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Renewable Energy News

Minister offers snapshot of renewables generation

By: Terence Creamer     6th October 2017 Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi reports that, as at the end of July, the combined installed generation capacity of renewable-energy independent power producers (IPPs) stood at more than 3 200 MW across 58 sites. In a reply to a Parliamentary question posed by Economic Freedom Fighters MP... 

Opinion: South Africa’s coal mining sector could shrink by 46% 

     6th October 2017 In this opinion article, independent economic risk consultant Rob Jeffrey argues that the mining industry and coal industry need to fight for their very future otherwise all is lost. Few people realise that future economic, political and social prosperity are at currently stake. Decisions made in... 

Opinion: South Africa’s coal mining sector could shrink by 46%
Rob Jeffrey

China pumps supplier to support SA business partners

     6th October 2017 China-based heat pump supplier PHNIX announced that it will deploy more market resources to support business partners in South Africa, most specifically to new water heater distributors. 

China pumps  supplier to support  SA business partners
ALLROUND EFFICIENCY PHNIX’s water heat pump applications have constant hot water volumes, and are energy and cost-efficient

Innovative system helps control wastewater pumping

     6th October 2017 Pumps and valves producer KSB Pumps and Valves has introduced the PumpDrive variable speed system, for the effective and controlled pumping of waste water. The system has been designed specifically to overcome problems related to the pumping of waste water. Three innovative functions have been... 

Innovative system  helps control wastewater pumping
INDUSTRY PLATFORM The annual Agritech Expo in Zambia is an opportunity for industry stakeholders and consumers to communicate and find solutions

Eaton aiming to grow share in African utility market

By: Schalk Burger     6th October 2017 Electrical components and systems company Eaton aims to grow in the utility, commercial buildings and mining sectors in Africa by replicating the success of its power quality business, says Eaton Africa Sales Director Malvin Naicker. Eaton is focused on providing high-quality technical support... 

Eaton aiming to grow share in African utility market
MOBILE MODEL Devan Reddy, Arlind Mucaku, Malvin Naicker, Sumaya Abdool and Pieter van den Berg in front of the mobile truck with Eaton products and CPD lectures

Public hearings into Atlantis SEZ set for next week

By: Schalk Burger     4th October 2017 The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism will host a public hearing session on the designation of the Atlantis Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for Green Technologies on Wednesday next week. The session will take place in Protea... 

Electricity industry approaching ‘breaking point’, City Power warns 

By: Terence Creamer     3rd October 2017 Johannesburg’s electricity utility City Power is warning that the current structure of South Africa’s electricity sector is unsustainable and that, in the absence of a coherent national policy, the sector is approaching “breaking point”. Demand- and supply-side manager Paul Vermeulen says that... 

Electricity industry approaching ‘breaking point’, City Power warns

FedGroup acquires controlling stake in Emergent Energy   

     3rd October 2017 Financial services provider FedGroup has acquired a controlling stake in provider of installed solar photovoltaic commercial projects in South Africa Emergent Energy.   The acquisition is aimed at vertically integrating FedGroup's Direct Ownership investment platform into the solar energy... 

Opinion: Minister Kubayi’s Renewable Energy Plan: Does it signify progress or regression?

     29th September 2017 In this opinion piece, Sener regional MD Siyabonga Mbanjwa expresses the hope that both the current moratorium on new renewable-energy projects and the proposed 77c/kWh tariff cap will be reconsidered during industry consultations.  

Opinion: Minister Kubayi’s Renewable Energy Plan: Does it signify progress or regression?
Sener regional MD Siyabonga Mbanjwa

SAPVIA member appointed Global Solar Council director

By: Schalk Burger     29th September 2017 South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) programme manager Niveshen Govender has been elected to serve as director on the Global Solar Council (GSC) board. The GSC was established during the twenty-first Conference of Parties climate dialogue, held in Paris, France, in 2015. It... 

LED best fit for energy-hungry smart cities

By: Schalk Burger     29th September 2017 Energy efficiency is critical to sustaining smart cities, especially as the levels of urbanisation are expected to increase, and light-emitting diode- (LED-) technologies will be a key component, says electronic multinational Philips Lighting Southern Africa GM Reggie Nxumalo. “As much as 78% of... 

LED best fit for energy-hungry  smart cities
REGGIE NXUMALO The well-established use of energy-efficiency systems supports industrial development in Africa

Turbine installations at wind project completed ahead of schedule

By: Mia Breytenbach     29th September 2017 Khobab Wind Farm, in the Northern Cape has completed all 61 wind turbine installations, ahead of schedule this month. Further, Khobab, together with its adjacent wind farm, the Loeriesfontein Wind Farm, in the Hantam municipality, in the Northern Cape province, have achieved more than two-million... 

Turbine installations at wind project completed ahead of schedule
SOARING CONSTRUCTION The 100-m-tall Siemens wind turbines, which allow for optimum energy production, take between one and three days to construct, assuming favourable weather

BMG invests R400m in Joburg distribution centre 

By: Mia Breytenbach     29th September 2017 Technical solutions provider BMG, which is part of Invicta Holdings, has officially launched its BMG World site, in Johannesburg, which is the culmination of a consolidation and supply chain re-engineering strategy that began nearly ten years ago. “The company’s R400-million investment to upgrade... 

