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Renewable Energy News

Solar-asset marketplace using cryptocurrency, blockchain to monetise solar energy

By: Schalk Burger     9th February 2018 SUNEX, a new South African cryptocurrency representing the value of power produced and dispatched from the bearer's solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, helps to support and accelerate the rollout and use of PV solar renewable-energy technologies, says Sun Exchange co-founder and CEO Abraham... 

Companies urged to ‘proactively’ reduce their carbon footprint as second Draft Carbon Tax Bill is released for comment

By: Nadine James     9th February 2018 In light of National Treasury’s publishing the second Draft Carbon Tax Bill for public comment in December, systems integration specialists Jasco Group’s CEO Pete da Silva suggests that companies proactively determine their carbon footprint and implement measures to mitigate the eventual effects... 

GE, Arenko collaborate on building energy storage systems

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     6th February 2018 Digital industrial company GE and flexible energy storage systems operator Arenko Group have entered into a strategic alliance to build grid-scale energy storage systems in the UK. The companies will seek to leverage the advantages of combining GE's battery technology solutions, power electronics... 

GE, Arenko collaborate on building energy storage systems

AfDB boosts ALBC Fund books with R140m loan

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     5th February 2018 To further enhance the African Local Currency Bond Fund (ALCB Fund) portfolio and promote the development of domestic capital markets across the continent, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a loan of R140-million. The senior loan, with a seven-year tenor including a two-year grace... 

KfW, RMB create specialised debt fund vehicle for small-scale renewables projects

By: Anine Kilian     2nd February 2018 German government-owned KfW Development Bank and Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) on Thursday signed an agreement that establishes South Africa’s first specialised debt fund vehicle for small-scale renewables projects. Known as The Facility for Investment in Renewable Small Transactions (First), this... 

Eskom given go ahead to sign stalled deals with renewables IPPs

By: Terence Creamer     2nd February 2018 Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown announced on Friday that Eskom’s application to purchase additional renewable energy from independent power producers (IPPs) had been approved, clearing the way for the signing of power purchase agreements (PPAs) for 27 wind and solar projects procured by... 

Eskom given go ahead to sign stalled deals with renewables IPPs

African expo and conference expanding

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     2nd February 2018 To cater for a growing interest in power generation and water, this year’s African Utility Week (AUW) will occupy the entire Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) as well as the new building, CTICC 2. The new 31 148 m2 building consists of 10 000 m2 conference and exhibition space... 

African expo and  conference expanding
NETWORKING HUB The African Utility Week conference and expo will feature over 300 speakers

AfDB renews commitment to connect 29.3m Africans to electricity grids

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     30th January 2018 The African Development Bank (AfDB) plans to provide 29.3-million people on the continent with access to electricity by 2020. Speaking during meetings of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, in Addis Ababa, at the weekend, AfDB president Akinwumi Adesina pledged support for the New... 

AfDB renews commitment to connect 29.3m Africans to electricity grids

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan hope to break Nile dam talks deadlock in one month 

By: Reuters     29th January 2018 The leaders of Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan on Monday set a one-month deadline for laying out the ways to break a deadlock in talks over a mega dam Addis Ababa is building along its share of the Nile, an official said. Egypt and Ethiopia are at loggerheads over the construction of the Grand... 

Akuo secures €78m to build Mali solar plant

By: Schalk Burger     29th January 2018 French independent power producer (IPP) Akuo Energy has secured €78-million in financing to build the 50 MW Akuo Kita Solar Photovoltaic (PV) power plant, in southern Mali. Private sector infrastructure funding organisation Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) reports that the plant will be... 

‘Any nuclear new build a poor choice for South Africa’, not just a Russian build

By: Terence Creamer     26th January 2018 Not just Russian but any nuclear new build is a poor choice for South Africa, Rocky Mountain Institute chief scientist Amory Lovins and University of Cape Town (UCT) emeritus professor Anton Eberhard argue in a newly release occasional paper published by the UCT Graduate School of Business.... 

‘Any nuclear new build a poor choice for South Africa’, not just a Russian build
Photo by Duane Daws
Professor Anton Eberhard

Emerging markets using latest energy technologies to improve competitiveness

By: Schalk Burger     26th January 2018 With the advent of new energy generation, storage and management technologies, developing country companies are using the capabilities of new integrated microgrid systems to improve their efficiency and lower costs, says electrical equipment and services multinational ABB Asia, Middle East and... 

