CAPE TOWN, South Africa, September 6, 2018/APO Group/ --

Speaking on Africa’s hydrocarbon development, Niall Kramer, CEO, South African Oil and Gas Alliance (SAOGA) said, “Growing a gas economy in South Africa and regionally is imperative. We need to do this to partner and to enable renewables but fundamentally to provide the catalyst for the sorely needed growth, business activity and jobs that give us the opportunities for inclusive growth. 

The wherewithal that oil and gas can bring is potentially large, but to know that we must explore for indigenous gas and import LNG. Policy attractiveness is certainty needed, as are regional partnerships. The biggest opportunity I see is the massive proven gas resources in Mozambique alongside South Africa as the largest industrial economy in Africa. My vision is the region becomes like the North Sea. But with good weather.”

The global energy industry has been experiencing a radical transformation in recent years. Replacing large-scale nuclear and fossil fuel power stations, the energy supply of the future will be secured by millions of decentralized renewable energy plants in combination with intelligent storage, distribution and consumption solutions for existing oil & gas resources. 

A new beginning

Africa’s newly launched meeting point, the Future Energy Africa Oil & Gas Exhibition & Conference 2018,  propositions a power packed 3-day exhibition and conference, dedicated to advancing future oil, gas and energy solutions for the continent. With far reaching industry collaboration, under the esteemed patronage of the Department of Energy of the Republic of South Africa, the event will provide in-depth analysis and an honest reflection of Africa’s set to revolutionize the future. In addition, the event provides an intensive tour across Africa, revealing insights on the issues confronting Africa’s future commercial, business and socio-economic trajectories. 

International industry support

The event is supported by numerous international industry associations including South African Oil & Gas Alliance (SAOGA), South African Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SACCI), European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE), Association for the Development of Energy in Africa (ADEA), Power Africa (a USAID initiative), Oil & Gas Safety 

Council (OGSC), Petroleum club of Romania, Nigerian Gas Association and CEDIGAZ.

Driving the conversation forward

As Sub-Saharan Africa charges towards a low carbon energy future, events such as the Future Energy Africa Oil & Gas Exhibition & Conference 2018 provide valuable forums for the international oil, gas and future energy industry to debate the issues directly with Africa’s leaders. Projected to attract over 1,500 trade visitors, 50+ exhibiting companies, 120+ conference and technical speakers and 300+ delegates, the three-day event promises to be a valuable platform for interactive networking and knowledge exchange.

For more information, download the event Brochure today! (

Who will you meet?

• Government Leaders

• National Oil Companies

• International Oil Companies

• Independent Oil & Gas Operators

• Financiers & Investors

• Gas & LNG Companies

• Integrated Energy Companies

• Technology Providers

• Power Generation

• Transmission & Distribution

• Legal & Industry Analysts 

4 Reasons to Visit

• Visit the exhibition & technical seminar and network with resource owners looking for partners to help them get the most from their assets through operational excellence, cost effectiveness and profitability

• Register & learn about new technologies and solutions that integrated energy companies are bringing to some of the most complex challenges facing the global oil and gas sector today

• Attend to explore products and services from 50+ exhibiting companies including contractors, service companies and technology providers across the full value chain from more than 20 countries worldwide

• Join hundreds of trade professionals to identify new business opportunities, market trends, and potential business partners. Learn from global experts and benefit from business conducted during the event

Why Future Energy Africa?

• Meet with Ministers from across Africa to address the industry on country strategies

• Centre of Technical Excellence Seminar Learn about latest technologies boosting efficiency and lowering costs

• Policy makers discuss confronting challenges of transformation

• Country Market Focus with unrivalled insight from Eastern-Western-Southern Africa regions

• Forge new operating models that will challenge conventional practices

• FEA TV: A dedicated platform for on-stage interviews, “in conversation” dialogues, digitization megatrends, corporate commercials, knowledge sharing and industry insight.

• Renewables in Africa: Tap into development initiatives and solutions supporting the advancement of renewable energy in Africa

• Finance & Investment focus for equitable economic growth and enhanced bi-lateral trade

• On-stage Interview with Africa's large upstream independent explorers led by CNBC Africa

• Africa's Natural Gas  inspect how the continent will succeed in it's role to decrease the carbon footprint

• Increasing & Strengthening Local Content address challenges and opportunities for capacity building

• IOC-NOCs Panel Discussion reinventing strategies for a sustainable energy future

• Prime networking opportunities to facilitate dialogue between senior level executives and decision makers

• Global Exposure to international and domestic oil, gas & energy value chain

• Power Generation meet with Utilities and IPPs, build strategic partnerships to meet Africa's growing energy demand

Read more: Africa welcomes first ever full-stream oil, gas...

