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Solar News

Policy support needed for development of sustainable alternative energy sources – SAEEC

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th November 2018 Although natural gas is about 60% cleaner than coal in terms of carbon dioxide emissions, it currently contributes only 1.5% of the country’s total primary energy needs. Even through the National Development Plan (NDP) aims to delink economic development from environmental decay and... 

Flexibility to take on ‘unprecedented importance’ as renewables rise 

By: Terence Creamer     13th November 2018 The International Energy Agency (IEA) says that higher shares of variable renewable energy in electricity systems will require a “step change” in the requirement for flexibility, which is the capability to balance electricity supply and demand at all times so as to keep the lights burning. The... 

Flexibility to take on ‘unprecedented importance’ as renewables rise

Electrifying the world no panacea for global warming, IEA says  

By: Bloomberg     13th November 2018 Driving electric cars and scrapping your natural gas-fired boiler won’t make a dent in global carbon emissions, and may even increase pollution levels. Higher electrification may lead to oil demand peaking by 2030, but any reduction in emissions from the likes of electric vehicles will be offset... 

Lazard says ‘inflection point’ reached making new renewables cheaper than existing coal 

By: Terence Creamer     9th November 2018 A new US study comparing the costs of energy from various generation technologies indicates that an “inflection point” has been reached where, in some cases, it is more cost effective to build and operate new renewable-energy projects than to maintain existing conventional generation plants. The... 

Lazard says ‘inflection point’ reached making new renewables cheaper than existing coal

Wartsila wins contract to build two Kenyan solar-power farms

By: Bloomberg     8th November 2018 Wartsila Oyj’s East African unit won two engineering, procurement and construction contracts to develop grid-connected solar farms in Kenya, each with a capacity of 40 megawatts. Construction is expected to begin next year, according to George Oywer, a business development manager at Wartsila... 

Africa poised to be global renewable-energy leader – AfDB president  

By: Terence Creamer     8th November 2018 African Development Bank (AfDB) president Dr Akinwumi Adesina says Africa is poised to become the leading region for renewable-energy globally and has reaffirmed the bank’s support for the ambitious ‘Desert to Power’ programme in the Sahel region. Speaking in Johannesburg at the inaugural Africa... 

Africa poised to be global renewable-energy leader – AfDB president
Photo by Reuters
AfDB president Dr Akinwumi Adesina

Prices for renewable energy likely to drop further, suggests energy expert

By: Kim Cloete     7th November 2018 Prices for renewable energy are likely to continue to drop, while the next utility-scale renewable energy procurements will probably come sooner rather than later, suggests energy expert, Professor Anton Eberhard. “I have no doubt that we will see prices coming down further,” Eberhard told... 

New oil, gas opportunities emerge in Sudan, Niger

By: Kim Cloete     7th November 2018 Some countries in Africa are emerging as potentially exciting players in the oil and gas space – from Sudan, which has emerged out of the clutches of civil war, to Niger, which is rising up as a new producer of petroleum products. Sudanese Petroleum and Gas Minister Azhari Abdalla Abdelgader on... 

Eskom launches microgrid pilot plant in Free State

By: Marleny Arnoldi     5th November 2018 State-owned power utility Eskom has launched a pilot solar-powered microgrid at Wilhelmina farm, in Fickburg, in the Free State. The microgrid demo plant is capable of providing electricity to 14 households with 81 family members, making up the Wilhelmina community. 

Calls to even out procurement for wind energy

By: Kim Cloete     29th October 2018 The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) has called for energy planners to even out the procurement of wind energy allocations between 2021 and 2030 to prevent a "stop-start" scenario.  The current draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) has a gap in the years, 2022, 2023 and 2024, when no... 

Business concerned about coal sector job losses

By: Kim Cloete     26th October 2018 The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and the Black Business Council (BBC) have called for amendments to the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2018, telling Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Energy, on Friday, that the draft plan, with its emphasis on renewable energy rather than coal,... 

CSIR points to 30 000 net jobs gain in electricity to 2030, despite fall in coal jobs 

By: Terence Creamer     26th October 2018 An analysis of the Department of Energy’s (DoE’s) recommended plan in the draft Integrated Resource Plan 2018 (IRP 2018) shows that there will be a 30 000 net increase in employment in the electricity industry to 2030, despite a 100 000 fall in coal jobs over the period. In its formal response to... 

CSIR points to 30 000 net jobs gain in electricity to 2030, despite fall in coal jobs

South Africa prepares for an electrified future

By: Paige Müller     26th October 2018 Amid the conclusion of this year’s Sasol Solar Challenge (SSC), founder and director Winstone Jordaan tells Engineering News that South Africa is poised to adopt electrified transport. “Without any doubt in my mind, we are heading for an electric future. This means we must find better, cleaner... 

