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Renewable Energy News

eThekwini municipality launches ‘first of 
a kind’ energy office

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     13th February 2009 An energy office, said to be the first of its kind in the South Africa was launched by the eThekwini municipality last week, in an attempt to achieve a sustainable future for businesses and residents of the city. 

Africa has the potential to be one of the world’s biggest consumers of renewable energy 

By: Jonathan Faurie     6th February 2009 Africa’s potential to be one of the biggest consumers of renewable energy will be one of the topics to be discussed at the forthcoming International Solar Energy Society (ISES) Solar World Congress. 

Big climate change economy likely to emerge as world seeks low-carbon future

By: Leandi Kolver     6th February 2009 If global greenhouse-gas (GHG) emission reduction opportunities are pursued to their full potential, from €200-billion to €350-billion would be spent annually on these initiatives by 2030, according to global management consulting firm McKinsey & Co. 

Sub-Saharan African firms show willingness 
to adopt green-building techniques

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     6th February 2009 Firms in sub-Saharan Africa are rapidly adopting green building, and as this trend becomes increasingly pervasive, it has the potential to help spur future industry growth throughout the region, reports US construction market analysis company McGraw-Hill Construction.  

‘Proposed renewable tariffs too low to entice investors’ 

By: Terence Creamer     5th February 2009 Potential renewable-energy investors and clean-energy lobby groups argued overwhelmingly on Thursday that South Africa’s proposed renewable energy feed-in tariffs (Refit) were parsimonious and would be insufficient to stimulate significant levels of investment into the nascent industry. In... 

F&S sees room for solar energy growth in SA  

By: Creamer Media Reporter      3rd February 2009 The recently -announced R60-million support for renewable energy from the Danish government should open up investment opportunities in South Africa’s solar energy market. The consultancy noted that while the potential for solar in Africa was quite significant, the uptake of technologies had... 

Will proposed feed-in tariffs be sufficient to kick-start new-energy economy? 

By: Jonathan Faurie     30th January 2009 The contemporary energy challenge is probably best defined as discovering and developing the technical solutions that can ensure more and affordable energy, while at the same time reducing the environmental impact of the energy system. This implies a new energy supply mix that seeks to reduce... 

Will proposed feed-in tariffs be sufficient to kick-start South Africa’s new-energy economy? 

By: Jonathan Faurie     30th January 2009 The contemporary energy challenge is probably best defined as discovering and developing the technical solutions that can ensure more and affordable energy, while at the same time reducing the environmental impact of the energy system. 

Declining oil reserves and 
political risk to drive 
alternative energy

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     30th January 2009 The share of alternative energies in the worldwide energy supply is expected to grow significantly in the future, primarily driven by the political risk of relying on declining oil reserves and concerns about global warming, inspiring many countries to enact renewable energy standards, forecasts... 

Abu Dhabi announces 7% renewable 
energy commitment by 2020

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     30th January 2009 The government of Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) says it will shortly publish a comprehensive energy policy, underpinned by a commitment that, by 2020, renewable energy will account for 7% of the emirate’s total power generation capacity. 

Zwelakhe Sisulu extends business repertoire to solar energy

By: Terence Creamer     27th January 2009 Work is under way on the development of a R40-million manufacturing facility in the Eastern Cape, which will reportedly be able to produce up to 30 000 solar water heaters yearly for the power-stressed South African market. The investment, known as Matla Solar Power, is being supported by black... 

Denmark Minister sees significant potential for ‘green’ energy growth  

By: Christy van der Merwe     23rd January 2009 Cutting energy costs and developing cleaner, more efficient solutions will be the industrial revolution of the twenty-first century, emphasised Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moller at a wind energy seminar in Pretoria on Friday. He noted that by redirecting economies to low carbon solutions,... 

Denmark injects R60m into SA renewable energy projects  

By: Christy van der Merwe     23rd January 2009 South Africa’s Minister of Minerals and Energy, Buyelwa Sonjica, on Friday announced that the Royal Danish government has given R60-million to the metropolitan areas of South African local government for renewable energy projects. Speaking at a Denmark and South Africa wind energy seminar in... 

Solar-cell method punted as new-energy breakthrough

By: Guy Copans     23rd January 2009 A simple solar-cell method being developed in the UK could provide as much electricity as that produced by 50 wind turbine farms.  

US company invests R2,3m into local solar company

By: Guy Copans     23rd January 2009 New York-based energy investment company E+Co has invested R2,3-million into Johannesburg-based solar power specialist Home Comfort. 

US council urges global collaboration to advance green building cause

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     23rd January 2009 There is an urgent need to advance green building globally, with the aim of preventing the significant deterioration of ecological conditions worldwide, says the US Green Building Council (USGBC). This non-profit organisation dedicated to sustainable building design and construction, reports... 

Eskom delays R19bn pumped-storage scheme

By: Chanel de Bruyn     19th January 2009 State-owned Eskom has delayed the construction of its R19-billion 1 520-MW Tubatse pumped-storage scheme, near Roossenekal, in Limpopo province, owing to a slowdown in the growth of demand for electricity, spokesperson Fani Zulu confirmed on Monday. He explained that the utility was working on... 

South Africa pushes ahead with carbon dioxide storage Atlas project, but scepticism persists

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     16th January 2009 South Africa is a carbon-intensive nation, with 89% of the country's primary energy needs derived from fossil fuels. Given the increasingly intensive global focus on climate change, there is a growing realisation that South Africa is going to need to adopt a lower-carbon energy trajectory if it... 

Energy efficiency agency seeks to boost solar roll-out  

By: Christy van der Merwe     9th January 2009 South Africa’s National Energy Efficiency Agency (NEEA) would continue its installation of solar traffic lights throughout the country in 2009, and has the ambition to see 400 critical intersections in Johannesburg, powered independently of the Eskom electricity grid. “In Johannesburg, we are... 

