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Solar News

Sixth solar challenge sees champions return, raft of new entries from abroad

By: Irma Venter     19th July 2018 The 2018 Sasol Solar Challenge, set to take place from September 22 to September 29, will mark South Africa’s sixth solar car race. The eight-day event will see more than 20 teams depart from Pretoria and finish in Stellenbosch. The awards ceremony is scheduled to take place in Cape Town on... 

Battery storage to benefit businesses, municipalities

By: Simone Liedtke     18th July 2018 Battery storage will have a significant and firm impact on the uptake of renewable energy in South Africa, enabling users, whether in the retail or industrial space, to leverage some of the value that solar energy can create, says SOLA Future Energy energy storage services head Daniel Goldstuck.... 

Acwa Power, CEF to co-invest in Redstone CSP project

By: Marleny Arnoldi     16th July 2018 Power generation technology developer Acwa Power on Monday signed an investment agreement with South Africa’s Central Energy Fund (CEF) regarding the Redstone concentrated solar thermal power plant (CSP) plant, in the Northern Cape.  

Acwa Power, CEF to co-invest in Redstone CSP project
Acwa investment agreement signed with CEF

Multimillion-rand French funding deal for drought-stricken Western Cape still needs environmental approval

By: News24Wire      16th July 2018 A nearly R9-million joint desalination project between the Western Cape government and the French government still needs the required environmental approval for operation in November. The solar-powered desalination plant, the first of its kind, will be located in the coastal town of Witsand on... 

Vacuum systems leak detection a first for Southern Africa

By: Halima Frost     13th July 2018 South African pump distributor Integrated Pump Technology has added on-site vacuum leak detection of vacuum systems to complement its existing service offering of design, supply, service and repairs of vacuum pumps and systems. Making use of the recently launched Leybold Phoenix Quadro portable... 

Others expected to follow Coca-Cola’s solar leadership as costs fall

By: Simone Liedtke     13th July 2018 Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA), Coca-Cola’s bottling partner in South Africa, is aiming to have 25% of its electricity powered by renewable sources by 2025. The company says the first 10% of this renewable energy, about 18-million kilowatt hours a year, will be rolled out nationwide... 

Others expected to follow Coca-Cola’s solar leadership as costs fall

Wind energy industry warned of tough road ahead

By: Kim Cloete     12th July 2018 A leading economist has warned the wind energy industry that it will need to become even more competitive and lower the price of wind power in a stagnant and increasingly challenging South African energy sector.   “Our power sector is bankrupt. Whether we like it or not, this will impact the wind... 

Wind energy industry warned of tough road ahead

Swiss energy storage startup breathing new life into South African battery invention

By: Terence Creamer     10th July 2018 A Swiss energy storage startup is moving to revive the Zebra battery, which was invented at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), in Pretoria, in the 1980s and initially commercialised for use in electric vehicles (EVs) by, among others, Anglo American and Daimler. Located in... 

Swiss energy storage startup breathing new life into South African battery invention
Battery Consult founder and MD Dr Cord-Henrich Dustmann

Mintek, Difeme partner to beneficiate quartz mined in the Northern Cape

By: Marleny Arnoldi     5th July 2018 Minerals beneficiator Mintek has partnered with Difeme Holdings Group on the development of appropriate process technologies to beneficiate quartz. Mintek will provide technical services to Difeme – a black-owned mining start-up company with a focus on the mining and beneficiation of quartz to a... 

Eskom secures R1.35bn loan from KfW to integrate Northern Cape renewables into the grid

By: Simone Liedtke     29th June 2018 State-owned Eskom has entered into a R1.35-billion loan facility with German development bank KfW to support further investments in Eskom's transmission network in the Northern Cape in order to integrate renewable energy independent power producer (IPP) projects. This funding will also allow for... 

Eskom secures R1.35bn loan from KfW to integrate Northern Cape renewables into the grid

With universal access in sight, SA’s electrification drive takes on new dimensions

By: Schalk Burger     29th June 2018 The integrated national electrification programme (INEP) of the Department of Energy (DoE) is set to change in scope and character as it nears its initial goals of electrifying most communities in South Africa that were not connected to the national grid. Energy Deputy Minister Thembisile Majola... 

With universal access in sight, SA’s electrification drive takes on new dimensions

South Africa calls for expanded Brics cooperation on energy transition

By: Terence Creamer     28th June 2018 South Africa is proposing that the Brics bloc of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa extends the scope of its energy cooperation beyond that of energy savings and energy efficiency to include a range of other issues, arising as a result of the “global energy transition”. In an address... 

