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Renewable Energy News

Company wins $157m boiler contract

     9th June 2017 India-based energy and environmental engineering solutions company Thermax has won export contracts from an undisclosed leading African conglomerate to supply four utility boilers, eight heat recovery steam generators and two flue gas steam generators for its upcoming refinery and petrochemicals... 

Company unveils containerised gas-to-power product offering

By: David Oliveira     9th June 2017 Cape Town-based containerised renewable-energy generation company SustainPower hosted their official gas-to-power product launch at African Utility Week (AUW), held in Cape Town last month. The company focusses on containerised gas-to-power and solar solutions with the integration of technologies... 

Residential solar PV poses significant threat to utility model 

By: David Oliveira     9th June 2017 Increasing environmental awareness was driving South Africans to invest in a more sustainable future by installing solar photovoltaic (PV) rooftop panels, global professional service company Accenture resources associate director Ashley Maistry said at the African Utility Week, held in Cape Town... 

Need for businesses to become energy efficient

     9th June 2017 According to the International Energy Agency, many companies are using up to 100% more energy than they would if they were best practice energy efficient businesses, says provider of efficient solutions for reducing energy costs and carbon emissions Ensight Energy Solutions CEO Francis Barram. 

Conglomerate helps company reduce power generation costs

     9th June 2017 US-based multinational conglomerate corporation General Electric (GE) have announced an agreement with the world’s largest aluminium rolling company Hindalco Industries to upgrade generation equipment at its Renusagar Captive Power Plant in Uttar Pradesh, India. GE will modernise two steam... 

Hulisani overhauls management to align with strategy

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     7th June 2017 JSE-listed investment holding company Hulisani has appointed its current CIO Marubini Raphulu as its new CEO, effective July 1. Raphulu takes the reins from Hulisani co-founder Malungelo Zilimbola, who will continue to serve as a member of the board in a nonexecutive role and who will remain... 

Upliftment model launched to help BoP SMMEs

By: Anine Kilian     7th June 2017 Turnkey business solutions provider Modular has launched its Modularise initiative and show room, in Pretoria. The Modular Innoboxes are made from reusable storage containers and contain the hardware, software and educational content to run a successful business in a micro economy.  

Upliftment model launched to help BoP SMMEs
Hasan Darwish

Eskom and Huawei team up to deliver smart grid by 2030

By: David Oliveira     2nd June 2017 To take better advantage of the increasing adoption of smart grid technology, State-owned power utility Eskom announced a partnership with global information communication technology (ICT) company Huawei at the African Utility Week, which took place in Cape Town last month. The Huawei-Eskom... 

US agency awards grant to SA IPP for Free State solar study

By: Mia Breytenbach     2nd June 2017 The US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has awarded a grant to Johannesburg-based independent power developer Pele Green Energy. The grant will fund a feasibility study to assess the viability of a 75 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant, in the Free State. US Consul General of Cape Town... 

US agency awards grant to SA IPP for Free State solar study
Photo by Bloomberg
NECESSARY ANALYSIS The grant funds a feasibility study to assess the viability of a 75 MW solar photovoltaic power plant, in the Free State

Ring main unit launched to cater for increased renewables output

By: David Oliveira     2nd June 2017 Electrical engineering firm Lucy Electric launched its modular Aegis36 ring main unit at Africa Utility Week, which took place in Cape Town last month. The unit is designed for switchgear of up to 36 kV installed in secondary distribution networks and particularly for renewable-energy projects. 

Hulisani completes acquisition of Momentous Technology, posts maiden results

By: Anine Kilian     1st June 2017 JSE-listed Hulisani has completed the R122-million acquisition of Momentous Technology, which owns a stake in the 7MW Rustmo1 Solar Farm. Hulisani CEO Marubini Raphulu on Thursday said the acquisition is an important step in the company’s long-term strategy. 

Renewable Energy Holdings signs private power supply contract

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     29th May 2017 Bethlehem Hydro, an independent power producer (IPP) and subsidiary of Renewable Energy Holdings (REH), has entered into a contract under which the full output from its 4 MW Merino hydropower plant, near Clarens, in the Free State, will be sold to electricity trader PowerX. REH and Bethlehem... 

$100-million loan for African infrastructure spending

By: Nadine James     26th May 2017 The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) in March signed a $100-million loan agreement aimed at furthering the DBSA’s infrastructure financing activity across Africa. This flexible credit line will focus on DBSA’s four strategic sectors:... 

Free State hydropower plant receives international acclaim

By: Dylan Slater     26th May 2017 The 2017 Monsonyi Award for Excellence in Hydropower was recently presented by the International Hydropower Association (IHA) to local greenfield independent power plants developer Renewable Energy Holdings (REH) for its contribution to the hydropower sector during the World Hydropower Congress,... 

