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Solar News

DAFF pledges support for a game changing NWU food and energy security project

By: Mia Breytenbach     26th April 2017 The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) has pledged its support for the SUNfarming Food & Energy project at the North-West University (NWU), in Potchefstroom, in the North West province, which promotes the growing of and provides an opportunity to grow affordable and... 

Alternative power supply approach to benefit low-income areas

By: Robyn Wilkinson     21st April 2017 Alternative energy supply company Specialized Solar Systems (SSS) is making significant headway in driving the large-scale implementation of its solar-powered distributed direct current microgrids, which incorporate the Internet of Things (IoT) to supply energy to low-income areas in the form of... 

Fabrication facility to expand to accommodate heavy lifting fleet

By: Simone Liedtke     21st April 2017 Manufacturing company Sky Hill Heavy Engineering - a part of project services corporation Hydra-Arc in Secunda, Mpumalanga - has already commenced with the 100 m expansion of three of its four fabrication bays, to accommodate its heavy lifting fleet, says Hydra-Arc. 

Fabrication facility to expand to accommodate heavy lifting fleet
Photo by Petrus Saayman
IN-HOUSE PROJECTS Fabrication and refurbishment projects are executed from the engineering to transportation stages

Integrated energy solutions Africa’s answer

By: Robyn Wilkinson     21st April 2017 While several large-scale energy projects in Africa are progressing positively, growing global interest in sustainability and renewable energy highlights the need to actively pursue other low-cost, fast-tracked integrated energy solutions that will benefit Africans without access to electricity,... 

Joburg pilots scheme to improve energy access in informal settlements

By: David Oliveira     21st April 2017 To address the challenges of supplying electricity to informal settlements in Johannesburg, the city’s electricity utility City Power is managing a pilot project to supply residents in the Lawley and Thembelihle informal settlements. During the Power and Electricity World Africa conference, which... 

Pay-as-you-go microgrids seen offering rural electrification alternative

By: David Oliveira     21st April 2017 Pay-as-you-go solar microgrid solutions, coupled with energy storage, is proving to be a boon for the African communities they power and offers opportunities to entrepreneurs to tap into this growing market. South Africa has highlighted the potential of this system through the government Green... 

Solar, liquid-energy storage solution seen having big off-grid potential

By: David Oliveira     21st April 2017 Containerised liquid-energy storage machines, or flow machines, coupled with solar photovoltaic (PV) power generation, could provide Africa with the most cost-effective and energy efficient off-grid electricity generation solution, said UK-based energy storage solutions company redT CEO Scott... 

Solar, liquid-energy storage solution seen having  big off-grid potential
LONG-LASTING STORAGE One of the greatest benefits of flow machines were their ability to store energy, which would discharge for more than 12 hours

Gigaba slams Eskom’s ‘mistake’ of contradicting government policy on renewables 

By: Terence Creamer     19th April 2017 Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba says Eskom made a “mistake” by raising its corporate difficulties in relation to the signing of power purchase agreements (PPAs) with renewable-energy generators in a way that undermined the policy position of government on both the energy mix and the... 

Gigaba slams Eskom’s ‘mistake’ of contradicting government policy on renewables
Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba

Company seizes opportunities in power sector

By: Nadine James     14th April 2017 Many utility power plants are approaching the end of their design life, with engineers conducting life extension studies for boilers and related auxiliary equipment. To accommodate a changing operating environment, redesigning components and equipment to replace those which have reached the end... 

Company seizes opportunities in  power sector
VERSATILE OFFERING Steinmüller Africa offers turnkey solutions for header-type, tube sheet-type, shell and tube heat exchangers

Exosun, Lesedi partnership to offer localised solar tracking solutions

By: Mia Breytenbach     14th April 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... 

Exosun, Lesedi partnership to offer localised solar tracking solutions
Photo by Exosun
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Lesedi Nuclear Services will ensure plant design, tracker manufacturing and installation of Exosun’s single-axis solar tracker

Innovative projects making strides in laser industry

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     14th April 2017 The Laser Research Institute (LRI), part of the Physics Department at Stellenbosch University, has achieved notable research outputs during the past three years, which has resulted in several innovative projects such as ultrafast laser spectroscopy, as well as infrared spectroscopy and laser... 

Innovative projects making strides in laser industry
SIZEABLE DEVELOPMENT A robust miniature carbon dioxide laser test system for commercialisation and a large, high-pressure carbon dioxide laser to provide infrared light with Terawatt peak power are being developed

Renewables still largely underexploited in most African countries

By: Dylan Slater     14th April 2017 The biggest challenge faced by the renewable-energy industry is storage, and a lack of wide-spread adoption is impeding renewable-energy sources from realising their full potential in the greater energy mix, according to Eaton Africa operations head Eugèn Ranft.  

Solar industry registers quality and safety training programme

By: David Oliveira     13th April 2017 Fifteen representatives from tertiary learning institutions in South Africa attended the first workshop – Inform the Trainer – at the South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre (SARETEC) last month. These representatives will train solar photovoltaic (PV) technicians to install solar panels... 

Solar body urges Energy Minister to provide revised PPA signing date 

By: Terence Creamer     11th April 2017 The South African Solar Photovoltaic Industry Association (Sapvia) expressed confidence on Tuesday that the latest delay in signing of power purchase agreements (PPAs) for 37 renewable-energy projects procured in 2015 would be “short-term” in nature. However, it urged newly appointed Energy... 

Solar body urges Energy Minister to provide revised PPA signing date

Renewables contracts will not be signed on April 11 

By: Terence Creamer     10th April 2017 The signing of power purchase agreements (PPAs) for the projects procured under the fourth bid window of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) will not take place on April 11 as initially envisaged. The date had been set by former Energy Minister Tina... 

Renewables contracts will not be signed on April 11

Opinion: Renewables IPP programme an example of impeccable governance

     7th April 2017 It is important to regularly pause, reflect and appreciate a job well conceived and well executed. Back in 2010, the South African government took the bold decision to create a legislative and practical environment in which the Department of Energy could procure power generated by private... 

Opinion: Renewables IPP programme an example of impeccable governance
Brenda Martin

Least-cost base case essential starting point for IRP process – Sawea

By: Mia Breytenbach     7th April 2017 The South African Wind Energy Association (Sawea) has rejected the current base case scenario used for the 2016 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) Update for Electricity, calling for the scenario to be remodelled as a “least-cost energy plan” and re-issued for consultation. The public participation... 

Least-cost base case essential starting point for IRP process – Sawea

SA firm sees potential for elevated-track solution in everything mining to public transport

By: Irma Venter     7th April 2017 South African company Milotek will later this year start construction of a fractional rapid transit (FRT) system at a private coal mine in Mpumalanga. Milotek director and inventor Andries Louw believes this system will revolutionise the way goods are moved in the mining industry and also,... 

SA firm sees potential for elevated-track solution in everything mining to public transport

CSIR’s formal IRP submission deviates dramatically from Base Case 

By: Terence Creamer     5th April 2017 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR’s) formal input into the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) public consultation process, which ended on March 31, proposes a new-build mix that deviates materially from the IRP Base Case released by the Department of Energy (DoE) in November.... 

CSIR’s formal IRP submission deviates dramatically from Base Case

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

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 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... 

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... 

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

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

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

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

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.  

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

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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