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Renewable Energy News

US launches partnership with African electricity company

By: African News Agency      5th April 2017 The US Department of State, in partnership with the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), officially launched the African Utility Power Sector Exchange (AUPSE) on Tuesday with a summit in Washington, DC, attended by African and US utility CEOs. The summit was opened by acting Special Envoy and... 

Hulisani signs R26.5m agreement to earn a stake in Rustmo1 Solar Farm

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     3rd April 2017 JSE-listed Hulisani has entered into a R26.5-million share sale agreement with Pravin Semnarayan and Gareth Warner to acquire 100% of the issued ordinary shares in holding company Momentous Technologies. Momentous is currently a 15% shareholder of Rustmo1 Solar Farm (RF) – a 7 MW solar... 

Index shows South Africa is wasting its renewable energy potential

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     3rd April 2017 Although South Africa is the country with the most potential “by far” in terms of its renewable energy programmes, it is stuck in a the “(Fitfully) Waking Giant” category, financial services provider Fieldstone Africa said in its first renewables index for the year. When the Fieldstone Africa... 

Economics now key driver of commercial rooftop solar adoption as supply stabilises - juwi

By: Terence Creamer     3rd April 2017 Renewable energy engineering, procurement and construction services group juwi Renewable Energies expects the commercial solar market in South Africa to undergo a significant shift in the coming months as independent power producers (IPPs) begin playing a more prominent role. CEO Greg Austin says... 

Economics now key driver of commercial rooftop solar adoption as supply stabilises - juwi
The rooftop solar photovoltaic facility at Growthpoint’s Brooklyn Mall

Biomass solution brings new energy to degraded land

By: Dylan Slater     31st March 2017 A case study into an opportunity for renewable energy development in conjunction with community upliftment, has led to a proposal for biomass production and a 2 MW bio-energy power plant to be built in the Merafong local municipality, west of Johannesburg.  

Sustainable industry dispels misconceptions

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     31st March 2017 Contrary to the misconceptions about the paper industry being detrimental to the environment, Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (Pamsa) executive director Jane Molony posits that the sector is “incredibly sustainable” and shows a circular economy in action. Whether made from virgin... 

Sapvia reiterates call for ‘least-cost’ approach as IRP, IEP public comment deadline looms 

By: Natasha Odendaal     30th March 2017 As the deadline for public comment on the draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) and Integrated Energy Plan (IEP) 2016 approaches, the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (Sapvia) has reiterated its call for the use of the “least-cost” approach in South Africa’s future energy mix. The... 

Universal electrification a necessity for Africa   

By: Anine Kilian     29th March 2017 The African continent must ensure universal access to electricity to resolve energy poverty, Energy Security Services Africa head Gareth Gregory said on Wednesday. Addressing a global audience at the Power & Electricity World Africa 2017 conference, he noted that it was unacceptable that the vast... 

Universal electrification a necessity for Africa
Energy Security Services Africa MD Gareth Gregory talks about the need for Africa to resolve its energy poverty. Video and editing: Nicholas Boyd

NUM goes to war over proposed Eskom power station closures

By: Natasha Odendaal     29th March 2017 The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) on Wednesday said it was planning mass protest action over State-owned power utility Eskom’s decision to mothball five power stations to make room for independent power producers (IPPs). In an effort to “save” Eskom from bankruptcy and privatisation, as... 

Sarec calls on public to comment on IRP2016 ahead of Friday’s deadline

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     29th March 2017 The South African Renewable Energy Council (Sarec) on Wednesday urged South Africans to participate in the public comment process on South Africa’s draft Integrated Resources Plan 2016 (IRP2016) update, which closes on March 31. It noted that the public participation process is an “ideal... 

Liquid metal battery inventor questions lithium-ion as grid-scale storage solution 

By: Terence Creamer     29th March 2017 Liquid metal battery inventor Professor Donald Sadoway, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, believes the technology has the potential to provide the “missing piece” in an electricity market that relies on “redundancy and overcapacity” to balance supply and demand – a feature that will... 

Liquid metal battery inventor questions lithium-ion as grid-scale storage solution
Professor Donald Sadoway

Offgrid solar power could save electricity costs for African households

By: Anine Kilian     28th March 2017 Offgrid solar power could help lower the energy costs for 138-million households in Africa that live on less than $2.50 a day and spend about $10-billion a year on energy-related products, including charcoal, candles and kerosene, South African Solar Photovoltaic Committee chairperson Jo Dean... 

Africa not making the most of its solar energy potential  

By: Anine Kilian     28th March 2017 Most African governments are not moving fast enough to progress the uptake of solar energy, with the renewable energy accounting for less than 1% of energy consumed on the continent, Gigawatt Global CEO Welden Turner said on Tuesday. Speaking at Power & Electricity World Africa 2017, in... 

