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Renewable Energy News

Cape firm launches compact solar-powered battery system

By: Dylan Slater     18th August 2017 Cape Town-based energy storage solutions company BlueNova Energy has launched its first, fully integrated solar photovoltaic (PV) system – the CompactHybird – onto the South African market.  

Organisation lobbies government to kick-start biogas market

By: Nadine James     18th August 2017 The Southern African Biogas Industry Association (Sabia) is liaising with national government departments to create an enabling environment for the biogas industry, thereby establishing a viable biogas market. Sabia chairperson Jason Gifford explains that the organisation’s working groups are in... 

Organisation lobbies  government to kick-start  biogas market
AGRICULTURAL BENEFITS A booming biogas industry will create jobs and ensure greater job security within the agricultural sector

Study urges South Africa to find energy-storage niche 

By: Mia Breytenbach     17th August 2017 With energy storage considered to be the “new wave” in the energy sector and increasingly becoming a reality, South Africa needs to prepare itself if it wishes to take advantage of the energy storage growth opportunities within the energy storage stationary value chain and the mobility value... 

Study urges South Africa to find energy-storage niche
Photo by Bloomberg
Tesla powerpacks and inverters at the Southern California Edison Company's Mira Loma energy storage system facility in California, in the US.

AfDB’s sustainable energy fund to support first utility-scale solar PV project in Lesotho

By: Mia Breytenbach     14th August 2017 The African Development Bank- (AfDB-) managed Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (Sefa) has approved a $695 500 grant to NEO I SPV, a subsidiary of independent power producer OnePower Lesotho, to support the preparation of a bankable business case for the development of the winning project of the... 

AfDB’s sustainable energy fund to support first utility-scale solar PV project in Lesotho

Balwin Properties partners with SolarAfrica

By: Anine Kilian     11th August 2017 JSE-listed Balwin Properties has partnered with renewable energy provider SolarAfrica to incorporate solar energy at two of its upmarket developments. The Kikuyu development, in Midrand, and The Whisken development, in Johannesburg, are one of the first developments in South Africa to offer... 

Furnaces and kilns manufacturers are feeling the heat

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     11th August 2017 Furnaces and kilns manufacturers are taking strain, as with many other industries, owing to financial difficulties amid the current economic climate, says furnaces and kilns manufacturer Van Tuyls director and owner Richard McCullough. McCullough indicates that the number of manufacturers in the... 

Furnaces and kilns manufacturers are feeling the heat
UNDER PRESSURE Manufacturers of furnaces and kilns are are changing their products and diversifying into new markets both locally and internationally

Macozoma concerned South Africa may miss out on big electric-vehicle opportunity 

By: Terence Creamer     8th August 2017 Leading business personality Saki Macozoma has expressed concern that South Africa is not fully aligning its economic and industrialisation plans to areas of future demand, including in the area of electric vehicles (EVs). Speaking at the launch of a new book authored by political commentator... 

Macozoma concerned South Africa may miss out on big electric-vehicle opportunity
Photo by Duane Daws
Saki Macozoma

AfriBusiness supports renewable energy  

By: Anine Kilian     4th August 2017 Business rights watchdog AfriBusiness this week said it supports the stance of Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille on renewable energy and welcomes possible court action against State-owned Eskom. This court action is being considered as a result of the refusal by Eskom and the national government... 

Rail is the future of Africa’s industrialisation

     4th August 2017 Rail infrastructure upgrades remain a core focus of the ongoing industrialisation of Africa, where the transportation of goods and commodities is often difficult and costly, owing to underinvestment in rail infrastructure, says multinational power and engine manufacturer and distributor Cummins. 

DBSA committed to funding infrastructure projects throughout SADC

By: Anine Kilian     1st August 2017 With low levels of electrification hindering economic growth and development in sub-Saharan Africa – where 78% of the population is reliant on biomass as their main energy source – $57-trillion will be required until 2030 to fund the continent’s infrastructure and energy projects, according to... 