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, August 17, 2018/APO Group/ --

On her first visit to the West African nation of Cote d’Ivoire, Canada’s Minister of International Development, Marie-Claude Bibeau and the President of the African Development Bank Akinwumi Adesina (, shared a common vision and commitment to the advancement of women and girls on the continent.

Both officials met at the Bank’s headquarters in Abidjan, following the Minister’s visit to a Bank-financed rural agriculture project in Abengourou, Côte d’Ivoire earlier in the day. Bibeau, Adesina and other senior management members exchanged views on wide ranging issues including gender empowerment issues, renewable energy, agriculture, and innovative financing mechanisms.

Canada is the fourth largest contributor to the Bank among non-regional members, and the sixth largest donor to the African Development Fund (ADF), the concessional arm of the Bank Group.

The advancement of women and girls is a priority area for the Canadian government in keeping with its Feminist International Assistance Policy (

The Minister emphasized the need to involve African women in decision-making processes.

According to Bibeau "If we want to end poverty, women in Africa must be able to develop their full potential," she said. She also expressed the hope that women would no longer be perceived as "mere beneficiaries" but as "agents of change."

"This is the approach we are taking in Canada. We are working to ensure that 15% of our department's budget is allocated to transformative projects for women," Bibeau said.

The Gender Strategy is a central part of the Bank’s ambitious vision for Africa, based on the reality that gender equality is integral to Africa’s economic and social development. The vision includes creating opportunities for women, disadvantaged and marginalised people and communities so they can fully participate in and benefit from the development of their communities and nations.

Commending Adesina for exemplary leadership, Bibeau acknowledged that “change will not come overnight, but our collective actions will make a significant difference.” The Bank recorded exceptional results for 2017 with approvals of US $8.7 billion and over $7 billion of disbursements, the highest performance since its creation in 1964.  

From 2010 to 2017, the Bank’s operations have positively impacted the lives of millions of Africans. 83 million Africans have benefited from improved access to transport, and 49 million have gained access   to clean water and sanitation. Nine million African women have been connected to electricity and the living conditions of 29 million more women have been significantly enhanced as a result of improvements in agriculture.

Bank President, Akinwumi Adesina called for greater mobilization of resources in favor of women.

"We need to change the current system, and introduce a mechanism for rating and classifying financial institutions. Those who put the issue of gender at the center of their concerns should be at the forefront of this ranking," he said.

According to Adesina, "the Bank plans to raise a US$ 300-million guarantee fund for the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) initiative."  AFAWA is expected to leverage close to USD$ 3 billion over 10 years to empower female entrepreneurs through capacity building development, access to funding, and policy, legal and regulatory reforms to support enterprises led by women.

The initiative provides significant support for the advancement of Africa’s Gender agenda.  The Bank is helping build women’s market programs in countries such as Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Through four commercial banks, at least 200,000 women owned businesses are expected to be impacted through financing, growth in revenues and through coaching and mentoring programs.

Adesina said he hoped Canada would champion the initiative, launched during the Bank’s 2016 Annual Meetings.

The Canadian Minister and the African Development Bank President also discussed closer cooperation between Canada and Africa, and Canada’s participation in the first Africa Investment Forum scheduled for November 2018 in South Africa.

Canada joined the African Development Bank in 1982. The country has supported all the general capital increases of the Bank and all the replenishments of the African Development Fund (ADF). Canada also participates in a number of multi-donor trust funds and other initiatives managed by the Bank.

The African Development Bank Group is one of Canada's leading partners in supporting sustainable economic growth in Africa. Other Bank Group priority areas of focus include environment and renewable energy, inclusive governance, peace and security.

Read more: African Development Bank and Canada share...

