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Renewable Energy News

Eskom’s ‘death spiral’ under the microscope

By: Terence Creamer     21st November 2017 A major topic of discussion during recent public hearings into Eskom’s 2018/19 revenue application, was whether a further double-digit tariff hike could trigger a “utility death spiral”, whereby rising tariffs and utility costs spark an exodus of energy-intensive customers from the network,... 

Bushveld Energy, IDC, Eskom to test first vanadium redox flow battery

By: Natasha Odendaal     21st November 2017 Aim-listed Bushveld Minerals’ 84%-owned energy subsidiary Bushveld Energy has deployed its first utility-scale vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) to power utility Eskom for testing. The power utility will, at its research, testing and development centre, in Rosherville, test the VRFB and its... 

First commercial solar insurance launched in South Africa

By: African News Agency      20th November 2017 South African firms All Power Systems and Synthesis said on Monday they had launched the country’s first commercial solar savings insurance to protect companies from risks associated with adverse weather and system failure. In a statement, the companies said firms using rooftop solar energy faced... 

Shell collaboration helps power London buses with coffee waste

By: Nica Schreuder     20th November 2017 International energy and petrochemicals group Shell, in partnership with London-based clean technology company bio-bean and UK biodiesel producer Argent Energy, is helping power some of London’s buses through a new coffee biodiesel project – launched on Monday – which uses a biofuel made partly... 

City of Cape Town gearing up for battle to directly procure power from IPPs

By: Kim Cloete     17th November 2017 The City of Cape Town says it is prepared for a legal battle with the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) in a bid to directly procure power from independent power producers (IPPs). This was the culmination of two years of trying to get permission, said City of Cape Town enterprise... 

Siemens to cut 6 900 jobs to tackle flailing turbines business

By: Reuters     17th November 2017 Siemens will cut about 6 900 jobs, or close to 2% of its global workforce, mainly at its power and gas division, which has been hit by the rapid growth of renewables. Most of the cuts, about 6 100, will be made before 2020 at Siemens's Power and Gas division, which once thrived on supplying large... 

Financing secured for solar projects in Egypt

By: Nadine James     17th November 2017 European photovoltaic (PV) specialist Scatec Solar announced that it had secured financing of $335-million to fund its portion of the development of six 400 MW utility scale PV power plants which will be located in the Benban solar park in the City of Aswan in Egypt. The company secured funding... 

Investment in solar has overtaken coal globally, says IEA

By: Kim Cloete     16th November 2017 Breaking all-time records, renewables currently account for two thirds of global net capacity additions, according to one of several reports about how renewable energy is powering ahead. The trend is set to continue. “All renewables will grow at double the velocity of fossil fuels within the next... 

Investment in solar has overtaken coal globally, says IEA

Global wind power continues to propel forward in 2017

By: Kim Cloete     16th November 2017 China is surging ahead in wind power, blowing away the US – the world’s second-largest wind power market – by a long margin, while African countries are making more inroads despite facing challenges, delegates attending the yearly Windaba conference and exhibition, in Cape Town, have heard.... 

CSIR signals renewables-led electricity mix by 2050

By: Terence Creamer     16th November 2017 The CSIR Energy Centre has published updated research outcomes indicating that South Africa’s least-cost electricity mix, by 2050, includes predominantly solar photovoltaic (PV) and onshore wind contributing nearly 80% of the country’s electrical energy. The research outcomes, which were released... 

CSIR signals renewables-led electricity mix by 2050
CSIR Energy Centre principal engineer Jarrad Wright

Wind energy industry optimistic despite frustrations

By: Kim Cloete     15th November 2017 The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) is confident that the tide will turn and that Eskom will soon, and finally, sign the outstanding power purchase agreements (PPAs) that have delayed the renewable energy industry for the past two years. SAWEA chairperson Mark Pickering outlined the... 

