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Renewable Energy News

SA’s wind-energy capacity could be 300 MW by 2012 – study 

By: Terence Creamer     1st June 2009 Wind-energy developments could supply up to 300 MW into South Africa’s electricity grid over the next three years, a new research study shows. However, the country’s energy-supply industry would continue to lag far behind that of countries in North Africa, which have far more ambitious targets... 

WWF to assess SA’s transition to low-carbon economy 

By: Christy van der Merwe     1st June 2009 South Africa’s World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) is hoping to initiate discussions, and possibly also commission some analytical work, on what the constraints and opportunities for the country’s transition to low-carbon economy are. “There are a lot of outstanding questions. We can talk very... 

New Energy Department outlines key priorities

By: Jade Davenport     20th May 2009 The newly-established Department of Energy on Wednesday announced its short- to medium-term priorities for the sector at a conference Cape Town. The new department, which was formed when President Jacob Zuma split the Minerals and Energy department into two portfolios, will focus on issues such... 

Conditions increasingly favourable in SA for IPPs, despite frustrations

By: Terence Creamer     19th May 2009 Despite a definite air of frustration among potential South African independent power producers (IPPs), many of which have had their project plans set back by a series of regulatory and Eskom tender delays, international engineering consultancy Hatch believes that the prospects for IPP projects... 

Global solar power expo 
coming to Johannesburg

15th May 2009 Scientists and researchers will demonstrate the potential solutions that renewable energy holds for resolving the global energy crisis at the International Solar Energy Society’s (ISES’s) Solar World Congress, to be held in Johannesburg in October. 

US firm develops ‘simpler, more efficient’ algae oil extracting process

By: Leandi Kolver     8th May 2009 American bioenergy company OriginOil has developed what it has described as a “breakthrough oil extraction technology” that may help transform algae into a competitive transport fuel. In addition to integrating the process into its own production system, OriginOil also plans to commercialise the... 

Do the emerging biofuel technologies offer a way around the food-versus-fuel dilemma?

By: Leandi Kolver     8th May 2009 In the struggle to eliminate the possibility of creating a food supply crisis by producing an alternative fuel source from biofuels, scientists and biologists are seeking other sources, so-called ‘second- and third-generation’ biofuels. 

Eastern Cape mall powers up with solar and wind

By: Leandi Kolver     8th May 2009 Local alternative energy company SolarCon has supplied IBC photovoltaic (PV) solar panels to the Equinox Mall in Jeffrey's Bay on the Eastern Cape coastline. The eight 260 W panels will provide 60% of the total alternative energy requirement per year at the mall. 

International energy group considering SA wind-energy prospects

By: Terence Creamer     8th May 2009 Global independent energy company GDF Suez, which is pursuing an open-cycle gas-turbine project in South Africa, would now also consider wind-energy investments in the country, following the recent release of a renewable energy feed-in tariff (Refit) framework by South Africa's energy regulator. 

Cape Chamber calls for higher peak-hour feed-in tariffs for ‘green’ power 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      6th May 2009 The Cape Town regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry has urged the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to introduce higher peak-hour feed-in tariffs for electricity produced from renewable energy sources, Chamber director Albert Schuitmaker had highlighted in a letter to Nersa,... 

KwaZulu Energy Services expands rural electrification programme to E Cape 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     6th May 2009 Rural electrification in South Africa was not easy and did not provide a great financial resource, but did bring benefits to rural communities and was a good example of how public–private partnerships could lead to sustainable projects, KwaZulu Energy Services (KES) CEO Vicky Basson asserted on... 

SA construction industry having to adapt to new energy demands

By: Christy van der Merwe     23rd April 2009 Demand would likely be placed on the local construction sector to gear up to provide the two main streams of cleaner energy, namely nuclear and renewables, to ensure the next generation of power provision. “Preparing for a nuclear culture is an enormous task,” said Group Five Infrastructure head... 