BMG invests R400m in Joburg  distribution centre
BMG MD Gavin Pelser discusses the upgraded BMG World site facility in Johannesburg. Camerawork and Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

AHI changes name to SBI

By: Anine Kilian     26th September 2017 Members of the Afrikaanse handelsinstituut (AHI) have adopted a new memorandum of incorporation and a new name, the Small Business Institute (SBI). “We would be proud if, over time, SBI becomes synonymous with credible research and public positions on all matters of interest to small business.... 

Wits seeks commercial partner for scalable DC-microgrid innovation

By: Terence Creamer     22nd September 2017 Researchers at the University of the Witwatersrand are aiming to commercialise a plug-and-play DC-microgrid innovation, which is incrementally scalable to any number of power sources, loads and batteries. The direct-current solution has already been proved at a laboratory level through a test-bed... 

Wits seeks commercial partner for scalable DC-microgrid innovation
Professor Willie Cronje

Anticipated tariffs hike makes energy efficiency wise choice

     22nd September 2017 A ruling by the Constitutional Court last month which allows State-owned power utility Eskom to retrospectively ask the National Energy Regulator of South Africa to permit Eskom to claw back additional tariffs from consumers, could lead to further hikes in the price of electricity for South... 

Anticipated tariffs hike makes energy efficiency wise choice
Photo by Duane Daws
SOLAR READY Before home owners install solar panels, they have to ensure that the buildings is suitable

Big opportunity for change amid renewables-led disruption

By: Schalk Burger     22nd September 2017 As questions remain over what the future holds for South Africa’s power utility Eskom, there is a window of opportunity for utilities in developing countries to build on international power reform experience and design future power markets and operating systems to respond to new opportunities... 

Legal framework offers model for enhancing transboundary infrastructure investment

By: Mia Breytenbach     22nd September 2017 The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (Uneca) has unveiled the Model Law that provides a framework for the harmonisation of cross-border rules, regulations, laws and policies governing transboundary infrastructure projects in Africa. The Model Law was unveiled at the yearly Nigerian... 

Legal framework offers model for enhancing  transboundary infrastructure investment
Photo by Duane Daws
PAVING THE WAY The Model Law may aid in additional efficiency, transparency and accountability with regard to public and private sector engagement in transboundary infrastructure

Enel celebrates its Tom Burke solar plant

By: Natasha Odendaal     21st September 2017 Some three years after expanding operations into South Africa, Italian renewable energy firm Enel Green Power (EGP) has established a significant presence locally, boasting more than 520 MW of wind and solar projects in operation, one of which was declared a National Key Point in June. The 66 MW... 

Enel celebrates its Tom Burke solar plant
Lamberto Dai Pra’, Francina Shongoane, John Motebele and William Price at Enel's Tom Burke plant

Former Eskom R&D GM to facilitate electric tech transfer in Africa – EPRI

By: Schalk Burger     19th September 2017 State-owned power utility Eskom’s former research, testing and development GM Barry MacColl has joined international nonprofit organisation, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), as an EPRI International senior regional manager facilitating technology transfer in Africa. EPRI has... 

Big fall in DBSA disbursements partly attributed to renewables stand-off 

By: Terence Creamer     19th September 2017 The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) recorded a sharp fall in disbursements to R12.4-billion in 2017, from a record R17.1-billion in 2016, but has promised to "step up" its role as a catalyst of development in 2018, setting a R20-billion disbursement target for the year. The development... 

Big fall in DBSA disbursements partly attributed to renewables stand-off
DBSA CEO Patrick Dlamini and Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba on the fall in disbursements in 2017 and plans for a 'step up' in future. Camera Work: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Lionel da Silva. Recorded: 20.9.2017

New study points to 90% renewables mix being least cost by 2050 

By: Terence Creamer     15th September 2017 New analysis conducted using updated cost assumptions for solar photovoltaic (PV), onshore wind and batteries shows that the share of renewable energy in an electricity mix that would also be the least cost for South Africa could grow to above 90% by 2050. Such a portfolio, the study indicates,... 

New study points to 90% renewables mix being least cost by 2050
Photo by Duane Daws
Enertrag corporate business development head Dr Tobias Bischof-Niemz

Smart regulation key to driving renewable energy sector

By: Anine Kilian     14th September 2017 Smart regulation and market stimulation are key drivers for growing the renewable energy sector and help reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, Finnish Economic Affairs and Employment Deputy Minister Petri Peltonen said on Thursday. Speaking to Engineering News Online on the sidelines of the... 

Renewables’ share of global energy market to rise, system stability central

By: Anine Kilian     14th September 2017 The world’s energy system will decarbonise over the next three decades, says advisory services and risk management company DNV GL Africa business manager Robert O’Keefe. Unpacking DNV GL’s ‘Energy Transition Outlook 2017’ report at the Nordic Energy Days conference, in Pretoria, on Thursday, he... 