Wind energy industry optimistic despite frustrations

Study urges Eskom to accelerate station decommissioning, curtail Kusile to shore up solvency

By: Terence Creamer     15th November 2017 A new study argues that cash-strapped Eskom could make immediate costs savings of up to R17-billion and boost its liquidity, without undermining security of supply, by accelerating the decommissioning of three of its older coal-fired power stations and by halting construction of units 5 and 6 at... 

Study urges Eskom to accelerate station decommissioning, curtail Kusile to shore up solvency
Meridian MD Dr Grové Steyn

Solar to power ahead as it emerges as ‘cheapest’ source of generation

By: Terence Creamer     14th November 2017 The World Energy Outlook 2017, released by the International Energy Agency (IEA) in London on Tuesday, presents a base case scenario that foresees the world’s growing energy needs being met increasingly by renewables and natural gas over the coming 25 years, as “coal strikes out” and nuclear’s... 

Solar to power ahead as it emerges as ‘cheapest’ source of generation

IEA lists South Africa as possible hub for production of ‘green’ hydrogen-rich chemicals, fuels

By: Terence Creamer     14th November 2017 A new International Energy Agency (IEA) report lists South Africa, together with a handful of other territories, as having the potential to tap its abundant solar and wind resources to produce “green” hydrogen-rich chemicals and fuels, such as ammonia and methanol. The insight paper, titled... 

IEA lists South Africa as possible hub for production of ‘green’ hydrogen-rich chemicals, fuels

Schletter South Africa appoints new MD

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     13th November 2017 Solar photovoltaic (PV) mounting system supplier Schletter South Africa has appointed Trevor DeVries MD, effective November 6. DeVries is heading the company that serves the sub-Saharan Africa business of the globally active Schletter Group. 

As Mozambique marks historic Cahora Bassa transfer, attention shifts to big capex plan

By: Terence Creamer     13th November 2017 Hidroelectrica Cahora Bassa (HCB), the Mozambique concession company which operates the Cahora Bassa dam and the 2 075 MW hydropower plant, is poised to move into a period of sustained investment, having settled all debt associated with the 2007 transfer of ownership of the scheme from Portugal... 

As Mozambique marks historic Cahora Bassa transfer, attention shifts to big capex plan
Cahora Bassa: HCB to commemorate historic transfer of ownership of Cahora Bassa from Portugal to Mozambique on November 27

Affordability makes energy efficient solutions accessible

By: Nica Schreuder     10th November 2017 Increasing emphasis on the importance of energy efficiency and sustainable energy solutions has resulted in energy efficient lighting solutions using solar power becoming more cost effective. Subsequently, this has enabled disadvantaged communities, with minimal access to lighting, to afford... 

Affordability makes energy efficient solutions accessible
ECOBOXX ACDC Dynamics offers portable, cost effective solar power solutions

Competition equips students with practical energy efficiency knowledge

By: Nica Schreuder     10th November 2017 International digital industrial company General Electric (GE) Africa held the University Business Challenge Competition last month, putting into practice its commitment to helping boost learning and skills development through technology, and stimulating students to create energy efficient... 

Competition equips  students with practical  energy efficiency knowledge
ROTI BALOGUN The competition is a proactive way of bridging the needs of industry

Student competition fosters innovative energy solutions

By: Nica Schreuder     10th November 2017 In a bid to allow South African engineering students to explore and understand energy efficiency and solutions, Gauteng-based tertiary institution the University of Johannesburg (UJ) has partnered with international energy and petrochemicals group Shell Global for the fourth time to host the... 

Student competition fosters innovative  energy solutions
ECO-MARATHON Fostering an energy efficient-conscious mind-set among students is the first step towards embracing energy efficiency

Competence Centre promotes energy efficiency awareness in Africa

By: Nica Schreuder     10th November 2017 The South African-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Competence Centre for Sustainable Energies (CC:SE), in Cape Town plays an important role in creating awareness and fostering conversations among African stakeholders in the renewable energy and energy efficiency sector. CC:SE manager... 

