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There is an increasing need for businesses to reduce and secure their energy requirements, improve water efficiency and reduce and beneficiate their waste streams generated as a result of the current crises in energy, water and landfill airspace.

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Infocus International Announces New Online Training on Renewable Energy Power Purchase Agreements

Infocus International Group has announced a brand new online training – Renewable Energy Power Purchase Agreements (RE PPAs) and it will be commencing live on 3 August 2021. The practical models and techniques for analyzing & structuring, drafting, and negotiating Renewable Energy Power Purchase Agreements for bankable green investments in today’s competitive energy markets.

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President Cyril Ramaphosa: a step in reforming the electricity sector

10 Jun 2021

President announces major reform to enable investment in embedded generation and promote energy security

President Cyril Ramaphosa, together with Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe, today (10 June 2021) announced a significant step in further reforming our electricity sector towards the achievement of a stable and secure supply of energy. 

Following an extensive public consultation process undertaken by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act will be amended to increase the licensing threshold for embedded generation projects from 1 MW to 100 MW. 

New generation projects up to 100 MW in size will now be registered and will be able to connect to the grid. 

Generation facilities will still need to have their registration approved by the regulator and meet all of the associated requirements, including grid connection approval from the network provider. 

Generators will be allowed to sell electricity to one or more end-user customers, on the condition that they are registered and have secured grid connection approval. 

This intervention is undertaken within the broader context of electricity industry reforms currently underway. The raising of the licensing threshold is expected to unlock significant investment in new generation capacity in the short and medium-term. 

President Ramaphosa said: “This decision reflects our determination to take the necessary action to achieve energy security and reduce the impact of load shedding on businesses and households across the country.” 

The final version of the amendment to Schedule 2 and associated rules will be published within the next 60 days. 

Courtesy: www.gov.za

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President Cyril Ramaphosa on an amendment to Schedule Two of the Electricity Regulation Act

10 Jun 2021

Good afternoon,

We are holding this briefing today in a time of great hope and great difficulty.

The difficulty, because we are in the midst of the worst economic crisis in our country’s recent history, which has seen a dramatic increase in unemployment and hunger and a significant decline in economic growth.

Hope, because we are already starting to see the results of our efforts to recover and to rebuild.

In the GDP figures released by Statistics South Africa this week, in the encouraging signs of a revival in many sectors of our economy, and in rising business confidence, we are seeing the green shoots that emerge after a devastating fire.

We are witnessing, as I predicted in the State of the Nation Address only a few months ago, the rebirth of our resilient protea.

The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic has been severe, not only for South Africa but for the global economy.

As a country, however, our challenges predate the pandemic. We have experienced low economic growth and high levels of unemployment for many years, due to the structural constraints that hold our economy back.

There is no doubt that the prospect of a continued energy shortfall and further load shedding presents a massive risk to our economy. That is why we have identified the achievement of energy security as one of the priority interventions in our Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan.

Our ability to address the energy crisis swiftly and comprehensively will determine the pace of our economic recovery. Resolving the energy supply shortfall and reducing the risk of load shedding is our single most important objective in reviving economic growth.

In the past weeks and months, we have made some important progress in addressing the energy crisis under the leadership of the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy.

This includes the announcement of 11 successful bidders for the Risk Mitigation Power Procurement Programme and the opening of Bid Window 5 of the renewable energy programme to procure 2 600 MW of new generation capacity from wind and solar PV projects.

Eskom is working hard to improve the performance of its existing fleet of power stations, reduce its debt burden and complete its restructuring process.

While these steps are positive and necessary, they are not enough to address the immediate and significant energy shortfall that threatens our economic recovery.

We know that to confront the energy challenge will require bold and urgent action now.

Incremental measures will not be sufficient to meet the scale of this challenge.

We also know that in responding to any crisis, we must remain agile and willing to adapt our interventions to match the circumstances that we face. The interventions that we planned yesterday may not be sufficient to meet our needs today.

For this reason, we are today announcing a significant new step in further reforming our electricity sector towards achieving a stable and secure supply of energy.

Following an extensive public consultation process and a significant amount of technical work undertaken by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, we will be amending Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act to increase the NERSA licensing threshold for embedded generation projects from 1 MW to 100 MW.

This intervention reflects our determination to take the necessary action to achieve energy security and reduce the impact of load shedding on businesses and households across the country.

It is evidence of our intention to tackle this economic crisis head-on, by implementing major economic reforms that will transform our economy.

