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Renewable Energy News

Power crucial to Africa’s economic development

By: Robyn Wilkinson     14th July 2017 With strong correlations between electric capacity and economic development, access to reliable and cost-effective power is crucial to enabling nations to harness the productive capabilities of their people and obtain meaningful growth, says engineering, procurement and construction company Black... 

Spotlight on solar

By: Robyn Wilkinson     14th July 2017 With solar photovoltaic (PV) installations now recognised globally as the cheapest form of power generation, a key emerging trend is the integration of these systems with storage and transport options, says solar solutions provider SOLA Future Energy CEO Dom Wills. 

Spotlight on solar
DOM WILLS A reliable power supply on Robben Island has been ensured through a 666 kW solar farm designed by SOLA Future

Increased demand for fibre connectivity cables and accessories

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th July 2017 Cable accessories company Tank Industries says the telecommunications industry is picking up, owing to the uptake of fibre-optic cables in domestic and new build commercial installations.  

Increased demand for fibre  connectivity cables and accessories
Photo by Reuters
SPEED OF LIGHT The demand for connectivity and higher speeds in cable networks has created many opportunities for cable companies on the telecommunications front for fibre-optic technology

New variable-speed drive showcased at European expo

     14th July 2017 Last month multinational industrial machinery manufacturer Voith exhibited power industry  solutions at the POWER-GEN Europe 2017 conference and exhibition, and  one of the main features was its new variable speed drive (VSD), the VECO-Drive, intended to enhance the efficiency of rotating... 

New variable-speed  drive showcased  at European expo
DRIVING FORCE The VECO-Drive increases input speed and generates a high output speed for compressors or pumps

Conformity assessment key to navigating disruption in the power sector

By: Robyn Wilkinson     14th July 2017 The power industry is a global community that has developed a strong habit of sharing best practice and discussing joint problems – making events like POWER-GEN & DistribuTECH Africa invaluable for advancing the sector in times of disruption, says testing, inspection and certification services... 

Conformity assessment key to navigating disruption in the power sector
Photo by Reuters
UP TO STANDARD Conformity assessment involves ensuring clients’ power assets are developed, constructed and operated in line with all applicable regulations

Finalisation of ‘lowest cost’ IRP included in growth action plan 

By: Terence Creamer     13th July 2017 The finalisation of the “lowest cost” Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for electricity has been included in a list of energy-related interventions unveiled by Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba as part of ‘Government’s Inclusive Growth Action Plan’ published on Thursday. Likewise, the National Treasury... 

Finalisation of ‘lowest cost’ IRP included in growth action plan

Competition aims to unearth African energy startups

By: Creamer Media Reporter      11th July 2017 A competition aimed at identifying innovative startups in the field of electricity access in Africa has been launched, following an agreement between energy multinational Enel and Swiss-based Seedstars World, which facilitates startup competitions in more that 75 countries. Dubbed the ‘Africa... 

Clean energy’s global investment share grew to record 43% in 2016 

By: Terence Creamer     11th July 2017 The share of clean-energy spending rose to a record 43% of total energy-related investment in 2016, the International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) yearly World Energy Investment report shows. Global energy investment fell by 12% to $1.7-trillion last year, the second consecutive year of decline.... 

Clean energy’s global investment share grew to record 43% in 2016

Eskom has over recovered R7.6bn in renewables-related costs since 2014 

By: Terence Creamer     7th July 2017 The affordability of South Africa’s growing fleet of renewable energy plants has been questioned on several occasions by Eskom and Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown also weighed in recently, telling Parliamentarians in late June that, while electricity arising from the renewables plants was... 

Eskom has over recovered R7.6bn in renewables-related costs since 2014

Blockchain will have big impact on electricity sector, KPMG asserts

By: David Oliveira     7th July 2017 A number of new technology developments are expected to impact the global electricity sector, including virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, Big Data and the Internet of Things (IoT), however, tax, audit and advisory firm KPMG South Africa senior manager Nevellan Moodley says... 

Nigerian university expansion project receives AfDB loan

By: David Oliveira     7th July 2017 The African Development Bank (AfDB) last month signed agreements for a corporate loan to finance the expansion of Afe Babalola University (ABUAD) in Ado Ekiti, Nigeria. The expansion project consists of the construction of new facilities – including a 400-bed teaching hospital, an industrial... 

Lack of contractual commitments hindering solar-geyser manufacturing growth

By: David Oliveira     7th July 2017 The current economic climate and a lack of mid- to long-term contractual agreements from the Department of Energy (DoE) has slowed plant expansion and capacity increases by local solar water heater (SWH) manufacturers. Local manufacturer Satchwell Controls, a division of electro-mechanical... 

Lack of contractual commitments hindering solar-geyser manufacturing growth

LHDA appoints JV to oversee Polihali dam design, construction

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     5th July 2017 The Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) has appointed the Matla a Metsi joint venture to oversee the R445-million design and construction supervision of the Polihali dam. The dam is one of the two main water transfer components of Phase 2 of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP),... 

