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Renewable Energy News

Gas company secures onshore petroleum production right

By: Mia Breytenbach     10th November 2017 The Petroleum Agency of South Africa has granted integrated alternative and renewable-energy business Renergen’s Tetra4 subsidiary environmental authorisation for its Free State natural gas development. The authorisation, the processing of which has taken more than two years, with multiple rounds... 

Solar switch flipped at WesBank and FNB’s Fairland campus

By: Anine Kilian     7th November 2017 WesBank and First National Bank’s (FNB’s) 150 000 m2 campus, based in Fairland, Johannesburg, has officially switched on on 7 647 reflective photovoltaic cells across 1 010 parking, helping reduce the campus’s carbon footprint by 2 700 t/y. At peak efficiency, this system can generate 1.99 MW. 

US energy research body aims to increase African impact with focus on energy poverty

By: Terence Creamer     3rd November 2017 Leading US public interest energy and environmental research organisation the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is aiming to increase its relevance and impact in Africa by integrating the problem of energy poverty into its portfolio of research activities. Senior regional manager Barry... 

US energy research body aims to increase African impact with focus on energy poverty
EPRI senior regional manager Barry MacColl

Company completes second sustainable storage project

3rd November 2017 Self-storage solutions company Stor-Age earlier this year installed a complete solar photovoltaic (PV) system for the generation of its three-phase power requirements at its Tokai store in the Western Cape. This is the second store in Stor-Age’s portfolio to be fitted with PV panels, and forms... 

Company completes second sustainable storage project
Photo by Bloomberg
SUSTAINABLE STORAGE Stor-Age aims to create sustainable infrastructure with minimal damage to the environment

Newly inaugurated PV microgrid to supply almost 50% of Robben Island’s electricity

By: Mia Breytenbach     3rd November 2017 Robben Island, a World Heritage Site has gone green with the installation of a R25-million solar energy, lithium-ion battery storage microgrid that will supply almost half of the island’s yearly electricity requirement. The Department of Tourism, together with the appointed engineering,... 

Newly inaugurated PV microgrid to supply almost 50% of Robben Island’s electricity
Photo by Duane Daws
LEON VILJOEN This system makes it the ideal solution, not only for the environment, but also from a business perspective

Solar photovoltaic invention passes two-year milestone

By: Schalk Burger     3rd November 2017 Standalone solar photovoltaic (PV) social enterprise technology SolarTurtle, which provides low-cost energy for remote and unconnected communities, has been profitable and operational for more than two years in various communities, says SolarTurtle inventor, founder and manager James van der... 

Solar photovoltaic invention passes two-year milestone
SOCIAL SOLAR ENTERPRISE The SolarTurtle with its solar panels open

Reforms, business models key to unlocking private sector investment for climate change – IFC

By: Natasha Odendaal     2nd November 2017 Smart policy reforms and innovative business models can unlock the trillions of dollars in private investment that is needed to ensure Africa meets its climate targets as agreed to in the landmark Paris Agreement. The private sector, boasting innovation, the financing and resources, is considered... 

Report outlines vision for a million South African ‘climate jobs’

By: Terence Creamer     2nd November 2017 A new report has been released in an effort to mobilise South Africans behind the vision of creating a million ‘climate jobs’ as part of the country’s response to the threat posed by climate change. Published by the Alternative Information and Development Centre, the 60-page report has been... 

Report outlines vision for a million South African ‘climate jobs’

Loeriesfontein Wind Farm connected to grid

27th October 2017 Loeriesfontein Wind Farm as well as Khobab Wind Farm, both located in the Northern Cape, are now connected to State-owned power utility Eskom’s grid, through Eskom’s Helios substation and the commissioning of wind turbines has started. “We energised the wind farm substations with Eskom... 

Loeriesfontein Wind Farm connected to grid
STATE CONNECTIONS Loeriesfontein and Khobab should start supplying electricity to the national grid by early December, in the meantime the developers continue to work closely with Eskom

Conference aims to strengthen cross-border relations

By: Nadine James     27th October 2017 The prospects for wind power within and beyond the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) will be discussed at this year’s Windaba conference and exhibition, exploring opportunities outside South Africa’s borders, and consider ways of establishing cross-border... 

Conference aims to strengthen cross-border relations
ANSWERS IN THE WIND The Windaba programme has been designed to be relevant regardless of whether the mid-term outlook is good or uncertain

Proper lubrication directly correlates with safety

27th October 2017 Lubrication can have a big impact on the safety of wind turbine operations by reducing operational safety risk at an operation during equipment servicing and maintenance, says oil company ExxonMobil Europe, Africa and Middle East (EAME) SHC brand adviser Rainer Lange. He explains that, inspecting... 

Proper lubrication directly correlates  with safety
Photo by Bloomberg
GREASE THE SKIDS Reducing human-machine interaction requires having a robust lubrication programme that prevents unnecessary downtime and extends the service intervals of wind turbine equipment

Rotor blade manufacturing facility officially opens in Tangier

27th October 2017 Wind turbine components manufacturer Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) officially inaugurated its new rotor blade factory in Tangier, Morocco, earlier this month, at an event chaired by Moroccan Minister of Industry, Investment, Trade and Digital Economy, Moulay Hafid El Alamy, and Siemens... 