SADC sees growth in electricity generation capacity  

By: Anine Kilian     1st August 2017 Mainland member States of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) plan to add 30 646 MW of new electricity generation capacity by 2022. Addressing delegates at the SADC Infrastructure Week, in Johannesburg, on Tuesday, SADC Secretariat transport senior programme officer Mapolao Mokoena... 

IDC reports strong rise in support for black industrialists as disbursements fall  

By: Terence Creamer     31st July 2017 South Africa’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has announced that its funding approvals have increased to a record R15.3-billion in 2017, but also confirmed that it would not meet a five-year target, set in 2015, of R100-billion in approvals by 2020. Presenting the financials in... 

IDC reports strong rise in support for black industrialists as disbursements fall
Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel on plans to equip the IDC to approve at a level of R20-billion a year. Camera Work: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Lionel da Silva. Recorded: 31.7.2017

African countries embrace alternative energy sources

     28th July 2017 With African governments realising that long-term power solutions will not come in the form of one technology, South Africa’s Department of Energy is advocating advances in coal, renewable energy, gas and nuclear technologies, says global engineering, procurement, construction and consulting... 

African countries embrace  alternative energy sources
Photo by Reuters
IMPROVED ALTERNATIVES Kenya is making use of diverse alternative energy sources, such as geothermal electricity

Gas beneficial in diversifying energy mix

By: Nica Schreuder     28th July 2017 Gas can be used to supplement the variable nature of renewables, thereby adding to a steadily diversifying energy mix in South Africa, says advisory firm KPMG South Africa energy economist Requier Wait. Variable renewable energy (VRE) is nondispatchable, owing to the fluctuating nature of, for... 

Gas beneficial in  diversifying energy mix
Photo by Duane Daws
VARIABLE ENERGY Using gas as an energy source could assist in balancing out the variable nature of renewables such as wind and solar power

Shale gas still a power resource option

By: Nica Schreuder     28th July 2017 Global leading engineering, consulting and construction company Black & Veatch sub-Saharan Africa business development director Webb Meko says successful exploration for shale gas could make up for South Africa’s lack of natural gas as a power resource. “Concerns about the possible detrimental... 

Shale gas still a power resource option
Photo by Reuters
PICTURESQUE POTENTIAL A large amount of untapped shale gas in the Karoo basin provides both opportunities and challenges for South Africa’s gas economy

Nuclear seen featuring alongside renewables in future energy mix

By: Dylan Slater     28th July 2017 During the yearly atomic energy forum – Atomexpo 2017 – which was held in Moscow last month, a round-table discussion featuring several energy experts agreed that a sustainable future power generation mix would almost certainly use an increased amount of nuclear energy in conjunction with... 

AfDB in $2bn project finance pact

By: Mia Breytenbach     28th July 2017 The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) have signed a landmark agreement to strengthen their partnership at country level and jointly contribute to $2-billion over the next three years to finance projects in agriculture, food security, renewable energy, small... 

AfDB in $2bn project finance pact
Photo by Duane Daws
JOINT CONTRIBUTION The banks’ contribution will finance projects in areas, such as agriculture, food security, renewable energy, small and medium enterprises and human development

Moves to fast-track regulation could ignite energy efficiency sector

By: Mia Breytenbach     28th July 2017 As businesses move to become more self-reliant and decrease their exposure to electricity price volatility, government is also moving ahead with policy support for energy efficiency initiatives in homes, business and industry, says Pan-African law firm Bowmans public law and regulatory head and... 

Moves to fast-track regulation could ignite energy efficiency sector
Photo by Bloomberg
EFFICIENCY INCENTIVE A range of initiatives in the energy sector that promote energy efficiency include an income tax incentive for those installing renewable-energy generation

CSP engineering specialist optimistic of technology’s inclusion in new IRP

By: Terence Creamer     24th July 2017 Global engineering and technology group SENER, which is active in three concentrated solar power (CSP) projects in South Africa, is optimistic that South Africa’s updated Integrated Resources Plan (IRP) will include an allocation for CSP, despite the technology’s exclusion from the draft Base... 