South Africa prepares for an electrified future
INSPIRING STUDENTS The Sasol Solar Challenge aims to inspire students to take up science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects

South32 foresees short-term volatility, but long-term growth, sustainability 

By: Schalk Burger     25th October 2018 Diversified mining and metals company South32 on Thursday forecast short-term price volatility for the commodities it produces, but also highlighted its strong cash position and its work to further optimise its global portfolio of assets. In a speech delivered at the company’s 2018 annual general... 

Siemens launches distributed energy system as solution to Africa’s energy transition

By: Simone Liedtke     25th October 2018 German electronics manufacturer Siemens on Wednesday launched, at its headquarters in Midrand, its end-to-end distributed energy system (DES) as a solution to assist the African continent in its energy transition. The DES provides for the targeted use of renewable energy, combined heating and... 

Siemens launches distributed energy system as solution to Africa’s energy transition
Photo by Dylan Slater
Siemens HQ and its solar car park in Midrand, Johannesburg

Mali's first independent power project to start up next week

By: Reuters     25th October 2018 Mali's first independent power project – a €122-million ($139.06-million), 90 MW diesel plant – will go online next week in the country's gold-rich southwest, a board member of the operator said on Wednesday. The new plant could spur more of the foreign investment Mali has struggled to attract... 

Eskom gearing up for big grid-scale battery storage roll-out  

By: Terence Creamer     22nd October 2018 State-owned electricity utility Eskom is preparing to roll-out battery energy storage systems (BESS) across multiple sites as part of a replacement plan for the 100 MW Kiwano concentrated solar power (CSP) project initially approved as part of the $3.75-billion World Bank loan extended to the... 

Eskom gearing up for big grid-scale battery storage roll-out
Photo by Creamer Media
Eskom has been testing battery storage solutions at its research facility in Rosherville for the past few years

Breytenbach welcomes greater certainty for renewable energy projects 

By: Kim Cloete     19th October 2018 Participants in the renewable energy sector say they are encouraged by the dedicated infrastructure team that will be set up in the Presidency, as it will give investors more certainty and confidence to back projects. “We’ve seen what the last two years of delays in the signing of renewable... 

Breytenbach welcomes greater certainty for renewable energy projects
Photo by Dylan Slater
IPP Office CEO Karen Breytenbach

Renewable energy industry comments on draft IRP

By: Kim Cloete     17th October 2018 The renewable energy sector in South Africa has welcomed the draft Integrated Resource Plant (IRP) 2018, but has also expressed concerns. “While the IRP forecasting is rational in its choices, it unfortunately requires us to accept some overly optimistic assumptions,” said the South African... 

Roman’s Pizza head office kitted out with solar PV plant

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th October 2018 Fast food franchise Roman’s Pizza’s head office in Centurion, Gauteng, has installed a 137 kW grid-tied photovoltaic (PV) solar plant, which is one of several actions the company is implementing to help conserve the environment. Other green initiatives by Roman’s include eliminating plastic... 

Renewable energy sector could provide jobs boost to SA

By: African News Agency      15th October 2018 The renewable energy sector could provide an unexpected but much-needed jobs boost to South Africa’s employment levels, as the sector continues to mature, solar enery company SOLA Future Energy said on Monday. SOLA Future Energy is the company that replaced Robben Island’s diesel-powered... 

Govt urged to include IRP adjustment that steers renewables jobs the way of coal regions 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      10th October 2018 South Africa should consider including a policy adjustment in its upcoming Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) directing developers of new renewable-energy infrastructure to build projects in regions currently geared towards coal mining and coal-fired electricity production. University of Johannesburg... 

Govt urged to include IRP adjustment that steers renewables jobs the way of coal regions
Photo by Creamer Media
Dr Tobias Bischof-Niemz

Technology cost assumptions used to produce IRP explained 

By: Terence Creamer     9th October 2018 An experienced electricity system modeller has corrected a suggestion that the draft 2018 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP 2018) uses levelised cost assumptions for the various generation technologies tested, explaining that overnight capital cost assumptions for each technology are key inputs. The... 

Technology cost assumptions used to produce IRP explained

Kenya on course to develop nuclear energy, official says

By: Reuters     5th October 2018 Kenya's ambition of having a nuclear power plant is still on course and it hopes to build its first such facility in the next 12 to 15 years, a senior Energy Ministry official said on Friday. Joseph Njoroge, principal secretary for electricity, told Reuters the East African nation plans to turn... 

Total to roll out solar-powered service stations in Kruger National Park

By: Marleny Arnoldi     26th September 2018 Total South Africa (Total SA) on Wednesday revealed a demonstration model of its solar-powered service station at the Skukuza camp, in the Kruger National Park, in Mpumalanga, on the occasion of celebrating a 60-year partnership with South African National Parks (SANParks). The demonstration... 