Competence Centre promotes energy efficiency awareness in Africa
Photo by Bloomberg
LIGHTING THE WAY EUREM trainees are taught basic knowledge of energy efficiency, with an emphasis on energy efficient lighting systems

Organisation assists business in becoming energy efficient

By: Nica Schreuder     10th November 2017 Lack of energy supply security, economic costs associated with energy, and environmental costs, such as depleting resources, contributing to climate change are just some of the factors that can be mitigated if South Africa embraces energy efficiency and reliable renewable energy alternatives,... 

Organisation assists  business in becoming  energy efficient
MONITORED CONSUMPTION NCPC-SA is trying to find ways to optimise South Africa’s energy consumption

Upcoming energy event to showcase African project opportunities  

By: Simone Liedtke     10th November 2017 A key focus point of the African Energy Indaba (AEI) – which celebrates its ten-year milestone next year – is to provide access to project opportunities across the African continent. 

Upcoming energy event to showcase African project opportunities
Africa Energy Indaba (AEI) MD Liz Hart, AEI chairperson Brian Statham and South African Electrotechnical Export Council CEO Chiboni Evans discuss the AEI next year. Camera: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Lionel da Silva.

Monitoring energy consumption fosters efficiency

By: Nica Schreuder     10th November 2017 Being aware of how much energy one consumes is key in energy efficiency and management, and has the potential to significantly reduce energy consumption in businesses and residential households, says industrial switchgear, automation and energy efficiency product distributor ElectroMechanica (EM)... 

Monitoring energy consumption  fosters efficiency
SMART SOLUTIONS ElectroMechanica’s smart home solutions enable users to control and monitor their energy consumption from their smartphone

Energy-saving guide promotes sustainable mindset industry

By: Nica Schreuder     10th November 2017 International oil and gas company ExxonMobil has recently launched an energy- saving guide for the plastics industry to demonstrate to major companies in plastics how they can better manage their energy consumption. The guide, launched last month, is a practical approach designed to help with... 

Energy-saving guide  promotes sustainable mindset industry
ESSENTIAL ADVICE ExxonMobil’s energy-saving guide is aimed towards assisting the plastics industry in managing their energy consumption

Gas company secures onshore petroleum production right

By: Mia Breytenbach     10th November 2017 The Petroleum Agency of South Africa has granted integrated alternative and renewable-energy business Renergen’s Tetra4 subsidiary environmental authorisation for its Free State natural gas development. The authorisation, the processing of which has taken more than two years, with multiple rounds... 

Gas company secures onshore petroleum production right
PRODUCTION EXPANSION While Tetra4 already produces compressed natural gas, new expansions will include the liquefaction of the gas – the first in South Africa

Solar switch flipped at WesBank and FNB’s Fairland campus

By: Anine Kilian     7th November 2017 WesBank and First National Bank’s (FNB’s) 150 000 m2 campus, based in Fairland, Johannesburg, has officially switched on on 7 647 reflective photovoltaic cells across 1 010 parking, helping reduce the campus’s carbon footprint by 2 700 t/y. At peak efficiency, this system can generate 1.99 MW. 

US energy research body aims to increase African impact with focus on energy poverty

By: Terence Creamer     3rd November 2017 Leading US public interest energy and environmental research organisation the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is aiming to increase its relevance and impact in Africa by integrating the problem of energy poverty into its portfolio of research activities. Senior regional manager Barry... 

US energy research body aims to increase African impact with focus on energy poverty
EPRI senior regional manager Barry MacColl

Company completes second sustainable storage project

     3rd November 2017 Self-storage solutions company Stor-Age earlier this year installed a complete solar photovoltaic (PV) system for the generation of its three-phase power requirements at its Tokai store in the Western Cape. This is the second store in Stor-Age’s portfolio to be fitted with PV panels, and forms... 