CSP engineering specialist optimistic of technology’s inclusion in new IRP
SENER regional MD Siyabonga Mbanjwa

AECI invests in US-based startup

By: Anine Kilian     24th July 2017 Specialty chemicals group AECI has invested $5-million in California-based startup Origin Materials to support the development of renewable technologies. Origin Technologies has pioneered the development of bio-based chemicals, which can be processed into many products for application in global... 

Futureproof solutions ensure green living

By: Robyn Wilkinson     21st July 2017 Demonstrating its capability for creative thinking, engineering and project management consultancy Royal HaskoningDHV South Africa has overcome bulk services shortages and ensured the preservation of the natural environment along KwaZulu-Natal’s north coast through the sustainable design of the... 

Hybrid solutions key for Africa’s energy growth  

By: Anine Kilian     19th July 2017 Solar photovoltaic (PV) hybrid technology is fast becoming a cost- and energy efficient solution for remote locations throughout sub-Saharan Africa. There is huge demand for electricity across the continent; however, poor and unreliable grid infrastructure is becoming a major challenge for... 

Africa’s energy future lies in solar energy, says CEO 

By: Anine Kilian     19th July 2017 The future of Africa’s energy sector must rest in solar power if it is going to overcome the obstacles it currently faces, according to Zimbabwe-based renewable energy company Samansco CEO Nyasha Bamhare. Addressing delegates at the PowerGen Africa conference, which is taking place in Sandton... 

Africa, Asia still lagging in Internet, electrification, banking access

By: Natasha Odendaal     19th July 2017 With a worldwide focus on connecting the last four-billion of the world’s unconnected population to the Internet, a push to ensure the last 1.2-billion people have access to electricity and unlocking the world of finance to the world’s 2.5-billion unbanked, there is a need to start thinking... 

Africa’s energy funding costs, capital access, risk profile under the spotlight

By: Natasha Odendaal     18th July 2017 Aligning power generation and distribution projects with the host country and government’s mandate is a step forward in attracting more internal and external financing to develop comprehensive energy and power infrastructure. This is one of the messages emerging from this year’s PowerGen Africa... 

Brown acknowledges cost competitiveness of renewables as she calls for deal that goes ‘beyond price’ 

By: Terence Creamer     18th July 2017 Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown, who in June criticised the high cost of renewable energy, offered a tacit acknowledgement on Tuesday of the growing competitiveness of solar and wind, while calling for a long-term deal with the renewable-energy sector to avoid job losses in the energy... 

Brown acknowledges cost competitiveness of renewables as she calls for deal that goes ‘beyond price’

Temporary mobile transformer helps Loeriesfontein connect to the grid

By: Samantha Herbst     18th July 2017 The Northern Cape-based Loeriesfontein Wind Farm has been making use of a mobile transformer to allow for an early connection to the grid for the commissioning of the turbines – a temporary solution until the wind farm can connect to the Helios substation, which is the permanent grid connection.... 

Temporary mobile transformer helps Loeriesfontein connect to the grid

Opinion: Hybrid energy solutions can boost viability of African mines

     18th July 2017 In this opinion article, juwi Renewable Energies MD Greg Austin reflects on prospects in Africa for bilateral power purchase agreements for both grid-connected and behind-the-meter hybrid energy solutions 

Opinion: Hybrid energy solutions can boost viability of African mines
juwi Renewable Energies MD Greg Austin

Black-led energy investment firm encouraged by moves to restore IPP policy certainty 

By: Terence Creamer     17th July 2017 The head of a black-managed and led JSE-listed energy investment company says he is encouraged by the framework outlined by Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba for re-establishing policy certainty for the electricity sector and for independent power producers (IPPs). IPPs have been left in limbo since... 

