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Renewable Energy News

€400bn transcontinental solar-energy venture 
gains heavyweight backers

By: Terence Creamer     24th July 2009 Over the next three years a group of 12 large European companies will seek to map out investment plans of an ambitious transcontinental renewable-energy project, which proponents argue could supply up to 15% of Europe’s electricity requirements by 2050 and involve an investment of around... 

Korean giant launches world’s first solar innovation 

By: Leandi Kolver     24th July 2009 Technology innovation company Samsung Electronics now builds billboards powered by solar energy.


SA and Germany could improve renewable energy co-operation – chamber  

By: Christy van der Merwe     21st July 2009 Energy efficiency and renewable energy were sectors with a lot of potential to scale up South African and German co-operation, said Southern African German chamber of commerce and industry CEO Matthias Boddenberg on Tuesday. “In Germany, we have done several workshops informing South African and... 

Regulator includes more renewable technologies in Refit, outlines purchase agreement

By: Christy van der Merwe     20th July 2009 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has released a consultation paper for phase-two of the renewable energy feed-in-tariff (Refit), on its website, and was requesting inputs and comment from stakeholders and the public. The consultation paper included a lengthy draft of the... 

New drive concept 
for wind farms

17th July 2009 Wind power plant manufacturer the Bard Group is further developing the technology of its Bard 5.0 wind turbine, to be used in a commercial wind farm 100 km off the coast of Germany. 

The US green 
transmission battle

By: Kelly Farthing     17th July 2009 The US’ new economic stimulus plan is providing billions of dollars towards the doubling of the nation’s supply of renewable energy; environmentalist groups, however, are opposing the plan to build new transmission lines intended to carry this renewable energy.


Lesson from Israel’s recycling park hub

By: Shannon de Ryhove     17th July 2009 Israel’s Dan Region Association collects up to 2 800 t a day of household waste and it is for this reason that the association is transforming the former garbage dumpsite, Hiriya, into the country’s largest, most advanced environmental centre and public park, an idea that South African... 

100% local high quality pressure vessel, expansion joints, boiler economizer and general fabrication 

16th July 2009 South African Compensators is offering 100% locally manufactured high quality pressure vessels, tanks, expansion joints round and rectangular, boiler economizers and ducting suitable for use in the power generation, petrochemicals, mining, and paper and pulp industries. These products can be... 

Mozambique to build new 1 500 MW hydropower station

By: Chanel de Bruyn     15th July 2009 Construction on the 1 500 MW Mphanda Nkuwa hydropower project, in Mozambique, was on schedule to start in January 2011 and become commercially operational by 2015, Standard Bank adviser Megan Short said on Wednesday. She noted that the concession agreements and the off-take agreements, with the... 

IDC to study funding models for clean-energy projects 

By: Terence Creamer     14th July 2009 South Africa's State-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) was seeking to initiate a far-reaching study into the appropriate funding model for energy-efficiency and renewable-energy investments in South Africa. The initiative is supported by French and German development agencies,... 

European heavyweights throw weight behind €400bn desert-energy venture

By: Terence Creamer     13th July 2009 A group of 12 large European companies, nine of them German, on Monday signed up to an ambitious transcontinental renewable-energy project, which proponents argue could eventually supply up to 15% of Europe's electricity requirements by 2050 and involve an investment in Africa and the Middle East... 

SA earmarks R250m for more energy efficient State buildings

By: Christy van der Merwe     10th July 2009 Energy Minister Dipuo Peters on Friday announced that over R250-million has been earmarked for investment in the energy efficiency retrofit of government buildings, and as part of the government drive to ensure promotion of energy efficiency, 19 municipalities would also be receiving funding... 

Siemens backs €400bn plan to harvest energy from Africa's deserts 

By: Terence Creamer     9th July 2009 Global electrical engineering group Siemens would next week throw its weight behind an ambitious project to harvest solar and wind energy from the deserts of North Africa to supply the growing electricity needs of both the region and Europe, managing board member Dr Siegfried Russwurm confirmed... 

From wind to fuels, IDC mulling big energy-economy role 

By: Terence Creamer     6th July 2009 South Africa's State-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) expects to become increasingly active in the energy milieu, both as a partner to independent power producers (IPPs), as well as a financier of mega transport fuel projects. CEO Geoffrey Qhena tells Engineering News that its... 

IDC has already spent R800m to aid distressed firms, confirms R6,1bn bail-out budget

By: Terence Creamer     2nd July 2009 The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) confirmed on Wednesday that it had already spent more than R800-million to assist "distressed" companies affected by the domestic economic slowdown, and confirmed that it had set aside a total of R6,1-billion for the next two years to assist others... 