Bethlehem hydropower project commissioning delayed to March

By: Mariaan Webb     17th December 2008 The commissioning of a 7-MW hydroelectric plant near Bethlehem, in the Free State, has been delayed to next year, and the project’s price tag is also now almost 30% higher. Project energy development company NuPlanet MD Anton-Louis Olivier said on Wednesday that the first 3-MW unit at the Sol... 

EIB invest €40m in SA solar-technology production facility  

By: Esmarie Iannucci     12th December 2008 The establishment of a facility to produce super-thin solar-panels in the Western Cape, received a major boost on Friday, when the European Investment Bank (EIB) announced that it had agreed to invest €40-million in the plant. The facility would be built in Paarl and would produce thin-film... 

SA, Sweden in clean-energy cooperation move

By: Jonathan Faurie     12th December 2008 The Swedish Trade Council has facilitated an open forum discussion between the South African government and the Swedish government to establish a clean energy culture in South Africa. 

The electric car prepares for a fresh onslaught as world seeks to diversify away from oil 

By: Irma Venter     12th December 2008 The days of coughing up R500 at the filling station before queueing off to work in your double-cab pick-up may be getting fewer. Instead, you may find yourself kissing the kids good-bye, unplugging the car from the wall socket, and winding your way to the office in a nimble two-seater. 

Eskom’s civils award may signal return to a ‘buyers market’

By: Terence Creamer     9th December 2008 In a possible signal of a shift from a suppliers to a buyers market, State power utility Eskom has placed its R3-billion main civil-works contract for its new R100-billion Kusile power station with a consortium comprising four JSE-listed contractors, including Basil Read, Group Five Civil... 

Actis still pursuing $1bn infrastructure fund

By: Terence Creamer     1st December 2008 Private equity group Actis remained confident of achieving “first close” on what could emerge to become a $1-billion emerging-market infrastructure fund by the end of the first quarter of 2009, the group’s head for Africa Peter Schmid said on Monday. Speaking at a briefing held to announce the... 

Private sector cannot operate in a policy vacuum, energy champion warns 

By: Leandi Kolver     28th November 2008 South Africa was lagging behind in terms of using modern energy solutions, said South African National Energy Association chairperson Brian Statham at a conference on energy in Johannesburg recently. 

SA students urged to enter global engineering competition

By: Irma Venter     28th November 2008 Engineering students from South African universities are invited to enter the largest worldwide engineering contest, the Mondialogo Engineering Award, also dubbed the ‘Engineer’s Oscar’.  

DME sifts through more than 100 renewable project proposals 

By: Terence Creamer     25th November 2008 The South African government has received more than 100 renewable-energy project proposals, involving as much as 5 000 MW of potential generation capacity, in response to its recent call for expressions of interest (EOI) that closed on October 12. The Department of Minerals and Energy (DME),... 

IDC sticks to R60bn approval target, but shifts attention from resources to energy

By: Terence Creamer     21st November 2008 South Africa’s State-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has decided not to pull back from its stated goal of approving at least R60-billion worth of new investments over the next five years to 2012/13, despite an increasingly violent global financial storm that will lead to recession... 

Microalgae could offer promising fuel alternative

By: Leandi Kolver     14th November 2008 Microalgae research can now be applied to technologies to alleviate pollution caused by CO2 emissions, breakdown of waste products and production of essential products such as proteins, vitamins and lipids for biodiesel fuels, say Dheepak Maharajh and Raj Lalloo in a research paper produced for... 

Holistic model needed to deal with Africa’s energy shortfalls

By: Guy Copans     14th November 2008 In light of the government’s long-term goal of establishing a sustainable renewable energy industry, the local manufacture of related renewable energy technologies needs to be encouraged to limit the cost of imported equipment, to benefit from economies of scale, and to create employment... 

The virtues of dye solar cells expounded

By: Guy Copans     14th November 2008 Using dye-adsorbed, large-band gap metal oxide materials, such as titanium dioxide (TiO 2) to absorb solar light is an attractive and cheaper alternative to silicon-based photovoltaic (PV) cells for the conversion of solar light into electrical energy. 

REEEP has €4,3m available for renewable energy projects, calls for proposals

12th November 2008 Vienna-based Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP) has made a call for project proposals supporting the development of markets for renewable energy and energy efficiency - with more than €4,3-million available for projects in least developed countries and emerging market... 

W Cape sets up CDM office in Cape Town 

By: Christy van der Merwe     7th November 2008 The Western Cape provincial government has established a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) office in Cape Town, and is set to work with one of the largest CDM projects in the public transport sector, worth some€60-million, in collaboration with the Italian government. The CDM office was working... 

DME, DBSA create fund to boost renewable energy investments 

By: Christy van der Merwe     7th November 2008 The Department of Minerals and Energy (DME), together with the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), has established a renewable energy market transformation programme (REMT) to assist investors in overcoming some of the obstacles and barriers preventing growth in the renewable energy... 

Study shows 15% renewable energy target financially viable 

By: Christy van der Merwe     6th November 2008 Reaching a 15% renewable energy target by 2020 would not cost the earth, and in fact, it would be only slightly more expensive (about 15% more) than the average energy costs baseline in 2020, said University of Cape Town researcher Dr Andrew Marquard. Proven, and rapidly developing technologies... 

India, Brazil, South Africa turn their attention to renewables

By: Keith Campbell     31st October 2008 The three countries of the Ibsa Dialogue Forum – India, Brazil, and South Africa – have decided to focus their attention of their cooperation in renewable energy on biofuels, wind power, and remote electrification mainly through the use of solar technologies. 

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