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Renewable Energy News

Absa Capital, Barclays arrange debt facility for $867m Uganda hydropower project

By: Olivia Soraya Spadavecchia     17th January 2008 South African investment bank Absa Capital said on Thursday that it had teamed up with its global affiliate, Barclays, to arrange for the commercial debt facility for a $867-million hydropower project in Uganda. 

The Bali roadmap a ‘real opportunity' to fight climate change

By: Christy van der Merwe     8th January 2008 Concerns over what would happen post-2012 when the Kyoto Protocol expires have been somewhat laid to rest after the United Nations climate change conference in Bali late last year launched a two-year negotiation phase, with clear agenda, to establish a new framework replacing the Kyoto protocol... 

Coal and nuclear still dominate, but Eskom blowing hotter on large-scale wind-energy projects

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     14th December 2007 State power utility Eskom is often criticised for its seeming unwillingness to embrace alternative and renewable energy platforms in seeking ways to align its production to fast increasing demand. There is also some that it plans to reduce its carbon footprint are so heavily geared towards... 

Eskom blowing hotter on large-scale wind-energy prospects

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     13th December 2007 State power utility Eskom is often criticised for its seeming unwillingness to embrace alternative and renewable energy platforms in seeking ways to align its production with fast-increasing demand. There is also some concern that its plans to reduce its carbon footprint are heavily geared... 

Govt teams up with private firm to develop new methane projects

By: Matthew Hill     13th December 2007 Coal-bed methane firm GascoSA, which is exploring for the gas in three South African provinces, could be in commercial methane production in 18 months, spending $169-million, or R1,1-billion, by the end of that period, it said on Thursday.  

Local renewable energy firm moves into African markets

By: Olivia Soraya Spadavecchia     11th December 2007 Africa-focused Okhela Renewable Energy (Orec) CEO Jacob Mabena said that the company planned to commission its prototype 300 kV wind turbine by May next year. 

Maize excluded from SA biofuels plan, production target scaled back 

By: Olivia Soraya Spadavecchia     6th December 2007 The use of maize will be excluded in the production of biofuels, the Department of Minerals and Energy confirmed on Thursday with the release of its final biofuels industrial strategy. Its exclusion comes amid concerns over food security and fears of price increases, Minister Buyelwa Sonjica... 

Cabinet OKs biofuels strategy, industry fears maize may be excluded as feedstock

By: Olivia Soraya Spadavecchia     5th December 2007 The South Africa's Cabinet on Wednesday approved the country's biofuels strategy, and while details were still to be released, concerns have been raised about the possibility that the government might exclude maize as a feedstock for production. The Department of Minerals and Energy... 

SA launches two nanotechnology innovation centres

By: Christy van der Merwe     26th November 2007 A milestone in the Department of Science and Technology's (DST) nanotechnology strategy was reached on Monday, as two nanotechnology innovation centres (NIC) were launched at the CSIR in Pretoria, aiming to make science work for society. 

Second multibillion-rand pumped storage power scheme set for approval

By: Terence Creamer     16th November 2007 State power utility Eskom has received all the necessary approvals, including an environmental record of decision, to proceed with a second multibillion rand pumped-storage scheme, dubbed 'Project Lima', this time in Limpopo province. 

Energy efficiency agency pushes for yet more solar

By: Christy van der Merwe     16th November 2007 The National Energy Efficiency Agency (NEEA) hopes to roll out a further 100 solar-operated traffic-light intersections through the 20 major Metropolitan areas in South Africa, NEEA operations manager Barry Bredenkamp told Engineering News Online. 

Illovo to invest in new R1,4bn Mali mill, cogeneration plant

By: Christy van der Merwe     14th November 2007 Sugar producer Illovo, in partnership with the Government of Mali, on Wednesday announced the construction of a new factory complex in Mali, worth an estimated R1,4-billion. 

African tea and sugar industries to get hydro, cogeneration plants

By: Matthew Hill     9th November 2007 Green financial mechanism the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the UN Environment Programme (Unep) have joined forces to deliver small-scale hydropower projects and cogeneration power projects to East African states. The two initiatives aimed to first deliver 10 MW of hydropower to the tea... 

Govt delays hamper biofuels investment

By: Christy van der Merwe     7th November 2007 Delays in government decisions regarding the South African biofuels strategy and market have dampened investments and will continue to hamper growth in the short term, growth consulting company Frost & Sullivan said on Wednesday. The company reported that the South African biofuels market could... 

Energy efficiency agency pushes for more solar traffic lights

By: Christy van der Merwe     6th November 2007 The National Energy Efficiency Agency (NEEA) hoped to roll out a further 100 solar operated traffic light intersections through the 20 major Metropolitan areas in South Africa, NEEA operations manager Barry Bredenkamp told Engineering News Online on Tuesday. "Following the phenomenal success of... 

Eskom receives 5 000 MW in cogeneration offers

By: Terence Creamer     5th November 2007 South African power utility Eskom has received expressions of interests for more than 100 cogeneration projects, which, if implemented, could add 5 000 MW to South Africa's energy mix. It has also emerged that these proposed projects exclude discussions for a material cogeneration opportunity... 

Construction on 'green-designed' Cape Town hotel to start in ‘08

By: Christy van der Merwe     2nd November 2007 Property development company Realcor Cape will start construction on an environmentally sensitively planned five-star hotel in Blouberg, near Cape Town, in March 2008. 

