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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,... 

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... 

Lessons from China’s solar surge

By: Terence Creamer     20th October 2017 Last year, when Eskom illegally put the brakes on the country’s hitherto successful renewables roll-out, new solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity around the world grew by 50%, reaching over 74 GW. The International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) ‘Renewables 2017’ report indicates that the record year for... 

Xina Solar One parabolic trough plant project, South Africa

By: Sheila Barradas     20th October 2017 The Xina CSP plant has successfully completed its first month of commercial operation in October this year. 

Eskom’s new R174bn grid plan includes R18bn for IPP connections

By: Terence Creamer     19th October 2017 State-owned electricity utility Eskom says all connection costs relating to 27 outstanding renewable-energy projects have been included in its latest Transmission Development Plan (TDP), which covers the ten-year period from 2018 to 2027. The renewable-energy projects were legally procured in... 

‘Absolutely no need' for nuclear, Dames says in State-capture testimony

By: Kim Cloete     18th October 2017 Former Eskom CEO Brian Dames has revealed that he faced a breakdown in communication between the board and management, as well as death threats during his time at the state utility.  He has also told Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises that there is "absolutely no need" for... 

Malmström raises EU’s concern over South Africa's stance towards renewables IPPs

By: Terence Creamer     17th October 2017 European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström confirmed on Tuesday that she had communicated the European Union’s (EU’s) unhappiness over Eskom’s refusal to enter into contracts with renewable-energy independent power producers (IPPs), some of which are European, directly with the South... 

Building Energy celebrates start of production at Uganda solar PV plant

By: Anine Kilian     16th October 2017 Independent power producer Building Energy recently inaugurated the 10 MW Tororo solar plant – its first photovoltaic (PV) system in Uganda and one of the largest solar PV plants in Eastern Africa. Building Energy was responsible for the development of the project, arranging the financing, as... 

Identifying New Energy Markets In Africa

     16th October 2017 The population in Africa is growing with an expected 6% annual increase in demand for electricity, but the deficit in access to energy in Africa is a severe constraint to growth, development and productivity - on a scale that restricts Africa’s ability to compete effectively in the global... 

China can solve renewable energy waste problem by 2020 - NEA

By: Reuters     16th October 2017 China expects to solve the problem of renewable energy waste by 2020, Liang Zhipeng, deputy director of the new energy and renewable energy department of the National Energy Administration (NEA) said in a presentation at a conference on Monday. He also said the agency expects the wind sector to... 

SA weighs market opportunities as utility-scale battery storage prospects improve

By: Mia Breytenbach     13th October 2017 Following the release of an energy storage technoeconomic 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,... 

Chamber helps Italian companies prosper in S Africa

By: Robyn Wilkinson     13th October 2017 Networking events and exhibitions are integral to fostering partnerships between Italian and South African companies, says Italian-South African Chamber of Trade and Industries secretary general Mariagrazia Biancospino. 

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,... 

Lindahl wind farm project, US

By: Sheila Barradas     13th October 2017 EGPNA Renewable Energy Partners plan to build a 150 MW capacity wind farm in North Dakota. 

Qld releases more exploration acreage

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     11th October 2017 The Queensland government will release more than 19 000 km2 of land for gas exploration as part of its annual exploration programme, Natural Resources and Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said on Wednesday. The gas generated from these exploration tenements will be used to power local... 

Adani signs PPA over Rugby Run solar plant

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     10th October 2017 Indian major Adani has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) over its planned Rugby Run solar plant, in Queensland. The 65 MW first stage of the solar plant is expected to cost more than A$100-million to complete, and will be built on a 600-ha block that is part of the Rugby Run grazing property. 

Africa Energy Indaba To Discuss Key Issues Facing The African Energy Sector

     9th October 2017 The 10th African Energy Indaba (AEI) will take place on 20-21st February, 2018 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. The conference plenary session topics include: -  

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... 

A FIRST for renewable energy funding

     6th October 2017 Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) together with KfW Development Bank (KfW) recently closed FIRST (the Facility for Investment in Renewable Small Transactions), a fund originally structured to enable the funding of small renewable energy projects. The fund’s mandate has now been broadened following... 

Opinion: South Africa’s coal mining sector could shrink by 46% 

     6th October 2017 In this opinion article, independent economic risk consultant Rob Jeffrey argues that the mining industry and coal industry need to fight for their very future otherwise all is lost. Few people realise that future economic, political and social prosperity are at currently stake. Decisions made in... 

