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Solar News

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... 

Investor in UK solar assets plans secondary listing on JSE from April

By: Terence Creamer     3rd March 2017 A London Stock Exchange-listed investor in UK ground-based solar photovoltaic (PV) plants, Foresight Solar Fund, has announced its intention to pursue a secondary listing on the JSE through a private placement with institutional South African investors. The listing is expected to raise... 

Investor in UK solar assets plans secondary listing on JSE from April
The Shotwick solar PV farm in the UK

German-backed initiative to help increase use of solar energy in industrial processes

By: David Oliveira     3rd March 2017 The South African National Energy Development Institute (Sanedi) and the Southern African-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SAGCCI) announced last month that they had teamed up for the international Solar Payback project, which aims to increase the use of solar thermal energy in industrial... 

Investec emerges as go-to bank for US rooftop solar

By: Bloomberg     3rd March 2017 A South African bank has become the go-to funding source for the U.S. rooftop solar industry just two years after entering the market. Investec arranged $880-million in debt financing for rooftop solar developers and financiers in 2016. That’s more than half of the $1.5-billion bank debt raised... 

Deadlock broken between Eskom and IPPs, Joemat-Pettersson insists 

By: Terence Creamer     28th February 2017 Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson says the “deadlock has been broken” between Eskom and the renewable-energy independent power producers (IPPs), with the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) confirming its willingness to consider an application from the State-owned utility... 

Deadlock broken between Eskom and IPPs, Joemat-Pettersson insists
Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson

Opinion: Eskom supports renewables, but flags cost-recovery uncertainty as a worry

     27th February 2017 Eskom has noted with concern various misleading reports in the media regarding the signing and execution of budget quotations and power purchase agreements with independent power producers (IPPs) participating in the Department of Energy’s procurement programmes. In 2012, Eskom established the... 

Opinion: Eskom supports renewables, but flags cost-recovery uncertainty as a worry
Photo by Duane Daws
Thava Govender,

Electricity-mix model shows South Africa won’t need to trade off clean for low-cost 

By: Terence Creamer     23rd February 2017 The steep decline in wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) costs means that South Africa will not need to make the traditional trade-off between investing in either clean or least-cost electricity production, as the “cost-optimal mix” for South Africa is now also the cleanest, research conducted by... 

Electricity-mix model shows South Africa won’t need to trade off clean for low-cost

Ewseta, DUT launch EnergyDrive to create awareness of alternative energy sources

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     21st February 2017 The Energy and Water Sector Education and Training Authority (Ewseta) and the Durban University of Technology (DUT) on Tuesday launched the EnergyDrive initiative, to educate rural communities on climate change and alternative energy sources. A custom-designed truck equipped with ten solar... 

Ewseta, DUT launch EnergyDrive to create awareness of alternative energy sources

Sarec says Eskom dragging its feet in honouring Zuma’s renewables ‘injunction’ 

By: Terence Creamer     17th February 2017 The South African Renewable Energy Council (Sarec) claims that Eskom has yet to issue any updated budget quotes for projects that President Jacob Zuma said in his State of the Nation address (Sona) would proceed, following a protracted impasse that arose as a result of the State-owned utility’s... 

Sarec says Eskom dragging its feet in honouring Zuma’s renewables ‘injunction’
Mark Pickering

Chamber looks to strengthen partnerships in local green economy

By: Nadine James     17th February 2017 The Italian–South African Chamber of Trade and Industries’ chief aim at the 2017 Africa Energy Indaba is to raise awareness among Italian corporations regarding investment opportunities in South Africa’s green economy. Chamber secretary-general Mariagrazia Biancospino says the chamber mediated a... 

Chamber looks to strengthen partnerships in local green economy
LONG STANDING RELATIONSHIP Members of the Italian–South African Chamber of Trade and Industries have been involved in the South African energy sector since 2013

Conference hopes to catalyse African energy revolution

By: Nadine James     17th February 2017 The 2017 Africa Energy Indaba will enable African energy sector stakeholders to evaluate opportunities and the means to pursue them that could unlock the continent’s energy potential and spark something of an energy revolution, says Indaba organising company Siyenza. “The African continent has... 

Conference hopes to catalyse African energy revolution
BOOSTING ENERGY The Africa Energy Indaba brings together politicians and energy luminaries to envision and catalyse decisions that will enhance access to energy

Exponential increase in the number of power generation projects

By: Nadine James     17th February 2017 The African continent’s large energy deficit has resulted in an exponential increase in the number of power generation projects – both planned and implemented – as well as the number of stakeholders which are a consequence of renewed commercial interest in the African energy sector, says... 

Exponential increase in the number of power generation projects
TSIDISO DISENYANA Foreign investment is targeted at establishing Africa’s green economy, therefore renewables will become a driver of socioeconomic growth

Programme to accelerate investment implemented

     17th February 2017 The African Union’s (AU’s) planning body, the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad), is undertaking an exercise that will accelerate the development and implementation of Africa’s high priority renewable energy projects and will be organising a showcase at the Africa Energy Indaba for... 