Now is the time for local investors to step up and electrify Africa After a foreign kickstart, African investors and regulators have to take over the lead in shaping the continent’s sustainable energy future KIGALI, Rwanda, September 3, 2018/APO Group/ -- For years, the African renewable energy development market has been dominated by foreign investors and financial institutions. Now is the time for African investors to step up to the plate and join the continent’s solar energy transition. Africa is now even preparing to feed Europe’s growing energy needs through various projects, such as the TuNur CSP project. The project is currently in the early phases of development and will comprise a 2.3 GW concentrated solar power plant situated in the Sahara desert and a 2-G high-voltage DC submarine cable from Tunisia all the way to central Italy. Additional plans of building other export routes to Malta and France are on the table. The project is being financed mostly by European investors and will be constructed using the most modern technology. Europe will soon enjoy of the benefits of green energy coming straight from African soil. But while Europe seeks to power more coffee shops, chain stores and crypto mining server-farms, 50% of Africans are not electrified at all, and the other 50% are often connected to unreliable energy sources. There are vast opportunities for local African investors present in the solar sector. The continent has an abundance of land available for project development and is home to some of the sunniest places on earth, which makes it an ideal location for solar energy development. Lydia van Os, Africa Lead at Solarplaza, believes that this is the right time for local investors to take action and get involved in Africa’s rapidly growing solar industry. She is convinced that this can only succeed if the movement of people committed to providing clean, reliable and affordable energy is inclusive, from Wall Street investors to Congolese rural households. To fulfill its mission of accelerating the global sustainable energy transition and create the platform for international and local solar stakeholders to meet and share knowledge, Solarplaza is hosting Unlocking Solar Capital (“USC”) Africa. The third edition of this leading conference will take place on 7 to 8 November 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda. The two-day event is being organized in partnership with the Global Off-grid and Lighting Association (GOGLA), and is wholly focused on unlocking capital for new solar project development in Africa. For those who can’t wait for the conference to get an in-depth look into the African solar landscape: Solarplaza has published an exhaustive 128-page regional report ( on Africa’s solar energy situation. The report offers an overview of the key facts & figures related to the most relevant solar PV markets in Africa. The detailed country profiles provide overviews of a range of issues related to solar PV project development and include summaries of key demographic info; insights into legislation and policy; electricity generation capacity; and assessments of the current status of the solar industries in: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, Mali, Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia, Namibia and South Africa. Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Solarplaza.

For program and organizational related business, please contact:

Lydia van Os

Africa Lead, Solarplaza

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

+31 10 3027907

For sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, please contact:

Laura Fortes

Account manager, Solarplaza

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+34 650046220

Media partnerships and press outreach, please contact:

Irene Rodríguez Martín


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+31 10 3027912

About Unlocking Solar Capital Africa

Unlocking Solar Capital Africa ( is an event entirely focused on connecting solar project development and finance & investment across the entire African solar sector (On-grid Solar, micro-grids, off-grid lighting and household electrification). Unlocking Solar Capital Africa 2018 will bring together hundreds of representatives from development banks, investment funds, solar developers, IPPs, EPCs & other solar stakeholders to engage in extensive discussions to solve Africa’s solar energy funding gap - and get projects realized.

As a professional solar event organizer, Solarplaza has hosted over 100+ events in 36 countries around the world, ranging from exploratory trade missions in emerging markets to large-scale conferences with 450+ participants. Unlocking Solar Capital Africa 2018 is Solarplaza’s 12th conference on the African continent.

For more information regarding the program, attendees, and registrations, visit 

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Read more: Now is the time for local investors to step up...

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, August 28, 2018/APO Group/ --

The inclusion of new coal in the updated draft Integrated Resource Plan for Electricity (IRP) will cost South Africa close to R20 billion more than we need to spend, and will make electricity more expensive for all South Africans. If the Department of Energy were to publish the least-cost plan that civil society organisations have been demanding, it would not include any new coal.

Allowing the two new coal plants contemplated by the draft IRP to go ahead would be disastrous for water resources, air quality, health, land, and the climate.

The Life After Coal Campaign (  (consisting of Earthlife Africa, the Centre for Environmental Rights, and groundWork) and Greenpeace Africa ( argue that the inclusion of an additional 1000 MW of new coal-fired power  - on top of existing and under-construction coal - puts the Department of Energy in conflict with the rights enshrined in the Constitution, given that there are safer, cleaner, and less-expensive energy options available.

“While we recognise the increased emphasis on renewable energy in the draft IRP, unless the Minister of Energy substantially revises and amends the draft IRP to ensure that the Constitutional right to a healthy environment is preserved and protected - and specifically excludes any new coal - the Department runs the risk of the IRP being challenged in court,” warns Melita Steele, senior climate and energy campaign manager at Greenpeace Africa.