GDF Suez mulling over SA wind-energy prospects

By: Terence Creamer     21st April 2009 Global independent energy company GDF Suez, which is pursuing an open-cycle gas-turbine project in South Africa, would now also consider wind-energy investments in the country, following the recent release of a renewable energy feed-in tariff (Refit) framework by South Africa’s energy regulator.... 

New feed-in tariffs to inspire renewables projects

17th April 2009 Energy regulator the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has approved the Renewable Energy Feed-In Tariff (Refit) guidelines.ho 

Combine clean fuels and biofuels roadmaps, fuels technologist argues

By: Leandi Kolver     17th April 2009 The biofuels industry needed to develop a roadmap to blend with the fossil fuels roadmap being created to meet South Africa's future fuel demands, PetroSA fuels technologist Christo Cloete said recently at the Biofuels conference held at Vodaworld in Midrand. 

New energy efficient solutions set for SA entry

By: Leandi Kolver     10th April 2009 Diversified industrial company Premier Brands is in negotiations to become the South African distribution partner for Germany's renewable energy solutions provider Buderus. The South African company is an importer and wholesaler of domestic and commercial air-conditioners and spare parts for the... 

Farming dairy cows and energy all at the same time

By: Terence Creamer     3rd April 2009 When Mark Holliday took ownership eight years ago of the Sunnyside dairy farm, located some five kilometres from Jeffrey’s Bay, he was struck not only by how windswept it was, but that no-one had thought to tap into this valuable resource. He “rang around” to find out whether there were any... 

Denmark says keen to be involved in SA CDM projects

By: Christy van der Merwe     1st April 2009 Danish energy giant, Dong Energy, and the Danish Embassy in South Africa on Wednesday signed an agreement that would see the embassy assist the company to enter the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) market in South Africa. The embassy would help Dong to identify projects in South Africa where it... 

CDM market seen growing as energy prices rise

By: Chanel de Bruyn     1st April 2009 Industry sectors were not making it a structural business case to pursue clean development mechanism (CDM) projects, MD of NuPlanet Clean Energy Anton-Louis Olivier said on Wednesday. Speaking at the third day of the African Biofuels conference, he noted that as energy prices rise, the CDM... 

Green energy gets shot in the arm with generous SA tariff regime  

By: Terence Creamer     31st March 2009 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) gave South Africa’s nascent renewable-energy industry a major boost on Tuesday when it unveiled a generously priced renewable energy feed-in tariff (Refit) regime for potential wind, minihydro, landfill-gas and concentrating-solar power... 

One-million solar geyser target intact, but financing and regulatory challenges persist

By: Guy Copans     27th March 2009 There was much enthusiasm at the beginning of 2008 for the mass deployment of solar water heaters’ (SWHs) to deal with South Africa’s then obvious power constraints. But as demand has slowed and the system has seemingly stabilised, that enthusiasm seems to have ebbed somewhat and there are... 

Some 15% of SA power should come from renewables by 2020 – WWF

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     27th March 2009 South Africa will be capable of generating 15% of its electricity from a combination of wind and solar power by 2020, says conservation fund, the WWF. The WWF’s new publication, Cheaper Electricity with Renewable Energy, reports that meeting such a target without any international support will... 

Eastern Cape shows the way with energy-independent house design

By: Christy van der Merwe     27th March 2009 An energy efficient building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) house has been constructed, and is now fully operational and being monitored and studied at the University of Fort Hare, Alice campus. The house took three months to construct and was completed in December 2008, while the electrical... 

State support vital to give factories a renewable boost

By: Leandi Kolver     20th March 2009 The solar and alternative energy industry needs more support from government, says alternative energy company SolarCon MD Dieter Dilchert. "There is an increased demand for alternative energy in South Africa in light of the power shortage issues the country is currently undergoing, however, we... 

SA has made too little renewable-energy headway, Sonjica admits 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     19th March 2009 South Africa had made little progress in ensuring that its goal of developing 10 000 GWh of renewable-energy capacity by 2013 was achieved, Minerals and Energy Minister Buyelwa Sonjica conceded on Thursday. Speaking at a Renewable Energy summit, which was organised by the Department of Minerals... 

