Global Energy Concerns – References

In my coverage of energy developments and concerns around the world, I call upon diverse knowledge resources to formulate my perspectives.  In my attempts to crunch the vast data and information I chew through down to manageable bites, I rarely cite word for word any supporting evidence I am presenting.  But I could not arrive at my perspectives without this valuable information, therefore, here you will find many of those articles and reports helping to correlate these insights on frequently complex global energy concerns.  Thank you to the authors and reporting agencies providing the groundwork necessary to make these issues known!

  1. SA’s Eskom to purchase ‘expensive’ export quality coal – 9 Mar 2015 – “South African state utility Eskom has plans to buy ‘high quality but expensive’ coal reserves from multinational mining and commodity company Glencore Optimum Coal, global mining news platform reported.
  2. Glencore to close Optimum Coal Mine in South Africa – 29 Jan 2015 – “Mining giant Glencore has announced that they are to close the Optimum Coal Mine in Mpumalanga. Around 1,500 employees and contractors would be affected by the decision.”
  3. Fossil Fuel Subsidies – “For decades, fossil-fuel subsidies have encouraged wasteful spending and harmful emissions. In September 2009, the G-20 agreed to phase them out. GSI research uncovers the characteristics of fossil-fuel subsidies and lessons for reform.
  4. South Africa, Mozambique Study $6 Billion Gas Pipeline – 8 Dec 20xx (Bloomberg) — “South African and Mozambican state-owned investment companies have joined with SacOil Holding Ltd. to study a $6 billion pipeline from a natural-gas field off the northern coast of Mozambique.
  5. Pande Gas Pipeline, Mozambique – “Members of Endeavor’s senior management team were integrally involved in the development of the $721 million, 865 km pipeline to bring natural gas from Mozambique to South Africa which was sold to Sasol. The project achieved commercial operations in 2004.
  6. Bundu submits EMP for fracking in SA’s Karoo – “Bundu Gas and Oil Exploration company, a subsidiary of Australian unconventional gas explorer Challenger Energy, confirmed on Monday that it had submitted an updated environmental management programme (EMP) with the Petroleum Agency South Africa (Pasa) on 27 February 2015.
  7. Shell puts brakes on shale gas projects South Africa – 17 Mar 2015 – “Dutch oil and gas company Shell last week announced that it is stepping down from its shale gas projects in South Africa and pulling its upstream managing director out of the country due to falling oil prices and government delays in exploration licenses.
  8. The Trouble with Megaprojects – 11 Apr 2015 – “The “iron law of megaprojects,” he wrote in a 2014 paper in Project Management Journal, is that they are “over budget, over time, over and over again.” Nine out of ten megaprojects experience cost overruns, and most take much longer to build than expected. What results, Flyvbjerg says, is the “survival of the un-fittest”: the least deserving projects get built precisely because their cost-benefit estimates are so misleadingly optimistic.
  9. Interconnecting the Globe – “During the last decade of the 20th century we have witnessed unprecedented changes to the electricity industry on a global basis. Deregulation of the industry and the creation of energy markets have promoted the expansion of large interconnected electricity highways, which are no longer constrained by national and political boundaries. The combination of computer modeling and innovative technology has enabled utilities to optimize their generation and transmission assets. In addition, they are able to manage infrastructure investment more efficiently by participating in international energy-trading agreements.
  10. Substation failures worry Eskom – “Power substation explosions, circuit breakers tripping and cables blowing up have national power supplier Eskom worried after several reports from around the country show that load-shedding may be leaving ageing electricity infrastructures creaking.
  11. Inauguration of Ground-Breaking Power Project in South Africa and Mozambique – “The project is the result of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) that Aggreko have signed with Electricidade de Moçambique (EDM), the Mozambique power utility and with Eskom, the South African power utility. The project will produce 107.5 MW of power to supply baseload and peak power to both companies until July 2014.
  12. When Eskom falls off its ‘coal cliff’, will it fall on Botswana? – “In Gaborone, it is considered quite one thing to build a 100km rail spur from the Mmambula coal deposits across the border to the Waterberg. But the idea of co-funding a major rail and port infrastructure project with South Africa, which would certainly cost tens of billions of pula, is about as appetizing as some week old-seswaa, writes Professor Roman Grynberg.
