

All systems go for Nov 5 signing of first R47bn in renewables projects

Following several delays, government confirmed on Monday that the framework is now in place for the first 28 wind and solar projects, identified as preferred bidders under South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP) in December 2011, to move to financial closure.

Energy Minister Dipuo Peters apologised for the delays, but said that preferred bidders should be prepared to begin signing the final agreements from November 5.

The contracts associated with all 28 projects would have to be concluded in a single day, rather than over several days as originally envisaged.

Peters indicated that the big-bang November 5 signing approach was not a "Guy Fawkes [Day] thing", but had rather emerged as a legal requirement. Each preferred bidder would be allocated a slot to initial the necessary contracts with the Department of Energy and Eskom.

The signing of the power purchase, implementation and financial agreements would open the way for the construction of projects representing a collective investment value of around R47-billion and a collective renewables capacity of 1 415 MW.

In the first round, 632 MW were allocated to 18 solar photovoltaic (PV) projects, while 634 MW were designated for eight wind farms, and a further 150 MW to two concentrated solar power (CSP) projects.

Under the original schedule, these first-bid-window projects were expected to reach financial closure by mid-June. But the process was delayed to enable government to finalise a support framework for Eskom, which would purchase the power produced by the independent power producers (IPPs).

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said last week that the “required concurrence” for the first 28 IPP projects had been finalised.

The wind and solar PV projects were expected to be integrated into the national grid during 2014, while the CSP projects had until 2016 to reach commercial operations.

Financial close for the 19 second-bid-window preferred bidders, initially set for December 2012, was now scheduled to take place between March 18 and 28, 2013, while the third bid-window submission date had been delayed to May 7, 2013.

The 19 second bid-window projects were expected to attract projects valued collectively at R28-billion.

Through the REIPPP, government was initially planning to procure 3 725 MW of renewables capacity, collectively valued at around R100-billion. That would have left only 1 165 MW still to be allocated during the third bid window, with the first 47 preferred bidders having absorbed 2 460 MW collectively.


However, Peters confirmed that the REIPPP would be extended into a rolling procurement programme, with an additional allocation of 3 200 MW to be added for projects that could be developed by 2020.

That meant that a total of 4 360 MW of capacity would be available for allocation during future REIPPP bidding rounds.

The 3 200 MW had been divided as follows: 1 470 MW for onshore wind, 400 MW for CSP, 1 075 MW for solar PV, 47.5 MW for biomass, 47.5 MW for biogas, 60 MW for small-scale hydro, and 100 MW for small renewables projects.

The Ministerial determination dealing with the additional REIPPP allocation had been sent to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa for its concurrence, which had been received.

Details would be promulgated in an upcoming Government Gazette, which would be published during November.

A procurement process, incorporating lessons learned during the first bid window, would follow.

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Major milestone for IPPs and renewable energy in SA, but at what cost?

by Chris Yelland, EE Publishers

A significant milestone for renewable energy in South Africa was reached on 29 October 2012 when the minister of energy, Dipuo Peters, announced financial closure for some 1425 MW of renewable energy projects for the first bid window of the renewable energy independent power producer procurement programme.

The minister indicated that after delays of about three months, the Department of Energy (DoE) had now obtained Government and Treasury approval under the Public Finance Management Act to enter into long-term, 20-year agreements with 28 preferred independent power produces (IPPs) for the supply of renewable energy (RE) into the Eskom grid.

The 28 preferred bidders for the first bid window were initially announced by Minister Peters at COP17 in Durban on 7 December 2011. Now that financial closure and government approval has been achieved, the final contracts and implementation agreements will be signed by the DoE, Eskom and the individual bidders on 5 and 6 November 2012.

The projects under this first bid window represent a capital investment by the renewable energy IPPs of R47-billion.

Eskom CEO Brian Dames indicated last week that all necessary arrangements such as grid access and power purchase agreements between the renewable energy IPPs and Eskom were finalised, and that there were no impediments to progress from Eskom's side.

In a second window, bids for a further 1040 MW of renewable energy projects closed on 5 March 2012, and financial closure for this second window is scheduled for 15 March 2013. A further three bid windows planned will bring the total installed capacity of renewable energy generation capacity to 3625 MW by 2017, with an expected investment by renewable energy IPPs of some R100-billion.

Dr. Wolsey Barnard, deputy director general at the DoE responsible for implementation programmes and projects, indicated that the average bid prices for the supply of energy in the first bid window for the various renewable energy technologies were:

Concentrating solar power (CSP): R2,69 per kWh
Solar photo-voltaic (PV): R2,76 per kWh
Wind: R1,14 per kWh

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Renewable energy programme to bring R47bn in investment

Pretoria – The Department of Energy says it is expecting R47 billion to be invested in the country through Window 1 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP).

The department introduced the REIPPP in August 2011, with the first bid submission for Window 1 scheduled for 4 November 2011.

The outline for the first 28 preferred bidders -- who were announced on 7 December during COP17 -- is now in place and the department says it is ready to sign contracts with the bidders, which will unlock the massive investment.

Window 1, which sought 1 400 megawatts of renewable energy, gave bidders (in wind and solar projects) until June this year to reach financial close, but due to issues - including approvals by government institutions - the date had been postponed.

President Jacob Zuma announced in his State of the Nation Address a massive infrastructure plan comprising various development projects. One of the Strategic Integrated Projects includes green energy in support of the South African economy.

Briefing reporters on Monday, Energy Minister Dipuo Peters said the department had been working closely with the preferred bidders in Window 1 to conclude all contract documentation, including the Power Purchase Agreement and Implementation Agreement.

“The delay for financial close was largely related to government approvals. We apologise for shifting the timeframes,” said the minister.

The delays in government approvals were caused by the need to have fully populated contracts to be presented to the relevant structures within government for approval.

“I’m pleased to announce that the country will receive about R47 billion of investment in renewable power generation through Window 1 preferred bidders,” said Peters.

The investment will provide job opportunities, especially for those in rural where renewable power plants are located.

