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Renewable Energy News

Signing of power purchase agreements with IPPs imminent – SAWEA

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     19th January 2018 The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) expects the conclusion of 26 outstanding power purchase agreements (PPAs) with independent power producers (IPPs) to occur during the first quarter of this year. It said on Friday that the majority of the processes required to conclude the PPAs... 

Egypt, Ethiopia leaders say Nile dam must not ruin relations

By: Reuters     19th January 2018 Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi pledged on Thursday not to let differences over a dam Ethiopia is building on the Nile river ruin relations with Addis Ababa. Ethiopia hopes the hydroelectric Grand Renaissance Dam will make it Africa's largest power exporter. 

Guidance note on support for off-grid renewable energy launched

By: Dylan Slater     19th January 2018 The first edition of the Off-Grid Government-Industry Dialogue (OGID) Day – which took place in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire during October – resulted in the launch of a guidance note for governments. The note aims to share recommendations for policymakers about how they can support the off-grid... 

$324m for Morocco, Côte d’Ivoire renewables projects

By: Dylan Slater     19th January 2018 The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved $324-million in loan support to two renewable energy projects in Morocco and Côte d’Ivoire that are expected to significantly increase power supplies and boost economic growth in those countries.  

Eskom challenges need to be addressed urgently, or South Africa will sink – Gigaba

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     18th January 2018 Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba on Thursday painted a grim picture of the financial challenges facing power utility Eskom, stating that the national fiscus would be unable to bail the State-owned enterprise (SOE) out in the event of a default. Speaking at a pre-World Economic Forum (WEF)... 

Eskom challenges need to be addressed urgently, or South Africa will sink – Gigaba
Photo by Duane Daws
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba

SA’s renewables production costs minimised at high penetration levels, NREL study shows

By: Terence Creamer     17th January 2018 A new independent study published by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), in the US, concludes that significant production cost savings could be achieved if South Africa added between 60 GW and 100 GW of additional variable renewable energy (VRE) by 2035. The NREL study is a pure... 

SA’s renewables production costs minimised at high penetration levels, NREL study shows
NREL research engineer Erol Chartan

New ‘power-to-X’ prospects may arise as renewables costs continue to fall

By: Terence Creamer     15th January 2018 The outlook for solar and wind electricity costs to 2020 “presages historically low costs for new renewable electricity”, which could create new economic and industrial opportunities, a new International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) report argues. Released in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab... 

New ‘power-to-X’ prospects may arise as renewables costs continue to fall

Rwanda, Mauritius get funding for solar PV projects

By: Anine Kilian     15th January 2018 The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) on Monday announced that $25-million in concessional loans from ADFD have been earmarked for solar photovoltaic (PV) projects in Mauritius and Rwanda. The projects have the potential to significantly... 

Acwa Power buys into blockchain currency

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     15th January 2018 Power generation technology developer Acwa Power has adopted SolarCoin – the global reward programme for solar electricity generation – marking the first time a utility-scale generator joins the SolarCoin ecosystem. SolarCoin will provide digital tokens to Acwa Power for every MWh of solar energy... 

Acwa Power buys into blockchain currency

Solar steam powers homes – and new jobs – in South Africa

By: Reuters     12th January 2018 South Africa may still get most of its energy from coal, but in the country’s sunny Northern Cape province, a different electricity source is taking hold: solar steam. A Spanish renewable energy company has opened three thermal solar plants – which use the sun’s heat to create electricity - in... 

Solar steam powers homes – and new jobs – in South Africa

Calls made for far-reaching Eskom restructuring as sustainability risks mount

By: Terence Creamer     9th January 2018 Eskom’s current financial situation makes it difficult to see any other path to sustainability than that of drastic cost-cutting, restructuring and bringing private equity into the business, Energy Intensive Users Group of Southern Africa (EIUG) past chairperson Piet van Staden argues. In an... 

Calls made for far-reaching Eskom restructuring as sustainability risks mount

Ethiopia signs $4bn deal to build 1 000 MW-geothermal power plants

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     20th December 2017 Ethiopia has signed an agreement to build two geothermal power plants at a combined cost of $4-billion, to be run by the country's first privately-owned utility. The Corbetti and Tulu Moye plants will produce a combined 1 000 MW of power upon completion in eight years time in the... 

Nersa grants Eskom's tariff hike, but not 20% 

By: News24Wire      15th December 2017 South Africa's National Energy Regulator (Nersa) has declined Eskom request for a 20% hike, instead granting Eskom a 5.2% hike. The regulator is due to publish a document outlining the decision in the next couple of days, Nersa chair Jacob Modise said. The 5.23% tariff increase, announced by... 