Robyn Hugo, head of the Pollution & Climate Change Programme at the Centre for Environmental Rights, says that the updated IRP fails to take sufficient account of the external costs of the various available technologies. “Coal is an outdated and dirty technology – the environmental and health costs of which have not been factored into electricity planning.” At present, almost 90% of South Africa’s energy mix is already comprised of coal, despite many of these plants failing to meet the required emission standards and causing devastating health impacts.

A 2016 report by UK-based air quality and health expert Dr Mike Holland (, found that air pollution from Eskom coal-fired power stations kills more than 2,200 South Africans every year, and causes thousands of cases of bronchitis and asthma in adults and children annually.  “This costs the country more than R33 billion annually, through hospital admissions and lost working days”, says Bobby Peek, Director of groundWork. 

“In addition to these severe health impacts, coal-fired electricity is also enormously water-intensive and the estimated costs of rehabilitating old mines and mining areas runs into the billions”, says Steele.

“Even discounting the health and environmental dangers of coal, it simply makes no economic sense to include coal in the IRP, as it is more expensive than other technologies such as wind and solar power,” says Makoma Lekalakala, director of Earthlife Africa.  

The Campaign and Greenpeace Africa will reiterate all of these – and other concerns – in comments on the draft IRP. It is crucial that South Africa’s future electricity plan is least-cost and in the public interest. All South Africans – including coal workers and the unemployed – must be part of the process to ensure a just energy transition.

Read more: Life after Coal and Greenpeace Africa slam...

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, August 7, 2018/APO Group/ --

Phanes Group (, an international end-to-end solar provider headquartered in Dubai, UAE, has announced the 2nd edition of its Solar Incubator program, aimed at identifying PV projects of potential in sub-Saharan Africa by providing support to funding, and commercial and technical knowledge.

The initiative held under the theme, “Your Project, Our Expertise, For a Sustainable Future”, will be held in collaboration with Hogan Lovells, responsAbility Renewable Energy Holding, RINA and Solarplaza, and invites PV developers to submit proposals for projects based in sub-Saharan Africa that have a clear Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) component.

Candidates are asked to submit their proposals by September 27th (11.59 p.m. CET) via the process established on Phanes Group’s website. Those who are shortlisted will be invited to present their projects to an expert panel comprised of the Solar Incubator partners at the “Unlocking Solar Capital: Africa 2018” conference in Kigali, Rwanda, from November 7th to 8th, where the industry’s key players will hold extensive discussions on solutions for Africa’s solar energy requirements and bridging the bankability gap.

It comes as part of Phanes Group's core strategy to collaborate with Africa-focused counterparties, such as local project owners, governments, and developers on projects that seek to create a sustainable future for urban and rural communities across the sub-Saharan African region.

 “The majority of our business focus lies in electrifying new markets in sub-Saharan Africa. With CSR at the heart of our business model, we launched this initiative with the goal of bringing bankability to projects that stand to provide clean energy to economies that need it most. The Phanes Group Solar Incubator is an example of this,” said Martin Haupts, CEO, Phanes Group.

“Entering the Phanes Group Solar Incubator means creating the opportunity to not only win, but the possibility to gain further exposure to key industry players through the evaluation panel. We have already seen great success from last year’s projects, and we are confident that as this initiative continues to grow, more and more businesses across the continent will be able to effectively address local needs for clean and affordable energy.”

Christopher Cross, Partner of law firm Hogan Lovells, who will be part of the evaluation panel at the event, said, “We are delighted to be invited again this year to take part in such an exciting and on-the-ground initiative such as this. I had a great experience last year and very much look forward to seeing what is in store for us in Rwanda. As stated previously, the Solar Incubator seeks to foster both local innovation and investment to bring potential opportunities to fruition for the social and economic benefit of the region and its people.”

With almost 700 million people in sub-Saharan Africa living without electricity, the Phanes Group Solar Incubator aims to enable solutions by supporting developers not only during the funding phase, but throughout the project development and delivery. Phanes Group, along with its partners, will provide PV developers with access to the expertise that will support them in reaching bankability. During the initial phase, extensive mentorship and access to the right network will enable this year’s winner(s) to roll out a sustainable energy solution for their community and develop a long-term CSR concept.