According to the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP2010) - which is a 20-year projection on electricity supply and demand - about 42% of electricity generated in South Africa is required to come from renewable resources.

The IRP2010 places specific emphasis on broadening electricity supply technologies to include gas, imports, nuclear, biomass, renewables (wind, solar and hydro), in response to both the country's future electricity needs as well as reduce its CO2 emissions.

Originally, 53 bids amounting to 2 128 MW were received across wind, solar PV, solar CSP and small hydro. The evaluation resulted in 28 bids, with a total MW of 1 416 being selected as preferred bidders in the first window.

The wind and solar PV projects are expected to be integrated into the country’s national energy grid during 2014.

“The signing of agreements for Window 1 preferred bidders will take place on 5 November 2012,” Peters said, adding that bidders were expected to honour the commitments made in their bids.

Should bidders fail to comply with the commitments, penalties such as the termination of the power purchase agreement, will be implemented.

Peters said she had received concurrence from the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) for additional allocations to the renewable programme, base load generation and the Medium Term Risk Mitigation Plan generation.

Earlier this month, Peters said she was considering a second determination that would provide additional megawatts in the renewable energy space.

“I will be promulgating these determinations before the end of the year,” said Peters. -

Friday, October 26, 2012

Call for Proposals: market entry studies renewable energy

Further info available on our paid member only site.

Details  (Click here)

Join SAAEA to establish your company as a renewable energy industry leader.
To join SAAEA, simply fill in the membership form  online.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Renewable heating systems

Small-scale biomass heating

Today the biggest share of final energy is used as heat for cooking, for space heating, and for industry. Yet surprisingly, in most countries there is no policy for the small-scale heat market. Small-scale heat supply is the often the most overlooked area of global energy policy. In OECD countries most of the heat is supplied by fossil fuels or electricity, in developing countries heat is most often produced by inefficient wood based systems.

This fact sheet explains the attractive options modern biomass stoves and boilers offer for the heat market. Impressing technological innovations have been achieved in this sector in recent years, making heat from biomass a carbon neutral, environmental friendly, convenient and cheap alternative to fossil fuels.

The WBA would like to draw the attention of the public and the policy makers to theinteresting opportunities that small-scale biomass heat systems can offer today. An active policy to speed up the replacement of fossil driven heating systems by renewable heat such as biomass, would not only decrease the dependency from oil and gas imports but will also create many regional jobs, whilst simultaneously reducing consumer expenditure and ultimately lead to further reductions in CO2 emissions. 

Download fact sheet 

WBA, the global voice of bioenergy, favours a targeted and strong policy in favour of renewable heating systems. We invite companies, associations and individuals to join WBA to become a stronger force in favour of the transformation of the energy system towards renewables.
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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Eskom outlines R149bn transmission expansion plan to 2022

State-owned electricity utility Eskom is planning to invest some R149-billion over the coming ten years on transmission projects designed to bolster network reliability and integrate new generation capacity into the power grid.
The investment forecast is outlined in the latest ‘Transmission Ten-Year Development Plan: 2013-2022’, which has been published in line with the South African Grid Code and is the fourth ten-year plan to be released by Eskom.
Group transmission executive Mongezi Ntsokolo says the investments will seek to ensure that the network complies with the minimum reliability criteria and is ready to integrate new Eskom and independent power producer (IPP) generation capacity and connect new demand centres.
Some R121-billion has been set aside for projects designed to improve the reliability of the network, another R25-billion for programmes aimed at integrating new power generation projects, such as the Medupi, Kusile and renewable-energy projects, and about R3-billion is for customer-related projects.
The costs outlined are described as high-level estimates that could change.
All told, the transmission division expects to add some 12 700 km of new transmission lines, which would be almost equivalent to adding 50% to the existing 28 000 km network. It is expected that 8 631 km of new 400 kV capacity will be installed by 2022, with the balance being 3 700 km of 765 kV lines and 402 km of 275 kV lines.
Also planned is the introduction of an additional 83 500 MVA of transformer capacity and 2 600 megavolt-ampere reactive (MVAr) of capacitive support and 9 200 MVAr of reactors.
Refurbishments and repairs also feature strongly in the plan, with Eskom noting that the bulk of the transmission network and many of the existing 100 substations were constructed between the years 1960 and 1980.
In fact, besides the R149-billion for the capacity expansion of the transmission division it also expects to spend R12.2-billion on refurbishment projects and R2.3-billion on capital spares over the period.
In addition, Eskom is budgeting a further R4.7-billion for the acquisitions of servitudes and the completion of environmental–impact assessments, as well as a further R4.5-billion for production equipment and another R1.7-billion for strategic projects.

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South African Electricity users to pay for switch to private sector power

ONE of the many unpleasant messages in Eskom’s tariff application to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) is that electricity users will have to bear the brunt of the switch to private sector power.

The new multiyear price determination (MYPD) differs from the previous one in many ways. For instance, in the five years covered by the determination, South Africa will, for the first time, introduce thousands of kilowatt hours of electricity capacity from private sector producers. This will be bought at levels higher than Eskom prices.

Eskom says the cost of buying power from independent power producers (IPPs) will increase from R5bn in the 2012-13 financial year to R22bn in 2017-18.

In its application, Eskom says 3% of the 16% tariff hike requested is meant to support the introduction of IPPs into the local power generation market.

This takes into account the renewable energy IPP bid programme which will see Eskom buy 3,725MW of clean power by 2016. The first batch of the projects selected will reach financial close soon.

As the designated buyer of IPP power, Eskom will conclude power purchase agreements with the IPPs and connect them to the national grid.

The 3% also includes the Department of Energy’s peaker plants of 1,020MW, which run only when demand is high. They comprise two open-cycle gas turbine plants to be constructed at Dedisa, near Port Elizabeth, and Avon, near Durban.

The IPP power is just the tip of the iceberg. A renewable energy revolution is waiting in South Africa.

The integrated resource plan for electricity (IRP2010) says 42% or 17,800MW of new electricity between 2010 and 2030 will come from renewable energy technologies such as solar, wind and hydro.