Nersa grants Eskom's tariff hike, but not 20%

CPV plant’s success contributes to economic growth

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     15th December 2017 Being the only concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) power plant of its kind in South Africa currently, independent power producer Pele Energy Group senior asset manager Ziska Mc Gilton says the 36 MW ac Touwsrivier CPV project is continuously providing economic upliftment and support for surrounding... 

Longmeadow solar PV project nearing completion

By: Nadine James     15th December 2017 Solar power specialist Energy Partners (EP) Solar has invested in a photovoltaic (PV) solar system to power South African retailer Pick n Pay’s Longmeadow distribution centre, in Modderfontein, Gauteng. The project is currently about 80% complete and will be fully operational by the end of... 

Successful solar PV project exemplified for SA uptake

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     15th December 2017 The “tremendous” success of the Robben Island solar photovoltaic (PV) microgrid project lends itself to “fantastic” replication potential, as it serves as a model example for retrofitting existing energy systems with solar and batteries to significantly reduce fossil fuel consumption and... 

Data analytics trends spill over into energy sector 

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th December 2017 The vision of a low-carbon future allied with advances in the information technology sector are set to become game changers that will shift the future energy landscape as technology gives rise to peripheral industries and cross-sector transformations. The future of energy generation is embedded... 

SA power plant listed 4th dirtiest in world's 'Dirty Dozen' 

By: News24Wire      12th December 2017 South Africa’s Thabametsi project has been listed as one of the “Dirty Dozen projects”, twelve fossil fuel projects worldwide environmental groups say exemplify the massive volumes of public finances still flowing to fossil fuel projects, which are driving climate change. The list comes as world... 

New JV to develop small-scale Zambian hydropower projects

By: Schalk Burger     12th December 2017 The New Africa Power joint venture (JV) plans to develop a 65 MW portfolio of small-scale, run-of-the-river hydropower projects in Zambia. The JV, established by Nairobi-based energy holding company responsAbility Renewable Energy, international finance institution Norfund and investment company... 

AfDB grants loan support to two African renewable energy projects

By: Dylan Slater     11th December 2017 The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved $324-million in loan support to two renewable energy projects in Morocco and Côte d’Ivoire that are expected to significantly increase power supplies and boost economic growth in those countries.  

AfDB grants loan support to two African renewable energy projects
The Noor concentrated solar power project’s Phase 1

SAPVIA launches ‘bold’ 5-point plan for solar industrialisation

By: Mia Breytenbach     8th December 2017 The South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) has announced a “bold” five-point plan for the solar photovoltaic (PV) industry to drive industrialisation, create jobs, and contribute to economic growth. Speaking at the Energy Indaba held at Gallagher Estate in Midrand, on Friday,... 

SAPVIA launches ‘bold’ 5-point plan for solar industrialisation

Cabinet approves long-awaited IRP update 

     8th December 2017 Creamer Media’s Samantha Herbst talks to Engineering News editor Terence Creamer about the newly approved IRP and what this means for South Africa’s energy mix. 

Cabinet approves long-awaited IRP update
Cabinet approves long-awaited IRP update

Jasco slashes carbon footprint with solar energy solution

By: Nadine James     8th December 2017 Technology solutions provider Jasco’s Power Solutions & Renewable Energy team will leverage its experiences from its successful solar project as a base for understanding the engineering, procurement and construction requirements for solar energy systems in high-end residential, commercial and... 

Quality reprioritised in local battery market

By: Robyn Wilkinson     8th December 2017 With its battery anti-theft solution successfully protecting more than 15 000 lead acid batteries in South Africa, battery and related-components supplier Aztec is seeing an increase in demand for premium quality batteries with a longer operating life. 

Quality reprioritised in local battery market
POSITIVE RESPONSE NorthStar ACE was launched in South Africa this year and Aztec has seen a positive local market response to its advanced capabilities

No further IRP consultations as Cabinet approves plan and 27 renewables projects 

By: Terence Creamer     7th December 2017 Energy Minister David Mahlobo reported on Thursday that Cabinet approved an updated Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for electricity during a marathon 12-hour meeting on Wednesday and that the new plan would be published without any further public consultation. Briefing the media at an ‘Energy... 