Programme to accelerate investment implemented
Photo by Duane Daws
MOMENT IN THE SUN Governments will be showcasing high priority renewable energy projects to attract private sector participation and investment

Renewables division experiences record-breaking 2016

     17th February 2017 Italian energy company Enel Green Power’s (EGP’s) global renewable energies division made 2016 a record-breaking year after building an all-time-high 2 018 MW of new capacity within a calendar year. This is a major achievement for EGP as it more than doubled what it achieved in 2015, when... 

Renewables division experiences  record-breaking 2016
NOJOLI WIND FARM Enel Green Power's global renewable energies division completed more than 470 MW of solar and wind projects locally, including the 88 MW Nojoli wind farm

Third Women in Energy conference cohosted at Energy Indaba

     17th February 2017 The yearly Women in Energy conference, organised by the Africa Energy Indaba, will bring together Africa’s leading women in the energy sector for its third iteration on Monday, February 20 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. The Africa Energy Indaba was the first energy conference... 

Third Women in Energy conference cohosted at Energy Indaba
DOING IT FOR THEMSELVES The Women in Energy conference is designed to aid the increase in leadership and development of women involved in the African energy sectors

Northern Cape youths receive financial aid for tertiary education

By: David Oliveira     10th February 2017 Twenty-six youths from the Emthanjeni municipality, in the Northern Cape, were awarded full tertiary bursaries last month by solar energy project developer Solar Capital and its subsidiary Solar Capital De Aar 3. These bursaries were among the 80 distributed at the well-attended Ministerial... 

The big questions when Ministers meet on renewables standoff

By: Terence Creamer     6th February 2017 When the Ministers responsible for seeking resolution to the current impasse in South Africa’s renewable-energy sector meet this month, they will be expected to weigh the serious legal and policy implications of backtracking from a Ministerial determination – as well as from one of the country’s... 

The big questions when Ministers meet on renewables standoff

Aeroderivative gas turbines seen offering stable accompaniment to renewables

By: David Oliveira     27th January 2017 Aeroderivative gas turbine technology could provide an economical and efficient alternative to wind, solar and tidal power generation, particularly as these technologies depend on unpredictable weather. Global engineering firm Siemens sub-Saharan Africa power and gas executive VP Andreas Pistauer... 

Aeroderivative gas turbines seen offering stable accompaniment to renewables
EFFICIENT DESIGN Siemens aero gas turbines have a cycle efficiency that is typically 1% to 3% better than that of traditional industrial gas turbines

Company supplies solar electricity system to NPO

     27th January 2017 By way of its distribution partner and project implementer, Solek Innovations, high-tech solar power solutions manufacturer SolarWorld Africa supplied a solar electricity system to the Grootbos Foundation, in the Western Cape. SolarWorld donated the solar system while Solek provided a free of... 

Electronics company boasts unique PID inverter

By: Sascha Solomons     27th January 2017 Global electronics company Omron says the Omron KP100L photovoltaic (PV) inverter has the unique distinction of being the only potential induced degradation (PID) preventive inverter on the market. “The importance of this has been recognised in recent years, owing to the introduction of increased... 

Electronics company boasts unique PID inverter
ROSS ALLAN Many residential and business consumers aim to produce their own electricity and rely less on Eskom

Ongoing solar projects promote IPP success 

By: Sascha Solomons     27th January 2017 Global private engineering and technology company Sener and its engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) partners, Emvelo and Cobra, are scheduled to complete the EPC of the 100 MW Ilanga solar thermal power plant near Upington, in the Northern Cape, at the end of 2018. The company... 

Ongoing solar projects promote  IPP success
Sener’s Southern Africa regional MD Siyabonga Mbanjwa discusses the importance of solar energy, as well as current projects the company is working on.

Solar LED light available in Southern Africa

By: Sascha Solomons     27th January 2017 To reach its goal of enlarging its footprint in Southern Africa, solar street light  manufacturing and distribution company Solar Eco Systems Africa has made promotional magnets manufacturer Magnet Energy an exclusive distributor of its range of self-sustaining solar light-emitting diode (LED)... 

Solar LED light available in Southern Africa
SOLAR LED STREET LIGHTING Solar Eco Systems Africa’s range of self-sustaining solar LED street lighting combine enhanced aesthetics and the latest PV and LED technology

Solar opportunities raised at exhibition

     27th January 2017 After the success of Solar Africa 2015, at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi, Kenya, organiser of trade events Expogroup announced the return of Solar Africa 2017 from June 10 to 12. Expogroup highlights that one of the major challenges in the renewable energy... 

Solar power plants planned for all domestic airports

By: Simone Liedtke     27th January 2017 Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) plans to build solar power plants at all six of the South African airports its owns and operates by November this year. 

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