“responsAbility Renewable Energy Holding is proud to be participating in the Phanes Group Solar Incubator once again this year,” said Wilfred van den Bos, Head of Investments. “It is important to ensure that energy projects within the solar sector start and remain financially viable, and we hope that our continued partnership will foster successful entrepreneurship that will benefit communities across sub-Saharan Africa.”

Lee Smith, Sector Manager from RINA also commented, “RINA is proud to partner with Phanes Group again for the 2018 edition of the Solar Incubator, which produced some interesting projects in 2017. It was encouraging to see the emergence of strong CSR propositions in line with the vision of the initiative. We look forward to this year’s proposals and helping to shape the winner’s future.”

"We are very much looking forward to host the latest edition of the incubator during Unlocking Solar Capital Africa. All participants will have the opportunity to take their project from concept stage into development with the expert advice from the incubator evaluation panel and the support of Phanes Group" Lydia van Os, Project Manager Unlocking Solar Capital Africa added.

Similar to last year, the developer(s) of the winning project(s) will be invited to join Phanes Group for an intensive workshop at its headquarters in Dubai, UAE. This will help lay the foundations for delivering a bankable and sustainable project.

More about Phanes Group’s Solar Incubator

Phanes Group’s 2nd annual Solar Incubator, held under the theme of “Your Project, Our Expertise, For a Sustainable Future”, will be supported by Hogan Lovells, responsAbility Renewable Energy Holding, RINA and Solarplaza.

The initiative aims to select and develop PV project opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa that haven’t been able to gain access to funding and necessary know-how. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an integral part of this initiative; along with the project details a solid CSR concept that benefits the local community must be submitted and will be further developed during the incubator phase and implemented in parallel with execution of the PV project.

The candidates of the winning project(s) will have the opportunity to enter a partnership with Phanes Group and be able to hold a long-term stake in the project, collaboratively aiming to bring it to financial close. With the incubator, Phanes Group and its partners will provide the winner(s) with extensive mentorship and knowledge transfer throughout the project.

The Solar Incubator phase will kick off with an intensive face-to-face workshop for the winning candidate(s) in Dubai, UAE, working with Phanes Group’s team and its partners, setting the foundations to deliver bankable projects. During that phase the winner(s) will gain access to commercial and technical know-how covered by experts from project finance, project development and execution, legal and CSR, followed by further remote mentoring sessions for additional months.

The deadline to submit projects for evaluation ends on September 27th (11.59 p.m. CET). The final selection process will take place during a live evaluation panel session at the “Unlocking Solar Capital: Africa 2018” conference in Kigali, Rwanda, where the finalists will present their projects live to the panel members and audience and then the winner(s) will be announced at the conference. Interested candidates can submit directly via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

For more information visit or on the Unlocking Solar Capital Africa conference website at

Read more: The 2nd Edition of the Phanes Group Solar...