According to IRP2010, South Africa must build 45,000MW of new generating capacity by 2030.

The combined capital costs of the additional capacity will be R3.5-trillion. It should be expected, therefore, that as the country marches to renewable energy, consumers will have to accept that the nascent renewable energy industry rests on their shoulders. This means it may take longer for South Africa to see inflation-level tariff rises.

Eskom CE Brian Dames often refers to this ideal as “the end game”.

The application also reveals Eskom’s dilemma. For a while now, the utility has been begging the government to make decisions on new electricity capacity as part of the IRP 2010.

This is important to avoid power shortages. Power projects tend to have long lead times.

Eskom’s application to Nersa covers the period up to the completion of the Kusile coal-fired power station in the 2018-19 financial year. What happens about capacity beyond 2018?

“Nersa needs to consider the pricing implication of additional capacity beyond Kusile and reach a decision on how to address these … If these issues are not addressed now, Eskom may have to apply to reopen the MYPD 3 application once policy decisions have been made,” Eskom says.

The utility is set to play a central role in the additional capacity envisaged in the IRP2010 document.

“IPPs affect Eskom’s costs in two ways. First, all IPPs have to be integrated into Eskom’s transmission grid.

“Second, once integrated into Eskom’s grid, Eskom has to pay the IPPs for energy purchased at a c/kWh rate,” it says.

This explains Eskom’s nervousness about decisions.

“The dilemma Eskom faces is that the government may decide to allocate a bigger or smaller portion of IRP2010 capacity than the assumed 65%. This makes it impossible to predict Eskom’s exact revenue needs if the IRP2010 requirements were to be included in this application. Unfortunately, the MYPD 3 process cannot be delayed any further,” Eskom says.

If it is asked to build 65% of the new capacity, tariffs would increase by an average 20% a year for five years, followed by 9% per year for another five years and about 5% thereafter.

“Given that expansion projects can take decades to plan, finance and execute, Eskom should start planning towards, and sourcing funding for, IRP 2010 capacity expansion during the MYPD 3 period.”

Mr Dames says Eskom has done its best to highlight the importance of taking decisions in time. It cannot be easy to tell your bosses to hurry up.

Net Metering in Tshwane - South Africa

You may be interested either as a resident, business or as an interested party in the City of Tshwane's proposal to install prepaid metres throughout the city replacing existing metres. The short term financial costs to be borne by landowners and businesses to install these metres is one issue. A much larger issue is whether these supposedly smart meters will allow reverse feed to the grid. Or will this programme delay net metering a few more years.

Since these public consultation meetings are not well promoted the meetings are typically poorly attended. If you have an interest in opening up options for renewable energy solutions please make an effort to attend one of these meetings and tell everyone you know to attend. If enough people attend and sufficient interest is shown by the public the CoT might listen.

The City of Tshwane added a notice to their website yesterday regarding the consultation process of the Electricity By-law on the roll-out of prepayment meters. Meetings will be held at 09:00 on the 27th October

2012 see link below for more details of meeting venues and to check for possible changes to dates or times.

This is a little short notice for a public meeting. Two weeks is recommended, one week at the bare minimum. However please make an effort to attend.

Eamonn O'Rourke
Tshwane resident
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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Invitation to Open Innovation Challenge

open innovation

The IDC’s Venture Capital Strategic Business Unit is seeking to fund the development of uniquely South African technologies that represent global firsts in technological innovation.

For South Africa to continue its development towards being a thriving world class economy, we need to ensure continued support for our nation’s entrepreneurs and inventors.
The IDC VC are striving to ensure that South Africa’s wealth of untapped potential is provided every opportunity to flourish. To this end, the IDC VC launched an open innovation challenge with a focus on energy efficiency.

Innovations are accelerating. Concentrator photovoltaics to dramatically reduce costs; pumping water through micro-channels on the surface of a solar panel to make it more efficient and make seawater drinkable at the same time and producing electricity from waste heat from power plants, human bodies, and microchips are some examples of innovations in the energy efficiency domain.

To read more about the IDC VC Energy Efficiency Challenge and/or to submit a business plan in response to this challenge, please visit the IDC Open Innovation Website at
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Financial closure on renewable projects needed to maintain investor confidence

The second Windaba conference, organised jointly by the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) and the Global Wind Energy Council, was being held in Cape Town this week at a time when many prospective independent power producers were awaiting news of the impending financial closure for round one of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP).

“The programme is nothing short of impressive. But to really show that this programme works and to maintain investor confidence, financial close needs to occur to acquire confirmation that we indeed have a wind industry,” SAWEA chairperson Jasandra Nykersaid during the opening session of the conference.

Reflecting on the past year in the South African wind energy sector, Nyker was positive about the progress the industry had made with eight wind projects having been selected out of the total of 28 projects under round one of the REIPPP, totalling 634 MW, and another seven wind projects being successful in round two, accounting for 563 MW. “For any first-time industry that is an impressive accomplishment and we should not blindly cast that achievement aside,” she said.

However, as with any new programme there was always room for improvement, said Nyker, adding that government had to engage further with industry to ensure that the “very expensive learnings of round one” were taken into consideration as the REIPPP moved into future rounds. “Ask any round-one developer, the process to financial close has to be done in a more cost-effective manner going forward,” she asserted.

Nyker added that the wind industry welcomed the government’s announcement that there would be further allocation of future electricity generation capacity for renewable energy. “The 1 470 MW allocated to wind energy ensures that wind will become the dominant player in the renewable-energy mix in the years to come.”

The theme of the localisation requirements for the REIPPP would also be highlighted at the 2012 Windaba conference and Nyker warned that the government needed to give the long-term implications of the policy serious thought. “The [capital expenditure] associated with constructing local manufacturing plants is significant and it is going to require a much longer-term view and a further megawatt commitment to wind to ensure that these manufacturing plants will be stable. Given the current global and local economic environment we cannot afford to invest in manufacturing facilities that will end up underutilised or loss making in the future,” she said.