  13. Will Putin pay for $100bn South African nuclear power plants? – 6 Jul 2015 – “RUSSIA is seen as the front-runner to win the right to build South African nuclear power plants that may be worth as much as $100bn. With a six-month deadline to award contracts, who’s going to pay for the country’s biggest project yet remains a mystery. –> Price-tag estimates for as many as eight reactors generating 9,600MW, which the government wants to begin operating from 2023 and complete by 2029, range from $37bn to $100bn.
  14. Government knows Eskom solution but lacks resolve – 14 Apr 2015 – “South Africans seem to have become too used to load shedding and the lack of energy security. Richer households have generators; the middle class simply accepts it as part of life. Poorer households are still grateful to have access to any electricity at all thanks to widespread electrification since 1994. Businesses adapt by reducing investment and changing their patterns to align with load shedding timetables (lower output and job creation) leading to inventories becoming more volatile (which has costs).
  15. Halt Eskom tariff increases – 23 Mar 2015 – “The National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) should decline any more tariff increases for Eskom in 2015, the Democratic Alliance said on Monday.
  16. Tullow in Talks to Exit Namibia’s Kudu Gas in Investment Shift – 13 Oct 2014 – “Tullow Oil Plc, a U.K. exploration company, is in talks with Namibia’s government to withdraw from the $2 billion Kudu gas project as it shifts investments to other parts of Africa.
  17. Chart: Africans think climate change is a bigger threat than economic instability – 15 Jul 2015 – “Almost 60% of Africans believe that climate change is the single-most important threat facing the continent. They place this issue above fears about the economy or terrorism, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center.
  18. Energy (in)security vs. independence in five countries – 15 Jul 2015 – “The phrases ‘energy security’ and ‘energy independence’ are often used interchangeably but, although related, each concept is quite different. While a country is classed as energy independent if it exports more energy than it imports*,energy security is harder to define and requires more holistic and subtle analysis.
  19. Alstom out, ABB in: Eskom switches massive Kusile automation contract – 24 Mar 2015 – “Late last week, Eskom announced the termination, with effect from 17 April 2015, of the approximately approximately R1-billion control and instrumentation (C&I) works contract placed with Alstom in 2011 for its 4,800 MW Kusile power station, which is currently under construction near eMalahleni, Mpumalanga. Shortly thereafter, Eskom announced that it had appointed ABB South Africa instead.
  20. Ressano Garcia power plant increases energy supply in Maputo, Mozambique – 29 Aug 2014 – “Built by a consortium that includes state power company Electricidade de Moçambique (EdM), with 51 percent and South African petrochemicals group Sasol, with the remaining 49 percent, the project will mainly be fired by natural gas extracted in Pande and Temane in Inhambane province, and represents an investment of US$250 million.
  21. SADC targets US$4 billion high-priority energy projects – Aug 2014 – “Southern Africa has identified at least nine high-priority energy transmission projects valued at more than US$4 billion for promotion and marketing to investors.
  22. MoZiSa transmission line to boost power trading in SADC – Oct 2014 – “Construction of a new power transmission line linking Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe is expected to improve connectivity and electricity trading in southern Africa.
  23. Transmission network aims to provide reliable and stable power for SA – 15 May 2013 – “The South African electricity transmission system faces the challenge of not only having to continuously keep up with the plans outlined in the Department of Energy’s (DoE’s) Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2010 but also having to ensure that there are reliable and stable power transmission networks to meet the country’s electricity supply demand, says State-owned power utility Eskom grid planning GM Mbulelo Kibido.
  24. Transmission integration project [planning] two-thirds complete – February 5, 2009 – “Medupi power station in Lephalale and the Mmamabula power station in Botswana are two key elements of State-owned power utility Eskom’s strategy to manage the energy crisis in South Africa. Dunsmore says that as much as 90% of Mmamabula’s power will be sold to South Africa and it must therefore be integrated into South Africa’s network.
  25. Russia-South Africa nuclear deal: DA demands answers – 25 Sept 2014 – “DA leader, Hellen Zille says the nuclear co-operation deal between the two countries – announced by Russian energy company, Rosatom – was a political rather than an economic one and must be fought.  –> Early this week Rosatom announced a multi billion rand deal to supple South Africa with nuclear reactors.