South Africa calls for expanded Brics cooperation on energy transition

Renewable energy brings power and jobs to Clanwilliam

By: African News Agency      27th June 2018 The Western Cape town of Clanwilliam’s first retail shopping centre to be opened on Thursday is an example of how renewable energy is aiding economic development in small towns with limited access to the national grid, an energy company executive said on Wednesday. SOLA Future Energy installed a... 

Hybrid power generation on the rise – HIMOINSA

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th June 2018 Interest in hybrid energy generation is high, says generator manufacturer HIMOINSA Southern Africa business development director Matthew Bell.  

Hybrid power generation on the rise – HIMOINSA
HIMOINSA Southern Africa business development manager Matt Bell

Zambia shortlists ten firms for 100 MW solar projects

By: Reuters     22nd June 2018 Zambia has shortlisted ten regional and international companies to build a total of 100 MW of solar electricity projects by 2020, the director of the project said on Friday. Zambia is heavily dependent on hydropower and following a drought in 2016, an electricity shortage hit Africa's No.2 copper... 

IFC signs $34m financing agreement for Zambia solar project

By: Marleny Arnoldi     22nd June 2018 The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has signed a $34-million financing agreement with Enel, the Industrial Development Corporation of Zambia and the European Investment Bank for the construction of the 34 MW Ngonye solar plant, in Zambia.  

New-look IPP bid documents will need to strike delicate balance

By: Terence Creamer     22nd June 2018 The new bid documentation being prepared by the Department of Energy (DoE) for future independent power producer (IPP) procurement rounds will have to strike a delicate balance between sustaining investor interest and responding to society’s demand for increased socioeconomic benefits. In fact,... 

New-look IPP bid documents will need to strike delicate balance
Allen & Overy partner Jason van der Poel

SAGCC, partners aim to digitalise industries

By: Melissa Zisengwe     22nd June 2018 The Southern African-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SAGCC) and its partners are looking into automating and digitalising South African supply chain industries. According to the SAGCC, there is a substantial shift towards automation and digitalisation in organisations in Germany and in... 

SAGCC, partners aim  to digitalise industries
Photo by Bloomberg
NEW STANDARD There is a shift towards automation and digitalisation of supply chains

Two approaches for energy transformation in South Africa

By: Melissa Zisengwe     22nd June 2018 Solar photovoltaics (PVs) and energy storage system provider IBC SOLAR South Africa says it wants to be part of the transformation of the energy system in South Africa using two approaches. One approach entails informing South Africans and local companies about the advantages and possibilities of... 

Two approaches for  energy transformation in South Africa
ENERGY TRANSITION Solar power could transform the South African energy sector

South Africa ahead of renewable energy curve – adviser

By: Simone Liedtke     19th June 2018 Despite the South African renewables market being in its infancy in comparison to well-established markets, South Africa is ahead of the curve, says owner’s engineer and lender’s technical adviser K2 Management. This, K2 Management South Africa country director Hebren James explains, is owing to... 

South Africa ahead of renewable energy curve – adviser

SOURCE hydropanel launches in S Africa

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th June 2018 Zero Mass Water has launched its SOURCE hydropanel, which applies thermodynamics, materials science and controls technology to produce potable drinking water from only sunlight and air, in South Africa.  

SOURCE hydropanel launches in S Africa
Zero Mass Water's SOURCE hydropanel

Energy discussion must be resolved soonest to spur economic transformation – Dr Yves Guenon

By: Nadine James     8th June 2018 Certainty, particularly around South Africa’s future baseload energy supply must be achieved in the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), in order to ensure supply security, which will, in turn, stimulate investment and economic transformation, Izibani consultancy founder and French South African... 

Demand rising for funding for grid-tied renewables

By: Schalk Burger     8th June 2018 Financing to build renewable-energy systems for use by businesses in South Africa is growing, with many projects showing good financial viability and return on investment, says financial institution Absa renewable-energy head Justin Schmidt. The return on investment for well-designed energy... 

Demand rising for funding for grid-tied renewables
JUSTIN SCHMIDT Most companies will rely on more than one source of energy, and the most compelling business cases currently are grid-tied solutions

Interest in IFC’s solar procurement solution growing across Africa

By: Terence Creamer     6th June 2018 The International Finance Corporation (IFC) reports that its programme to support African governments and utilities in procuring solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity from independent power producers (IPPs) has made significant headway in four countries, with construction of the first project under... 