LHDA appoints JV to oversee Polihali dam design, construction

Women in energy efficiency look to expand mentorship programme

By: Mia Breytenbach     30th June 2017 Following the initial success of the Southern African Females in Energy Efficiency (Safee) mentorship programmes in the past year, Safee’s potential objectives are to establish the mentorship programme in other provinces, as well as host Safee chapters at various tertiary institutions in the... 

Company leads by example in new green premises

By: Robyn Wilkinson     30th June 2017 Engineering consultant WSP Africa will be moving into its new head office in Knightsbridge office park in Bryanston, in September, providing its clients with a stellar example of a sustainable building project.  

Company leads by example  in new green premises
MATHIEU DU PLOOY South Africa has a very strong environmental stance, supported by powerful legislation

South Africa needs to find middle ground for electricity conundrum – former EIUG chair 

     29th June 2017 If South Africa wants to prevent its deindustrialisation and find middle ground between the sustainability of State-owned Eskom and the affordability of electricity, a few “holy cows will have to be slaughtered”, former Energy Intensive User Group (EIUG) of Southern Africa chairperson Piet van... 

South Africa needs to find middle ground for electricity conundrum – former EIUG chair

Renewable energy key to manufacturing competitiveness

By: Anine Kilian     28th June 2017 South Africa’s renewable energy sector, which has grown from a R100-million market to a R1-billion market over the past few years, is a good example of manufacturing competitiveness. Addressing delegates at the yearly Manufacturing Indaba, in Kempton Park, sector development agency GreenCape CEO... 

‘Significant implications’ for design of African power markets as renewables prices fall

By: Terence Creamer     26th June 2017 Recent renewable energy price reductions, together with sub-Saharan Africa’s (SSA’s) formidable solar and wind resources, have made solar and wind technologies the cheapest sources of power in several countries, which carries significant implications, a newly published academic paper argues, for... 

‘Significant implications’ for design of African power markets as renewables prices fall

Joint venture to boost localisation and skills development

By: Nadine James     23rd June 2017 STEAG EOH Energy Services, a strategic joint venture (JV) – formed in February by JSE-listed technology solutions provider EOH and German energy group STEAG Energy Services – has been actively pursuing opportunities in the local energy market, while identifying areas for localisation and skills... 

Bolting technology supplier establishes base in South Africa 

By: Nadine James     23rd June 2017 German bolting technology company ITH officially opened its South African office in October last year, in order to service long-standing customers based in Africa, while also looking to expand geographically and grow its customer base and market share, says ITH South Africa GM Gys Nell. “We... 

Bolting technology supplier establishes base in South Africa
ITH South Africa GM Gys Nell discusses the background, aims and offering of the ITH group. Camerawork and Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Tech watchers forecast major disruption on way for power utilities

By: Schalk Burger     23rd June 2017 The energy generation industry will be dramatically disrupted over the next ten to twenty years, and electricity could be close to free within the next twenty years. This will dramatically impact the power generation industry and will trigger a sea-change in the way it generates revenue, say... 

Tech watchers forecast major disruption on way for power utilities
TOM RAFTERY Utilities will be completely changed in ten years’ time

Lighting solutions company adapts to changing technology

By: Nica Schreuder     23rd June 2017 Leading lighting solutions company Beka Schrèder is succeeding in adapting to rapidly changing lighting technology, in its manufacturing process, while maintaining focus on cost benefits for consumers. Beka Schrèder product development manager Daniel Kasper says the company prioritises cost... 

Lighting solutions company adapts to changing technology
Caption: HIGHMAST LIGHTING Beka Schrèder completed a highmast lighting project on the N3 national route connecting Johannesburg and Durban

Sarec disappointed by govt task team’s report to Parliament on renewables impasse

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     21st June 2017 The South African Renewable Energy Council (Sarec) said the Department of Energy (DoE) and Eskom had failed to provide any certainty for renewables investors when reporting to Parliament, on Tuesday. An intergovernmental task team, comprising representatives of the DoE, the Independent Power... 

Sarec disappointed by govt task team’s report to Parliament on renewables impasse

Brown accused of exaggerating renewable energy prices 

By: African News Agency      20th June 2017 Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown and the Department of Energy were accused on Tuesday of exaggerating the price of renewable energy to win public support for Eskom’s contested nuclear expansion programme. Brown told Parliament’s portfolio committee on energy the actual current cost of... 

Brown accused of exaggerating renewable energy prices

Need for business to safeguard and support environmental protection initiatives

By: Simone Liedtke     16th June 2017 There is increasing pressure on businesses whose production processes produce waste to become more sustainable and support government’s efforts to safeguard the future of the environment by minimising their carbon footprint within their operations, says waste management company Interwaste group... 

