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Solar News

Kenyan startup’s solar refrigeration solution wins energy prize 

25th January 2018 Kenyan startup SolarFreeze, which has developed an offgrid solar-powered refrigeration solution for smallholder farmers and traders, has been named the winner of the Africa Energy Prize. The award is a joint initiative between energy multinational Enel and Swiss-based Seedstars World, which... 

Signing of power purchase agreements with IPPs imminent – SAWEA

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     19th January 2018 The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) expects the conclusion of 26 outstanding power purchase agreements (PPAs) with independent power producers (IPPs) to occur during the first quarter of this year. It said on Friday that the majority of the processes required to conclude the PPAs... 

Signing of power purchase agreements with IPPs imminent – SAWEA

Guidance note on support for off-grid renewable energy launched

By: Dylan Slater     19th January 2018 The first edition of the Off-Grid Government-Industry Dialogue (OGID) Day – which took place in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire during October – resulted in the launch of a guidance note for governments. The note aims to share recommendations for policymakers about how they can support the off-grid... 

$324m for Morocco, Côte d’Ivoire renewables projects

By: Dylan Slater     19th January 2018 The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved $324-million in loan support to two renewable energy projects in Morocco and Côte d’Ivoire that are expected to significantly increase power supplies and boost economic growth in those countries.  

SA’s renewables production costs minimised at high penetration levels, NREL study shows

By: Terence Creamer     17th January 2018 A new independent study published by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), in the US, concludes that significant production cost savings could be achieved if South Africa added between 60 GW and 100 GW of additional variable renewable energy (VRE) by 2035. The NREL study is a pure... 

SA’s renewables production costs minimised at high penetration levels, NREL study shows
NREL research engineer Erol Chartan

New ‘power-to-X’ prospects may arise as renewables costs continue to fall

By: Terence Creamer     15th January 2018 The outlook for solar and wind electricity costs to 2020 “presages historically low costs for new renewable electricity”, which could create new economic and industrial opportunities, a new International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) report argues. Released in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab... 

New ‘power-to-X’ prospects may arise as renewables costs continue to fall

Rwanda, Mauritius get funding for solar PV projects

By: Anine Kilian     15th January 2018 The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) on Monday announced that $25-million in concessional loans from ADFD have been earmarked for solar photovoltaic (PV) projects in Mauritius and Rwanda. The projects have the potential to significantly... 

Acwa Power buys into blockchain currency

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     15th January 2018 Power generation technology developer Acwa Power has adopted SolarCoin – the global reward programme for solar electricity generation – marking the first time a utility-scale generator joins the SolarCoin ecosystem. SolarCoin will provide digital tokens to Acwa Power for every MWh of solar energy... 

Acwa Power buys into blockchain currency

Solar steam powers homes – and new jobs – in South Africa

By: Reuters     12th January 2018 South Africa may still get most of its energy from coal, but in the country’s sunny Northern Cape province, a different electricity source is taking hold: solar steam. A Spanish renewable energy company has opened three thermal solar plants – which use the sun’s heat to create electricity - in... 

Solar steam powers homes – and new jobs – in South Africa

CPV plant’s success contributes to economic growth

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     15th December 2017 Being the only concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) power plant of its kind in South Africa currently, independent power producer Pele Energy Group senior asset manager Ziska Mc Gilton says the 36 MW ac Touwsrivier CPV project is continuously providing economic upliftment and support for surrounding... 

Successful solar PV project exemplified for SA uptake

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     15th December 2017 The “tremendous” success of the Robben Island solar photovoltaic (PV) microgrid project lends itself to “fantastic” replication potential, as it serves as a model example for retrofitting existing energy systems with solar and batteries to significantly reduce fossil fuel consumption and... 

Longmeadow solar PV project nearing completion

By: Nadine James     15th December 2017 Solar power specialist Energy Partners (EP) Solar has invested in a photovoltaic (PV) solar system to power South African retailer Pick n Pay’s Longmeadow distribution centre, in Modderfontein, Gauteng. The project is currently about 80% complete and will be fully operational by the end of... 

AfDB grants loan support to two African renewable energy projects

By: Dylan Slater     11th December 2017 The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved $324-million in loan support to two renewable energy projects in Morocco and Côte d’Ivoire that are expected to significantly increase power supplies and boost economic growth in those countries.  