  26. The shocking price of Spanish electricity – 1 Jan 2014 – “The story of how Spain acquired its tariff deficit is less than edifying. In 2002, the then-economy minister, Rodrigo Rato, decided electricity costs should not rise by more than two percent a year, even though production costs were higher. The reasons for this approach were varied: to keep inflation low, electioneering, and the need to improve Spain’s industrial competitiveness. –> Spanish consumers have seen bills rise 60 percent between 2006 and 2012 –>The solution was meant to be a temporary one, but subsequent governments lacked the political will to explain to voters that they needed to pay more for their electricity. And so for a decade, Spanish consumers were living a lie. Industry and consumers were happy, and the electricity companies could scarcely keep up with demand. –> The deficit was bearable until 2005 when production costs suddenly soared in the wake of the invasion of Iraq. Matters worsened in 2008 with new premiums on renewables. Various approaches are being tried to repay the debt. The latest has been to issue debt packages on the stock markets. The electricity companies have already been paid, and now it is up to Spaniards to pay the international investment banks who own the debt.
  27. 10 ways to finance Africa’s energy opportunity – 17 Jul 2015 – “Africa’s leaders have no choice but to bridge the energy gap, urgently. They do have a choice, though, about how to bridge the gap. Africa can leapfrog over the damaging energy practices that have brought the world to the brink of catastrophe – and show the world the way to a low-carbon future.
  28. SolarCity to Build PV ‘Gigafactory’ in Buffalo – 26 Sep 2014 – “Perhaps no two companies have made a bigger splash — or more clearly demonstrated the potential of clean technology to revitalize manufacturing, create jobs and spur “green” growth of the U.S. economy — than Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors and SolarCity.
  29. Innovation Sputters in Battle Against Climate Change – 21 July 2015 – “In the race to develop technologies to slow climate change, the world is off track. –> That’s the latest assessment from the International Energy Agency, which presented a bleak outlook ahead of the planned climate summit meeting in Paris this December, where countries rich and poor are hoping to agree on a strategy to slow global warming.
  30. Obama plans to put solar panels on low-income homes – “Who says solar power is just for the rich? –>The White House outlined a series of measures Tuesday designed to put more solar panels on low-income housing and expand access to solar power for renters.
  31. 10 things to know about the [SA] coal baseload programme – 5 Jun 2015 – “The Department of Energy (DoE) has on 5 June 2015 released Briefing Notes 6, 11, 12 and 13 on the Coal Baseload IPP Procurement Programme, which addresses the first bid submission date, cross border projects and provides responses to interested parties’ clarification questions.
  32. The potential for IPP coal fired power generation in South Africa – 9 Jan 2015 – “The DoE has issued a request for qualification (RFQ) and proposals for new generation capacity under the coal base-load IPP procurement programme. The request does not mention plant size but stipulates both pulverised coal and fluidised bed systems. The proposed plant will be of a much smaller scale than the existing mega-projects under construction and the plant is likely to be radically different in design. This article takes a look at the potential for small and medium scale coal generation as well as the technical and other challenges facing potential operators.
  33. Power station and coal mine a boon for Colenso [SA] – 24 Jun 2014 – “In recent years a concerted effort has been in process to re-establish a new, larger, independent base load power station near the original site of the old Colenso power station in KwaZulu-Natal. With a substantial coal resource discovered near the town and with the gradual liberalising of the South African electric power generation industry, a modern coal technology power generation unit is planned.
  34. Switch off to prevent winter outages – 24 Apr 2013 – “Eskom has called on South Africans to partner with it to prevent power outages as the state company prepares to tackle long-deferred maintenance this winter in order to protect the country’s longer-term electricity supply.Addressing the media in Pretoria on Monday, Eskom CEO Brian Dames said that higher levels of planned maintenance were urgently required to ensure that the country’s ageing fleet of power stations could perform more reliably on a sustained basis.
  35. Africa’s largest solar farm (325,480 PV modules) is now fully operational! – 17 Nov 2014 – “The Jasper solar farm, located near Kimberley in South Africa, is now the continent’s largest solar power project. Construction was completed in October, and it is now fully operational (you can read that in the Star Wars emperor’s voice). With a rated capacity of 96 megawatts, Jasper will produce about 180,000 megawatt-hours of clean energy annually for South African residents, enough to power up to 80,000 homes.
