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Renewable Energy News

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... 

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

Robben Island inaugurates solar PV microgrid  

     23rd November 2017 Robben Island, a World Heritage Site in Table Bay, Cape Town has gone green with the installation of a R25-million solar energy, lithium-ion battery storage microgrid. Mia Breytenbach has the details. 

Robben Island inaugurates solar PV microgrid
Robben Island inaugurates solar PV microgrid

Two South Africans shortlisted for engineering innovation prize

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd November 2017 Two young South Africans are among the 16 engineers hailing from seven countries in Africa, who have been chosen for the shortlist of the prestigious Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation. University of the Witwatersrand chemical engineering research fellow Collins Saguru has developed AltMet,... 

Funding made available to advance Burkina Faso solar project

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd November 2017 The Banque Internationale pour le Commerce, l’Industrie et l’Artisanat du Burkina (BICIAB), a BNP Paribas Group subsidiary, will provide $16.5-million in financing to Eren Renewable Energy for a 15 MW solar power plant that is under construction in Burkina Faso. The funding was granted to... 

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,... 

Eskom’s ‘death spiral’ under the microscope

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... 

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

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