New wind-energy partnership sets sights on 500-MW in SA by 2014

By: Terence Creamer     19th March 2009 A newly formed South African-European renewable-energy joint venture announced plans on Thursday for the development of 500 MW of wind-energy capacity in South Africa by 2014, and revealed that its first 30-MW venture would be “construction ready” by early 2010. The joint venture comprises Irish... 

Feed-in tariffs will boost renewable energy investment – WWF 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     19th March 2009 A stronger political will, regional cooperation and international partnerships were needed to support the development of a renewable energy industry in South Africa, speakers at the Renewable Energy Summit, in Centurion, highlighted on Thursday. Sustainable development organisation GZT... 

SA’s climate change mitigation policy should start with sustainable energy solutions – Winkler

By: Christy van der Merwe     6th March 2009 In developing countries, such as South Africa, sustainable supply and use of energy should have development impact as the first priority, and the mitigation of climate change as a logical spin-off, argued University of Cape Town Energy Research Centre associate professor, Harald Winkler. Also a... 

Enviro study for 50 MW wind farm to start soon

By: Jade Davenport     6th March 2009 The environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the proposed 50 MW wind farm in the vicinity of St Helena Bay in the Western Cape is anticipated to begin in March this year. 

Cape Town chamber raises concerns over electricity-distribution programme

By: Creamer Media Reporter      5th March 2009 The Cape Town regional Chamber of Commerce and Industries on Thursday expressed its concern about government’s plans to change the Constitution in order to take the responsibility for electricity distribution away from municipalities and hand it to Regional Electricity Distribution (Red)... 

Renewable energy feed-in tariff to be announced end-March  

By: Creamer Media Reporter      27th February 2009 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) would announce its decision on the renewable energy feed-in tariffs (Refit) at the end of next month, it announced on Friday. Its decision was initially expected to be made in September last year and then on March 9, but it would now be... 

SA to explore use of renewable energy for SKA  

By: SANews, SA government news service     26th February 2009 South Africa is to explore ways in which green energy can be used to operate the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope. The SKA will require energy for data collection and processing and it is hoped that the pathfinder telescopes being developed by South Africa and Australia will give impetus... 

Govt urged to take responsibility for industry’s ‘inaction’ on climate change

By: Christy van der Merwe     25th February 2009 Nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) Oxfam and Earthlife Africa have released a report on climate change, calling for the government to take more responsibility for the inaction of industry, and companies such as Sasol and Eskom, which were some of the largest greenhouse gas emitters in the... 

Swaziland studies 120-MW hydropower plant

By: Christy van der Merwe     24th February 2009 The Swaziland Electricity Company (SEC) has invited submissions from engineering consultancy firms, for the full feasibility and predesign study for the Ngwempisi hydropower cascading scheme. Companies wishing to take part in the study would be required to attend a compulsory site visit on March... 

Population growth providing sugar demand underpin

By: Chanel de Bruyn     23rd February 2009 While the outlook for the world economy is uncertain, agriprocessing firm Tongaat Hulett said that it was satisfied that it was trading in market sectors that remained relatively stable throughout times of economic turmoil. During a telephonic interview on Monday, CEO Peter Staude explained that... 

Largest solar heating system in Africa installed at Gaborone Sun Hotel 

By: Guy Copans     20th February 2009 The biggest solar heating system installed at any hotel in Africa has been installed at the Gaborone Sun Hotel in Botswana.  

‘Intelligent subsidies’ needed to boost SA’s solar water heater industry – Saneri  

By: Christy van der Merwe     13th February 2009 The need for “intelligent subsidies” was at the top of a lengthy list of requirements needed to boost South Africa’s fledgling solar water heater (SWH) industry. “We all acknowledge that Treasury wants subsidies to be phased out eventually - nobody wants a crutch to the industry that becomes a... 

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