An expert assessment of the state of Eskom’s 14 coal-fired power stations conducted between March and May 2023 describes the prevailing “fixation” on the coal fleet’s energy availability factor (EAF) as a “dead end” that was leading to poorer plant performance. Conducted for the National Treasury by a Vgbe-led consortium, the report notes that outage and maintenance activities had been deferred over the last months and years to lift – or at least to maintain – the EAF.
Following its inauguration last year, UK Hydrogen Week is taking place once again, from February 26 to March 3. The World Platinum investment Council says more than 6 300 individuals and 110 partners and supporters will be participating in the initiative, which aims to bring together stakeholders from across the UK to highlight the role of hydrogen in reaching the UK’s net-zero targets.
To support the development of critical skills within the water and energy sector, the Energy and Water Sector Education and Training Authority (EWSETA) is developing and implementing specialised renewable energy and water resource management training programmes in a bid to align with industry needs and technological advancements. Among the courses in the pipeline are water works management, solar panel installation, wind turbine maintenance and other green energy solutions.
National Treasury director-general Dr Duncan Pieterse says the reforms being proposed to facilitate greater private sector investment into infrastructure could obviate the need to introduce a policy of ‘prescribed assets’, whereby pension funds would be required to direct a specified level of resources towards government-selected assets. Pieterse made the statement in response to a question posed during a virtual event hosted by PSG regarding government’s position on prescribed assets, which the governing African National Congress has included in its election manifesto as an instrument it could consider introducing to stimulate infrastructure investment and industrialisation.
Independent power producer Yellow Door Energy has completed the development phase for a 48 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in Leeudoringstad, in North West. Construction will begin in the second quarter of the year and the solar PV plant is expected to be operational by the second quarter of 2025.
State-owned power utility Eskom’s board of directors has tasked incoming CEO Dan Marokane to prioritise three key areas – assessing the generation operational recovery plan, reviewing Eskom’s unbundling plans and engaging with internal and external stakeholders – in his first 100 days in office. Marokane on March 1 assumed the role of Eskom CEO at a time when the utility faces an existential challenge and is undergoing significant changes that require hands-on, bold and decisive leadership.