No further IRP consultations as Cabinet approves plan and 27 renewables projects
Energy Minister David Mahlobo

Zuma promises ‘seamless’ ANC transition at energy indaba that sidesteps IRP debate 

By: Terence Creamer     7th December 2017 President Jacob Zuma used his address at the Energy Indaba, taking place in Johannesburg this week, to assure business and investors that the upcoming African National Congress (ANC) elective conference would be “orderly and peaceful”, while promising a “seamless” handover to the new ANC... 

Zuma promises ‘seamless’ ANC transition at energy indaba that sidesteps IRP debate
President Jacob Zuma and Energy Minister David Mahlobo

Renewables-heavy mix is South Africa’s cheapest option, yet another study confirms

By: Terence Creamer     1st December 2017 A new, independently produced techno-economic model of South Africa’s cost-optimal power generation mix in 2040 outlines a system where 69% of the electrical energy is produced from onshore wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) generators, supported by batteries and gas-fired generators. Conducted by... 

Renewables-heavy mix is South Africa’s cheapest option, yet another study confirms

Globeleq increases stake in South African renewables projects

By: Anine Kilian     30th November 2017 Electricity generation project developer, owner and operator Globeleq has increased its shareholding in the Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm, as well as in the De Aar Solar and Droogfontein Solar projects in South Africa by acquiring Mainstream Renewable Power’s minority shareholdings in the three... 

Civil rights groups voice opposition to ‘rushed’ Energy Indaba

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     29th November 2017 Twenty-three South African civil rights and environmental activist groups have sent a letter to Energy Minister David Mahlobo seeking clarity on the nature and purpose of the upcoming Energy Indaba, scheduled for December 7 to 8 in Johannesburg. “It appears that the indaba will relate to the... 

Civil rights groups voice opposition to ‘rushed’ Energy Indaba

South Africa assesses battery energy storage prospects 

     29th November 2017 Creamer Media’s Samantha Herbst talks to Engineering News editor Terence Creamer about the future of battery energy storage in South Africa. 

South Africa assesses battery energy storage prospects
South Africa assesses battery energy storage prospects

Grid operators turning to batteries as costs fall and need for flexibility rises

By: Terence Creamer     28th November 2017 The standalone cost of battery energy storage remains above South Africa’s prevailing, albeit rising, electricity tariffs, but could already be commercially viable in some instances when the “stacked benefits” of the technology are taken into account. A levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) study... 

Grid operators turning to batteries as costs fall and need for flexibility rises
Photo by Duane Daws
Eskom's battery energy storage test site at Rosherville, in Gauteng

De Aar wind projects connected to the grid

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     28th November 2017 The 96.48 MW De Aar and the 138.96 MW De Aar 2 North wind projects have successfully reached early operations and have been connected to the Hydra transmission substation. The projects, located near De Aar, in the Northern Cape, were selected as preferred bidders under Round 3 of the Renewable... 

De Aar wind projects connected to the grid

Wärtsilä to build utility-scale solar power plant in Nigeria

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     24th November 2017 Technology group Wärtsilä has been awarded the engineering, procurement and construction contract for its first utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant, in Nigeria. The 75MW plant is being developed by Pan Africa Solar and, when operational, will be the largest in Nigeria; and one of... 

Steel Awards 2017 confirms LSFB growth

     24th November 2017 This year’s annual Steel Awards, hosted by the Southern African Institute of Steel Construction, showed excellent growth for the South African light steel frame building (LSFB) industry, with more than 25 000 m2 represented in category entries. The awards, which took place on September 13, saw 19... 

Steel Awards 2017  confirms LSFB growth
SUMMIT PLACE The Assupol Building, the 11-storey winning office block in the Summit Place development

Microgrids add new arrow to Africa’s electricity access quiver

By: Mia Breytenbach     24th November 2017 The launch of a R25-million solar energy, lithium-ion battery storage microgrid on Robben Island – the World Heritage Site in Table Bay, Cape Town, which, until recently, relied on diesel to generate electricity – not only showcases the versatile advantages of microgrid technology, but also... 

Microgrids add new arrow to Africa’s electricity access quiver

Power and utilities drone market worth more than $9bn

By: Dylan Slater     24th November 2017 The international drone market comprising solutions that use drones for the power and utilities industries is worth as much as $9.46-billion a year, according to a report published by professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).  

Africa specialist punts local presence as key to capitalising as infrastructure spend set to boom

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     23rd November 2017 Through innovation in the energy sphere, Africa is slowly starting to overcome historical blockages that have prevented the continent from achieving economic growth and creating sustainable jobs, according to energy consultancy Africa House director Duncan Bonnett. Speaking at a PowerGen and... 

Africa specialist punts local presence as key to capitalising as infrastructure spend set to boom
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