“In this modern-day world of tighter operating margins and a theme of downsizing globally, the ‘just do it’ approach needs to be given much further thought and evaluation. Like many of us sitting here in this hall today, we want to build a localised industry that can stand on its own and indeed create that manufacturing gateway to the rest of the SADC [Southern African Development Community] region,” said Nyker.

The first REIPPP round required 25% local content for wind projects, which, according to SAWEA CEO Johan van den Berg was not overly onerous as it could be covered in the ‘balance of plant’ portion of the project costs. Even with the third round requiring 40% local content, Van den Berg said he thought this was still possible, though it would require South African blade and turbine contributions. “As we go further up it becomes a little bit more challenging but it’s not that it can’t be done, it’s the question of whether it can be done,” he said.
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter

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DBSA approves R9.6bn for renewable energy projects

Image by Reuters

The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) has approved loans amounting to R9.6-billion for 14 renewable-energy projects with a combined capacity of 896.5 MW, the development finance institution reported on Monday.

These projects, which form part of the 28 successful preferred bidders of the first bid window for the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Programme (REIPPP), were solar focused, with the exception of one wind energy project.

The DBSA approved loans for: De Aar solar photovoltaic (PV) (48.3 MW), Droogfontein solar PV (48.3 MW), Abengoa KaXu concentrated solar power (CSP)(100 MW), Jeffrey’s Bay wind project (133.9 MW), Bokpoort CSP (75 MW), Abengoa Khi CSP (50 MW), Herbert solar PV (20 MW), Scatec solar PV (75 MW), Greefspan solar PV (10 MW), Lesedi solar PV (75 MW), Letsatsi solar PV (75 MW), Touwsrivier CSP (36 MW), Kathu solar PV (75 MW) and Kalahari CSP (75 MW).

The 896.5 MW of capacity represents about 24% of the 3 725 MW South Africa is procuring under the REIPPP.

DBSA investments group executive TP Nchocho said the DBSA believed its investment in the local power generation and transmission infrastructure would stimulate the development of the so-called green economy, which was a key government priority in creating jobs.

Further, he pointed out that these projects were subjected to the bank’s environmental appraisal guidelines to ascertain their impact towards the environment.

“After a thorough environmental analysis conducted on these projects, we are confident that investment in the solar energy programme would have less adverse impact on climate change and the environment”, Nchocho added.

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Hear from and meet with top international CSP experts!

CSP Today

CSP Today are proud to have the most qualified and extensive CSP speaker list of any South African conference. We took on board who you wanted to hear from - and this year's speakers were hand-picked for their knowledge, experience and influence.

Deadline looms for public comments on Eskom tariffs

Pretoria - The public has until 20 November to make written submissions to the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) in respect of Eskom's total 16% tariff increase for the next five years.

At a briefing on Monday, Eskom Chief Executive Officer Brian Dames said the power parastatal had asked Nersa for the 16% increase of which 13% would be for the parastastal's own needs for the five year period plus 3% to support the introduction of Independent Power Producers (IPPs).

The current Multi-Year Price Determination, MYPD 2, expires in March 2013. Eskom has proposed that there be a five-year determination for MYPD 3, running from 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2018. The previous determinations, for MYPD 1 and MYPD 2, have been made over a three-year period.

On Monday, Nersa said it received the MYPD 3 application on 18 October.

"The regulator will follow due process in considering Eskom's application," Nersa spokesperson Charles Hlebela said.

The public which has been urged to participate in the process have until 20 November to submit their written comments at

"Nersa would like to encourage all stakeholders and the public to actively participate in this process by submitting written comments and attending or making oral representation at the public hearings to be held in January 2013," said Hlebela.

The public hearings will be held in all nine provinces from 15 to 31 January 2013 with a decision expected on 28 February 2013.

Eskom board chairman Zola Tsotsi said the submission to the regulator came at a time when the world is facing tough times. "The MYPD 3 comes in a negative economic climate. Our economy is still faced with poverty and unemployment," he said, adding that the tariff request should be seen in a developmental light.

Dames said the utility hopes for a debate on the application. "It is not only about electricity but about choices we have to make as a country."

He said the company was planning for a growing and successful economy.

"For that we need to continue to invest in the electricity infrastructure which can support higher rates of economic growth and development and extend access to electricity to all South Africans. Our application balances South Africa's needs for a secure supply of power and for a sustainable electricity industry, with our recognition of the impact which tariff increases have on the economy, particularly on the poor," he said.

In June, Eskom submitted its draft MYPD 3 to the SA Local Government Association (Salga) and National Treasury for comment. At a breakfast in July, Dames announced that the utility had not yet determined its final application.

Standard Bank senior economist Thabi Leoka said: "It's a good number; it is similar to the 2012/13 one."

Asked if the public would be able to absorb the tariff should it be approved she said: "If we look at growth and consumer behaviour, consumers are struggling and the tariff will have an impact on disposable income," she said, adding that the outlook for growth and employment was not rosy.

In March, the regulator approved a reduced tariff increase of 16% down from the original 25.9% approved in the MYPD 2. -
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Siemens exits solar business

Siemens AG has announced it will no longer be active in the solar industry, and will instead focus on wind and hydro power in the field of renewables.
Siemens will no longer operate in the photovoltaics industry.
Siemens Energy Photovoltaics

As part of its reorganization strategy, the Germany-based electronics giant has announced the discontinuation of its Solar & Hydro division and, thus an exit from both its thermal solar and photovoltaic activities.

In a statement released, Michael Süß, member of the Managing Board of Siemens and CEO of the energy sector, explained, "Due to the changed framework conditions, lower growth and strong price pressure in the solar markets, the company’s expectations for its solar energy activities have not been met."

Siemens' statement added that talks are currently underway regarding the sale of its solar activities, and that business will operate as usual, until the activities have been sold. A spokesperson for the company told pv magazine that 680 employees will be affected by the decision. It is hoped they will be transferred to the new buyer along with Siemens’ solar activities. Overall, 800 employees are in the division, 200 of which are located in Germany.