Free State hydropower plant receives international acclaim
ANTON-LOUIS OLIVIER Renewable Energy Holdings was recently awarded the Monsonyi Award for Excellence in Hydropower for its role in three small hydropower projects in South Africa

CSP projects boost South Africa’s green economy

By: Anine Kilian     25th May 2017 Global private engineering company Sener believes the 50 MW Bokpoort concentrated solar power (CSP) plant, together with the 100 MW Ilanga and 100 MW Kathu CSP plants, will significantly contribute to South Africa’s green economy. Sener is the engineering, procurement and construction partner on... 

CSP projects boost South Africa’s green economy
Bokpoort CSP

Central Energy Fund to be restructured 

     25th May 2017 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about the Energy Minister’s plans to restructure the Central Energy Fund, as well as the Minister’s promise to provide some certainty regarding a resolution to the renewables impasse. 

Central Energy Fund to be restructured
Central Energy Fund to be restructured

Eskom tests microgrid technology in Free State

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     23rd May 2017 The Eskom Research, Testing and Development (RT&D) unit is building a MicroGrid technology demonstration plant in a rural unelectrified village, near Ficksburg, in the Free State. “This project is a demonstration of next-horizon technology that supports Eskom’s future strategic objectives, as... 

Builders Warehouse launches its first store featuring renewable energy

By: Anine Kilian     22nd May 2017 The North Riding-based Builders Warehouse, which forms part of the Builders Warehouse chain of stores owned by management company Massmart, has installed a 126 kW solar photovoltaic (PV) plant, which comprises 400 roof-mounted polycrystalline PV panels. The plant will provide 70% of the store’s... 

Task team deliberating on renewables impasse to report ‘first week in June’

By: Terence Creamer     19th May 2017 A joint departmental task team set up to find solutions to the current impasse holding back the signing of power purchase agreements (PPAs) for 37 renewable-energy projects procured in 2015 will report back in the first week of June, Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi reported on Friday. The task... 

 Task team deliberating on renewables impasse to report ‘first week in June’
Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubay

US awards grant to SA renewable energy company

By: African News Agency      19th May 2017 The US Trade and Development Agency has awarded a grant to Pele Green Energy, a South African independent power developer based in Johannesburg. Wednesday’s grant funds a feasibility study to assess the viability of a 75 MW solar photovoltaic power plant in the Free State province of South... 

Industry leaders warn of loss in investments in renewables sector

By: Johane Turkstra     19th May 2017 Following State-owned power utility Eskom’s decision last year not to sign a number of contracts with independent power producers (IPP) and the delay in doing so since, industry leaders are warning that a loss in investments in the renewables sector could lead to a severe plateau in... 

Industry leaders warn of loss in investments in renewables sector
Photo by Bloomberg
NON-RENEWABLE ENERGY Eskom is responsible for generating about 95% of South Africa’s electricity and the firm mainly relies on coal for its power generation

Millions invested in renewables, research excellence

     19th May 2017 Last month, State-owned power utility Eskom says over an extended period of time, funded research work done by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Stellenbosch University has ostensibly benefited research in the renewables space. “Eskom’s unique role in driving... 

Young innovative entrepreneurs offer renewable-energy solutions

By: Johane Turkstra     19th May 2017 State-owned power utility Eskom’s Development Foundation’s yearly Business Investment Competition (BIC) continues to discover businesses bringing about positive socioeconomic changes to the benefit of communities and the country. The latest such business is solar energy company Lamo Solar, which... 

Young innovative  entrepreneurs offer  renewable-energy solutions
LAMO SOLAR Co-owners Tshibvumo Sikhwivhilu and Elmond Khoza

Company reaches 400-mark installation milestone

By: Marleny Arnoldi     19th May 2017 Water solutions company Amanziflow Projects have installed more than 400 of its locally developed Fluid Dynamic Systems automatic diaphragm valves (FDS-DVs) across Southern Africa to date.  

Company reaches 400-mark installation milestone
AUTOMATIC APPLICATION The equipment requires no electrical supply or labour to operate

Sarec again defends renewable energy programme in light of proposed coal station closures

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     18th May 2017 The South African Renewable Energy Council (Sarec) on Thursday said that Eskom’s justifying the proposed closure of some its coal-fired power plants, in Mpumalanga, as being the result of signing power purchase agreements for new renewable energy projects, is misleading. “Coal plants have a... 

Sarec again defends renewable energy programme in light of proposed coal station closures

South African selected as finalist for Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     17th May 2017 South African rocket scientist Andre Nel has been selected as a finalist in the UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation. Nel invented a hybrid, solar microgrid solution, the GreenTower Microgrid, which uses 90% less energy to heat water. 

