By Wendell Roelf CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South Africa's hopes of becoming one of the world's top renewable energy hubs are dimming due to poor infrastructure and delays as cash-strapped state utility Eskom is distracted by a scramble to keep the lights on. Chronic electricity shortages are one of the biggest brakes on growth in Africa's most developed economy as regular blackouts strangle industries from mining to manufacturing and pile pressure on President Jacob Zuma's government. Zuma laid out ambitious goals last month to increase power generation capacity, including plans to boost installed renewable energy capacity to 9,600 megawatts (MW) by 2030 from just 1,600 MW now, out of a total capacity of 44,175 MW. Upgraded technology and lower costs have enhanced the appeal of clean energy in Africa, as firms such as Enel Green Power and E.ON eye the relatively untapped region to help offset lagging growth in mature European markets.
Rescuers found 32 bodies of miners in the Zasyadko mine in eastern Ukraine a day after a blast ripped through the shaft, a rebel official said on Thursday. "32 bodies of dead miners of the Zasyadko mine have been found" by early morning, the emergency ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic said in a statement, adding that the bodies were being raised to the surface. The pro-Kiev administration of the Donetsk region said that by 7:00 am (0500GMT) 14 bodies have been pulled out of the shaft, and seven were already identified. The explosion, believed to be caused by a buildup of methane gas, occurred shortly before 0400GMT Wednesday, when 230 miners were underground.
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry sought Thursday to ease Gulf Arab concerns about an emerging nuclear deal with Iran and explore ways to calm instability in Yemen and other troubled nations in the Middle East.