In the last year, the division is said to have reaped revenues in the low triple-digit millions. While the spokesperson could not divulge any specific details, they did say that there are parties interested in buying it. A deal is hoped to be reached by 2014 at the latest.

While Siemens will no longer be directly involved in solar, it will continue to produce components for thermal solar and photovoltaic plants, which are said to be manufactured out with its Solar & Hydro division. It added that hydro and energy storage business activities will remain within the company’s Energy Sector.

"The importance of renewable energies in the global power mix will continue to grow and hydro power and wind energy will remain the major renewable contributors. Our renewable energy activities will be focused on these two areas," continued Süß.

Read more:

Eskom asks for 16% tariff increase

Johannesburg - Power parastatal Eskom has asked the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) for a total 16% tariff increase over the next five years.

The utility is asking the regulator for 13% for each of the five years for its own needs, plus 3% to support the introduction of Independent Power Producers (IPPs).

The current Multi-Year Price Determination, MYPD 2, comes to an end in March 2013.

Additionally, the power parastatal is proposing that there be a five-year determination for MYPD 3, running from 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2018. The previous determinations, for MYPD 1 and MYPD 2, have been made over a three-year period.

"Eskom's five-year revenue request translates into average electricity price increases of 13% a year for Eskom's own needs, plus 3% to support the introduction of IPPs, giving a total of 16%," said Eskom chief executive officer Brian Dames said on Monday.

The increase represents a total price increase from the current 61 cents per kilowatt hour in 2012/13 to 128 cents per kilowatt hour in 2017/18. This would include targeted savings in operating and primary energy costs.

"We need increase to cover costs... secondly we have a growing economy and we have to invest in our future," said Dames, adding that they must also take into account maintenance work, financing for new capacity, participation of IPPs and striking a balance to protect the poor.

Eskom recognised the energy pressures the country faced.

"In this application, we worked hard to strike a balance," said Dames, who was optimistic that the five-year tariff path would also help give certainty to investors.

"Coal and operation costs have been contained in the application," he said of the energy source that played a big part of Eskom's input costs.

The request will add up to "just over a cumulative R1 trillion over five years."

The application was based on new capacity, up to the completion of the Kusile power plant and also included the Department of Energy's peaker plant (a power plant that generally runs only when there is a high demand) of 1 020 megawatts and the renewable energy IPP programme that caters for a total 3 725 megawatts of renewable capacity.

Public hearings for the application are expected to be held in January 2013. -
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South African Cleantech SME Accelerator Programme 2012/13

Entries for the second annual Cleantech SME Accelerator Programme are now open. The Cleantech Programme was launched last year to identify and provide support and exposure to new innovation clean technologies developed by South African entrepreneurs. 

It is currently managed by the National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa (NCPC-SA) – a key industrial sustainability programme of the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) hosted by the CSIR.

Tracks and categories
Interested South African Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) are being invited enter their clean technology innovations to the Programme by the closing date ofMonday, 29 October 2012. Submissions can be made in one of two tracks, namely:
1. Break-through Technology Innovations; or
2. Adaptive and Appropriate Technology Innovations.

Essentially this means that the innovation can either be a brand new technology or product, or it can be a unique adaptation of an existing technology. Each of the two tracks includes five categories under which entries can be made. These are:
Renewable energy, including, solar, wind, geo-thermal, biofuels etc;
Energy Efficiency, for example industrial process improvements, lighting systems, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning;
Water Efficiency, covering technologies that support water management, quality and conservation;
Waste Minimisation, where technologies should minimise waste including air emissions, effluent, solid emissions and recycling; and
Materials Efficiency, which focuses on innovations that will minimise material usage and maximise product output.

Closing date for entries: Monday, 29 October 2012
Submissions will be adjudicated by a panel representing business, industry, government and the academic/R&D fraternity. Submissions that meet all criteria will be considered and a maximum of 40 semi-finalists will be selected. Semi-finalists will then be supported through a process of business coaching, including a 2-3 day coaching workshop, to provide assistance with refining of their applications, after which they will submit a revised proposal. 

A second round of adjudication will take place, from which ten finalists (five from each track) will be selected. Each of the ten finalists will present their submission at a high profile awards event in February 2013. The adjudication panel will select one winner and one runner-up in each track.

Awards and prizes
Finalists will be acknowledged at an awards ceremony and the winners and runners up will receive generous cash prizes, media exposure, business support services and market linkage opportunities. Details of the prizes will be posted on the NCPC-SA website and other new media platforms.

Entries and enquiries
The first round requires a simple entry per entry form on the website: . Closing date for entries is Monday, 29 October 2012. Rules and conditions of entry are also outlined on the NCPC-SA website.
Enquiries: Tel (012) 841 3314 / 2506

Saturday, October 20, 2012

RFQ - Supply Solar Power Supply South Africa

Further info available on our paid member only site.

Details  (Click here)

Join SAAEA to establish your company as a renewable energy industry leader.
To join SAAEA, simply fill in the membership form  online.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Wind power developer pursuing 2 000 MW SA pipeline

Windlab Africa MD Peter Venn
Windlab Africa MD Peter Venn

Wind-energy site developer Windlab – which is participating in two projects that have already progressed to the preferred-bidder stage under South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP) – reports that it is pursuing a further 14 near-term South African prospects that could collectively represent more than 2 000 MW of future capacity.
CEO Roger Price says the country’s abundant and high-quality onshore wind resources, coupled with growing electricity demand and a sound renewable energy procurement process has positioned South Africa as a key “growth engine” for the company.

All told, Windlab, which is headquartered in Canberra, Australia, is advancing a portfolio of 40 wind projects on five continents, involving some 5 000 MW. But Price says the South African portfolio represents around half of the group’s advanced prospects.

The immediate focus, though, is on the 138 MW Amakhala Emoyeni site, near Bedford, in the Eastern Cape, which is being developed by Cennergi and the West Coast 1 project, being pursued by Moyeng Energy, a consortium involving Investec Bank and GDF Suez.

Windlab’s proprietary wind resource mapping technology was deployed in the selection of the sites and Price believes the visibility offered to the developers will lower the operational risks and improve shareholder returns.

