energy

Botswana Silent Over Fracking in the Kalahari

According to Wagdy Sawahel, while a fierce debate rages about fracking in South Africa and elsewhere, the Botswana government has been silently pushing ahead with plans to produce natural gas, keeping the country in the dark as it grants concessions over vast tracts of land, including half of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve - the ancestral home of the San.
 

Eskom Apologises for Spying on NGOs

Eskom has publicly apologised to three environmental non-governmental organisation – Greenpeace, groundWork and Earthlife Africa - after it was accused of spying on them.
 
Eskom chief executive, Brian Dames, argues that the use of private companies to gather intelligence from stakeholders is unacceptable and not how Eskom does business.
 
“To the extent that this may have happened as a consequence, even if unintended, is regrettable and Eskom apologises for this,” he explains.
 

Fracking Process Contested

If energy companies and the ruling African National Congress (ANC) are successful, the Karoo a semi-desert wilderness, will soon be home to scientists and geologists mapping out shale gas fields touted as game-changers for Africa's biggest economy, and determining whether fracking will work here.

The fracking process is incurring challenges from multiple opponents - pro-fracking activists assert that a lengthy legal fight is inevitable.

ELA Disappointed in Mid-term Budget

Environmental group, Earthlife Africa , says Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan’s medium-term budget policy statement is clear that government must curb spending where possible.
 
The organisation argues that fiscal responsibility should be applied to the planned dirty and dangerous energy investments in coal and nuclear.
 

Power Africa Commitments Finalised

More than US$1 billion in debt and financing commitments from United States (US) agencies and private investors is set to be announced for President Barack Obama's signature Africa energy initiative, Power Africa.

According to a United States Agency for International Development’s top official, Gayle Smith, the latest deals were finalised around a US-Africa business forum on the sidelines of annual United Nations meetings in New York.

​Electricity to Increase in July

South African municipalities will increase electricity prices by an average of 7.64 percent from 1 July 2016.
 
The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) said it had approved the price hike for the guideline municipal tariffs.
 
However, if the municipalities want to charge a higher increase than that, they must apply for special permission.
 

​Eskom Gets R2.6bn Green Energy Boost

The New Development Bank (NDB), known as the BRICS Bank, says that Eskom will receive R2.6 billion in assistance for renewable energy projects, part of a package of R11.85 billion in green energy loans it approved this month.
 
A spokesperson for the bank says the Eskom projects would involve transmission lines to carry 670 MW of generation and 500 MW worth of renewable energy projects involving independent power producers.
 

Africa Needs Electricity to Achieve Growth

The World Bank has urged Sub-Saharan Africa to prioritise addressing the power sector if it is to alleviate domestic impediments to growth.

In a 2016 report entitled Global Economic Prospects: Spillovers amid Weak Growth’, the bank says structural reforms are needed to alleviate domestic impediments to growth and to accelerate economic diversification.

“Creating the conditions for a more competitive manufacturing sector would require, in particular, a major improvement in providing electricity,” it says.

ANC Urged to Drop Nuclear Energy

Greenpeace has a message for the African National Congress (ANC) ahead of its National General Council (NGC) meeting to drop nuclear energy, or face massive resistance.

Greenpeace executive director, Kumi Naidoo is quoted as saying that the ANC should ‘take nuclear off the table’.

Naidoo adds that: “The ANC needs to know that if it does go for the nuclear option as part of the (energy) mix, then they are on a collision course with the broader spectrum of the South African civil society.”

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