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Solar News

Financing secured for solar projects in Egypt

By: Nadine James     17th November 2017 European photovoltaic (PV) specialist Scatec Solar announced that it had secured financing of $335-million to fund its portion of the development of six 400 MW utility scale PV power plants which will be located in the Benban solar park in the City of Aswan in Egypt. The company secured funding... 

Investment in solar has overtaken coal globally, says IEA

By: Kim Cloete     16th November 2017 Breaking all-time records, renewables currently account for two thirds of global net capacity additions, according to one of several reports about how renewable energy is powering ahead. The trend is set to continue. “All renewables will grow at double the velocity of fossil fuels within the next... 

Investment in solar has overtaken coal globally, says IEA

Solar to power ahead as it emerges as ‘cheapest’ source of generation

By: Terence Creamer     14th November 2017 The World Energy Outlook 2017, released by the International Energy Agency (IEA) in London on Tuesday, presents a base case scenario that foresees the world’s growing energy needs being met increasingly by renewables and natural gas over the coming 25 years, as “coal strikes out” and nuclear’s... 

Solar to power ahead as it emerges as ‘cheapest’ source of generation

Schletter South Africa appoints new MD

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     13th November 2017 Solar photovoltaic (PV) mounting system supplier Schletter South Africa has appointed Trevor DeVries MD, effective November 6. DeVries is heading the company that serves the sub-Saharan Africa business of the globally active Schletter Group. 

Monitoring energy consumption fosters efficiency

By: Nica Schreuder     10th November 2017 Being aware of how much energy one consumes is key in energy efficiency and management, and has the potential to significantly reduce energy consumption in businesses and residential households, says industrial switchgear, automation and energy efficiency product distributor ElectroMechanica (EM)... 

Monitoring energy consumption  fosters efficiency
SMART SOLUTIONS ElectroMechanica’s smart home solutions enable users to control and monitor their energy consumption from their smartphone

Affordability makes energy efficient solutions accessible

By: Nica Schreuder     10th November 2017 Increasing emphasis on the importance of energy efficiency and sustainable energy solutions has resulted in energy efficient lighting solutions using solar power becoming more cost effective. Subsequently, this has enabled disadvantaged communities, with minimal access to lighting, to afford... 

Affordability makes energy efficient solutions accessible
ECOBOXX ACDC Dynamics offers portable, cost effective solar power solutions

Energy-saving guide promotes sustainable mindset industry

By: Nica Schreuder     10th November 2017 International oil and gas company ExxonMobil has recently launched an energy- saving guide for the plastics industry to demonstrate to major companies in plastics how they can better manage their energy consumption. The guide, launched last month, is a practical approach designed to help with... 

Energy-saving guide  promotes sustainable mindset industry
ESSENTIAL ADVICE ExxonMobil’s energy-saving guide is aimed towards assisting the plastics industry in managing their energy consumption

Student competition fosters innovative energy solutions

By: Nica Schreuder     10th November 2017 In a bid to allow South African engineering students to explore and understand energy efficiency and solutions, Gauteng-based tertiary institution the University of Johannesburg (UJ) has partnered with international energy and petrochemicals group Shell Global for the fourth time to host the... 

Student competition fosters innovative  energy solutions
ECO-MARATHON Fostering an energy efficient-conscious mind-set among students is the first step towards embracing energy efficiency

Competence Centre promotes energy efficiency awareness in Africa

By: Nica Schreuder     10th November 2017 The South African-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Competence Centre for Sustainable Energies (CC:SE), in Cape Town plays an important role in creating awareness and fostering conversations among African stakeholders in the renewable energy and energy efficiency sector. CC:SE manager... 

Competence Centre promotes energy efficiency awareness in Africa
Photo by Bloomberg
LIGHTING THE WAY EUREM trainees are taught basic knowledge of energy efficiency, with an emphasis on energy efficient lighting systems

Organisation assists business in becoming energy efficient

By: Nica Schreuder     10th November 2017 Lack of energy supply security, economic costs associated with energy, and environmental costs, such as depleting resources, contributing to climate change are just some of the factors that can be mitigated if South Africa embraces energy efficiency and reliable renewable energy alternatives,... 

Organisation assists  business in becoming  energy efficient
MONITORED CONSUMPTION NCPC-SA is trying to find ways to optimise South Africa’s energy consumption

Upcoming energy event to showcase African project opportunities  

By: Simone Liedtke     10th November 2017 A key focus point of the African Energy Indaba (AEI) – which celebrates its ten-year milestone next year – is to provide access to project opportunities across the African continent. 

Upcoming energy event to showcase African project opportunities
Africa Energy Indaba (AEI) MD Liz Hart, AEI chairperson Brian Statham and South African Electrotechnical Export Council CEO Chiboni Evans discuss the AEI next year. Camera: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Lionel da Silva.