Initially developed by researchers at Australia’s CSIRO, the technology, known as WindScape, delivers high-resolution wind-resource maps ahead of the deployment of the physical wind measuring and verification equipment.

Windlab Africa MD Peter Venn says the technology has enabled the company to identify high-potential prospects on the east coast of Africa, which it aims to pursue over the coming years.

But Venn stresses that Windlab is also prepared to enter projects as a minority equity partner, which further lowers the IPP development risk.

Both Price and Venn are sanguine about the current REIPPP delays, arguing that, while they would have preferred the first bid-window projects to have closed in June as initially conceived, the schedule slippage is not untoward in light of the novelty and scale of the programme being pursued.

However, Windlab believes that South Africa will only fully benefit from the growing cost competitiveness of wind if the current programme to procure 3 725 MW of renewable energy evolves into a rolling procurement programme, with a far larger allocation for wind.

During the second REIPPP bid window the successful wind projects were tender at a price of 89c/kWh, making them competitive with new coal-fired production on a levelised cost basis.

However, should the localisation thresholds rise from 30% currently to closer to the 65% aspiration, that cost competitiveness would be undermined – unless the allocation is large enough to justify manufacturing investments by equipment suppliers.

Price believes a wind procurement programme of around 1 000 MW a year over a period of ten years would be sufficient to facilitate the localisation currently being sough by the South African authorities.

Energy Minister Dipuo Peters is expected to release a new determination soon extending the REIPPP to 2020 and adding a further 3 200 MW for procurement. However, this figure is yet to be confirmed and the allocation split between the various renewables technologies is also not yet certain.

In the meantime, Windlab is working with other local wind developers to communicate the benefits of the technology to farmers and near-project communities.

Dipolelo Elford has been appointed to facilities this liaison process and is overseeing the “Communities for Wind” programme on behalf of Windlab.
Elford says there is potential for communities to benefit both as shareholders and as employees. Efforts will also be made to communicate the potential synergies between agricultural activities and the deployment of wind projects.

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Bosch responds to growth in solar market

17 October 2012 - In response to the growing demand for solar energy, Robert Bosch South Africa has installed a sample system at its sales office in Midrand. The Bosch Solar Energy division installed a 2.5 kWh mono crystalline and 2.5 kWh thin film system.

“It will in future be extended with a further 2.5 kWh polycrystalline system. The power produced by the system is fed into and used by the office blocks on site,” Andreas Wagner, head of Bosch South Africa’s solar division, says.

The ground based installation is used to showcase what the future PV plants in South Africa’s IPP/ rebate program will look like. The system produces about 14,000 kWh/year. If calculated on standard 20 year power producing period, the solar plant currently produces power for less R/ kwh than Eskom current rates.“With this installation we are showing on a small scale what solar energy can do for South Africa” Steffen Hoffmann, managing director of Robert Bosch says.

Due to the modularity of the system, it can cover the needs of residential users trying to get away from the monthly bills and commercial users looking for a greener alternative, which is also cost effective. The system can be set up at ground level or mounted on a roof.

These systems are installed across Africa in supermarkets, at distribution centres, daycare centres and are also used with great success at government and municipality levels. To date, the growing interest throughout Africa indicates that this system is also being used at game lodges, retreats and telecommunication facilities located in remote areas. Notably, other companies in need of solar powered UPS systems that don’t run flat when the grid is down for longer than expected are also using this system.

“Companies and residential developments that want to expand and are not getting more power from the grid, mines that run off diesel gensets and want to cut their fuel bill are among customers for this system. We anticipate growing interest in solar power from both commercial and residential users in years to come,” Wagner says.

Bosch Solar Energy in South Africa is geared up with local stock holding and technical expertise to accommodate the demand. In future Bosch plans to move to local production, if the Africa demand makes it economically viable.

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Complimentary webinar: A journey through Global CSP - Tracking data on projects and markets in 2012

This webinar will take place on Wednesday 24 October at 8.00AM (PST) / 4.00PM (UK):

As the latest in a series of interactive webinars run by CSP Today, this hour-long session will give participants the opportunity to explore a wealth of fully verified data on CSP markets and projects around the globe.

With Belen Gallego, founder of CSP Today, Pancho Ndebele president of STELA World and former President of SASTELA, Riian Meyer, Research Engineer, Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies South Africa and CSP Today Analyst, Jennifer Muirhead.

Register for free and secure your spaces as places are limited:
Posted By Bea Gonzalez
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Jubilee to sell electricity to Eskom

JOHANNESBURG ( – Aim- and JSE-listed Jubilee Platinum has received approval from the National Energy Regulator of South Africa to start selling electricity to national power generating company Eskom.

Sales of electricity are expected to start on October 26.
Jubilee currently has a 51% interest in power generating company Power Alt and as previously announced has entered into a process of acquiring an additional 19% interest.

CEO Leon Coetzer said exposure to the profitable sale of surplus power by Power Alt increases the company's earnings potential and profitability. “We are focused on growing cash flows and this is another important step, helping to underpin our growth potential.”

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Where are SA's wind farms?

Is there a rational explanation why South Africa doesn't have a burgeoning industry based on generating electricity from wind?

In a country with excellent wind power potential, both on land and offshore, and at a time when burning more fossil fuels in power plants should be classified as a climate crime against future generations, can there be any conceivable reason for wind power not to be a national priority?

