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Renewable Energy News

Metair sees 7% drop in profit, signs supply agreement with Daimler

By: Irma Venter     Updated 1 hour 37 minutes ago Manufacturer, distributor and retailer of energy storage solutions and automotive components, Metair, has secured a multiyear supply agreement, from 2018 onwards, for the supply of enhanced flooded start/stop batteries to German car maker Daimler, in Europe, says MD Theo Loock. Speaking in... 

Exosun, Lesedi partner to offer localised solar tracking solutions in South Africa

By: Mia Breytenbach     Updated 6 hours ago Global supplier of solar tracking solutions for ground-mounted photovoltaic (PV) plants Exosun and South Africa-based engineering, procurement and construction company Lesedi Nuclear Services have entered into a partnership to provide localised solar tracking systems in South Africa. “Lesedi will... 

Wärtsilä supplies 15 MW solar plant in Burkina Faso

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd March 2017 Technology group Wärtsilä has entered into an agreement with independent power producer Eren Renewable Energy’s 90%-owned Essakane Solar, in Burkina Faso, to supply it with a 15 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant. The remaining 10% is owned by Eren’s development partner African Energy... 

EIUG supports Eskom plan for new pricing deals with power-intensive firms 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd March 2017 The Energy Intensive User Group of Southern Africa (EIUG) believes there is policy, legislative and regulatory space to introduce new electricity pricing arrangements to help restart of idle mining and process-industry activities, as well as encourage new investments to absorb Eskom’s surplus,... 

EIUG supports Eskom plan for new pricing deals with power-intensive firms

US firm seeks $561m from Tanzania in power supply dispute

By: Reuters     22nd March 2017 Symbion Power is seeking $561-million from Tanzania's state power supplier Tanesco via international mediation, accusing it of breach of contract, the US firm said on Tuesday. Symbion owns a 120 MW thermal power plant in Tanzania's commercial capital Dar es Salaam and is one the handful of... 

S&P affirms Eskom rating on ‘extremely high’ likelihood of govt support as liquidity weakens

By: Terence Creamer     22nd March 2017 S&P Global Ratings has sustained a negative outlook on Eskom after affirming its 'BB-' sub-investment-grade rating this week, pointing to the State-owned electricity utility’s weakening liquidity position as a result of a “lower-than-expected” tariff increase for 2017/18. On February 23, the... 

S&P affirms Eskom rating on ‘extremely high’ likelihood of govt support as liquidity weakens

Amid challenges, power sector offers massive opportunities

By: Nadine James     17th March 2017 Although the power and electricity sector in Africa faces massive challenges, it also offers massive opportunities, says Power & Electricity World Africa (PEWA) event organiser Terrapinn.  

Amid challenges, power sector offers massive opportunities
MOMENT IN THE SUN Africa’s largest power and electricity event offers innovative, cost-effective means of tackling Africa’s power challenges

Automation products on display at event

     17th March 2017 Industrial product supplier Magnet’s stand at the Power & Electricity World Africa 2017 conference and exhibition, taking place at the Sandton Convention Centre on March 28 and 29, will highlight the company’s Carlo Gavazzi automation products portfolio.  

Automation products on  display at event
ENERGY METER Carlo Gavazzi energy meters, current transformers and energy-efficiency monitoring solutions will be exhibited at stand J5

First continuous hydrothermal liquefaction production plant launched at NWU

By: David Oliveira     17th March 2017 South Africa’s first continuous hydrothermal liquefaction plant was launched at North-West University (NWU) earlier this month, which will result in the production of bio-oils, bio-char, biochemicals and biogas. The plant is one of the outputs of the Department of Science and Technology- and the... 

Govt’s involvement in promoting energy efficiency needed

     17th March 2017 Government should be more proactive and involved in encouraging energy efficiency, as it lies at the core of sustained economic growth, says the National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa (NCPC-SA). This, along with the statement that industries and businesses must prepare more... 

Govt’s involvement in promoting energy efficiency needed
INDUSTRIAL ENERGY EFFICIENCY WORKSHOP The event held on February 22 focused on challenges of rising energy costs

Lack of reliable power supply hinders Africa’s growth – trade commission

By: Nadine James     17th March 2017 Despite an uptick in planned power-generation projects, it is still fair to say that Africa lacks reliable power supply, which has prevented the continent’s economies from developing in line with their potential, says Austrian Trade Commission Advantage Austria.  “The effects of the lack of... 

Lack of reliable power supply hinders Africa’s growth – trade commission
JOHANNES BRUNNER There is significant interest in Africa in terms of the opportunities available for companies in renewable-energy and energy-storage

Microgrid powers Kruger Park lodge resort

     17th March 2017 American battery manufacturer Aquion Energy last month announced the completion of  a newly installed offgrid microgrid at a nature lodge resort in Kruger National Park in South Africa, which consists of a 55 kWh Aquion Aspen battery bank, paired with a 10 kW solar array. Aquion, which... 