TransCanada snuffs out Energy East, Eastern Mainline projects

By: Henry Lazenby     6th October 2017 TransCanada has pulled the plug on the Energy East and Eastern Mainline pipeline projects, the oil and gas infrastructure major revealed on Thursday. The TSX- and NYSE-listed oil and gas company said it will inform the National Energy Board (NEB) that it will no longer be proceeding with its... 

Sustainability roadmap

By: Terence Creamer     6th October 2017 Restoring good governance at Eskom is undoubtedly the most pressing priority for the State-owned utility and arguably among the top five current priorities for government itself. Absent an extraordinary recovery in the group’s credibility, the prevailing trust deficit between Eskom and society... 

Khobab and Loeriesfontein wind farm projects, South Africa

By: Sheila Barradas     6th October 2017 The Khobab Wind Farm has completed the installation of all its wind turbines in September, ahead of schedule. 

High Rock power plant aerating turbine installation project, US

By: Sheila Barradas     6th October 2017 The project entails the provision and installation of three aerating chambers of 13.4 MW each. 

IEA lifts five-year renewables forecast after record 2016

By: Reuters     4th October 2017 The International Energy Agency (IEA) has raised its forecasts for renewable energy over the next five years following a record 2016, mainly driven by a surge in solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity in China, India and the United States. In its medium-term renewables market report, the IEA expects... 

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... 

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... 

Australian Mines secures Flemington water licence

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     3rd October 2017 Metals developer Australian Mines has secured a permanent water licence for its Flemington cobalt/nickel/scandium project, in New South Wales. “Securing a permanent water allocation that will more than cover the current proposed scale and life of the operation at the Flemington project is another... 

Canadian miners commit to new actions in combat against climate change

By: Henry Lazenby     3rd October 2017 The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) has adopted 13 actions under the six policy areas proposed last year by an internal advisory body, that will help its members better fight against climate change. The MAC said on Monday that it has incorporated recommendations levelled by the association’s... 

Opinion: Minister Kubayi’s Renewable Energy Plan: Does it signify progress or regression?

     29th September 2017 In this opinion piece, Sener regional MD Siyabonga Mbanjwa expresses the hope that both the current moratorium on new renewable-energy projects and the proposed 77c/kWh tariff cap will be reconsidered during industry consultations.  

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... 

Turbine installations at wind project completed ahead of schedule

By: Mia Breytenbach     29th September 2017 Khobab Wind Farm, in the Northern Cape has completed all 61 wind turbine installations, ahead of schedule this month. Further, Khobab, together with its adjacent wind farm, the Loeriesfontein Wind Farm, in the Hantam municipality, in the Northern Cape province, have achieved more than two-million... 

Stay woke

By: Terence Creamer     29th September 2017 For all the wrong reasons, Eskom’s profile has remained high despite the stabilisation in electricity supply over the past year and a bit. Most of the current news flow has to do with governance failings and allegations of State capture and corruption. Sadly, the debate about the future structure... 

Botswana to name developer of $4bn plant by December

By: Bloomberg     27th September 2017 Botswana Oil will choose by December a company to build and operate a $4-billion coal-to-liquids (CTL) plant, a facility it said may meet as much as 80% of the Southern African country’s fuel demand. The state-owned oil firm received 11 bids by its August deadline and is subjecting them to... 

Pan African fields questions on gold hedging, guidance, wages 

By: Martin Creamer     26th September 2017 Gold mining company Pan African Resources, which is completely unhedged except for the hedging of 27 000 oz of gold that will be produced next year from its upcoming Elikhulu tailings treatment project, views hedging with extreme caution. In response to Nedbank equity analyst Arnold van Graan,... 

Exxaro, NUM wage agreement halts strike

By: Martin Creamer     22nd September 2017 Coal mining company Exxaro Coal and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) have reached a three-year wage agreement, which brings the current wage strike at its Grootegeluk and Leeuwpan mines to a conclusion.  “We are pleased that the parties were able to resolve the dispute speedily,” Exxaro... 

An ill wind

By: Terry Mackenzie-hoy     22nd September 2017 One commentator said this: "The renewable energy purchase programme, launched in 2011, has been celebrated as a spectacular success directing private capital into public infrastructure and a model for attempts to lure private investment into other projects." I am sure this is how wind farm... 

Big opportunity for change amid renewables-led disruption

By: Schalk Burger     22nd September 2017 As questions remain over what the future holds for South Africa’s power utility Eskom, there is a window of opportunity for utilities in developing countries to build on international power reform experience and design future power markets and operating systems to respond to new opportunities... 

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