South Africa has real bio-energy potential 

By: Keith Campbell     24th March 2017 "South Africa definitely has exploitable bio-energy potential," stated Council for Scientific and Industrial Research principal engineer Crescent Mushwana at the launch of the South Africa Bio-energy Atlas in Pretoria on Friday. "Bio-energy is feasible from organic waste, residues from forestry... 

New Bio-energy Atlas will help government implement NDP – Pandor

By: Keith Campbell     24th March 2017 The South Africa Bio-Energy Atlas, launched on Friday, will help the government develop and implement its policies. This was pointed out by Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor in her keynote address at the launch ceremony. She highlighted that policies could not be made without data.... 

South African Bio-energy Atlas launched to support bio-energy development

By: Keith Campbell     24th March 2017 The South Africa Bio-energy Atlas, launched in Pretoria on Friday, will allow the country to identify opportunities for sustainable bio-energy and be able to achieve much more in terms of developing a 'green' economy. This was affirmed by Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor in her... 

Driving home the renewable energy message

By: David Oliveira     24th March 2017 The Energy and Water Skills Education and Training Authority (Ewseta) has unveiled an innovative mobile renewable-energy technology unit, which has been developed with the Durban University of Technology (DUT). Known as energyDRIVE, the unit comprises a custom-built truck that will be used... 

Solar energy may get boost from Africa’s biggest oil exporter 

By: Bloomberg     24th March 2017 Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil exporter, may be about to turn sunward to generate more of its power. Senators in the capital of Abuja are debating an allocation of $30-million to solar projects in this year’s Budget, according to the Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria (REAN). They are... 

Want to sell more wind, solar power? Find corporate buyers

By: Bloomberg     24th March 2017 Contracts to sell electricity directly to corporate users are among the key demand drivers for wind and solar power, while the influence of state mandates wanes, according to a report by Moody’s Investors Service. Multiple factors are spurring corporate power deals, especially from companies that... 

High pressure clean-in-place pump now available

     24th March 2017 Peristaltic hose pump provider Brubin Pumps – a division of pumping solution provider Letaba Pumps – has set the benchmark in developing a solution for easier and better clean-in-place (CIP) pumps, says Brubin GM Hannes Liebenberg. 

High pressure  clean-in-place  pump now available
CLEAN-IN-PROCESS PUMP The Brubin BA Clean-In-Process (CIP) pump has a patent pending designed pump-wheel that will allow the pressing shoes to retract for efficient CIP

Metair sees 7% drop in profit, signs supply agreement with Daimler

By: Irma Venter     23rd March 2017 Manufacturer, distributor and retailer of energy storage solutions and automotive components, Metair, has secured a multiyear supply agreement, from 2018 onwards, for the supply of enhanced flooded start/stop batteries to German car maker Daimler, in Europe, says MD Theo Loock. Speaking in... 

Metair sees 7% drop in profit, signs supply agreement with Daimler

Exosun, Lesedi partner to offer localised solar tracking solutions in South Africa

By: Mia Breytenbach     23rd March 2017 Global supplier of solar tracking solutions for ground-mounted photovoltaic (PV) plants Exosun and South Africa-based engineering, procurement and construction company Lesedi Nuclear Services have entered into a partnership to provide localised solar tracking systems in South Africa. “Lesedi will... 

Wärtsilä supplies 15 MW solar plant in Burkina Faso

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd March 2017 Technology group Wärtsilä has entered into an agreement with independent power producer Eren Renewable Energy’s 90%-owned Essakane Solar, in Burkina Faso, to supply it with a 15 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant. The remaining 10% is owned by Eren’s development partner African Energy... 

EIUG supports Eskom plan for new pricing deals with power-intensive firms 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd March 2017 The Energy Intensive User Group of Southern Africa (EIUG) believes there is policy, legislative and regulatory space to introduce new electricity pricing arrangements to help restart of idle mining and process-industry activities, as well as encourage new investments to absorb Eskom’s surplus,... 

EIUG supports Eskom plan for new pricing deals with power-intensive firms

S&P affirms Eskom rating on ‘extremely high’ likelihood of govt support as liquidity weakens 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd March 2017 S&P Global Ratings has sustained a negative outlook on Eskom after affirming its 'BB-' sub-investment-grade rating this week, pointing to the State-owned electricity utility’s weakening liquidity position as a result of a “lower-than-expected” tariff increase for 2017/18. On February 23, the... 

S&P affirms Eskom rating on ‘extremely high’ likelihood of govt support as liquidity weakens

Power products on display at Solar Show Africa

By: Nadine James     17th March 2017 Global electronics company Omron Electronics will showcase its power-monitoring, power-management and energy-saving products at the Solar Show Africa 2017 – which runs alongside the Power & Electricity World Africa 2017 conference taking place at the Sandton Convention Centre on March 28 and 29.... 