Wind energy sector still attractive to investors

By: Nadine James     27th October 2017 Shorter fabrication time, lower costs for parts, and increased repeatability and uniformity have led to impressive improvements in the wind energy sector, says multidisciplinary engineering consultancy WSP Africa power director Dinesh Buldoo. “For instance, there is significant focus on advanced... 

Wind energy sector still attractive to investors
DINESH BULDOO WSP Africa states that several wind projects have progressed through the planning pipeline, and the industry continues to generate significant investor and developer interest

Wind training facility increases course offering

By: Nadine James     27th October 2017 Accredited wind energy training facility the South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre (SARETEC) has become a Global Wind Organisation- (GWO-) certified training facility, and can now offer the GWO Basic Safety Training (BST) and Basic Technical Training (BTT) qualifications to wind... 

Wind training  facility increases course offering
NAIM RASSOOL The formal wind turbine service technician qualification programme is offered every six months

New initiative to be launched at tenth Africa Energy Indaba

By: Simone Liedtke     24th October 2017 In the run-up to the tenth yearly Africa Energy Indaba (AEI) in February, the South African Electrotechnical Export Council (SAEEC) on Tuesday announced that it would launch its African Energy Consultants initiative at the event. The SAAEC, which is a partner of the AEI Trade Association that... 

Hydro-economics: Egypt, Ethiopia and the Nile

By: News24Wire      23rd October 2017 Water ministers from Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia have gathered last week to discuss how Africa's largest hydroelectric dam will affect water distribution and access to the Nile. The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is 60% complete and has yet to go into operation. The $4.8-billion megaproject... 

Robben Island inaugurates R25m microgrid

By: Mia Breytenbach     20th October 2017 Robben Island, a World Heritage Site has gone green with the installation of a R25-million solar energy, lithium-ion battery storage microgrid that will supply almost half of the island’s yearly electricity requirement. The Department of Tourism, together with the appointed engineering,... 

Robben Island inaugurates R25m microgrid

IDC will invest in infrastructure that unlocks industrialisation

By: Keith Campbell     20th October 2017 The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), South Africa’s development finance institution which exists to fund entrepreneurs and projects in the industrial sector, also seeks to use investments in infrastructure to free up industrial development opportunities. This was highlighted by IDC... 

Local gas company trials diesel dual-fuel kits on long-haul trucks

By: Mia Breytenbach     20th October 2017 As fleet operators increasingly aim to enhance fuel efficiency and reduce costs, natural gas company Tetra4, a subsidiary of JSE-listed energy company Renergen, has started trialling diesel dual-fuel (DDF) kits on two European brands of trucks to establish the advantages of natural gas as a fuel... 

Local gas company trials diesel dual-fuel kits on long-haul trucks
SAVINGS PURSUIT Indicative results can play a role in the development of an alternative cost-saving methodology for fleet owners and in pursuing and encouraging fleet optimisation

‘Absolutely no need' for nuclear, Dames says in State-capture testimony

By: Kim Cloete     18th October 2017 Former Eskom CEO Brian Dames has revealed that he faced a breakdown in communication between the board and management, as well as death threats during his time at the state utility.  He has also told Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises that there is "absolutely no need" for... 

‘Absolutely no need' for nuclear, Dames says in State-capture testimony
Former Eskom CEO Brian Dames

Evidence of blatant corruption at Eskom unpacked at Parliament’s inquiry into State capture

By: Kim Cloete     17th October 2017 Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises has kicked off its inquiry into alleged State capture with a report revealing “overwhelming evidence of grand corruption”, governance failure and a stream of irregularities at Eskom, South Africa’s largest State-owned entity. Research... 

Evidence of blatant corruption at Eskom unpacked at Parliament’s inquiry into State capture
Research professor Anton Eberhard

Malmström raises EU’s concern over South Africa's stance towards renewables IPPs

By: Terence Creamer     17th October 2017 European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström confirmed on Tuesday that she had communicated the European Union’s (EU’s) unhappiness over Eskom’s refusal to enter into contracts with renewable-energy independent power producers (IPPs), some of which are European, directly with the South... 

Malmström raises EU’s concern over South Africa's stance towards renewables IPPs

Sending right economic signals key to integration of distributed energy resources

By: Terence Creamer     16th October 2017 The transition from centralised electricity systems to ones that increasingly comprise both large-scale centralised resources and distributed energy resources (DERs) is under way globally. However, to successfully manage the shift will depend substantially on sending the right economic signals, a... 

 Sending right economic signals key to integration of distributed energy resources

Warning that Cape Town's water outages could cause solar water geysers to 'explode'

By: News24Wire      13th October 2017 Water outages to preselected suburbs by the City of Cape Town could lead to solar water geysers "exploding", an electrical and electronic engineer warned on Thursday. The City on Monday announced that Phase One of its Critical Water Shortages Disaster Plan came into effect which would cause water... 