GE Power Releases Whitepaper on Digitization of Energy Transmission & Distribution in Africa Smart grids will play a key role in the region’s transition to a sustainable energy system through facilitating smooth integration of new energy sources JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, July 18, 2018/APO Group/ -- GE Power Releases Whitepaper on Digitization of Energy Transmission &  Distribution in Africa: •White paper highlights future of smart energy in Sub-Saharan countries, its challenges and opportunities
•Discusses role of smart technology to transform grids and the way energy is generated, distributed, traded, managed and stored
•Underscores necessary steps to grid modernization
•Recommends holistic solutions to leapfrog ahead Africa’s energy sector and showcases regional examples As Africa faces emerging opportunities to help deliver efficient, affordable and reliable electricity to consumers, GE Power’s Grid Solutions business ( (NYSE: GE) ( today unveiled a whitepaper on the “Digitization of Energy Transmission & Distribution in Africa.” The paper explores the opportunities and challenges faced in Sub-Saharan Africa as the new future of energy and electrification emerges.  The paper also looks at the role of smart technology to transform grids as they continue to reflect the changes in the way energy is generated, distributed, traded, managed and stored.  Co-authored by the Strategic Marketing unit of GE Power in Sub-Saharan Africa and Energy & Environment Research Analysts of Frost & Sullivan, the white paper presents several challenges that affect energy access and power supply stability in Africa. They include inadequate power generation but more significantly, low levels of electrification caused primarily by faulty, aged or wrong setup of transmission and distribution infrastructure. With the digital transformation of the energy sector rapidly gaining traction on a global scale, new opportunities are emerging to help deliver efficient, affordable and reliable electricity to consumers. According to the whitepaper, smart grids can create the potential to combat SSA’s power sector challenges, and provide the opportunity for the region to develop its energy capabilities and, therefore its energy security as well as security of supply. The digital transformation of grids allows users to take a holistic approach to achieve efficiency, flexibility, transparency and long-term sustainability.
  • Information Communication Technology Integration will support real-time or deferred bi-directional data transmission that will enable stakeholders to efficiently manage the grid through increased speed and volume of data output, providing utilities the opportunity to maximize cost reductions, increase power reliability and increase customer satisfaction
  • Wide Area Monitoring and Control ensures visibility into the power systems to observe the performance of grid components allowing for major cost-saving benefits associated with predictive maintenance and self-diagnosis.
  • Smart technology like Intelligent Electronic Devices (IEDs), Advanced metering infrastructure and grid automation ensure seamless transition and integration of renewable generation or micro-grids where necessary; predictive maintenance in distributed grids to reduce outages; and effective revenue management.
“Transmission and distribution networks are seen to be the weakest links in Africa’s power systems and hence represent a huge opportunity area for improvement,” said Lazarus Angbazo, CEO, GE’s Grid Solutions business, Sub Saharan Africa. “Going forward, there is a need to move beyond simply maintaining and repairing aged infrastructure. To truly advance the power sector, a holistic approach needs to be adopted; one that ensures sustainability, reliability and longevity of power supply. By utilizing internet of things (IoT) technology, the smarter grids of tomorrow will deliver all-encompassing solutions based on the convergence of operating technology (OT) with information technology (IT) and incorporating emerging concepts such as distributed generation and energy storage,” he further added. Smart grids will play a key role in the region’s transition to a sustainable energy system through facilitating smooth integration of new energy sources; promoting interoperability between all types of equipment; enabling the growth of distributed generation and its potential incorporation into the main grid; supporting demand-side management; and providing flexibility and visibility of the entire grid. GE’s grid solutions six-step process highlighted in the whitepaper will help utilities along the digitization journey of their energy infrastructure. Distributed by APO Group on behalf of GE.

Media Contact:
Anne Ezeh
GE Power Communications
Sub-Saharan Africa
+234 7031779857
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Allison Cohen
GE Power – Grid Solutions
Global Media Relations Leader
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About GE
GE (NYSE: GE) ( is the world's Digital Industrial Company, transforming industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive. GE is organized around a global exchange of knowledge, the "GE Store," through which each business shares and accesses the same technology, markets, structure and intellect. Each invention further fuels innovation and application across our industrial sectors. With people, services, technology and scale, GE delivers better outcomes for customers by speaking the language of industry.

About GE Power:
GE Power ( is a world energy leader that provides technology, solutions and services across the entire energy value chain from the point of generation to consumption. We are transforming the electricity industry by uniting all the resources and scale of the world’s first Digital Industrial company. Our customers operate in more than 150 countries, and together we power more than a third of the world to illuminate cities, build economies and connect the world. For more information, visit the company's website at Follow GE Power on Twitter @GE_Power and on LinkedIn at GE Power.

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PRETORIA, South Africa, August 28, 2018/APO Group/ --

Director General, Thabane Zulu;
Deputy Directors Generals from the Department;
Media representatives;
Ladies and Gentlemen;
Good morning!

As you may be aware, Cabinet on the 22nd August 2018 approved the draft updated Integrated Resource Plan (IRP 2018) report for publication for public input.

Today we will be releasing this long awaited report for public input. We have called you here to share some key aspects from the report.

The National Development Plan (NDP) identifies the need for South Africa to invest in a strong network of economic infrastructure designed to support the country’s medium- and long-term economic and social objectives. Energy infrastructure is a critical component that underpins economic activity and growth across the country; it needs to be robust and extensive enough to meet industrial, commercial and household needs.   

The first IRP for South Africa was promulgated in March 2011. It was indicated at the time that the IRP should be a “living plan” which would be revised by the Department of Energy (DoE) frequently.

The promulgated IRP, commonly referred to as the IRP 2010 is currently being used to roll out electricity infrastructure development in line with Ministerial Determinations issued under Section 34 of the Electricity Regulation Act.