The 7th Southern African Energy Efficiency Convention

Join us at the 7th Southern African Energy Efficiency Convention (2012SAEEC) on 14 and 15 November 2012 at Emperors Palace and get the opportunity to network with representatives from the following companies: 

• Engen Petroleum Ltd
• EBM - PAPST SA (Pty) Ltd
• Schneider Electric
• Energy Cybernetics
• Spirax Sarco
• CBI-Electric: African Cables
• Electromechanica (Pty) Ltd
• CT Lab
• Artic Driers
• Remote Metering Solutions
• Ellies (Pty) Ltd
• ABB South Africa (Pty) Ltd
• North West University
• Surge Technology (Pty) Ltd
• Green Earth Industries (Pty) Ltd
• Pioneer Plastics Energy
• Open Trade Traning Centre
• ESKOM Holdings SOC Ltd
• Energywise
• Business Enterprises at University of Pretoria
• Royal Haskoning DHV
• IEE Project (UNIDO)
• Ilanga Lighting Distribution Company
• City Power Johannesburg
• ITS engineering (Pty) Ltd
• LTE Consulting
• AnglogoldAshanti
• Zamori Engineering Services
• University of Cape Town
• Eskom IDM
• Sylvania Metals (Pty) Ltd
• S K Energy Projects
• C&I Electrical Group
• Ikra Educational Training Centre
• Industrial Development Corporation
• University of Johannesburg
• Nyamezela Energy and Minerals (Pty) Ltd
• Pharmacare Limited
• Magalies Water
• JHI Properties (Pty) Ltd
• Sasol infrachem
• Afripancon Wits University
• Grundfos (Pty) Ltd
• SESSA - Sustainable Energy Society of SA South African
• National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI)
• Tata Consulting Engineers Ltd
• Carbontrack SA
• LappGroup South Africa (Ptd) Ltd
• Carbo Consult & Engineering (Pty) Ltd
• DNV Kema Energy & Sustainability
• Single Destination Engineering
• Energy Training Foundation
• Chapman Facility Managers
• African Rainbow Minerals (ARM)
• Energy Resource Optimizers
• Green Building Council South Africa
• Lightworx CC
• Single Destination Engineering
• Promethium Carbon
• Deloitte
• Standard Bank
• Power Engineers
• North West University - CFAM Technologies
• World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa
• Stellenbosch University
• eThekwini Municipality City of Durban
• Andrew Murray Consulting
• JHI Properties (Pty) Ltd
• Swartland Boudienste
• SSI Engineers & Enviromental
• Technology Innoviation Agency
• DRA Mineral Projects
• CS Instruments

View program
Register as Exhibitor 
Register as a delegate 
Register for Banquet 
This event is endorsed by:
Technical Co-Sponsorship from IEEE PES and provisionally validated for 2 CPD credits by SAIEE

Contact details:
Tel: (018) 290 5130 • Email: • Website:
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Overhauled solar-geyser incentive to focus on industrial spin-offs

The South African government and Eskom have revised the contracting and funding models for the mass roll-out of solar water heaters (SWHs). In future, the programme will be funded by the taxpayer, rather than the electricity consumer, and will focus heavily on stimulating local manufacture and supporting small and medium-sized installers.

Currently, the deployment is incentivised through a rebate programme, funded from electricity tariffs. This rebate support has facilitated the deployment of 285 000 SWHs, which Eskom claims have delivered power savings equivalent to 46 MW.

But the utility’s Andrew Etzinger reports that changes will be made when the rebate expires at the end of the year.

The objective of installing one-million such geysers by 2014 remains intact. However, the redesigned programme will seek to integrate government’s economic objectives of building a larger-scale domestic SWH manufacturing industry, while also supporting smaller installation and maintenance companies.

A total of R4.7-billion will need to be secured from the National Treasury to meet the target and Etzinger has indicated that the first R1-billion should be transferred to Eskom “shortly”, in line with an agreement between the utility and the Department of Energy (DoE).

“The reason for the change is driven by a new contracting model that places greater emphasis on the local production of SWHs,” he explains, adding that the new approach is supported not only by the DoE, but also the Departments of Trade and Industry and Public Enterprises.

Under the proposed arrangement, Eskom will procure the units from domestic manufacturers and offer these on a “free-issue basis” to installers.

Government and Eskom say the model should provide demand security for manufacturers, while transferring the financial burden from small and medium-sized installers to Eskom.

Tenders have been issued for the supply of the SWHs and Eskom is in the process of evaluating the submissions received. “We will be communicating back to the market soon,” Etzinger says.

Eskom says the SWH roll-out, together with its other residential demand-side interventions, have achieved a saving of 181 MW to date. During the second phase, a savings target of 190 MW has been set.

A range of products have been developed in support of further business, industrial and residential power savings and these will be “aggressively driven” over the coming months and years.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

RFP - Feasibility study consultant - CEF/Solar Park

Further info available on our paid member only site.

Details  (Click here)

Join SAAEA to establish your company as a renewable energy industry leader.
To join SAAEA, simply fill in the membership form  online.

DoE issues new RFPs for solar park study

The Department of Energy (DoE) has reissued three requests for proposals (RFPs) to source a team of consultants for the feasibility study of the planned 5 000 MW solar park in the Northern Cape.

The RFPs were for appointment of a feasibility study consultant, an environmental assessment practitioner and a geotechnical engineering consultant, after moving the proposed project to the SiyaThemba region, from Upington.

The feasibility study, which was given the nod after a positive prefeasibility study was completed in 2010, aimed to examine the viability of the R150-billion solar park.

Central Energy Fund, which was appointed by the DoE to lead the solar park study, signed a memorandum of understanding with the SiyaThemba local municipality, which incorporates the towns of Prieska, Marydale and Niekerkshoop, allowing the firm to reissue the tenders to source the consultants.

Tenders for the appointment of a feasibility study consultant would close on November 16, while the tenders for the appointment of an environmental assessment practitioner and a geotechnical engineering consultant would close on November 12.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Workshop on Role of KZN Municipalities in Embedded Generation

KSEF together with the eThekwini Municipal Institute of Learning hosted a workshop for all officials of licensed municipalities in KZN on 31 August 2012.

The half-day workshop was attended by representatives of six licensed municipalities in KZN. Since eThekwini is the only municipality in South Africa to have already signed Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with Embedded Power Generators (EPGs), their application procedure and experience was shared with all other municipalities in KZN. Eskom also gave an account of their plans and procedures to accomodate embedded power generation.
All in all, it is understood that the cost of approving, servicing and managing bi-directional meters is significant, but that the demand from customers to generate their own electricity is growing. Embedded Power Generation from Renewable Energy is still in the early stages of implementation, with KZN in the lead.

