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SANEA Energy Awards 2017
2017 Calendar of Events
Action for Energy: 23 February 2017
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SANEA Energy Awards 2015 - Award Winners & Commendations


Awards Home | Award Winners & Commendations | Banquet & Award Ceremony | Our Supporters | SANEA Honorary Life Membership | Photos | Recipients of Previous Years

The 2015 SANEA / SANEDI Energy Awards again outperforms the rest!


This prestigious award is presented for outstanding sustained individual or corporate contribution to the enhancement of the South African energy environment:

  • Leadership
  • Innovation
  • Initiative
  • Role model
  • Visionary qualities
  • Contribution has had impact in South Africa

Sipho Nkosi
CEO: Exxaro Resources

The top SANEA Award this year went to Sipho Nkosi, Chief Executive Officer of Exxaro Resources. Sipho was a founder of Eyesizwe Holdings and served as Chief Executive Officer before its merger into Kumba Resources to form Exxaro Resources in 2006. He was appointed CEO of Exxaro Resources in September 2007 and will hold this position until March 2016 when he will retire.

Under his leadership Exxaro Resources has developed into one of the leading and foremost black owned South African-based resources companies, positioned as one of the top 3 coal mining companies.

Sipho has clearly demonstrated the criteria required of a person that is awarded the Energy Award, namely: leadership, innovation, initiative and visionary qualities. He is an outstanding role model and has made a significant contribution in South Africa. Sipho has served, and continues to serve, on a number of Boards of Companies and NGO's (including the SANEA Board). His leadership, experience and wisdom is shared with the broader community and he is passionate about development of the South African energy sector.

It is particularly fitting to present him with the premier award this year.


This award is for a specific project or other defined activity (by an individual or a corporate) that has either made a significant contribution to the South African Energy environment or that has brought international credibility for South Africa:

  • Leadership
  • Innovation
  • Initiative
  • Role model
  • Visionary qualities
  • International recognition
  • Contribution has had impact in South Africa

Bio2Watt (Pty) Ltd

The Award in this category was presented to Sean Thomas of Bio2Watt (Pty) Ltd. Bio2Watt (Pty) Ltd has introduced the first industrial scale waste to energy biogas plant (4.4 MW) to South Africa via its "Bronkhorstspruit Biogas Plant" (BBP); a project that is innovative for its combination of a raft of new ideas introduced to the South African Energy Sector.

BBP blends renewable energy with improvements to the environment, working with large established organisations to make renewable biomass energy "mainstream".

Important contributions to South Africa's energy sector include:

  • first renewable energy IPP with commercial off-taker
  • first wheeling agreement between a Municipality and a Commercial enterprise (BMW SA)
  • first recent renewable energy generator outside of governments' REIPPP Programme.

Mitochondria Energy Company (Pty) Ltd

The Highly Commended award was presented to Mashudu Ramano of Mitonchondria Energy Company (Pty) Ltd. Mitonchondria Energy Company (Pty) Ltd, the Fuel Cell Power Plant at the Chamber of Mines is the first commercial fuel cell installation in South Africa. The project was a joint vision by the Chamber and Mitochondria Energy to demonstrate a technology that holds tremendous promise for the supply of distributed clean energy as well as to beneficiate South Africa's platinum resource endowment.

The Chamber of Mines implemented a 100kW platinum catalysed fuel cell for the baseload electricity requirements in their 90 year old building in Marshalltown, Johannesburg. The project was developed by Mitochondria Energy Company that focusses on distributed energy utilising fuel cells.

The Chamber is playing a leadership role on behalf of the mining industry in adopting cutting edge technologies that can be showcased to the rest of the country and globally. This is a step to an energy-secure, less carbon intensive and platinum beneficiation future.

Stellenbosch Municipality

Andre Treurnich of the Stellenbosch Municipality received the Highly Commended award in this category on behalf of the Stellenbosch Municipality. The Stellenbosch Municipality, like any other, has informal settlements where people settle and do not enjoy the benefit of electricity, water and sanitation services.

The most urgent need amongst residents of one such informal settlement, Enkanini, was electricity. The municipality could not provide these residents with on-grid electricity in the near future, and decided that the provision of solar energy could be a viable alternative to conventional electricity.

For the vision to work, several actions had to be undertaken to remain compliant with legislation while simultaneously meeting the needs of Enkanini residents. These steps included:

  • The municipality's Indigent Policy was amended to appoint service providers to provide off-the-grid electricity and to pay them the Indigent Subsidy (Free Basic Electricity or FBE).
  • The municipality went out on tender and a suitable service provider was appointed in January 2015.
  • After discussions with the Kayamandi Development Forum (KDF), community buy in was solicited and obtained.
  • A Service Level Agreement (SLA) was signed in April 2015, where after the FBE subsidy was paid directly to the Service Provider for every household being supplied with off-the-grid solar energy.


This award is made for a lecture, presentation, technical paper, article or other educational activity which serves to further the understanding of energy and its role in sustaining human endeavours:

  • Objective
  • Informative
  • Original or a comprehensive review
  • Educational
  • Topical

Liz Hart, Siyenza Management

The Award in this category went to Liz Hart of Siyenza Management. Emma Sayers of Siyenza Management accepted the award on behalf of Liz. The Africa Energy Indaba (AEI), conceived in 2008, is consistently delivering improved knowledge and understanding of the energy issues affecting the African continent. Liz Hart, Managing Director of Siyenza Management, is the inspiration and driving force behind AEI, and she is therefore nominated for the SANEA Education Award. From the outset Liz designed AEI to promote greater knowledge and understanding of energy issues affecting the African continent. AEI is an African programme, unique in the following respects:

  • It considers all energy forms and uses - not just electricity, or coal or oil and gas
  • It is wholly developed, owned and funded by South Africans
  • It has a curriculum that is based on an independent in-depth assessment of the issues that are important to African energy leaders
  • It delivers a full report on the discussion in each of the sessions and makes the report available to key decision-makers around the world

AEI was adopted by the World Energy Council (WEC) as the African regional event of the WEC. Similarly the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency, as well as the African Union endorse AEI. As such, AEI has achieved the highest level of endorsement and support for an energy conference on the continent, thanks largely to the efforts of Liz Hart.