  36. Govt floats tender to convert Orapa [Botswana] diesel plant – 27 Feb 2015 – “Government this week floated a tender inviting companies to express interest in the supply of gas to the Orapa 90 MW power station. –> The dual fuel power station is currently running on diesel and the tender is part of plans to convert the plant to Coal Bed Methane (CBM). This is expected to reduce the cost of producing electricity at the power station by up to 60 percent. In a tender notice published in the Daily News on Wednesday, government said invitation was for the purposes of gauging the preparedness of local companies to supply gas on a trail basis.
  37. SA squeezes water power out of DRC – 1 Nov 2013 – “South Africa will buy more than half of the power – 2 500 megawatts – from the 4 800MW generated by the first phase of the Grand Inga Hydro Electric Power complex, construction of which is scheduled to start in October 2015. –> The dam, on the Congo River’s Inga Falls, is the world’s largest hydropower dam and it is estimated that it will cost at least $100-billion to build.”
  38. BPC seals deal for 180MW power station –  “The Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) and local energy firm, Karoo Sustainable Energy (KSE) have sealed a multi-million Pula deal that will see the construction of a 180-megawatt power station fuelled by coal bed methane next year.The deal, which takes the form of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), has reached the final draft stage and is expected to be signed by July, more than two years after negotiations kicked off.The PPA with KSE is the first of its kind in Botswana.Under the 15-year deal, KSE will build, own and operate a 180-megawatt (MW) power station to be built in Mmashoro, and supply the BPC with power. The station will use the proven riches of coal bed methane (CBM) in the area.
  39. Coal: Botswana next foreign earner – 5 May 2014 – “Botswana’s coal reserves estimated at 212 billion tonnes have been termed ‘new diamonds’ as they are expected to add value to the economy. –> Already, a number of companies are exploring the coal reserves on the eastern side of the Kalahari Karoo basin, with two companies, Kalahari and Tlou Energy, looking into extracting coal bed methane (CBM) for possible power generation. –> Kalahari Energy has been exploring gas in the Mmashoro-Lephephe area covering 50 000 square meters.
  40. Rising tensions over hydropower plant ownership in Congo DR – 21 May 2013 – “The Générale des carrières et des mines (Gécamines) of Congo DR has released its development plan, raising tensions with the national power utility SNEL. Indeed, Gécamines aims to secure its power supply, targeting a copper production of 160,000 tonnes by 2016; however mining activities in the Katanga province are threatened by a structural power capacity deficit, which increased from 400 MW in 2008 to 1 GW in 2012 and could reach 2.5 GW in 2015-2016. Gécamines now claims its ownership over four hydropower plants, namely Nseke, Nzilo, Koni and Mwadingusha, which were spun off in 1971 and transferred by Mobutu to the SNEL; the latter would be only the operator of the plant. Gécamines is ready to start judicial procedures and aims to create a company to operates the plants (482 MW), while surplus power generation would be sold. The Democratic Republic of Congo is currently discussing a draft on the liberalisation of its energy sector, which could set the matter.
  41. Nigeria and Russia in nuclear plant talks – 15 Apr 2015 – “As it seeks solutions to deal with decades of blackouts that has blighted its economy, Nigeria has entered talks with Russia’s state-owned Rosatom to build nuclear power plants. –> Although Africa’s most populous nation and biggest economy has no experience in developing and operating nuclear power plants; it has a gamma facility and small reactors producing around 30 kilowatts for research.
  42. Nigeria LNG exports reach $85 billion in 15 years – 20 Jun 2015 – “Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company Limited (NLNG), a joint venture between the government and foreign oil majors, has generated some 85 billion dollars from exports since its inception 15 years ago, the company announced late Friday.
  43. Weak Power Grids in Africa Stunt Economies and Fire Up Tempers – 2 Jul 2015 – “All of sub-Saharan Africa’s power generating capacity is less than South Korea’s, and a quarter of it is unproductive at any given moment because of the continent’s aging infrastructure. The World Bank estimates that blackouts alone cut the gross domestic products of sub-Saharan countries by 2.1 percent. –> The crippling effect was recently on display in Nigeria, which overtook South Africa as the continent’s biggest economy last year. –> Nigeria’s electrical grid churns out so little power that the country mostly runs on private generators. So when a fuel shortage struck this spring, a national crisis quickly followed, disrupting cellphone service, temporarily closing bank branches and grounding airplanes.