It also demonstrates our commitment as a government to listen carefully to experts, to engage closely with our social partners, and to take on board new ideas to address our longstanding challenges.

This measure will be crucial in developing a response to the energy crisis that is ambitious enough, bold enough and urgent enough.

The amended regulations will exempt generation projects up to 100 MW in size from the NERSA licensing requirement, whether or not they are connected to the grid. This will remove a significant obstacle to investment in embedded generation projects.

Generators will also be allowed to wheel electricity through the transmission grid, subject to wheeling charges and connection agreements with Eskom and relevant municipalities.

However, generation projects will still need to obtain a grid connection permit to ensure that they meet all of the requirements for grid compliance. This will ensure that we are able to bring online as much new capacity as possible without compromising the integrity or stability of our energy system.

Generation projects will also need to have their registration approved by the regulator to verify that they have met these requirements and to receive authorisation to operate.

Municipalities will have the discretion to approve grid connection applications in their networks, based on an assessment of the impact on their grid.

They will also have to undertake an Environmental Impact Assessment and all other requirements of existing legislation.

This will ensure that while we enable as much new generation capacity as possible to come online, we also ensure the orderly development of the energy system.

This reform is expected to unlock significant investment in new generation capacity in the short and medium-term, enabling companies to build their own generation facilities to supply their energy needs.

This in turn will increase the available supply of energy and reduce the burden on Eskom, allowing Eskom to proceed with its intensive maintenance programme and reduce its reliance on expensive gas and diesel turbines.

The final version of the amendment to Schedule 2 will be published by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy within the next 60 days or sooner.

We are faced with the significant challenge of achieving a swift and lasting economic recovery, following many years of economic decline.

This government has the task of building a new economy in the wake of a global pandemic, and of placing our country on a strong footing for the next decade and beyond.

While the challenges we face are steep, our starting point must be to acknowledge the severity of the crisis.

If we recognise the challenge, if we understand its root causes, we can fund and implement solutions.

We are a country that is blessed with tremendous resources and resourcefulness. We have a bright future ahead of us.

Today’s announcement takes us one significant step further towards that future.

I would like to thank the Minister and his team for working tirelessly to secure our energy supply and to forge a modern, forward-looking and sustainable energy system for our country.

I would also like to thank the Operation Vulindlela team headed by the Deputy Minister of Finance and the staff who have worked on this in the National Treasury and in my office.

I thank you.

Courtesy: www.gov.za

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Western Cape government calls for information on renewable projects to beat load shedding

11 Jun 2021


We are pleased to announce the publishing of a Request for Information (RFI) for our Municipal Energy Resilience (MER) Project, calling on all potential private and public sector organisations, including Western Cape municipalities, to provide information on renewable energy projects that would develop into new generation capacity in the Western Cape.

This is an important step forward in our MER Project which was launched last year to support municipalities to take advantage of the new energy regulations to generate, procure and sell their own power so that we can become more energy secure in the Western Cape.

Information submitted through the RFI will enable the Department of Economic Development and Tourism to consider options and develop the strategic approach to assist municipalities in the Western Cape to develop and/or procure new electricity generation capacity from all types of renewable energy generation and supply systems and technologies, including self-generation, battery energy storage systems, as well as hybrid generation and storage solutions.

The MER Project is just one of the many ways to build energy resilience and buffer businesses and households from the impact of load shedding in the Western Cape.

The announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa yesterday (10 June 2021) that Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act will be amended to increase the licensing threshold for embedded generation projects from 1 MW to 100 MW is a welcome move that will boost our initiatives to build energy resilience in the Western Cape.

To ensure we maintain momentum and move forward as quickly as possible, we need the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy to finalise Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act to provide further clarity and certainty to the market.

We remain in an energy crisis and large-scale private sector participation in energy generation, in partnership with the government, will be key to addressing the current shortfall in the Western Cape.

Courtesy: www.gov.za

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Mineral Resources and Energy on new bidders for the RMIPPP Programme

The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy announces the appointment of three additional preferred bidders under the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement (RMIPPP) Programme following the completion of value for money negotiations, as indicated by the Minister during the announcement of the other 8 Preferred Bidders on 18th March 2021.