Southern African Power Pool could learn from Nordic countries’ approach to energy market

By: Natasha Odendaal     13th September 2017 Southern Africa can take heed of the success of the Nordic region’s achievement of energy security through successful cross-border trade and integration, its integrated markets and other critical elements of the Nord Power Pool. This is the message that emerged from the first day of the three-day... 

Southern African Power Pool could learn from Nordic countries’ approach to energy market
Photo by Duane Daws
Norwegian Energy and Water Resources director Ove Flataker

Unido, WEC to disseminate sustainable energy solutions

By: Schalk Burger     13th September 2017 The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (Unido) and the World Energy Council (WEC) have signed a joint declaration to support the global dissemination of sustainable energy solutions. The parties have committed to help develop leadership skills and the overall capacity of energy... 

Energy sector has opportunity to change amid ‘disruptive moment’ caused by renewables

By: Schalk Burger     12th September 2017 As questions remain over what the future holds for South Africa’s power utility Eskom, there is a window of opportunity for utilities in developing countries to build on international power reform experience and design future power markets and operating systems to respond to new opportunities... 

Honda previews 2019 electric car, showcases revenue opportunity for EV owners

By: Irma Venter     12th September 2017 Honda has revealed an all-new electric vehicle (EV), the Urban EV Concept, at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. The concept car is built on a completely new platform, and sets the direction for the technology and design that will appear on a future battery electric Honda production model. 

 Honda previews 2019 electric car, showcases revenue opportunity for EV owners
The Urban EV Concept

Free State micro-grid pilot offers new universal-access hope  

By: Terence Creamer     12th September 2017 State-owned electricity utility Eskom is piloting a micro-grid system in a rural Free State town that may offer a solution to electrifying other remote areas, where the cost of connection to the national grid is currently prohibitive, due to a number of factors such as difficult terrain. The... 

Free State micro-grid pilot offers new universal-access hope
Photo by Duane Daws
Thava Govender

Alviva to leverage services strength for growth over next year

By: Schalk Burger     7th September 2017 Business information and communication technology (ICT) company Alviva will leverage the investments made into its subsidiaries and infrastructure, which has helped to reduce gearing, broadened its offerings and improved efficiencies, to drive growth over the next year. The firm had increased the... 

Several risks to govt's proposed remedy for breaking renewables impasse 

     7th September 2017 Creamer Media’s Samantha Herbst talks to Engineering News editor Terence Creamer about the Energy Minister’s October deadline for the signing of 26 renewables projects, along with the 77c/kWh price cap. 

Several risks to govt's proposed remedy for breaking renewables impasse
Govt offers solution to long-standing power-purchase impasse

Cross-border power trade expected to rise as Southern Africa returns to surplus

By: Terence Creamer     7th September 2017 The Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP) is expecting growth in regional electricity trade in 2017 after a return to surplus power generation capacity across Southern Africa, led by South Africa’s State-owned utility Eskom. Nevertheless, the potential for cross-border electricity trade is expected... 

Cross-border power trade expected to rise as Southern Africa returns to surplus

Caution creeps in as renewables industry digests implications of 77c/kWh tariff cap

By: Terence Creamer     4th September 2017 South Africa’s solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind industry bodies have added a degree of caution to their initial positive reactions to an announcement by Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi regarding the signing of power purchase agreements (PPAs) for 26 renewable-energy projects that have been on... 

Caution creeps in as renewables industry digests implications of 77c/kWh tariff cap
Photo by Duane Daws
Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi (in the centre) at the September 1 renewables IPP announcement in Pretoria

Kubayi sets 77c/kWh price cap and October deadline for signing of 26 renewables projects

By: Terence Creamer     1st September 2017 Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi opened the window on Friday for the signing of contracts for 26 renewable-energy independent power producer (IPP) projects that have been on hold since 2015 when Eskom indicated it was no longer willing to enter into further power purchase agreements (PPAs), owing... 

Kubayi sets 77c/kWh price cap and October deadline for signing of 26 renewables projects
Photo by Duane Daws
Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi

Project to unlock local gas economy

By: Marleny Arnoldi     1st September 2017 The pursuit of piped gas into South Africa from Mozambique could unlock South Africa’s gas economy, says investment and project development company Fortune Capital.  

Project to unlock local gas economy
Photo by Bloomberg
UNLOCKING POTENTIAL Fortune Capital is an entity that is going to enable power players to access gas in South Africa Filename:

Waste management company recommends alternative energy switch

By: Marleny Arnoldi     1st September 2017 Considering natural gas as an alternative energy source could prove beneficial for the country’s economy in the long run, says waste management company Interwaste COO Jason McNeil.  

Waste management company recommends alternative energy switch
JASON MCNEIL South Africa’s gas economy is in its infancy, but once the market becomes more competitive, you will see a lot more technology introduced

Cost of rooftop solar can be lowered through use of 12J tax rebate

By: Schalk Burger     1st September 2017 Businesses and property owners can leverage an industrial development-focused tax rebate, Section 12J of the Income Tax Act No 58 of 1962, to reduce the costs of installing solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. Venture capital company Nesa Investment Holdings (NIH) has developed a solar PV rental... 

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