The electricity generation and distribution landscape in South Africa is changing at a rapid pace compared to the period before 2010. In keeping to our climate change commitments, the country has also introduced renewable energy through independent power producers. Technology advancements and the decline in cost make it possible for end users to now generate their own electricity. Increasing electricity prices have also made substitutes such LP Gas a viable alternative for cooking and heating.

Electricity demand is therefore no longer captive to the national grid (Eskom or municipalities) which impacts supply and demand planning.

As indicated in my engagement with business, labour and community representatives at NEDLAC on Friday, rising electricity prices are of concern to us as they threaten to reverse our energy access gains. Many of our people are struggling to pay for the services and are therefore reverting back to using wood for cooking and so forth. This is not the case only in rural areas but also in urban areas. These cost pressures do not only affect households but they also affect industry.

I am inundated with requests for intervention from energy intensive companies on the verge of closing down due to high electricity costs. I am happy to share that in June I approved a framework developed in consultation with the Regulator (NERSA) which enables Eskom and the NERSA to consider temporary special pricing agreements which assist in avoiding these companies from closing down and jobs being lost.  These I have to emphasise will also assist with Eskom falling electricity sales volumes.

It is therefore in this context that our electricity planning philosophy aims to minimise the cost of electricity while keeping up with our environmental commitments.

Ladies and Gentlemen, a number of assumptions used in the IRP 2010 have since changed or not materialized. The following are noticeable changes:

The electricity demand on the grid continues to decline on an annual basis and we are currently sitting at volumes similar to those of the year 2007. For the financial year ending March 2018 the actual total electricity consumed is about 30 percent less than what was projected in the IRP 2010.
Eskom existing generation plant performance is not at expected levels. Eskom’s own reports show that plant availability is below the IRP 2010 assumptions of 80 percent and above.
To date additional 18 000 megawatts of new generation capacity in the form of coal, pumped storage and renewable energy has been committed to, with most of the capacity already connected to the grid and the rest to be realised between now and year 2022.
Cost of new generation technologies has significantly come down and this can be seen in the costs of wind and PV based on the projects procured to date.

The Department started with the IRP review and update process in 2015. The review and update process had four milestones and they are:

The development of the Input Assumptions;
The modelling of a reference case or base case and scenario cases including analysis of results;
The production of balanced scenario; and
Policy adjustment taking into account government priorities, policies and commitments.

Following Cabinet approval in November 2016, the Department then published for public consultation the assumptions. A preliminary base case or reference case was also published but for information.

Key comments received from those consultations were mainly on the consultation process, the projected electricity demand, assumed technology costs, as well as imposing of annual build limits on renewable technologies.

The public during the consultation process asked for another opportunity to comment on the updated IRP before final publication and that is the reason we are releasing the report today for inputs and comments.

The electricity demand forecast published then was said to be outdated and not aligned to the prevailing economic conditions. The demand forecast was revised accordingly and detailed report is available on the website of the Department. 

The technology costs used in the plan have also been updated accordingly. 

The concerns raised about the constraining of renewables have also been addressed by including as one of the scenarios tested; a case where annual built limits on renewables are removed.  

In summary, the report we are publishing today has where applicable taken into account public input and comments on the assumptions. I would like to thank all those who took their time to submit input or comments.

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Department spent the period after consultations modelling and analysing the various scenarios and their impact on the energy mix going into the future. Scenarios were analysed in line with the objectives of IRP which is to provide electricity infrastructure plan that aims to ensure security of supply while minimising cost of supply, water usage and environmental impacts.

The scenarios tested include:

The electricity demand scenario which tested the impact of varying electricity demand  projections;
The gas scenario, which tested the sensitivity of the plan to the assumed gas price projections;
The renewables scenario, which tested the impact of removing annual build limits placed on the renewable technologies; and
The emissions constrain scenario, which tested the impact of using a carbon budget approach to constrain emissions from electricity generation compared to an annual ceiling like with peak plateau decline. 

At a high level, the review of the IRP undertaken indicates the following:

That the pace and scale of new capacity developments needed up to year 2030 must be curtailed compared to what was projected in the IRP 2010.
Without a policy intervention, some of the technologies in the IRP 2010 together with new technologies will not be deployed as the “Least Cost” plan contains PV, Wind and Gas only;
Imposing annual build limits on renewables does not impact the total installed capacity of renewable energy technology for the period up to 2030; and 
There is significant change in the energy mix post 2030 which is mainly driven by decommissioning of old coal power plant that reach their end of life.