The additional Preferred Bidders announced by the Department are as follows:

Project NameEvaluation Price (ZAR)Contracted Capacity (MW)Location(Province)TechnologyJobs Years to be created for RSA Citizens
Scatec Kenhardt 21 884.6150.00Northern CapeSolar Photovoltaic and Battery StorageConstruction – 605 Operations – 1 051
Scatec Kenhardt 11 884.6450.00Northern CapeSolar Photovoltaic and Battery StorageConstruction – 605 Operations – 1 051
Scatec Kenhardt 31 884.5650.00Northern CapeSolar Photovoltaic and Battery StorageConstruction – 605 Operations – 1 051

The three additional preferred bidder projects will add a total of 150MW to the national grid, bringing the total megawatts procured under the RMIPPPP to 1995.76MW. These projects will be required to achieve Financial Close by the end of September 2021.

The RMIPPPP bid window was released to the market in August 2020, following the promulgation of the Ministerial Determination of 2 000MW, with concurrence from NERSA. The main objective of the bid window is to meet the supply gap indicated in the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP2019), and reduce the extensive utilisation of expensive diesel-based peaking electrical generators in the medium to long term. The Request for Proposals (RFP) for the RMIPPPP allowed for a portfolio approach whereby a developer could bid on a portfolio of facilities, which will constitute one project. This approach has attracted a combination of technologies and facilities at the same or different geographical locations.

Courtesy: www.gov.za

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Minister Gwede Mantashe: Mineral Resources and Energy Dept Budget Vote 2021/22 NCOP

20 May 2021

Address by the Honourable Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Mr Samson Gwede Mantashe, MP on the Budget Vote 34 NCOP

Let me take this opportunity to express my profound gratitude that we are assembled here today to present the Budget Vote as allocated to the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy for the 2021 – 2022 fiscal year.

We bring this budget vote here with full appreciation that both mining and energy have a direct impact on citizens located in Provinces. It is our objective that all mining and energy projects must benefit South Africans across the length and breadth of the country. Over a century, mining has been the bedrock of our economy and we believe that this sector will continue contributing immensely to the economy for years to come. The saying that “if it is not grown, it is mined” cannot be disputed. It is therefore not an exaggeration to say that the modern world would not be able to function without mined resources, but this needs to be supported by a stable and reliable energy supply, and this is our daily pre-occupation.

FIinancials

The business of the day is about the budget allocated to the Department, let me hasten to outline our budget allocation for this fiscal year. The main appropriation for the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy in the 2021/22 financial year is a total of R9.2 billion. Earmarked transfer payments to public entities, municipalities, and other implementing institutions account for R7.5 billion or 81.6% while the allocation for operational activities, inclusive of procurement of capital assets accounts for R1.7 billion or 18.4%.  A substantial portion of the transfer payments is allocated to implementing agencies as follows:

  • R4.8 billion to Eskom and Municipalities for the implementation of the Integrated National Electrification Programme (INEP). Eskom will receive R2.8 billion while R2 billion is allocated to various Municipalities.
  • R232.3 million to various service providers for the implementation of the Non-Grid electrification programme. 
  • R220.9 million to Municipalities for the Energy Efficiency Demand Side Management programme (EEDSM.)
     

Our public entities are budgeted to receive a combined allocation of R2.1 billion, with

  • NECSA allocated R952.5 million inclusive of R203.6 million for the decommissioning and decontamination of past strategic nuclear facilities and nuclear waste and R20 million for preparatory work for the new multipurpose reactor project.
  • Mintek – R439.2 million of which R120.2 million will be utilized for the rehabilitation of derelict and ownerless mines.
  • Council for Geoscience – R377.1 million mainly for operational activities.
  • Petroleum Agency of South Africa – R136.3 million for operations.
  • SANEDI –R75.2 million for operational activities.
  • South African Diamond and Precious Metals Regulator – R62.03 million.
  • National Radioactive Waste Disposal Institute (NRWDI) and the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) – R49.2 million and R46.1 million respectively for operations.

Comparative to the indicative allocation of R9.6 billion confirmed during the 2020 Budget, the 2021/22 main appropriation of R9.2 billion is 4.1% lower due to the implementation of budget reductions across government, particularly on the compensation of employees.

An allocation of R70 million in 2021/22 is earmarked for the development of the National Electrification Master Plan to assist with the implementation of the electrification programme.