Company completes second sustainable storage project
Photo by Bloomberg
SUSTAINABLE STORAGE Stor-Age aims to create sustainable infrastructure with minimal damage to the environment

Newly inaugurated PV microgrid to supply almost 50% of Robben Island’s electricity

By: Mia Breytenbach     3rd November 2017 Robben Island, a World Heritage Site has gone green with the installation of a R25-million solar energy, lithium-ion battery storage microgrid that will supply almost half of the island’s yearly electricity requirement. The Department of Tourism, together with the appointed engineering,... 

Newly inaugurated PV microgrid to supply almost 50% of Robben Island’s electricity
Photo by Duane Daws
LEON VILJOEN This system makes it the ideal solution, not only for the environment, but also from a business perspective

Solar photovoltaic invention passes two-year milestone

By: Schalk Burger     3rd November 2017 Standalone solar photovoltaic (PV) social enterprise technology SolarTurtle, which provides low-cost energy for remote and unconnected communities, has been profitable and operational for more than two years in various communities, says SolarTurtle inventor, founder and manager James van der... 

Solar photovoltaic invention passes two-year milestone
SOCIAL SOLAR ENTERPRISE The SolarTurtle with its solar panels open

Reforms, business models key to unlocking private sector investment for climate change – IFC

By: Natasha Odendaal     2nd November 2017 Smart policy reforms and innovative business models can unlock the trillions of dollars in private investment that is needed to ensure Africa meets its climate targets as agreed to in the landmark Paris Agreement. The private sector, boasting innovation, the financing and resources, is considered... 

Report outlines vision for a million South African ‘climate jobs’

By: Terence Creamer     2nd November 2017 A new report has been released in an effort to mobilise South Africans behind the vision of creating a million ‘climate jobs’ as part of the country’s response to the threat posed by climate change. Published by the Alternative Information and Development Centre, the 60-page report has been... 

Report outlines vision for a million South African ‘climate jobs’

IFC and banks close $653m in funding for Egypt solar plants

By: Reuters     30th October 2017 International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, on Sunday said it had completed a $653-million debt package to finance building 13 solar power plants near Aswan in Egypt, planned to be part of the largest solar park in the world. Generating up to 752 megawatts of solar... 

Loeriesfontein Wind Farm connected to grid

     27th October 2017 Loeriesfontein Wind Farm as well as Khobab Wind Farm, both located in the Northern Cape, are now connected to State-owned power utility Eskom’s grid, through Eskom’s Helios substation and the commissioning of wind turbines has started. “We energised the wind farm substations with Eskom... 

Loeriesfontein Wind Farm connected to grid
STATE CONNECTIONS Loeriesfontein and Khobab should start supplying electricity to the national grid by early December, in the meantime the developers continue to work closely with Eskom

Conference aims to strengthen cross-border relations

By: Nadine James     27th October 2017 The prospects for wind power within and beyond the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) will be discussed at this year’s Windaba conference and exhibition, exploring opportunities outside South Africa’s borders, and consider ways of establishing cross-border... 

Conference aims to strengthen cross-border relations
ANSWERS IN THE WIND The Windaba programme has been designed to be relevant regardless of whether the mid-term outlook is good or uncertain

Proper lubrication directly correlates with safety

     27th October 2017 Lubrication can have a big impact on the safety of wind turbine operations by reducing operational safety risk at an operation during equipment servicing and maintenance, says oil company ExxonMobil Europe, Africa and Middle East (EAME) SHC brand adviser Rainer Lange. He explains that, inspecting... 

Proper lubrication directly correlates  with safety
Photo by Bloomberg
GREASE THE SKIDS Reducing human-machine interaction requires having a robust lubrication programme that prevents unnecessary downtime and extends the service intervals of wind turbine equipment

Rotor blade manufacturing facility officially opens in Tangier

     27th October 2017 Wind turbine components manufacturer Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) officially inaugurated its new rotor blade factory in Tangier, Morocco, earlier this month, at an event chaired by Moroccan Minister of Industry, Investment, Trade and Digital Economy, Moulay Hafid El Alamy, and Siemens... 

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