AfDB grants loan support to two African renewable energy projects
The Noor concentrated solar power project’s Phase 1

SAPVIA launches ‘bold’ 5-point plan for solar industrialisation

By: Mia Breytenbach     8th December 2017 The South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) has announced a “bold” five-point plan for the solar photovoltaic (PV) industry to drive industrialisation, create jobs, and contribute to economic growth. Speaking at the Energy Indaba held at Gallagher Estate in Midrand, on Friday,... 

SAPVIA launches ‘bold’ 5-point plan for solar industrialisation

Jasco slashes carbon footprint with solar energy solution

By: Nadine James     8th December 2017 Technology solutions provider Jasco’s Power Solutions & Renewable Energy team will leverage its experiences from its successful solar project as a base for understanding the engineering, procurement and construction requirements for solar energy systems in high-end residential, commercial and... 

Renewables-heavy mix is South Africa’s cheapest option, yet another study confirms

By: Terence Creamer     1st December 2017 A new, independently produced techno-economic model of South Africa’s cost-optimal power generation mix in 2040 outlines a system where 69% of the electrical energy is produced from onshore wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) generators, supported by batteries and gas-fired generators. Conducted by... 

Renewables-heavy mix is South Africa’s cheapest option, yet another study confirms

Globeleq increases stake in South African renewables projects

By: Anine Kilian     30th November 2017 Electricity generation project developer, owner and operator Globeleq has increased its shareholding in the Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm, as well as in the De Aar Solar and Droogfontein Solar projects in South Africa by acquiring Mainstream Renewable Power’s minority shareholdings in the three... 

Steel Awards 2017 confirms LSFB growth

24th November 2017 This year’s annual Steel Awards, hosted by the Southern African Institute of Steel Construction, showed excellent growth for the South African light steel frame building (LSFB) industry, with more than 25 000 m2 represented in category entries. The awards, which took place on September 13, saw 19... 

Steel Awards 2017  confirms LSFB growth
SUMMIT PLACE The Assupol Building, the 11-storey winning office block in the Summit Place development

Microgrids add new arrow to Africa’s electricity access quiver

By: Mia Breytenbach     24th November 2017 The launch of a R25-million solar energy, lithium-ion battery storage microgrid on Robben Island – the World Heritage Site in Table Bay, Cape Town, which, until recently, relied on diesel to generate electricity – not only showcases the versatile advantages of microgrid technology, but also... 

Microgrids add new arrow to Africa’s electricity access quiver

Power and utilities drone market worth more than $9bn

By: Dylan Slater     24th November 2017 The international drone market comprising solutions that use drones for the power and utilities industries is worth as much as $9.46-billion a year, according to a report published by professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).  

Robben Island inaugurates solar PV microgrid  

23rd November 2017 Robben Island, a World Heritage Site in Table Bay, Cape Town has gone green with the installation of a R25-million solar energy, lithium-ion battery storage microgrid. Mia Breytenbach has the details. 

Robben Island inaugurates solar PV microgrid
Robben Island inaugurates solar PV microgrid

Two South Africans shortlisted for engineering innovation prize

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd November 2017 Two young South Africans are among the 16 engineers hailing from seven countries in Africa, who have been chosen for the shortlist of the prestigious Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation. University of the Witwatersrand chemical engineering research fellow Collins Saguru has developed AltMet,... 

Funding made available to advance Burkina Faso solar project

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd November 2017 The Banque Internationale pour le Commerce, l’Industrie et l’Artisanat du Burkina (BICIAB), a BNP Paribas Group subsidiary, will provide $16.5-million in financing to Eren Renewable Energy for a 15 MW solar power plant that is under construction in Burkina Faso. The funding was granted to... 

Eskom’s ‘death spiral’ under the microscope 

By: Terence Creamer     21st November 2017 A major topic of discussion during recent public hearings into Eskom’s 2018/19 revenue application, was whether a further double-digit tariff hike could trigger a “utility death spiral”, whereby rising tariffs and utility costs spark an exodus of energy-intensive customers from the network,... 

Eskom’s ‘death spiral’ under the microscope

First commercial solar insurance launched in South Africa

By: African News Agency      20th November 2017 South African firms All Power Systems and Synthesis said on Monday they had launched the country’s first commercial solar savings insurance to protect companies from risks associated with adverse weather and system failure. In a statement, the companies said firms using rooftop solar energy faced... 

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. 

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