Honorable Chairperson, with this budget we will be able to deliver on our programs as follows:

Creating an enabling environment through investor-friendly legislation

At the centre of our mandate is the responsibility to create an enabling environment for investments into both the mining and energy sectors. To this extent we have:

  1. Finalised the amendment the Gas Amendment Bill which was introduced to parliament on 30 April 2021. This Bill aims to unlock investment into the gas sector and facilitate the development of gas infrastructure. Parliament will be processing this Bill and we hope it will be enacted into law to unlock the investment potential into the gas resources sub-sector.
  2. Amended and gazette the blending requirements on biofuels to expand the definition to include 2nd and 3rd generation biofuels. We will finalise these regulations at the end of the consultation period two months from now.
  3. As part of our contribution to a just transition and ensuring that we reduce the greenhouse gas emissions, we have also gazetted the  Clean Fuels Regulations which aim to ensure a reduction of the sulphur content in standard grade diesel from 50 to 10 parts per million (ppm.). We will be finalizing and gazetting the final regulations by the end of the first quarter.
  4. As we seek to move towards cleaner fuels, we have also gazetted a draft LPG Strategy which seeks to address a suite of challenges prohibiting access and affordability of this energy source. This strategy will also be finalised by the end of the second quarter of this financial year.
  5. The Upstream Petroleum Bill has been approved by Cabinet and the process for its introduction to Parliament is underway. I will be gazetting the notice of intention to table the Bill in terms of the Joint Rules of Parliament after which I will table the Bill in Parliament. We look forward to the processing of this Bill in Parliament as it will unlock the potential for investments into both our on and offshore petroleum resources.
  6. Our team is hard at work with the Amendment of the Mine Health and Safety Act which seeks to address challenges relating to the health and safety of mineworkers.  We will publish this Bill for stakeholder comments in the third quarter of this financial year.
  7. The National Nuclear Regulator Amendment Bill has been approved by Cabinet and will be published for public comments. This Bill will be tabled in Parliament in the current financial year following the closure of the comments period.
  8. Work is at an advanced stage with the drafting of the Radioactive Waste Management Fund Bill which aims to enforce the polluter pays principle for all nuclear waste generators. We will be taking this Bill to the cabinet in the next quarter and publish it for stakeholder comments thereafter.
     

Security of energy supply

As government and its social partners work hard to revive and grow the economy, we are cognisant of the fact that energy security is the nucleus of this growth. Two days ago in the National Assembly, we gave a detailed breakdown of our efforts in this regard. Let me also share with this house details of the interventions we will be implementing in this fiscal year, over and above the projects, we implemented in 2020/21 to create the much-needed additional generation capacity.

Between August 2021 and January 2022, the Department will issue additional Requests for Proposals for,

  • 2 600 megawatts from renewable energy around August 2021.
  • 513 megawatts from Storage around August 2021.
  • 1 500 megawatts from Coal around December 2021.
  • 3 000 megawatts from Gas around December 2021.  
  • 1 600 megawatts from renewable energy around January 2022.
     

The Department intends to issue the Request for Proposal (RFP) for the procurement of two thousand five hundred megawatts (2 500MW) by the end of the current financial year, subject to regulatory approvals. This follows the twenty-five (25) submissions received in response to the Request for Information (RFI). The Koeberg Nuclear Power Plant 20-year extension project is also underway.

On mining application backlogs

It is our endeavour that we accelerate the processing of mining applications which in turn will contribute to local economic development. We intend on clearing the backlog and improving the turnaround time of applications with the new system. We continue to do our work albeit with difficulties. Between January 2021 and April 2021, we have issued 33 Prospecting Rights; 4 Mining Rights; and 7 Mining Permits.

Conclusion

Today’s presentation represents highlights of the work of my department, and not the totality thereof. Full details of our work are available and can be accessed in both the Strategic Plan and Annual Performance Plan. Since the advent of the current government administration, we have been preoccupied amongst others with the merger between the former Departments of Energy and Mineral Resources.

Following the implementation of the Start-Up-structure during 2020/21, the DMRE is now in the process of reviewing the current structure. That work should be finalised within 12 months. As it stands, we are better poised to move with greater speed in discharging our mandate as a unified Department.

I am confident that we will further the aims of our national transformation agenda as enjoined by the Constitution whose preamble speaks to healing the divisions of the past. As we expand our work both in the mineral resources and energy sectors, we will be mindful of the need not only to attain economic growth but, the redistribution of wealth.

As I conclude, I wish to express my appreciation for the opportunity to have this session about the future of mineral resources and energy sectors in our country.

Allow me to also thank the President, the Deputy President, my Cabinet colleagues, and the Select Committee for their continued support of the work of the department.