Cape biogas-to-electricity project up and running

By: Christy van der Merwe     2nd November 2007 South Africa’s first independent power plant, funded by carbon credits generated under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol, was launched at the State-owned PetroSA's gas-to-liquids refinery near Mossel Bay in October. 

SA business still hasn't fully woken up to the real opportunities in greenhouse-gas abatement

By: Christy van der Merwe     19th October 2007 Whether you believe that carbon dioxide-induced climate change is a real threat or not, is irrelevant. The fact is that the issue is high on the agenda of politicians and those responsible for drawing up regulation, which means the drive to reduce emissions will affect you and your business. 

40 sun-powered cars to race from Cape Town to Joburg

By: Irma Venter     19th October 2007 Stand aside Lewis Hamilton - the future of motor racing is green. 

India, SA, Brazil agree on nuclear, clean energy cooperation

By: Mariaan Webb     18th October 2007 South Africa, and two of its trade partners, India and Brazil, joined hands in the promotion of nuclear energy, the use of clean energy technologies, such as clean coal and other renewables, and the endorsement of climate change mitigation. The three countries vowed on Wednesday to work together... 

SA, Namibia in talks to build hydropower station

By: Mariaan Webb     12th October 2007 South Africa and Namibia may build a 30-MW hydro-electrical power station on the Orange river, to supply electricity into the southern parts of the neighbouring country. South Africa's Department of Minerals and Energy chief director for electricity, Ompi Aphane, said on Friday that initial... 

Cape Town intersection hosts SA's first solar-powered traffic light 

By: Christy van der Merwe     12th October 2007 Nonfunctioning traffic lights, caused by power cuts, are a motorist's nightmare and cause untold delays, hence the enthusiasm in Cape Town, where the first solar-powered traffic light in South Africa is now functioning. 

SA will 'likely' enforce emissions-reduction targets in future

By: Christy van der Merwe     10th October 2007 National regulation will probably enforce legal emission reduction targets in the future. 

Hydrogen technology R&D spurred by demand for clean energy

By: Mariaan Webb     9th October 2007 Various developments in the hydrogen production and storage technologies could reach commercial stage and enter the market in a reasonably short time, as the need to identify alternate and self-sustaining energy sources become more pressing. 

The R1-trillion power imponderable

By: Terence Creamer     5th October 2007 There is arguably only one certainty in electricity-demand forecasting and that is it is sure to be wrong. This statement, made again recently by Eskom CEO Jacob Maroga, is indicative of the dilemma faced not only by the utility, but by anyone involved in the current debate about future security... 

Twin virtues of low emissions and liberation of uneconomic resources underpin underground coal gasification push

By: Dennis Ndaba     5th October 2007 South Africa is endowed with 32-billion tons of coal reserves, which are counted as economically extractable, and a further 160-billion tons of coal resources, which are judged uneconomic. Until fairly recently, there was little prospect of exploiting this enormous pent-up energy potential. 

Firm believes SABS seal positions it well for big solar roll-out

By: Christy van der Merwe     5th October 2007 Affirming its place in the expanding solar water heater market, Solahart Southern Africa has become the first solar water heater in Africa to get South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) certification. 

South Africa gets set to subsidise renewable-energy schemes 

By: Mariaan Webb     5th October 2007 The South African government has set up a subsidy and finance office to guide funding for renewable energy technologies, Minerals and Energy Minister Buyelwa Sonjica says. 

Merrill Lynch launches biofuels indices

1st October 2007 Financial management and advisory firm Merrill Lynch on Monday introduced two indices designed to offer investors exposure to the fast-growing biofuels market. 

The other inconvenient truth

By: Terence Creamer     28th September 2007 Over the last decade or so, it has become increasingly implausible to deny the growing body of science showing that the continued and growing flow of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere is starting to alter the Earth's climate. 

Union says renewable energy sector offers 'huge' employment potential

By: Mariaan Webb     27th September 2007 The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has called upon the government to step up efforts to examine the number of employment opportunities that could be generated by a viable renewable energy industry in South Africa. 

Eskom keeps options open to raise capacity at W Coast wind farm

By: Matthew Hill     26th September 2007 Africa�s biggest electricity supplier, Eskom, could double the size of the wind farm it was building on the West Coast of South Africa, to 200 MW, and has included this in its environmental application. 

SA plans to subsidise renewable energy schemes 

By: Mariaan Webb     25th September 2007 The South African government has set up a subsidy and finance office to guide funding for renewable energy technologies, Minerals and Energy Minister Buyelwa Sonjica said on Tuesday. Speaking at an energy summit in Johannesburg, she said that South Africa would also establish a new certification... 

Eskom may start building pilot 100-MW wind farm next year 

12th September 2007 State power utility Eskom could start building a 100-MW wind power plant, on the West Coast of South Africa, as early as mid-2008, to be operational by the beginning of 2010, a company spokesperson said on Wednesday. Eskom communications project manager for new build Annamarie Murray said that... 

Bethlehem hydro project commissioning delayed to May 2008

By: Mariaan Webb     7th September 2007 The completion of South Africa's first commercial independent hydropower project, the Bethlehem hydro scheme, in the Free State, has been delayed by about three months, the project-development company said on Friday. Bethlehem Hydro and NuPlanet MD Anton-Louis Olivier said that the full... 

Standards certainty crucial to South Africa saving 8 000 MW by 2025

By: Terence Creamer     7th September 2007 Perhaps the only positive to emerge from South Africa's current tight electricity-supply challenge, which is set to persist until at least 2012, is the serious effort that is now being given to energy efficiency and demand-side management (DSM) initiatives. 

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