Emerging markets using latest energy technologies  to improve competitiveness
CHUNYUAN GU Natural resources, accessible labour and more readily available energy can be leveraged to grow industry in Africa, if industrial operations become more efficient

Investments accumulated to catalyse off-grid energy development

By: Dylan Slater     26th January 2018 Multilateral development bank African Development Bank’s (AfDB’s) board approved a $30-million investment in the Facility for Energy Inclusion Off-Grid Energy Access Fund (FEI OGEF) last month.  

Rosatom competition winners tour nuclear facility

By: Nadine James     26th January 2018 Russian nuclear corporation Rosatom’s African subsidiary Rosatom Africa sponsored an all expenses paid trip to Russia for winners of the yearly student competition, held for the third time last year. The students visited the Novovoronezh nuclear power plant (NPP), as well as its training... 

Rosatom competition winners tour nuclear facility
RED SQUARE The prize comprised of a site visit to a Nuclear Power Plant and a cultural tour of Moscow, including Red Square and the Museum of Cosmonautics

Microgrids using solar energy to meet energy demands

26th January 2018 Communities and producers in Africa are struggling with energy deficits caused by a lack of infrastructure access in some cases and poor energy quality and high-power costs in others, explains procurement and construction services provider Black & Veatch. As a result, Black & Veatch has... 

Microgrids using  solar energy to meet energy demands
SOLAR SOLUTION Providing power through solar power projects is just one of many solutions that could grant electricity access to communities

Need for more energy increases demand for solar power

By: Victor Moolman     26th January 2018 With electricity demand in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region increasing, Stellenbosch University Faculty of Engineering’s Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies senior researcher Karin Kritzinger believes that solar water heaters can be one of the major... 

Need for more energy increases  demand for solar power
Photo by Duane Daws
WIDESPREAD POWER There are several solar farms across the member countries of the Southern African Development Community

Solar energy can reduce tariff hike strain on consumers

26th January 2018 With the ruling of the Constitutional Court having allowed power utility Eskom to retrospectively ask the National Energy Regulator of South Africa to claw back additional tariffs from consumers, solar energy equipment supplier Energy Partners Home Solutions believes that this could lead to... 

Three-year project reaches completion

By: Victor Moolman     26th January 2018 Technology solutions provider Jasco has completed its three-year solar farm project, which has reduced its maximum electricity demand by 27% and its reliance on State-owned power utility Eskom by 33%. “Phase 1 of the project – which started in April 2015 – resulted in the installation of 53 kWp... 

School installs solar system at boarding house

26th January 2018 The South African College High School (SACS), in Cape Town, made a commitment to clean energy by installing a solar system at its Rosedale Boarding House. The solar system was installed in November by Energy Partners Home Solutions, part of the PSG group of companies. SACS deputy headmaster Barry... 

Kenyan startup’s solar refrigeration solution wins energy prize 

25th January 2018 Kenyan startup SolarFreeze, which has developed an offgrid solar-powered refrigeration solution for smallholder farmers and traders, has been named the winner of the Africa Energy Prize. The award is a joint initiative between energy multinational Enel and Swiss-based Seedstars World, which... 

Pick n Pay Longmeadow benefits from completion of solar PV project 

25th January 2018 The installation of a photovoltaic system for South African retailer Pick n Pay’s Longmeadow distribution centre will be fully operational by the end of the month. The solar PV system, installed by Energy Partners Solar, is believed to be the largest solar PV installation in South Africa. Nadine... 

Pick n Pay Longmeadow benefits from completion of solar PV project
Pick n Pay Longmeadow benefits from completion of solar PV project

Ethiopia leader rejects call for World Bank arbitration in dam dispute 

By: Reuters     22nd January 2018 Ethiopia's Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has rejected a call by Egypt for World Bank arbitration in a dispute over a hydroelectric dam Addis Ababa is building along its share of the Nile. The two countries are at odds over the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, with Cairo... 

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... 

Signing of power purchase agreements with IPPs imminent – SAWEA

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... 

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