  44. Can’t spend, won’t spend [Nigeria] – 20 Jun 2015 – “The economic consequences of this power shortage are catastrophic. Experts reckon the economy could be growing by two to four percentage points faster each year if it had sufficient power. A large brewer explains that energy accounts for about 5% of his total costs, ten times as much as at similar outfits in other countries. At banks, where each branch needs its own generator, fuel accounts for about 6% of total costs, and at mobile-telephone companies, which have to provide power to each of their cellphone masts, it can be 10% of total costs.
  45. Fossil fuel firms risk wasting billions by ignoring climate change, says IEA – 9 Jul 2015 – “Energy companies are making a ‘strategic mistake’ and could waste billions of dollars of investment by thinking they are immune to climate policy, says IEA chief economist Fatih Birol.
  46. Can Obama Bring Energy to Africa? -10 Jul 2015 – “Power Africa, the Obama administration’s effort to infuse billions of energy investment dollars across sub-Saharan Africa, is entering its third year focused on completing up to 30,000 megawatts of new generation projects while adding 60 million new grid connections across the world’s least-electrified continent. –>Yet for all its ambition, the $7 billion program, rolled out in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2013 and likely to be touted by Obama on his upcoming trip to East Africa this month, has gained relatively little media attention or public notoriety compared with other major energy initiatives happening here.
  47. Sinking into Eskom’s black hole – 6 Feb 2015 – “A financial black hole of growing proportions is engulfing Eskom as it dances between blackouts and load-shedding. –> The utility claims that maintenance issues are the principal reason for the current shortfall of electricity, but it is delays at the two power giants that is costing it, and the country, dearly. –> Its failed bet that Kusile and Medupi, which are four years behind schedule, would already be on line means the utility is not earning revenue from the two giant nonstarters and has to fund the stratospheric capital and interest cost itself.
  48. We make our own – 15 Jan 2015 – “Renewables are no longer a fad but a fact of life, supercharged by advances in power storage –> At first sight the story of renewable energy in the rich world looks like a waste of time and money.
  49. First Solar, Utilities Say Big Solar Farms Cheaper Than Rooftops – 15 Jul 2015 – “The Brattle Group study is the latest salvo in an escalating battle between utilities and rooftop developers including SolarCity Corp. and Sunrun Inc. that install solar panels on homes and offices, eating into revenue for the regulated monopolies.
  50. A scramble for power – the Nigerian energy crisis explained – 13 Jul 2015 – “Africa’s most populous country is in the midst of an energy crisis, the cause of which is a combination of multiple problems relating to policy, infrastructure and difficulties in raising capital.
  51. Investment in UK peaking assets – 7 Jul 2014 – “The new Capacity Market may be set to turn UK generation investment on its head. Power plant development in the UK has historically been focused on combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) plants rather than peaking assets. CCGT have a clear efficiency advantage over peaking plants and with 30GW of existing CCGT capacity, UK merit order competition between gas plant is fierce. As a result it has historically been hard to build an investment case for peaking assets, except as onsite backup or for the provision of ancillary services (e.g. STOR).
  52.  After 36 Years, Nuclear Plant in Tennessee Nears Completion – 10 May 2010 – “If nothing else, the second reactor at the Tennessee River site has become a cautionary tale for the power industry.
  53. Q&A: Former Exelon CEO John Rowe on the future of energy in Illinois – 24 Jul 2015 – “
  54. Former Exelon CEO Rowe: Shutting down struggling nukes is ‘the proper market-driven answer’ – 27 Jul 2015 – “What we didn’t see, even as late as ’08, we just didn’t see what shale gas was going to do to gas prices. Some of our downside scenarios were at $4 gas. We did not see below $3 gas. … Boone Pickens, who does not always tell the whole truth, told Rahm Emanuel about shale gas before my own fuel people told me about it. I shouldn’t learn things like that from the president’s chief of staff. I have a wound on my neck from that one. There were a few people that saw it, but unfortunately it wasn’t the prevailing view.
  55. World Bank rejects energy industry notion that coal can cure poverty – 29 July 2015 – “World Bank’s climate change envoy: ‘We need to wean ourselves off coal. Bank has stopped funding new coal projects except in ‘rare circumstances

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