Need for business to safeguard and support environmental protection initiatives
REWARDING BENEFITS By obtaining green accreditation, businesses are recognised and can be rewarded for the role they play in protecting the environment

Luminaire manufacturer expands product offering 

By: Simone Liedtke     16th June 2017 Energy efficient luminaires manufacturer Beka Schréder launched a new standalone solar luminaire – the SOL-ONE – in May 2017, which uses the most efficient light-emitting diodes (LEDs), says Beka Schréder marketing manager Sibusiso Skosana. 

Luminaire manufacturer expands product offering
SOL-ONE The luminaire has an integrated photocell and an integrated motion sensor

Malawi and Tanzania sign MOU for Songwe River Basin Programme 

By: David Oliveira     16th June 2017 Malawi and Tanzania signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) last month at the Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe, Malawi, which will see the two African nations work together for the development of the Songwe River Basin Development Programme (SRBDP). The SRBDP was... 

Rocket technology idea wins Global Impact Challenge Award

By: Mia Breytenbach     16th June 2017 The idea to use innovative rocket technology that uses asteroid metal as fuel to achieve industrial-scale transport of mined asteroid material has been crowned the winner of the 2017 Singularity University Global Impact Challenge (GIC) Southern Africa edition competition. The US-based Singularity... 

Rocket technology idea wins Global Impact Challenge Award
JONATHAN LUN My idea is to use . . . a vacuum arc thruster, that consumes asteroid metal as fuel to achieve industrial-scale transport of mined asteroid material

Budding local wind technicians graduate on Global Wind Day

By: Kim Cloete     15th June 2017 After seven months of intense training, 18 young South Africans graduated from the internationally recognised Wind Turbine Service Technician programme, in Cape Town, on Thursday, which also happened to be Global Wind Day. Five of the seven months of training were spent at the South African... 

Wind energy continues to grow as installed capacity reaches 500 GW

By: Anine Kilian     15th June 2017 Wind energy has become a major driver for a sustainable energy future and, with over 500 GW of capacity installed worldwide, it is a leading source of new power generation globally. In 2016, $112.5-billion was invested in wind power globally, and the industry now employs 1.2-million people,... 

South Africa should be proud of wind energy achievements 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     14th June 2017 South Africa has, in three years, become the largest wind power producer on the continent, generating 1.4 GW of electricity from 600 wind turbines.  On the eve of Global Wind Day, South African Wind Energy Association (Sawea) CEO Brenda Martin said the industry should be proud, not only... 

South Africa should be proud of wind energy achievements

NPC commissioner calls for energy-planning overhaul 

By: Terence Creamer     14th June 2017 A member of the National Planning Commission (NPC) has pointed to serious shortcomings in South Africa’s current energy planning processes and has called for future plans, including the highly contested Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for electricity, to be compiled by a new independent technical... 

NPC commissioner calls for energy-planning overhaul

Renewable energy eclipsing coal – Fieldstone 

By: Martin Creamer     12th June 2017 Renewable energy is very rapidly ousting coal, which could present a blow to Botswana, which has been pinning its hopes on coal replacing the static diamond industry as its new platform for economic growth. “Renewable energy is just about the only thing being invested in,” Fieldstone Africa MD... 

Renewable energy eclipsing coal – Fieldstone
Photo by Martin Creamer
Fieldstone Africa MD Jonathan Berman

Senwes launches first silo PV system

By: Anine Kilian     9th June 2017 Agricultural company Senwes has launched the first silo solar photovoltaic (PV) system in South Africa, at its Hennenman silo, in the Free State. “Around 1 120 solar panels were installed, with a total capacity of 358 kW. The total projected solar utilisation is 472 460 kWh/y, which constitutes... 

Senwes launches first silo PV system

Local embedded generation requires management

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     9th June 2017 Although embedded power generation is gaining traction nationwide, the National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa (NCPC-SA) Industrial Energy Efficiency (IEE) national project manager Alf Hartzenburg says the benefits of such generation have to be managed. Embedded generation entails... 

Local embedded generation requires management
Photo by Bloomberg
SELF-SUFFICIENT The proliferation of embedded generation has led to a decrease in electricity sales this year

Industry trends shift towards efficient, intelligent strategies

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     9th June 2017 The main feature of global demand for energy is a shift to maximising efficiency through delivering energy at the lowest cost per kilowatt per hour, says independent process industry consultant Santosh Gunpath. He tells Engineering News that this was evident from his interactions with industry... 

Industry trends shift towards efficient, intelligent strategies
Photo by Bloomberg
EFFICIENCY PRIORITISED With energy integral to every process, the objective should be to maximise the efficiency of delivering the necessary energy at the lowest cost per kilowatt per hour

IRP draft hinders cogeneration opportunities  

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     9th June 2017 An unintended consequence of the recently published draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for energy is that because it excludes cogeneration as a viable technology, cogenerators will be unable to participate in the energy market without Ministerial consent, says Paper Manufacturers Association of... 

IRP draft hinders cogeneration opportunities
Photo by Bloomberg
OVERLOOKED ENTITY The impact of the DoE IRP draft excludeing cogeneration as a viable, green technology raises concerns forpulp and paper industry

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