Irena to locate HQ in carbon-neutral Abu Dhabi city 

By: Christy van der Merwe     30th June 2009 The International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena), which was established in January this year, has chosen to locate its headquarters in Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City. This choice was also said to mark the first time that an international organisation has chosen a Middle East city for its... 

The case for including photovoltaics and biomass into Refit system

By: Leandi Kolver     26th June 2009 In March, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) announced and approved the landmark renewable-energy feed-in-tariff (Refit) guidelines, which included five renewable-energy technologies and drew praise from many ‘green lobbyists’ and potential investors. Wind, small hydropower,... 

The case for including photovoltaics and biomass into South Africa’s feed-in-tariff system

By: Leandi Kolver     26th June 2009 In March, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) announced and approved the landmark renewable energy feed-in tariff (Refit) guidelines, which included five renewable energy technologies, and drew praise from many ‘green lobbyists’ and potential investors. 

Separate tariffs may be required for large- and small-scale PV installations

By: Leandi Kolver     26th June 2009 In order to establish a functioning renewable energy feed-in tariff (Refit) for South Africa, Camco director Jonathan Curren suggests in the Socio-Economic Impacts and Regulatory Framework Requirements for a Solar PV Feed-in Tariff in South Africa study that two feed-in tariffs be established;... 

Levy on nonrenewable electricity to become effective July 1 

By: Christy van der Merwe     25th June 2009 The 2c/kWh tax on electricity generated from non-renewable resources would be implemented starting July 1. The tax, which was first suggested in the 2008 Budget by the Minister of Finance at the time, Trevor Manuel, was initially delayed, but would now come into effect, confirmed National... 

SA targets 400 MW of wind energy within three years 

By: Terence Creamer     23rd June 2009 South Africa would seek to ensure the commissioning of 400 MW of wind power by independent power producers (IPPs) within the next three years, Energy Minister Dipuo Peters said in Parliament on Tuesday. Speaking during her Budget Vote, Peters also revealed that government was working with the... 

East London IDZ eyes renewable energy investments

By: Chanel de Bruyn     22nd June 2009 The East London Industrial Development Zone (ELIDZ) is in the process of trying to identify which sectors of the renewable energy industry it should focus its marketing and investment promotion efforts on. The developers of the industrial park have issued a tender for consultants to undertake a... 

CEF allows more time to bid for Port Elizabeth solar water heater project

By: Chanel de Bruyn     17th June 2009 The Central Energy Fund (CEF) has extended the deadline for interested parties to submit bids for the supply of solar water heaters (SWHs) for the initial phase of a major project roll-out in Port Elizabeth. Interested parties now had until July 13 to tender bids, as certain minor amendments had... 

Emissions from power sector to rise sharply if no measures are taken – Alstom  

By: Esmarie Iannucci     17th June 2009 The power sector’s contribution to global carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions would surge over the next three decades, if no precautionary measures were taken, Alstom director of CO2 Phillippe Paelinck said on Wednesday. Global CO2 emissions were currently at around 30 gigaton a year, with fossil... 

Power rental group has big plans for Africa

By: Leandi Kolver     12th June 2009 The grandson of former UK prime minister and Nobel Prize-winning author Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill recently stepped onto South African soil to open the African hub for power rental and regulation company Aggreko. 

Interest in previously sidelined ocean thermal energy said to be growing

By: Christy van der Merwe     12th June 2009 The search for affordable and clean energy is generating interest in previously sidelined technologies, such as Ocean Thermal Energy (OTE), which South African oceanographer Dr. Eckart Schumann believes could be possible off the northeast coast of South Africa. 

Inga 3 hydro-project to provide 'quite a bit' of power to SA

By: Chanel de Bruyn     5th June 2009 The opportunity for investment and development of hydropower projects in Africa was vast, with only 7% of Africa’s hydropower potential having been exploited, so far, International Hydro Association (IHA) vice-president Dr Terry Moss said on Friday. South Africa had about 1% of installed... 

It’s working, but Joburg’s solar traffic light project to cost R459m 

By: Irma Venter     5th June 2009 It will cost R459-million, or roughly R350 000 an interchange, to provide alternative power solutions, such as solar power, to traffic lights at the 400 pilot interchanges forming part of the Total Energy Solutions project, says Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) operational manager executive... 

Renewable feed-in tariff could include large-scale PV projects, study shows 

By: Christy van der Merwe     2nd June 2009 A study by climate change and sustainable development consultancy Camco has indicated that large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) power projects (over 1 MW) could easily be added to South Africa’s existing renewable energy feed-in tariff (Refit). Admittedly more expensive, the suggested tariff for... 

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. 

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