I thank you all honourable members for your presence here today and look forward to further engagement on this but most importantly the urgent implementation of all our scheduled programmes.

Lastly, I wish to thank my family for their unwavering support of my work. I thank the Director-General and “Team DMRE” who continue to work tirelessly and under difficult conditions to ensure that we deliver on our mandate.

I thank you!

Courtesy: www.gov.za

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GBCSA urges building owners to know and show their energy performance

By next December, some non-residential buildings will be required by law to display an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), which demonstrates the efficiency or inefficiency of a building. This is done by measuring the building’s energy-use intensity and giving it a colour-coded score from A-G, like the energy rating you would find on appliances.

In the same way that drivers check the fuel consumption of a car before renting or buying it, knowing the energy performance of a building empowers potential buyers or tenants to make a more informed decision.

It is hoped that this will be a great boost for energy efficiency in South Africa, since the first step toward lowering energy consumption is knowing energy consumption. The new regulation requires that energy data is collected over the period of a year, to get an adequate measure of the building’s energy use. Thus, building owners will see how their buildings compare against the SANS 10400-XA benchmark energy usage intensity value.

Once information on a building’s energy performance is publicly displayed, it will be much harder to justify operating an inefficient building. Buyers and tenants do not desire to move into a building that will be more expensive to run and will be a drain on the planet’s resources.

EPCs in South Africa

To obtain an EPC, a building owner will need to gather some of the building information – the electricity consumption data for a year, the net floor area, information on the areas excluded, vacancy rates – and contract a South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) accredited inspection body (IB) to audit the information. The IB submits the energy performance value to the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI), which inputs it into the National Building Energy Performance Register.  A unique number for the EPC is generated and sent to the SANAS accredited IB, who then issues the EPC to the client for display.

The National Building Energy Performance Register will assist with future benchmarking of building energy consumption and track progress toward achievement of the targets set out in future EPC regulations.

Before joining the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA), CEO Lisa Reynolds played an important role in the development of SANS 1544, the South African National Standard, which governs EPCs. “The old adage “if you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it” is the basis for the EPC Regulations. The energy usage of the South African existing building stock is unknown. How do we improve on an unknown? By measuring it – and ultimately improving on it,” says Reynolds. 

The Stellenbosch University Admin B building is the first in South Africa to achieve an EPC. The building received an A-rating for electrical consumption of 48kWh per square metre per year. The University has been collecting data for several years and the data verification was completed by Bluedust Engineering Solutions. This information was handed to Mess Energy Management and Validation Service, which is accredited by SANEDI to issue EPCs.

The challenge is now on to see which building in South Africa will be the next to get its Energy Performance Certificate.

The GBCSA is providing training workshops on EPCs in two parts/sessions. The first one is for building owners, facilities managers and consultants interested in understanding more about the EPC process and the second session must also be attended for those wishing to become SANAS accredited inspection bodies. Click here for more information.

Towards Net Zero

Understanding the energy performance of a building is a vital first step on the journey to a net-zero carbon building, which is the ultimate goal for the GBCSA. From knowing the energy usage intensity of a building; leading to the energy efficiency retrofitting of that building and ultimately the retrofitting into a net-zero carbon building.

The GBCSA strongly advocates for net-zero carbon buildings. These are very highly energy-efficient buildings, with the remainder of the power required for the operation of the building provided by renewable energy sources.

The motivation for net-zero carbon buildings is driven by South Africa’s National (National Development Plan goals) and local climate change commitments, which include the C40 Global Net Zero Carbon Buildings Declaration. Johannesburg, Tshwane, Cape Town and eThekwini are C40 cities and signatories to the 2018 declaration, alongside 24 other global cities. These cities have committed to developing regulations and/or planning policy to ensure new buildings operate at net zero carbon by 2030 and all buildings reach net-zero carbon status by 2050.

READ MORE: SOUTH AFRICA’S NEWLY IMPLEMENTED EPC REGULATIONS [PAGE 38 +IMPACT 11]
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Wärtsilä gas conversion project will accelerate Senegal’s move to cleaner energy production

The technology group Wärtsilä will convert the close to 90 MW Bel-Air power plant in Dakar, Senegal to operate on liquefied natural gas (LNG).

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REN21’s new report shows that cities across Africa demonstrate progressive leadership to deploy renewables

The 2021 edition of REN21’s Renewables in Cities Global Status Report, shows that one billion people live in cities with a renewable energy target or policy.

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