Interest in IFC’s solar procurement solution growing across Africa
IFC country manager Saleem Karimjee

Property sector increasingly embracing solar PV plants

By: Marleny Arnoldi     1st June 2018 JSE-listed real estate investment trust South African Corporate Real Estate (Sacre) will invest more than R30-million to install rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) plants to help curb ever-rising electricity tariffs at its malls and reduce their carbon footprint.  

Property sector increasingly embracing solar PV plants
Montana Crossing solar panel rooftop

Kenyan solar energy firm signs 40 MW power deal with State-run utility

By: Reuters     31st May 2018 A private Kenyan power firm has signed a 20-year deal to sell 40 MW it will generate from a solar plant it is building to the East African nation's State-run distributor, its chief executive said. Kenergy Renewables signed the agreement to sell the electricity to Kenya Power at $0.08/kWh, Khilna... 

B2Gold opens 7 MW solar farm at Namibia mine

By: Marleny Arnoldi     30th May 2018 Gold producer B2Gold Namibia on Wednesday celebrated the opening of the B2Gold Otjikoto solar farm, in the Otjozondjupa region.  

B2Gold opens 7 MW solar farm at Namibia mine
Otjikoto solar farm in Namibia

Desalination’s future is going solar – TWS

By: Simone Liedtke     22nd May 2018 The first highly cost-effective solar-powered desalination plant in South Africa will be commissioned by the end of October at Witsand, in the Hessequa municipality, in the Western Cape. The plant will produce 100 kl/d of fresh water to meet the water requirement of the struggling Witsand village. 

Desalination’s future is going solar – TWS

Researchers suggest 100% renewable energy system is plausible

By: Nadine James     18th May 2018 A multinational group of researchers have co-authored a paper to demonstrate that there are no roadblocks to sourcing 100% of a country’s power supply from renewable sources. The researchers, from Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial... 

Radebe officiates at launch of R9.4bn Xina Solar One plant

By: Simone Liedtke     18th May 2018 Xina Solar One, which is owned by a consortium between Abengoa, the Industrial Development Corporation, the Public Investment Corporation and the Xina Community Trust, was officially launched near Pofadder, in the Northern Cape, on Friday. The 300 ha solar thermal plant, which was built by... 

Radebe officiates at launch of R9.4bn Xina Solar One plant

Toshiba signs MoUs to support African hydropower, geothermal roll-out

By: Schalk Burger     18th May 2018 Energy systems multinational Toshiba Energy Systems and Solutions signed four memoranda of understanding (MoUs) to cooperate with African countries to develop hydropower and geothermal energy systems. The MoUs were signed on the sidelines of the Japan-Africa Public-Private Economic Forum, in... 

R3bn Rosslyn Hub to create 160 000 jobs

By: Nadine James     16th May 2018 The R3-billion mixed-use Rosslyn Hub development was launched at the African Smart Cities Summit, co-located with the African Construction and Totally Concrete Expo, at the Gallagher Convention Centre, in Johannesburg, on Wednesday. The Rosslyn Hub is a crucial step towards the creation of the... 

Radebe affirms South Africa’s commitment to renewable energy

By: Kim Cloete     15th May 2018 Energy Minister Jeff Radebe has affirmed his commitment to renewable energy in South Africa, saying it will help to reduce pollution and create thousands of jobs. He told delegates at the African Utility Week, in Cape Town, that he was pleased the long-awaited renewable energy power purchase... 

Radebe affirms South Africa’s commitment to renewable energy
Energy Minister Jeff Radebe

Egypt signs MoU with China's GCL for $2bn solar panel factory

By: Reuters     10th May 2018 China's GCL Group has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Egypt's ministry of military production to build a solar panel facility at a cost of up to $2-billion, State-run newspaper Al-Ahram reported on Thursday. Under the MoU, which was signed on Wednesday, the facility will... 

Coca-Cola Beverages to tap into solar energy

By: Simone Liedtke     9th May 2018 Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) is installing rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) units, with a combined installed capacity of 10.4 MW, at 11 of its sites. 10 sites will be completed by the end of the year, with the 11th expected to be completed by the end of February 2019. 

Zambia to complete 50 MW World Bank solar project in September

By: Reuters     8th May 2018 Zambia will complete its first large-scale 50 MW solar power generation plant in September this year as the nation battles a power deficit which threatens industrial output, a state-owned agency said on Tuesday. The electricity shortfall has forced Africa's second-largest copper producer to... 

Renewable energy jobs reached 10.3m globally in 2017

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th May 2018 The renewable energy industry created more than 500 000 jobs globally last year – a 5.3% year-on-year increase, says the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena).  

Renewable energy jobs reached 10.3m globally in 2017
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