Presentations given at this workshop can be downloaded.....
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eThekwini rates of payment to embedded electricity generators

eThekwini Municipality’s electricity department recently released details of the tariff structure used to pay for electricity generated onto the Durban grid. Generators can expect payment based on the following: Amount of Energy generated – kWh, Amount of kvA generated and the voltage level of generation.

Read More........

FREE "How to Source from China" conference

Attention importers, distributors, retailers and buying managers:
Pre-register for FREE online!

Import quality products directly from the manufacturer at the China Sourcing Fairs in Johannesburg!
Expand your product range and increase your margins at the only exhibition specializing in Greater China manufacturers – 3rd year, even bigger show!

Why you should attend:

Meet experienced exporters that manufacture products for leading companies around the world!
See quality products from a wide selection of suppliers from Greater China (China, Hong Kong, Taiwan)
Attend the FREE "How to Source from China" conference program! Learn more here.

See products like these at the show:
• Electronics
• Solar & Energy Saving Products

P.S. The China Sourcing Fairs are for trade professionals only. No one under 18 admitted. No children. Your business card is required to enter the event. Pre-register online here.

November 28-30, 2012
China Sourcing Fairs
Gallagher Convention Centre Gallagher Estate, Midrand Johannesburg, South Africa

Other categories:
Gifts & Premiums
Fashion Accessories
Home Products
Garments & Textiles
Baby & Children's Products
Hardware & Building Materials

Saturday, October 13, 2012

World’s Largest Wind Turbine Rotor

Siemens Energy recently started testing its 154-meter rotor, the world’s largest for wind turbines. The new rotor will be used for its 6-megawatt wind turbine in Denmark.

The SWT-6.0-154 will have the world’s longest rotor blades, the Siemens news release noted. Each blade will have a length of 75 meters.

Siemens noted the turbines will be able to provide energy to about 6,000 homes.

The new 154-meter rotor for the six-megawatt (MW) offshore wind turbine being installed in Østerild, Denmark. Image Credit: Siemens Energy

The company expects the new 154-meter rotors will be the standard for the offshore wind industry.

In May 2011, Siemens had originally used a prototype of a 6-MW turbine with a 120-meter rotor in Hovsore Denmark’s test location because of concerns due to height restrictions.

Siemens’ gearless technology allows for a compact design, Siemens said. The efficient design and lower weight on the turbines will drop the overall costs and boost overall efficiency.
Clean Technica (

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RFP - Solar Geysers in Wartburg South Africa 16Nov12

Further info available on our paid member only site.

Details  (Click here)

Join SAAEA to establish your company as a renewable energy industry leader.
To join SAAEA, simply fill in the membership form  online.

RFP - Solar Power Systems to South African Rural Households

Further info available on our paid member only site.

Details  (Click here)

Join SAAEA to establish your company as a renewable energy industry leader.
To join SAAEA, simply fill in the membership form  online.

South Africa's Renewable energy progress

Creamer Media's Mariaan Webb speaks to Engineering News editor Terence Creamerabout South Africa's renewable energy programme.Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter

Eskom eyes African hydropower, transmission prospects

South African electricity utility Eskom has finalised a draft African strategy, which could result it in taking equity as well as operational positions in generation and transmission projects in the rest of the continent, with its primary focus being opportunities in Southern Africa.

CEO Brian Dames says that strategy is currently being canvassed with government, Eskom’s sole shareholder, and that the utility’s role in the rest of the continent will be clarified through that process.

However, the board and the executive were of the view that Eskom should consider playing a direct role in the African electricity sector, including as an equity participant in projects.

“We have not made any firm decisions around this, [but] hydro provides unique opportunity for us and we certainly believe that the Mozambican projects [Mphanda-Nkuwa and Cahora Bassa North Bank], are quite far advanced.”

Until recently, Eskom has been importing around 1 500 MW from Cahora Bassa, but supplies have been reduced to around 900 MW, owing to a technical fault. Work is currently being undertaken to restore imports to previous levels, but the restoration process is likely to take some months yet.

Eskom is already active as an operator of the power system for Senegal, Mauritania and Mali and the generation system in Uganda, but the future priority areas will probably be within the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

The SADC offers “significant future opportunities”, particularly in securing “cleaner forms of energy”, such as in natural gas and hydroelectricity.

“We also have this vision that you can build all these projects and connect them with a significant transmission network . . . [and] Eskom has built up unique capabilities to design transmission networks, to build them and to operate them in an integrated grid,” Dames explains.

Eskom’s African strategy is emerging as Africa’s heads of State are moving to support a pipeline of 15 energy projects, with a combined price tag of $40.5-billion, to foster further economic growth.

The projects form part of the larger Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (Pida) portfolio, which has been assembled under the New Partnership for Africa’s Development banner and include four transmission corridors, nine hydropower schemes and two energy pipelines.

The Pida projects have been earmarked for development between 2012 and 2020.

The transmission projects included are the North-South Transmission link, from Egypt to South Africa, with branches mostly into East Africa; the Central Corridor, from Angola to South Africa, with branch lines into Central and West Africa; a North African Transmission Corridor from Egypt to Morocco, with links through Libya, Tunisia and Algeria; and the West African Power Transmission Corridor, linking Ghana to Senegal, with branches.

The nine hydroelectric projects include the Great Millennium Renaissance Dam, in Ethiopia; the Mphanda-Nkuwa project, in Mozambique; the Inga hydro projects, in the Democratic Republic of Congo; the hydropower component of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project Phase 2; the Sambangalou project, on the Gambia river; the Kaleta II, in Guinea; the Batoka Gorge project, on the Zambia-Zimbabwe border; the Ruzizi III project, in Rwanda; and the Rusumo Falls development, being pursued by Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.

The two pipelines listed are the Uganda–Kenya petroleum products pipeline and the Nigeria–Algeria gas pipeline.

The energy projects have been prioritised in line with an African Union aspiration to raise energy access across the continent to better than 60% by 2040.

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