Power products on display at Solar Show Africa
ONE OF A KIND Omron will use this African renewable-energy exhibition to display the only potential induced degradation

Lack of reliable power supply hinders Africa’s growth – trade commission

By: Nadine James     17th March 2017 Despite an uptick in planned power-generation projects, it is still fair to say that Africa lacks reliable power supply, which has prevented the continent’s economies from developing in line with their potential, says Austrian Trade Commission Advantage Austria.  “The effects of the lack of... 

Lack of reliable power supply hinders Africa’s growth – trade commission
JOHANNES BRUNNER There is significant interest in Africa in terms of the opportunities available for companies in renewable-energy and energy-storage

Automation products on display at event

     17th March 2017 Industrial product supplier Magnet’s stand at the Power & Electricity World Africa 2017 conference and exhibition, taking place at the Sandton Convention Centre on March 28 and 29, will highlight the company’s Carlo Gavazzi automation products portfolio.  

Automation products on  display at event
ENERGY METER Carlo Gavazzi energy meters, current transformers and energy-efficiency monitoring solutions will be exhibited at stand J5

Amid challenges, power sector offers massive opportunities

By: Nadine James     17th March 2017 Although the power and electricity sector in Africa faces massive challenges, it also offers massive opportunities, says Power & Electricity World Africa (PEWA) event organiser Terrapinn.  

Amid challenges, power sector offers massive opportunities
MOMENT IN THE SUN Africa’s largest power and electricity event offers innovative, cost-effective means of tackling Africa’s power challenges

Zambia agreement seen paving way for further solar power solutions

By: Dylan Slater     17th March 2017 The government of Zambia last month signed a second mandate with Scaling Solar, an initiative of the World Bank Group, which is helping developing countries procure low-cost, privately financed, solar power.  

Govt’s involvement in promoting energy efficiency needed

     17th March 2017 Government should be more proactive and involved in encouraging energy efficiency, as it lies at the core of sustained economic growth, says the National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa (NCPC-SA). This, along with the statement that industries and businesses must prepare more... 

Govt’s involvement in promoting energy efficiency needed
INDUSTRIAL ENERGY EFFICIENCY WORKSHOP The event held on February 22 focused on challenges of rising energy costs

Microgrid powers Kruger Park lodge resort

     17th March 2017 American battery manufacturer Aquion Energy last month announced the completion of  a newly installed offgrid microgrid at a nature lodge resort in Kruger National Park in South Africa, which consists of a 55 kWh Aquion Aspen battery bank, paired with a 10 kW solar array. Aquion, which... 

Microgrid powers Kruger Park lodge resort
WORTH ITS SALT The saltwater batteries have been sized to comfortably support the lodge's loads during overcast conditions

First continuous hydrothermal liquefaction production plant launched at NWU

By: David Oliveira     17th March 2017 South Africa’s first continuous hydrothermal liquefaction plant was launched at North-West University (NWU) earlier this month, which will result in the production of bio-oils, bio-char, biochemicals and biogas. The plant is one of the outputs of the Department of Science and Technology- and the... 

Dubai’s CSP price cap seen driving technology’s competitiveness 

By: Terence Creamer     16th March 2017 A leading developer of concentrated solar power (CSP) projects in Africa and the Middle East believes the price cap proposed by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) for an upcoming CSP project could add significant impetus to improving the technology’s cost competitiveness, which may... 

Dubai’s CSP price cap seen driving technology’s competitiveness
Photo by Duane Daws
The Bookpoort CSP plant

Eskom initiates talks on triggering government support to cover IPP costs 

By: Terence Creamer     15th March 2017 Eskom has written to the signatories of the Government Support Framework Agreement (GSFA) – which guarantees support for the State-owned utility in meeting its obligation to buy electricity from renewable-energy independent power producers (IPPs) – to discuss a possible triggering of government... 

Eskom initiates talks on triggering government support to cover IPP costs
Photo by Duane Daws
Eskom interim CEO Matshela Koko

Loeriesfontein completes wind turbine installation

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     15th March 2017 Loeriesfontein Wind Farm has completed the installation of its 61 wind turbines, while achieving over 1.25-million hours without a single lost-time incident, on March 1. “This is a hugely significant health and safety construction milestone for one of the country’s largest wind farms, so... 

Economic development a competitive advantage for renewables bidders – juwi

By: Anine Kilian     10th March 2017 Since renewable-energy feed-in tariffs have decreased over the last few years – 35% and 78% for wind and solar respectively since 2008 – project owners are paying more attention to the competitive advantage they gain by focusing on economic development (ED) targets, such as increasing the number... 

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