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

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’

IFC and banks close $653m in funding for Egypt solar plants

By: Reuters     30th October 2017 International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, on Sunday said it had completed a $653-million debt package to finance building 13 solar power plants near Aswan in Egypt, planned to be part of the largest solar park in the world. Generating up to 752 megawatts of solar... 

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

Engie targets Africa with home solar acquisition

By: Reuters     20th October 2017 French gas utility Engie has bought a Ugandan home solar systems company to expand in sub-Saharan Africa by providing power to millions of people who have no access to electricity. Engie said on Thursday that it had acquired Fenix International, which sells home solar kits financed through tiny... 

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... 

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

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

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

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

FedGroup acquires controlling stake in Emergent Energy   

     3rd October 2017 Financial services provider FedGroup has acquired a controlling stake in provider of installed solar photovoltaic commercial projects in South Africa Emergent Energy.   The acquisition is aimed at vertically integrating FedGroup's Direct Ownership investment platform into the solar energy... 

SAPVIA member appointed Global Solar Council director

By: Schalk Burger     29th September 2017 South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) programme manager Niveshen Govender has been elected to serve as director on the Global Solar Council (GSC) board. The GSC was established during the twenty-first Conference of Parties climate dialogue, held in Paris, France, in 2015. It... 

LED best fit for energy-hungry smart cities

By: Schalk Burger     29th September 2017 Energy efficiency is critical to sustaining smart cities, especially as the levels of urbanisation are expected to increase, and light-emitting diode- (LED-) technologies will be a key component, says electronic multinational Philips Lighting Southern Africa GM Reggie Nxumalo. “As much as 78% of... 

LED best fit for energy-hungry  smart cities
REGGIE NXUMALO The well-established use of energy-efficiency systems supports industrial development in Africa

Anticipated tariffs hike makes energy efficiency wise choice

     22nd September 2017 A ruling by the Constitutional Court last month which allows State-owned power utility Eskom to retrospectively ask the National Energy Regulator of South Africa to permit Eskom to claw back additional tariffs from consumers, could lead to further hikes in the price of electricity for South... 

Anticipated tariffs hike makes energy efficiency wise choice
Photo by Duane Daws
SOLAR READY Before home owners install solar panels, they have to ensure that the buildings is suitable

New study points to 90% renewables mix being least cost by 2050 

By: Terence Creamer     15th September 2017 New analysis conducted using updated cost assumptions for solar photovoltaic (PV), onshore wind and batteries shows that the share of renewable energy in an electricity mix that would also be the least cost for South Africa could grow to above 90% by 2050. Such a portfolio, the study indicates,... 

New study points to 90% renewables mix being least cost by 2050
Photo by Duane Daws
Enertrag corporate business development head Dr Tobias Bischof-Niemz

Smart regulation key to driving renewable energy sector

By: Anine Kilian     14th September 2017 Smart regulation and market stimulation are key drivers for growing the renewable energy sector and help reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, Finnish Economic Affairs and Employment Deputy Minister Petri Peltonen said on Thursday. Speaking to Engineering News Online on the sidelines of the... 

Renewables’ share of global energy market to rise, system stability central

By: Anine Kilian     14th September 2017 The world’s energy system will decarbonise over the next three decades, says advisory services and risk management company DNV GL Africa business manager Robert O’Keefe. Unpacking DNV GL’s ‘Energy Transition Outlook 2017’ report at the Nordic Energy Days conference, in Pretoria, on Thursday, he... 

Alviva to leverage services strength for growth over next year

By: Schalk Burger     7th September 2017 Business information and communication technology (ICT) company Alviva will leverage the investments made into its subsidiaries and infrastructure, which has helped to reduce gearing, broadened its offerings and improved efficiencies, to drive growth over the next year. The firm had increased the... 

Caution creeps in as renewables industry digests implications of 77c/kWh tariff cap

By: Terence Creamer     4th September 2017 South Africa’s solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind industry bodies have added a degree of caution to their initial positive reactions to an announcement by Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi regarding the signing of power purchase agreements (PPAs) for 26 renewable-energy projects that have been on... 

Caution creeps in as renewables industry digests implications of 77c/kWh tariff cap
Photo by Duane Daws
Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi (in the centre) at the September 1 renewables IPP announcement in Pretoria

Kubayi sets 77c/kWh price cap and October deadline for signing of 26 renewables projects

By: Terence Creamer     1st September 2017 Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi opened the window on Friday for the signing of contracts for 26 renewable-energy independent power producer (IPP) projects that have been on hold since 2015 when Eskom indicated it was no longer willing to enter into further power purchase agreements (PPAs), owing... 

Kubayi sets 77c/kWh price cap and October deadline for signing of 26 renewables projects
Photo by Duane Daws
Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi
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