Category Archives: Hydro

Western Power Corridor pact can be revived, says Reuel Khoza

Business Day Live, 21 February, 2017

The Africa Energy Indaba hears Inga 3 hydropower project and associated infrastructure development is possible with political vision and will

The Western Power Corridor could still be revived with committed political leadership, Reuel Khoza said on Monday.

The corridor was a cooperative agreement among five Southern African countries established in 2003 to develop the Inga 3 hydropower project and associated infrastructure.

Khoza, a former Eskom chairman, is now involved in renewable power projects.

One of the speakers on a ministerial panel on increasing regional energy trade and co-operation at the Africa Energy Indaba starting on Tuesday, he is chairman of Aka Capital and independent power producer Globeleq as well as the author of several books on governance and leadership.

The corridor involved SA, Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Namibia, each of which was represented equally by its utilities in Westcor, a joint venture company. Westcor conducted feasibility studies into Inga 3, which would have provided about 5,000MG of power. Westcor also aimed to develop the 45,000MW Grand Inga project.

Here is the full article

In depth: Hydroelectric power in Africa

ESI-Africa, 8 October, 2014.

Hydroelectric power is often the cheapest electricity option available to African countries, and its implementation manifests in a variety of forms across the continent.

Grid based hydroelectric projects from 1.0 MW to the largest schemes have levelised cost ranges between US$0.02/kWh and US$0.12c/kWh, while small off grid rural mini-hydro schemes of 0.1 kW to 1.0 MW have a levelised cost of electricity that can range between US$0.05/kWh and US$0.4/kWh.

The Grand Inga project, which has a 40,000 MW potential, at the mouth of the Congo River has been talked about for decades, and that pattern is likely to continue. Ethiopia has Africa’s most ambitious hydroelectric projects underway, while countries such as Nigeria, Zambia, and Mozambique among others have plans for significant large hydroelectric schemes.

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High power tidal stream turbine launched

EE Publishers, 10 October, 2014.

Alstom has improved the design of its tidal stream turbine and now offers the Oceade 18 – 1,4 MW turbine. With a rotor diameter of 18 m, the tidal stream turbine has a nominal power of 1,4 MW and three variable pitching blades. It is equipped with “plug-and-play” modules on rails, easily accessible through an inspection hatch at the rear of the nacelle to enable faster assembly and maintenance. In addition, this turbine is buoyant, making it easy to tow to and from the operating site. Installation and maintenance costs are also lower because there is no need for specialist vessels or divers. The unit rotates to face the incoming tide at an optimal angle and thus extract the maximum energy potential. In January 2013, the company successfully deployed a 1 MW tidal stream turbine at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), a test site located off the coast of the Orkney Islands in Scotland.

Contact Kobie Hyman, Alstom, Tel 011 518-8100,

SA and Congolese Energy Ministers formally sign Inga 3 agreement

ESI-Africa, 12 September, 2014.

South African and Congolese energy ministers, Ms Tina Joemat-Pettersson and Bruno Kalala have formally signed the agreement for South Africa’s purchase of 2,500MW of power generated from The Grand Inga Dam – Inga Project 3. The Congolese minister said that the agreement was a ‘key step’ in the development of the project, stating that a ‘reliable purchaser’ was needed to advance the project…

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Were we wrong about Germany? Can renewables make a grid MORE reliable?

Smart Grid News, 21 August, 2014.

Quick Take: Germany’s long-standing push to move to renewable energy has been getting harsh criticism of late. Critics say it has made electricity far more expensive and the grid far less reliable. For instance, Bloomberg recently reported that the German grid was “at the mercy” of wind energy. The environmental advocates at Climate Progress argue that the German grid has, in fact, become MORE reliable, citing data from the ECOreport. Summary below, or jump to the full article– Jesse Berst

In the first half of 2014, nearly 29% of Germany’s electricity came from renewable sources – a new record. Yet the country has one of the world’s most efficient grids.


In terms of reliability, only Japan and Singapore rival Germany for reliability, as you can see in the chart below produced by Germany Trade & Invest. Germany lost just under 16 minutes per customer in 2012. Compare that the United States, where electricity was unavailable for 244 minutes per customer in 2008…

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