Italian manufacturer remains committed to quality

By: Robyn Wilkinson     13th October 2017 Despite growing competition in the South African geyser market and the generally depressed economic state of the country, global thermic comfort solutions provider Ariston Thermo Group has continued to achieve constant growth in the local market because of its high-quality products, says Ariston... 

Italian manufacturer remains committed  to quality
ENERGY EFFICIENT SOLUTIONS Heat Tech products are gaining popularity in South Africa owing to their reliability

Pan-European bank celebrates 45 years in SA

By: Robyn Wilkinson     13th October 2017 Pan-European banking and financial services provider UniCredit will celebrate 45 years of successful service in South Africa this year, having provided support for European companies entering African markets from its Johannesburg-based representative office since 1972. 

Pan-European bank  celebrates 45 years in SA
FAR-REACHING NETWORK Headquartered in Milan, UniCredit has a unique Pan-European network that provides expertise to 25-million clients globally

SA weighs market opportunities as utility-scale battery storage prospects improve

By: Mia Breytenbach     13th October 2017 Following the release of an energy storage techno-economic study ‘The South Africa Energy Storage Technology and Market Assessment’, advocating that South Africa requires market preparation to take advantage of growth opportunities in the stationary and mobility value chains of energy storage,... 

SA weighs market opportunities as utility-scale  battery storage prospects improve

Chamber helps Italian companies prosper in S Africa

By: Robyn Wilkinson     13th October 2017 Networking events and exhibitions are integral to fostering partnerships between Italian and South African companies, says Italian-South African Chamber of Trade and Industries secretary general Mariagrazia Biancospino. 

SA black consumer body urges regulator to reject Eskom’s tariff hike application

By: African News Agency      11th October 2017 The National Black Consumer Council (NBCC) on Wednesday said that it opposed Eskom’s proposed application for a 20% electricity tariff increase next year. TheNBCC urged the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to reject the troubled power utility’s application and rather grant it “a... 

Black Business Council says Eskom CEO musical chairs doesn’t inspire confidence 

By: African News Agency      9th October 2017 The Black Business Council (BBC) said on Monday that it was concerned by the sudden change of leadership at State-owned power utility Eskom, saying that government must give the enterprise some space and not meddle in its affairs. This comes after Eskom last week appointed its chief information... 

Minister offers snapshot of renewables generation

By: Terence Creamer     6th October 2017 Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi reports that, as at the end of July, the combined installed generation capacity of renewable-energy independent power producers (IPPs) stood at more than 3 200 MW across 58 sites. In a reply to a Parliamentary question posed by Economic Freedom Fighters MP... 

Minister offers snapshot of renewables generation

Opinion: South Africa’s coal mining sector could shrink by 46% 

6th October 2017 In this opinion article, independent economic risk consultant Rob Jeffrey argues that the mining industry and coal industry need to fight for their very future otherwise all is lost. Few people realise that future economic, political and social prosperity are at currently stake. Decisions made in... 

Opinion: South Africa’s coal mining sector could shrink by 46%
Rob Jeffrey

China pumps supplier to support SA business partners

6th October 2017 China-based heat pump supplier PHNIX announced that it will deploy more market resources to support business partners in South Africa, most specifically to new water heater distributors. 

China pumps  supplier to support  SA business partners
ALLROUND EFFICIENCY PHNIX’s water heat pump applications have constant hot water volumes, and are energy and cost-efficient

Innovative system helps control wastewater pumping

6th October 2017 Pumps and valves producer KSB Pumps and Valves has introduced the PumpDrive variable speed system, for the effective and controlled pumping of waste water. The system has been designed specifically to overcome problems related to the pumping of waste water. Three innovative functions have been... 

Innovative system  helps control wastewater pumping
INDUSTRY PLATFORM The annual Agritech Expo in Zambia is an opportunity for industry stakeholders and consumers to communicate and find solutions

Eaton aiming to grow share in African utility market

By: Schalk Burger     6th October 2017 Electrical components and systems company Eaton aims to grow in the utility, commercial buildings and mining sectors in Africa by replicating the success of its power quality business, says Eaton Africa Sales Director Malvin Naicker. Eaton is focused on providing high-quality technical support... 

Eaton aiming to grow share in African utility market
MOBILE MODEL Devan Reddy, Arlind Mucaku, Malvin Naicker, Sumaya Abdool and Pieter van den Berg in front of the mobile truck with Eaton products and CPD lectures

Public hearings into Atlantis SEZ set for next week

By: Schalk Burger     4th October 2017 The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism will host a public hearing session on the designation of the Atlantis Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for Green Technologies on Wednesday next week. The session will take place in Protea... 

Electricity industry approaching ‘breaking point’, City Power warns 

By: Terence Creamer     3rd October 2017 Johannesburg’s electricity utility City Power is warning that the current structure of South Africa’s electricity sector is unsustainable and that, in the absence of a coherent national policy, the sector is approaching “breaking point”. Demand- and supply-side manager Paul Vermeulen says that... 

Electricity industry approaching ‘breaking point’, City Power warns

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