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Renewable Energy News

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... 

Successful solar PV project exemplified for SA uptake

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     15th December 2017 The “tremendous” success of the Robben Island solar photovoltaic (PV) microgrid project lends itself to “fantastic” replication potential, as it serves as a model example for retrofitting existing energy systems with solar and batteries to significantly reduce fossil fuel consumption and... 

Data analytics trends spill over into energy sector 

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th December 2017 The vision of a low-carbon future allied with advances in the information technology sector are set to become game changers that will shift the future energy landscape as technology gives rise to peripheral industries and cross-sector transformations. The future of energy generation is embedded... 

SA power plant listed 4th dirtiest in world's 'Dirty Dozen' 

By: News24Wire      12th December 2017 South Africa’s Thabametsi project has been listed as one of the “Dirty Dozen projects”, twelve fossil fuel projects worldwide environmental groups say exemplify the massive volumes of public finances still flowing to fossil fuel projects, which are driving climate change. The list comes as world... 

New JV to develop small-scale Zambian hydropower projects

By: Schalk Burger     12th December 2017 The New Africa Power joint venture (JV) plans to develop a 65 MW portfolio of small-scale, run-of-the-river hydropower projects in Zambia. The JV, established by Nairobi-based energy holding company responsAbility Renewable Energy, international finance institution Norfund and investment company... 

AfDB grants loan support to two African renewable energy projects

By: Dylan Slater     11th December 2017 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.  

AfDB grants loan support to two African renewable energy projects
The Noor concentrated solar power project’s Phase 1

SAPVIA launches ‘bold’ 5-point plan for solar industrialisation

By: Mia Breytenbach     8th December 2017 The South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) has announced a “bold” five-point plan for the solar photovoltaic (PV) industry to drive industrialisation, create jobs, and contribute to economic growth. Speaking at the Energy Indaba held at Gallagher Estate in Midrand, on Friday,... 

SAPVIA launches ‘bold’ 5-point plan for solar industrialisation

Cabinet approves long-awaited IRP update 

8th December 2017 Creamer Media’s Samantha Herbst talks to Engineering News editor Terence Creamer about the newly approved IRP and what this means for South Africa’s energy mix. 

Cabinet approves long-awaited IRP update
Cabinet approves long-awaited IRP update

Jasco slashes carbon footprint with solar energy solution

By: Nadine James     8th December 2017 Technology solutions provider Jasco’s Power Solutions & Renewable Energy team will leverage its experiences from its successful solar project as a base for understanding the engineering, procurement and construction requirements for solar energy systems in high-end residential, commercial and... 

Quality reprioritised in local battery market

By: Robyn Wilkinson     8th December 2017 With its battery anti-theft solution successfully protecting more than 15 000 lead acid batteries in South Africa, battery and related-components supplier Aztec is seeing an increase in demand for premium quality batteries with a longer operating life. 

Quality reprioritised in local battery market
POSITIVE RESPONSE NorthStar ACE was launched in South Africa this year and Aztec has seen a positive local market response to its advanced capabilities

No further IRP consultations as Cabinet approves plan and 27 renewables projects 

By: Terence Creamer     7th December 2017 Energy Minister David Mahlobo reported on Thursday that Cabinet approved an updated Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for electricity during a marathon 12-hour meeting on Wednesday and that the new plan would be published without any further public consultation. Briefing the media at an ‘Energy... 

No further IRP consultations as Cabinet approves plan and 27 renewables projects
Energy Minister David Mahlobo

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... 

Zuma promises ‘seamless’ ANC transition at energy indaba that sidesteps IRP debate
President Jacob Zuma and Energy Minister David Mahlobo

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

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