Journal of Energy in Southern Africa (JESA)
Energy Research Centre, University of Cape Town

A Highly Commended award went to the Journal of Energy in Southern Africa (JESA). JESA is a peer-reviewed energy journal and is the flagship publication of the Energy Research Centre (ERC), University of Cape Town. Launched in November 1990 it has been in existence for over 24 years. The publication provides the benchmark for energy research in Southern Africa and is the only peer-reviewed energy journal on the African continent. An ever increasing number of academics and researchers now submit papers for peer review from the African continent, and from 17 countries beyond our shores.

It is the policy of the JESA to publish papers covering the technical, economic, policy, environmental and social aspects of energy research and development. This publication is accredited by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET). It is abstracted and indexed in Environment Abstract, Index to South African Periodicals, and the Nexus Database System.

The JESA was selected into the Science Citation Index Expanded (ISI) by Thomson Reuters. It is also on the Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO) SA platform and is managed by the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf).


This award is for special efforts within the field of journalism to promote greater understanding of energy and its role in sustaining human endeavours:

  • Objectivity
  • Consistency
  • Engaged in Energy Matters
  • Well Informed

Terence Creamer, Creamer Media

Terence Creamer of Creamer Media received a Highly Commended award in this category. Terence is the editor and energy writer for Creamer Media. His body of work on energy matters, published in Engineering News, Mining Weekly and Polity.org.za, speaks for itself. Not only are the articles that Terence writes clear and easy to understand, but they also are current and leading-edge, providing information and insight to the latest energy news in South Africa. It is a credit to Terence and Creamer publications that many people use them as their primary source for understanding the latest developments in the energy field in South Africa.

The Friday afternoon publication of the Engineering News Energy Insight is an excellent summary of the week's energy highlights. The high quality of reporting on energy matters in the Creamer Media publications is thanks to the efforts Terence puts in. While Terence was awarded the SANEA Energy Award for Journalism when the awards were inaugurated, his contribution since this then warrants further recognition.

Energy Management News
Energy Research Centre, University of Cape Town

A Highly Commended award also went to Richard Drummond of the Energy Management News (EMN). EMN is a free quarterly newsletter that is published by the Energy Research Centre (ERC), University of Cape Town. It has been published for twenty years and has proved to be of a consistently high standard, and to have a widening subscription base. It is increasingly known in other countries,. This unique publication provides a venue for the dissemination of energy information and news items of local, regional and international interest.

The key receivers of this newsletter are students, researchers, consulting engineers, energy producers, energy consumers and decision makers. EMN is a successful vehicle for publicising results achieved and stimulating future activities in the southern African energy field in particular. The publication is proving to be an extremely popular publication, both at national and international level.



This exciting award recognises the contribution of novel commercially viable renewable energy research in South Africa:

  • Merit
  • Innovation
  • Novelty
  • Applicability

Mott MacDonald PDNA

The Award in this category was presented to Mike Aldous of Mott MacDonald PDNA. The new head office project for the South African Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) is a ground-breaking project that sets a new benchmark for the country's government and commercial building sectors. The project was developed as a public private partnership (PPP), and it has leveraged the cooperative structure of the PPP model to achieve best possible outcomes.

This is the first national government facility in South Africa to adopt the Green Star rating system. It received the maximum six-star rating and went on to win the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) Green Star Leadership Award.

Key green elements include low-energy technologies, water-saving features, renewable energy sources, and advanced building management systems; combined to deliver a building that enhances occupant experience while minimising environmental impact.

Mott MacDonald PDNA was the sustainable building consultant, executing and implementing a sustainable design and providing mechanical, electrical, civil, structural, traffic, vertical transportation, and fire engineering services.


This exciting award recognises the contribution of young upcoming researchers to renewable energy research in South Africa:

  • Merit
  • Innovation
  • Novelty
  • Applicability

Johan Stander
PhD Candidate, Stellenbosch University

The Award in this category was awarded to Johan Stander, PhD Candidate at the Stellenbosch University. Johan has contributed to the advancement of wind energy technologies which attracted interests from large international players such as Fraunhofer IWES, Enercon, and LM blades. Two contributions are considered. The first is the development of a novel slip-synchronous permanent magnet generator for which Johan holds two international patents. It is a direct-drive rotatory electrical machine which reduces the conventional wind turbine (or other) drive-train to a single electrical machine, omitting both the gearbox and the power electronic converter. This innovation therefore simplifies the construction, installation, and maintenance of wind turbines. Its development is funded by the Development Bank of Southern Africa via the Green Fund initiative.

The second contribution is the initiation and establishment of a new research field in rotary aerofoil design, with the focus on wind turbine blades. This field concerns the development of pressure rigidised rotary aerofoil designs. Johan has established a first in the world research group to investigate and development this technology. This group consists of international and local post-graduate students. Research in this field is funded by the William Frank Trust.

SANEDI   Record

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