Microgrid powers Kruger Park lodge resort
WORTH ITS SALT The saltwater batteries have been sized to comfortably support the lodge's loads during overcast conditions

Power products on display at Solar Show Africa

By: Nadine James     17th March 2017 Global electronics company Omron Electronics will showcase its power-monitoring, power-management and energy-saving products at the Solar Show Africa 2017 – which runs alongside the Power & Electricity World Africa 2017 conference taking place at the Sandton Convention Centre on March 28 and 29.... 

Power products on display at Solar Show Africa
ONE OF A KIND Omron will use this African renewable-energy exhibition to display the only potential induced degradation

Zambia agreement seen paving way for further solar power solutions

By: Dylan Slater     17th March 2017 The government of Zambia last month signed a second mandate with Scaling Solar, an initiative of the World Bank Group, which is helping developing countries procure low-cost, privately financed, solar power.  

Dubai’s CSP price cap seen driving technology’s competitiveness 

By: Terence Creamer     16th March 2017 A leading developer of concentrated solar power (CSP) projects in Africa and the Middle East believes the price cap proposed by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) for an upcoming CSP project could add significant impetus to improving the technology’s cost competitiveness, which may... 

Dubai’s CSP price cap seen driving technology’s competitiveness
Photo by Duane Daws
The Bookpoort CSP plant

Eskom initiates talks on triggering government support to cover IPP costs 

By: Terence Creamer     15th March 2017 Eskom has written to the signatories of the Government Support Framework Agreement (GSFA) – which guarantees support for the State-owned utility in meeting its obligation to buy electricity from renewable-energy independent power producers (IPPs) – to discuss a possible triggering of government... 

Eskom initiates talks on triggering government support to cover IPP costs
Photo by Duane Daws
Eskom interim CEO Matshela Koko

Loeriesfontein completes wind turbine installation

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     15th March 2017 Loeriesfontein Wind Farm has completed the installation of its 61 wind turbines, while achieving over 1.25-million hours without a single lost-time incident, on March 1. “This is a hugely significant health and safety construction milestone for one of the country’s largest wind farms, so... 

Zimbabwe seeks new South African electricity supply deal 

By: Reuters     13th March 2017 Zimbabwe is negotiationg a new deal to continue importing power from South African utility Eskom to make up for shortfalls in generating capacity at its Kariba hydropower station, the country's energy minister said on Monday. In January last year Eskom agreed a one-year deal to sell up to 300 MW... 

Economic development a competitive advantage for renewables bidders – juwi

By: Anine Kilian     10th March 2017 Since renewable-energy feed-in tariffs have decreased over the last few years – 35% and 78% for wind and solar respectively since 2008 – project owners are paying more attention to the competitive advantage they gain by focusing on economic development (ED) targets, such as increasing the number... 

Industrial manufacturers to implement energy management systems

By: Simone Liedtke     10th March 2017 The National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa (NCPC-SA) is assisting industrial manufacturing companies – such as foundries – to develop and implement energy management systems (EnMS) in line with ISO 50001 through its EnMS training programme. 

Industrial manufacturers to implement energy management systems
FAITH MKHACWA EnMSes are not ‘one-off’ projects, but rather need to becontinuously implemented on site

Zambia's power costs 'defining issue' for mining – chamber

By: Reuters     9th March 2017 Zambia's electricity costs will be the "defining issue" for the mining sector this year and beyond, Chamber of Mines President Nathan Chishimba said on Thursday. The southern African country, which is a major copper producer, is struggling to maintain power supplies as a severe drought has caused... 

Mali to build $25m solar plant with loan from AfDB

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     8th March 2017 Mali’s first utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant, the 33 MW Segou project, which will be built at a cost of $25-million. The project will increase the country¹s installed capacity from renewable resources and will generate 52.7 GWh/y, or about 10% of current generation capacity,... 

JSE-listed infrastructure fund seeks capital for next acquisitions

By: Terence Creamer     8th March 2017 JSE-listed infrastructure investment holding company GAIA Infrastructure Capital has appetite for further funds for investments into energy, transport, as well as water and sanitation assets. CEO Prudence Lebina tells Engineering News Online that the company, which invests only in operational... 

JSE-listed infrastructure fund seeks capital for next acquisitions
GAIA Infrastructure Capital CEO Prudence Lebina

AFD sets aside €1.3bn to support high social impact South African projects

By: Terence Creamer     8th March 2017 French development financier Agence Française de Développement (AFD) expects to disburse €1.3-billion in funding support to South African projects in the coming five years as part of a newly approved operational strategy for the country. AFD says the funding will take the form of nonsovereign... 