While the IRP review considered a period up to year 2050, the approach taken in the draft updated IRP is to adopt a plan for the period ending 2030 and for detailed studies and engagements to be undertaken to better inform the energy mix or path post 2030.

This approach we believe provides the necessary policy certainty while creating the space for all of us to engage in detail on the impending energy transition and the options available to us as South Africa. The engagements will ensure that the transition we undertake is a “just transition” and is inclusive.

Some of the studies we have identified already include:

Detailed socio-economic impact analysis of the decommissioning of old coal fired power plants that would have reached their end of life;
Detailed analysis of gas supply options (international and local) to better understand the technical and financial risks and required mitigations for a renewable energy and gas dominated electricity generation mix post 2030;
Detailed analysis of the appropriate level of penetration of renewable energy in the South African national grid to better understand the technical risks and mitigations required to ensure security of supply is maintained during the transition to low carbon future;  and
Detailed technical, cost and economic benefit analysis of other clean energy technologies such clean coal technology, nuclear and others.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the recommended plan uses the least cost plan as starting point. The least cost plan being a plan without renewable energy constraints. The following policy adjustments have been incorporated into the recommended plan for the period up to 2030:

The retention of annual build limits for the period up to 2030. This provides for consistent and sustained roll out of Renewable Energy for the period.
The inclusion of 1000MW of coal-to-power in 2023–2024, based on two already procured and announced projects.
The inclusion of 2500MW of hydro power in 2030 to facilitate the RSA-DRC treaty on the Inga Hydro Power Project. The project is key to energising and unlocking regional industrialisation.
The utilisation the existing PV, Wind and Gas allocations in the plan to enable through Ministerial Determinations, renewable energy technologies identified and endorsed for localisation and promotion. Technologies as contained in the plan are therefore a proxy for technologies that provide similar technical characteristics at similar or less cost to the system.
The allocations of 200MW per annum for certain categories of generation-for-own-use of between 1MW to 10MW, starting in 2018. These allocations will not be discounted off the capacity allocations in the plan, but will be considered during the issuing of Ministerial Determinations. This will help address requests for deviations from the IRP for qualifying plants.

The policy adjusted plan therefore includes the following new additional capacity by 2030: 1 000 MW of generation from Coal, 2 500 MW from Hydro, 5 670 MW from PV, 8 100 MW from Wind and 8 100 MW from Gas.

The resultant installed capacity mix in year 2030 consist of coal with 34 000 megawatts which is 46% of total installed capacity, Nuclear with 1 860 megawatts which is 2.5%, Hydro with 4 696 megawatts which is 6%, Pump Storage with 2 912 megawatts which is 4%, PV with 7958 megawatts which 10%, Wind with 11 442 megawatts which is 15%, CSP with 600 megawatts which is 1%, Gas with 11 930 megawatts which is 16%. It must be noted that while the coal installed capacity will be lower than current installed base, it will still contribute more than 65% of the energy volumes with nuclear contributing about 4%.

Ladies and Gentlemen, a closer monitoring of the IRP update assumptions by the Department through the Medium Term System Adequacy Outlook filed with NERSA annually by the Eskom’s System Operator will ensure we are alive to the prevailing supply and demand balance and we can accelerate or decelerate implementation if necessary or even revise the plan timeously.  

In conclusion, there are a number of implementation issues brought about by the changing electricity industry that we will also have to look at in details outside of the IRP update process. These include levels of participation of the previously marginalised South Africans in energy sector, the structure of the industry taking into account that electricity demand is no longer total captive to the national grid, the sustainability of licenced electricity distributors etc.

We therefore appeal to the public and the stakeholders to engage with the report we are publishing with the understanding that a “just transition” requires that we while we move with speed to respond to the changing landscape, we take calculated steps to ensure we leave no one behind.

The document is available for comments for a period of 60 days starting today. We urge you not to wait for the 60 days but to provide us your written comments and proposals with supporting data or evidence where possible as soon as you have them ready to help minimise the time to finalise the IRP and therefore create policy certainty.

Thank you.

Read more: South Africa: Statement by Minister Jeff Radebe...

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