South African selected as finalist for Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation
GreenTower inventor Andre Nel

African countries look to minigrids to light up rural areas

By: Kim Cloete     17th May 2017 African countries are increasingly looking towards minigrids to provide people living in remote areas access to electricity. Government officials from Ghana, Uganda and Nigeria have told delegates at the African Utility Week, in Cape Town, this week, that minigrids are the way to go for many... 

World Bank cautions African utilities against mounting debt 

By: Kim Cloete     17th May 2017 A survey undertaken by the World Bank has shown that less than half of the utilities in sub-Saharan Africa are able to cover their operating expenditures and that several countries lose in excess of $0.25 for every kilowatt-hour that gets sold.  The sobering assessment of the financial health of... 

Certainty needed to drive energy projects in Africa 

By: Kim Cloete     16th May 2017 Private sector players have called on African governments to be reliable and predictable in their energy policies and programmes. "Investors want to know that the rules won’t change in the middle of a project,” Power Africa coordinator Andrew Herscowitz told delegates at Africa Utility Week on... 

Absence of Eskom CEO rattles opening of African Utility Week 

By: Kim Cloete     16th May 2017 Despite great anticipation ahead of his address, reinstated Eskom CEO Brian Molefe did not open the annual African Utility Week, in Cape Town, as planned. The CEO was scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the opening plenary, attended by several thousand energy and water experts, but pulled out... 

Standard Bank provides $120m debt package to increase energy supply in Zimbabwe

By: Anine Kilian     16th May 2017 Standard Bank has finalised a $120-million debt package with Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) for the rehabilitation of existing power infrastructure at the Kariba South hydropower station and the Hwange thermal power station. The transaction is a continuation of a previous funding arrangement with... 

Nuclear energy provides secure, clean, affordable baseload power

By: Nadine James     12th May 2017 Nuclear energy is the only provider of secure, reliable, clean and affordable baseload power that, from a total lifecycle cost perspective, offers one of the most affordable electricity sources, states the Nuclear Industry Association of South Africa (Niasa). Niasa supply chain development... 

Nuclear energy provides secure, clean, affordable baseload power
Photo by Duane Daws
PELINDABA Some South African companies have already achieved local nuclear regulatory standards and requirements and have been implementing them on the Koeberg and Pelindaba's Research Reactor with success

High-level support for innovative agrosolar greenhouse concept

By: Mia Breytenbach     12th May 2017 The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) has pledged its support for the SUNfarming Food & Energy project run by North-West University (NWU), in Potchefstroom, in the North West province, which promotes the growing of and provides an opportunity to grow affordable and... 

High-level support for innovative agrosolar greenhouse concept
TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Minister Senzeni Zokwana and NWU Faculty of Engineering Prof LJ Grobler survey the SUNfarming Food & Energy project

Focus on future uranium tech amid subdued price

By: Robyn Wilkinson     12th May 2017 With innovations in the extraction and application of uranium constantly being made, the Uranium 2017 International Conference will provide a platform for the discussion of advances in the industry and a forum for generating new ideas. 

Focus on future uranium tech amid subdued price
LOCATION IS KEY The Uranium 2017 International Conference will include a site visit to Rio Tinto’s Rössing mine – the longest running uranium mine in the world

Nuclear is too expensive, too controversial

By: Nadine James     12th May 2017 Implementing a nuclear build programme in South Africa would be extremely difficult because of the associated expenses as well as the controversy surrounding nuclear power, says financial services company Thomson Reuters. “Globally, government decisions regarding nuclear programmes are delayed... 

Nuclear is too expensive, too controversial
ROBERT FISH The costs associated with constructing the necessary infrastructure added to the costs of importing most of the nuclear technology, fuel and materials, will incur large amounts of debt

Least-cost electricity transition being played out at CSIR’s Pretoria campus

By: Dylan Slater     12th May 2017 The expansive Pretoria campus of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research is increasingly being taken off-grid with the roll-out of renewable-energy projects as part of its drive to demonstrate the potential of renewable energy to the domestic energy industry.  

Least-cost electricity transition being played out at CSIR’s Pretoria campus

Warning issued that nuclear ruling may pose risk to legality of IPP programmes 

By: Terence Creamer     11th May 2017 The recent nuclear ruling, which set aside the Ministerial determinations designed to facilitate the procurement of nuclear power stations, may also carry risks for the legality of the various independent power producer (IPP) procurement programmes, which are proceeding on the basis of... 

Warning issued that nuclear ruling may pose risk to legality of IPP programmes

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