Black-led energy investment firm encouraged by moves to restore IPP policy certainty
Hulisani CEO Marubini Raphulu

Event to facilitate meaningful and relevant debate

By: Robyn Wilkinson     14th July 2017 The POWER-GEN & DistribuTECH Africa advisory board has gone to great lengths to ensure that this year’s conference programme is tailored to meaningfully address the issues most relevant to Africa’s power generation sector and supported by a showcase of suppliers who can practically assist in... 

Event to facilitate meaningful  and relevant debate
Photo by Bloomberg
PLOTTING FUTURE PATHS Creative thinking is needed to devise a representative power-generation portfolio that leverages all the options available

Best practice engineering crucial for supporting solar in South Africa

     14th July 2017 Although the global solar industry is growing rapidly, photovoltaic (PV) plants are still relatively new in South Africa and require professional design expertise to ensure best practice engineering, says consulting engineering firm SMEC South Africa power and energy function manager Stephen... 

Best practice engineering crucial for supporting  solar in South Africa
PROTECTING VALUABLE ASSETS The design of a photovoltaic plant lightning protection system requires an engineer with some specialist knowledge and experience to ensure adequate protection

Decentralise, find optimal mix

     14th July 2017 Decentralisation of generation and determining the optimal energy mix for available resources and needs are crucial for addressing Africa’s energy challenges, say industry experts on the advisory board of the upcoming POWER-GEN & DistribuTECH Africa conference and exhibition in Johannesburg. 

Decentralise, find  optimal mix
Photo by Duane Daws
NIGEL BLACKABY The nuclear question, optimal use of renewables and funding for independent power producer programmes are key issues for discussion

Energy storage solutions to be leveraged in South Africa

By: Robyn Wilkinson     14th July 2017 The decreasing cost of energy storage solutions presents many opportunities for South Africa to manage the key issue of localised peak load power generation more efficiently, says green energy solutions provider Freedom Won cofounder and director Antony English. 

Energy storage solutions to be leveraged in South Africa
ANTONY ENGLISH AND LIZETTE KRIEL The co-founders of Freedom Won are confident that demand for energy storage will continue to grow in South Africa in the long-term

Event to advance renewable-energy models

By: Robyn Wilkinson     14th July 2017 POWER-GEN & DistribuTECH Africa is crucial to business development on a continent where there are chronic energy shortages and access to modern, affordable energy services is critical to developmental objectives, says South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (Sapvia) chairperson Davin Chown. 

Event to advance renewable-energy models
DAVIN CHOWN To electrify Africa and really tap its growth potential, we need to look at new, flexible models of energy generation and distribution

Focus shifts to power distribution

     14th July 2017 Global professional services provider Accenture resources MD and associate director Ken Robinson – who will be speaking at this year’s POWER-GEN & DistribuTECH Africa – says South Africa’s generation crisis is largely under control, but that power supply challenges loom in distribution. 

Focus shifts to  power distribution
FOCUS ON DISTRIBUTION The backlog in municipal power infrastructure maintenance is growing and could result in more blackouts, especially in rural areas and small towns

New solutions make LNG to power a reality in Africa

By: Robyn Wilkinson     14th July 2017 Marine and energy solutions provider Wärtsilä will present solutions that provide a way for the South African government to realise its liquefied natural gas (LNG)-to-power ambitions in a realistic, cost-effective and swift manner at this year’s POWER-GEN & DistribuTECH Africa. 

New solutions make LNG to power a reality in Africa
NEW AVENUES New technologies enable the delivery of smaller volumes of liquefied natural gas to almost any coastal location

New thermodynamic cycle to disrupt the renewables landscape

By: Robyn Wilkinson     14th July 2017 Thermodynamic technology developer Heat Recovery Micro Systems owner Johan Enslin will introduce a disruptive new avenue for renewable-energy generation that can significantly lower electricity costs for power utilities and smaller decentralised power generating systems at this year’s POWER-GEN &... 

New thermodynamic cycle to disrupt the renewables landscape
JOHAN ENSLIN The REHOS cycle is based on proven process components, but features a novel interconnected configuration of these components

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