SolarReserve completes Netcare rooftop solar roll-out

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     8th March 2017 Energy developer SolarReserve has completed the roll out of commercial-sized solar photovoltaic rooftop installations at 15 of healthcare company Netcare’s facilities. Installations have been completed at the Netcare 911 head office, in Midrand, and 14 Medicross family medical and dental centres... 

SolarReserve completes Netcare rooftop solar roll-out

Investor in UK solar assets plans secondary listing on JSE from April

By: Terence Creamer     3rd March 2017 A London Stock Exchange-listed investor in UK ground-based solar photovoltaic (PV) plants, Foresight Solar Fund, has announced its intention to pursue a secondary listing on the JSE through a private placement with institutional South African investors. The listing is expected to raise... 

Investor in UK solar assets plans secondary listing on JSE from April
The Shotwick solar PV farm in the UK

Alstom awarded its first tramway contract in Taiwan

     3rd March 2017 Multinational rail transport company Alstom has been awarded a contract by China Steel Corporation to supply fifteen Citadis trams for Phase 2 of the Kaohsiung tramway project, in Taiwan, which is expected to start revenue service in 2019. This tramway project – the first of its kind for Alstom... 

Alstom awarded  its first tramway  contract in Taiwan
Photo by Bloomberg
TRAMWAY CONTRACT Alstom will supply fifteen Citadis trams for Phase 2 of the Kaohsiung tramway project in Taiwan

German-backed initiative to help increase use of solar energy in industrial processes

By: David Oliveira     3rd March 2017 The South African National Energy Development Institute (Sanedi) and the Southern African-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SAGCCI) announced last month that they had teamed up for the international Solar Payback project, which aims to increase the use of solar thermal energy in industrial... 

Investec emerges as go-to bank for US rooftop solar

By: Bloomberg     3rd March 2017 A South African bank has become the go-to funding source for the U.S. rooftop solar industry just two years after entering the market. Investec arranged $880-million in debt financing for rooftop solar developers and financiers in 2016. That’s more than half of the $1.5-billion bank debt raised... 

Investec signs R100m facility with rooftop solar project developer 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     1st March 2017 Investec Bank has, through its power and infrastructure finance (PIF) division, signed a R100-million term facility to fund Mettle Solar Investments’ current and future portfolio of commercial rooftop solar installations in sub-Saharan Africa. “With the decreasing cost of solar installations, the... 

Coal truck drivers protest over renewables, plan march to Zuma's office

By: Reuters     1st March 2017 Several coal transporting trucks blocked highways in South Africa's capital on Monday to protest against the country's renewable power programme after President Jacob Zuma showed support for the sector in speech to parliament last month. Zuma's directive has angered coal transporting workers, who... 

Coal truck drivers protest over renewables, plan march to Zuma's office

Mitsubishi Hitachi to supply turbines for 140 MW Kenyan geothermal plant

By: Reuters     28th February 2017 Japan's Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems said on Tuesday it and two other firms had won an power generation plant order including two 70 megawatt turbines from Kenya Electricity Generating Company. Last year, KenGen said it expected to start the construction of the 140 MW plant, known as Olkaria... 

Deadlock broken between Eskom and IPPs, Joemat-Pettersson insists 

By: Terence Creamer     28th February 2017 Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson says the “deadlock has been broken” between Eskom and the renewable-energy independent power producers (IPPs), with the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) confirming its willingness to consider an application from the State-owned utility... 

Deadlock broken between Eskom and IPPs, Joemat-Pettersson insists
Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson

India's coal oversupply to persist, despite recent drawdown in power plant stocks

By: Ajoy K Das     28th February 2017 Thermal power plants across India have achieved significant drawdown on existing coal stocks this month, but this is not expected to be a sustained emerging trend. According to government data, total coal stocks carried by all thermal power plants in the country were pegged at 24-million tonnes... 

Opinion: Eskom supports renewables, but flags cost-recovery uncertainty as a worry

     27th February 2017 Eskom has noted with concern various misleading reports in the media regarding the signing and execution of budget quotations and power purchase agreements with independent power producers (IPPs) participating in the Department of Energy’s procurement programmes. In 2012, Eskom established the... 

Opinion: Eskom supports renewables, but flags cost-recovery uncertainty as a worry
Photo by Duane Daws
Thava Govender,

Kenya reins in 5 000 MW power plan amid surplus worries

By: John Muchira     24th February 2017 The Kenya has shelved plans to increase installed electricity generation capacity to 5 000 MW in the immediate future is it is concerned that this could leave the country with excess capacity Previously, the East African country intended to implement a "5 000 MW by 2018 project" to attract... 

Electricity-mix model shows South Africa won’t need to trade off clean for low-cost 

By: Terence Creamer     23rd February 2017 The steep decline in wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) costs means that South Africa will not need to make the traditional trade-off between investing in either clean or least-cost electricity production, as the “cost-optimal mix” for South Africa is now also the cleanest, research conducted by... 

Electricity-mix model shows South Africa won’t need to trade off clean for low-cost
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