Oct 16, 2009
Feed-in tariff seen as growth stimulus for renewable-energy marketBack
Cape Town|Engineering|Expertise|Africa|Aurora Power Solutions|Consulting|Eskom|Frost & Sullivan|PROJECT|Projects|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|Resources|Systems|Africa|South Africa|Spain|United Kingdom|United States|USD|Electricity Using Renewable Energy|Energy|Local Renewable-energy Consulting|Particular Technology|Power Generation|Power-generation|Project Development Services|Renewable-energy Consulting|Renewable-energy Feed-in Tariff|Renewable-energy Market|Renewable-energy Projects|Renewable-energy Sector|Services|Solar Renewable-energy Technologies|Sun-driven Energy|Systems|Cape Town-based|Northern Cape|Infrastructure|James Walsh|Power|R10|Particular Technology|PV Technology|Solar Renewable-energy |Solar Renewable-energy Technologies
© Reuse this
However, the renewable-energy market in South Africa is expected to grow exponentially in the next few years, largely owing to the announcement of the renewable-energy feed-in tariff (Refit) in March by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa).
This is according to a study undertaken by international growth partnership company Frost & Sullivan, which indicates that the revenue earned by the renewable-energy sector is expected to increase tenfold, from $28,4-million in 2008 to about $262,3-million by 2015.
This expected exponential growth is good news for local renewable-energy consulting and project development firms.
One such company is Cape Town-based renewable-energy consulting and project development firm Aurora Power Solutions.
Established 18 months ago, Aurora Power Solutions has a portfolio of 200 MW of solar sites under development and is focused on delivering a host of project development services for the renewable-energy sector.
In an interview with Engineering News, Aurora Power Solutions director James Walsh explains that the team of four have skills in engineering, economics and research, and have international experience gain while working on various renewable-energy projects in the US, Spain and the UK.
The company consults on projects and provides expertise for all solar renewable-energy technologies, although Walsh elaborates that the company is particularly focused on the development of solar photovoltaic (PV) technology currently.
The focus on that particular technology is primarily based the recent announcement by Nersa of an R4,48/kWh feed-in tariff for power produced by PV technology, which the company believes, along with concentrating solar power, could finally unlock the doors for the large-scale production of clean, sun-driven energy in South Africa.
Walsh elaborates that PV could be highly successful in South Africa because the country has one of the best solar resources globally, the technology is easily deployed and the project risk can be adequately managed in the South African environment.
Currently, the company is focusing its attention on PV projects over 1 MW in size that will capture Refit.
Walsh states that there is a lot of potential for solar PV projects, especially in the North West province and the Northern Cape province.
However, such projects are expensive, costing between R50-million and R60-million each megawatt of capacity installed a site.
Thus, while the company is currently undertaking prefeasibility studies for potential PV projects, its key priority is to raise funding to take its project pipeline to financial closure.
Walsh elaborates that Aurora Power Solutions is seeking to raise capital through private-equity funds, infrastructure funds venture capital funds.
To date, the company has received limited funding, but Walsh elaborates that the funding has been too little to take any project to financial closure, which requires R10-million to 15-million.
Walsh admits that the current global economic recession is making fundraising difficult, but remains optimistic that an improvement in economic circumstances will lead to more funding. He also notes that South Africa does not have an established venture capital industry that has a mandate to invest in early-risk capital.
The other factor that is inhibiting project development is the lack of a developed offtake market in South Africa.
To date, the industry has not been able to secure such an agreement. However, the company remains optimistic about its future in the local renewable-energy sector and the growth of large-scale PV projects in South Africa.
“The installation of large-scale grid-connected solar PV systems in South Africa provides an efficient way to quickly diversify its power generation portfolio,” says Walsh. “With the potential adoption of the new Nersa feed-in tariff, we now finally stand on the verge of developing a new industry in South Africa.”
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Renewable Energy News
Updated 6 minutes ago JSE-listed packaging firm Astrapak on Friday said it expected to report a loss a share of between 42c and 44c for the six months ended August 31, compared with a loss a share of 23.4c in the prior comparative period, mainly owing to the impact of industrial action....
Updated 17 minutes ago The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) will release a consultation paper in February next year outlining the possible regulatory framework for “distributed power generation” in South Africa, including how “prosumers” could be empowered to feed surplus...
Updated 23 minutes ago Following the release of her groundbreaking research into the way in which local exporters assessed foreign markets, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has formally honoured North-West University (NWU) Professor Wilma Viviers as one of seven global candidates for its...
Recent Research Reports
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
This Week's Magazine
While Ekurhuleni-based transformer manufacturer Reliable Transformers currently designs, manufactures and tests its products according to the SANS 780 specifications for distribution transformers and other applicable transformer specifications, it is working towards...
Global endpoint security solutions company Kaspersky Lab has introduced new measures to prevent cyber criminals from accessing sensitive data, alongside its malware-signature and heuristic device analysis detection methods. Threats to mobile devices have increased...
To ensure uptake and a positive impact, Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) networks in cities must be provided at schools, community centres and commercial centres to enable citizens and government to access information that will improve access to and delivery of services....
Eco-estate Monaghan Farm, located near Lanseria airport, north-west of Johannesburg, has taken a new approach to modern living and sustainability with its 517 ha development, dedicated to farm living.
Forklift and lift-truck distributor Goscor Lift Hi-Reach launched the Genie SX-180, the tallest self-propelled super boom in Africa, in Johannesburg last month. “As the official distributor of the well-known Genie range of equipment in Southern Africa, we are pleased...