Total to roll out solar-powered service stations in Kruger National Park

Three UCT lecturers participate in international Solar Decathlon competition

By: Simone Liedtke     26th September 2018 Thee lecturers from the University of Cape Town (UCT) are part of Team Mahali, the only team representing sub-Saharan Africa in the international Solar Decathlon competition, which will be held in Morocco next year. The Solar Decathlon is an international competition to design and build a fully... 

Link Solar launches portable solar panels suitable for outdoor, marine use

By: Simone Liedtke     26th September 2018 There is a lack of portable solar panels in the market, says specialised solar product manufacturer Link Solar, which has released of its own portable solar panel range for outdoor use and marine grade level use. These solar panels, the company explained, are specifically created to serve as an... 

Shift to renewables to become a growing trend in the mining sector

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     10th September 2018 Owing to a reduction in renewable energy costs, the prospect of a more reliable power supply and an increasingly favourable regulatory environment in key mining markets, renewable energy is anticipated to play an increasingly important role in powering mining operations worldwide over the coming... 

Brenmiller Energy markets thermal generation, storage solution into African countries

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th September 2018 Solar power company Brenmiller Energy is focusing on African countries to fill its project pipeline, where it sees strong growth for renewable energy and energy storage solutions. Brenmiller in 2012 developed a thermal energy storage-based generation unit, which can function either as thermal... 

Feasibility study contractor selected for Mozambique energy project

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     6th September 2018 US-based contractor HDR International has been selected to conduct a feasibility study for a solar energy project in Mozambique. The study will assess the viability of a photovoltaic plant of up to 100 MW, to be developed in increments of 20 MW to 40 MW. 

Montego expands Eastern Cape pet food factory

By: Schalk Burger     31st August 2018 Local pet food manufacturer Montego Pet Nutrition increased production at its Graaff-Reinet facility, in the Eastern Cape, by 30%. The R70-million expansion, which will also create 30 more direct jobs, included a new 3 600 m2, R15-million depot, divided equally for use as a warehouse and treats... 

Montego expands Eastern Cape pet food factory
MONTEGO PET NUTRITION FACTORY The company distributes to nearly 2 000 stores across 16 countries, including South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Tanzania and the United Arab Emirates

Ring-fence Eskom’s ‘bad bank’ generation assets, says energy expert   

By: Terence Creamer     29th August 2018 A leading electricity expert is warning that there is little or no prospect that Eskom can trade itself out of its current financial difficulties and that restructuring – including a vertical separation of its cash-guzzling generation assets from its transmission, system operator and distribution... 

Ring-fence Eskom’s ‘bad bank’ generation assets, says energy expert
University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business’ Professor Anton Eberhard outlines a ‘pragmatic’ restructuring plan for Eskom. Camera Work: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Christo Greyling. Recorded: 28.8.2018

US Trade and Development Agency grants $1.2m funding for Mozambique solar project

By: Marleny Arnoldi     28th August 2018 Investment bank Fieldstone has assisted WHN Solar to raise grant funding of almost $1.2-million for a solar energy project in Mozambique. The funding was conferred by the US Trade and Development Agency for a feasibility study to assess the viability of a photovoltaic plant of up to 100 MW to... 

Solar body raises concern over procurement gap, as lobby group slams inclusion of IPP coal

By: Terence Creamer     28th August 2018 The South Africa Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) has added its voice to concerns being expressed over the three-year gap outlined in the draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP 2018) during which no allocations have been made for new renewable-energy capacity additions. In a statement,... 

Solar body raises concern over procurement gap, as lobby group slams inclusion of IPP coal

Two solar plants opened in Namibia

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd August 2018 Two solar plants, Ejuva One and Ejuva Two, were opened in Gobabis, Namibia, by Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy Kornelia Shilunga, on Thursday. She said Ejuva will help to diversify Namibia’s energy mix, increase generation capacity and reduce carbon emissions. “We are particularly pleased... 

Two solar plants opened in Namibia
Ejuva solar project in Gobabis, Namibia

Fund manager Vantage provides R2bn for six South African renewable energy projects

By: African News Agency      14th August 2018 Fund manager Vantage said late on Monday it had, through its renewable energy fund Vantage GreenX Note II, provided R2.05-billion of funding to six solar and wind energy projects in South Africa with a combined capacity of 433 MW. The projects, which are part of South Africa's Renewable Energy... 

Juwi to build, operate three REIPPPP Round 4 solar PV projects

By: Simone Liedtke     13th August 2018 Solar energy equipment supplier juwi Renewable Energies has concluded three engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) and operation and maintenance (O&M) contracts, with a combined value of R3-billion, with African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM), which will deliver 250 MW of... 

Juwi to build, operate three REIPPPP Round 4 solar PV projects
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