http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 14.10Change: -0.09
R/$ = 10.74Change: -0.07
Au 1266.44 $/ozChange: 1.57
Pt 1411.50 $/ozChange: 2.50
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Oct 05, 2012

SA cautious, sceptical, but daring with solar energy – expert

Back
Cape Town|Africa|Consulting|Projects|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|System|Systems|Turbines|Water|Africa|Germany|South Africa|Clean And Sustainable Energy Source|Electricity Grid|Energy|Energy Capacity|Energy Division|Energy Efficiency|Energy Expert|Energy Market|Energy Projects|Mandated Utilities|Manufacturing|Manufacturing Jobs|Service|Solar Energy|Solar Manufacturing|Systems|Wind Energy|Power|Turbines|Water|Southern Africa|Able Energy Technologies|Energy Technologies
|Africa|Consulting|Projects|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|System|Systems|Turbines|Water|Africa||Energy|Service|Systems|Wind Energy|Power|Turbines|Water||
cape-town|africa-company|consulting-company|projects|renewable-energy|renewable-energy-company|system|systems-company|turbines-company|water-company|africa|germany|south-africa|clean-and-sustainable-energy-source|electricity-grid|energy|energy-capacity|energy-division|energy-efficiency|energy-expert|energy-market|energy-projects|mandated-utilities|manufacturing|manufacturing-jobs|service|solar-energy|solar-manufacturing|systems|wind-energy|power|turbines-person|water|southern-africa-region|able-energy-technologies-technology|energy-technologies-technology
© Reuse this



Eminent renewable energy expert Christine Wörlen believes that South Africa has taken measured steps, but not a leadership role, towards rolling out renewable energy in the country.

Wörlen, who is the former head of the German Energy Agency’s renewable energy division and who now has her own consulting business, predicts that the renewable energy market in South Africa will grow.

However, growth is determined by policy schemes and, while there is demand from administrators, there are various conflicts and red tape that need to be resolved first, she notes.

Nevertheless, she says South Africa has been cautious with regard to solar and wind energy, but that it was a wise decision to drive energy efficiency and roll out solar water heaters.

“Now there is new excitement about the opportunities that renewable energies [provide],” she notes.

Wörlen says she is pleased that the South African government has developed the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP), which is aimed at integrating 3 725 MW of large-scale renewable energy capacity into them national power grid between 2014 and 2016.

She states that there are encouraging signs in South Africa, referring to the first round of power purchase agreements, which were signed last month, settling the first 100 MW on the contract side of the REIPPP.

“One should celebrate these interim successes. Although many people are disappointed with the pace of progress, they must understand that transformation is not necessarily fast. It is good that South Africa is moving forward. Its renewable community is growing every year,” Wörlen states.

Meanwhile, she points out that there are also many interesting opportunities for rooftop photovoltaic (PV) or other small-scale renewable energy projects, such as on-site generation at farms.

“The country cannot do everything at once and the process of implementing renewable projects at all scales simultaneously would require a lot of government capacity,” Wörlen states.

In Germany, the Parliament has mandated utilities to make the process very simple. A rooftop solar installation and the signing of power purchase agreements with the power utility can be completed in a few weeks, the record being eight days, while this process takes much longer in South Africa, owing to red tape and administrative requirements, she points out.

Solar PV systems are practical for South Africa, as they are easy to use, Wörlen states.

Further, she says that, if no red tape existed, the solar PV system could be installed in many places in the country and be connected to the national electricity grid.

Solar energy is a clean and sustainable energy source that contributes to job creation and the development of new technologies. It is also localised and can be used where it is produced.

Wörlen notes that regional planning with other countries in the Southern African Development Community is needed, not only to attract jobs in solar manufacturing but also to draw up a joint plan of how much capacity should be deployed in Southern Africa.

There is a minimum market size required for manufacturing jobs to become located in Southern Africa.

“Renewables are the only real growth branch of the energy industry and it is the only sector where costs will decrease,” she states.

“As technologies become more reliable, more manufacturing capacity is created for wind turbines and solar modules. So, we achieve economies of scale by manufacturing more turbines and we achieve economies of scope by having a professional service industry supporting this. The more standardised these technologies become, the less expensive they become,” Wörlen adds.

Further, she states that there is significant scale-up of renewable energy technologies around the globe, with more countries starting to manufacture and deploy renew- able energy technologies.

Most countries that have long-term renew- able energy commitments expect to fulfil a part of that from wind energy, she says.

Solar Market and Skills
Skills are very important for job creation and Wörlen explains that in Germany, every third electrician can connect a solar system and every bank is able to finance a solar rooftop system installation.

“These individuals are not originally trained in the solar industry. But they have learned it over the years, during a pervasive, cultural change. This is one of the major job [creators]. Other countries have not understood this and still do not have the pervasive skills throughout the industry to implement a large number of projects,” she states.

Further, she hopes that more international exchange of renewable energy information and practical experiences will occur, so that those with experience in grid stability can assist in the even distribution of systems over regional areas and with the administrative handling and initial additional costs associated with this type of energy.

Wörlen delivered the keynote address at this year’s Clean Power Africa conference and expo in Cape Town last month.

She spoke about global best practices on renewable energy integration and highlighted that a stable regulatory environment is needed to encourage investment in renewable energy.

“The wave of deployment will be slow in the beginning, as few investors immediately delve into a new technology in a new country. Deploying renewables, or any innovation for that matter, will work better once the regulatory environment has increasingly quelled investment uncertainty among investors.

“This will lead not only to more investment, but also lower prices and costs for the resulting projects,” she says.

However, Wörlen says there needs to be a regular incremental adjustment of the regulatory framework because, as the technologies develop and become more competitive, the integration of increased power output from intermittent technology becomes more complicated and new regulatory detail is required.

Meanwhile, she says that consuming more energy is still a symptom of economic growth, and that renewable energy is plentiful and comparatively harmless. Renewable energy can help to allow for growth in a more sustainable manner than conventional energy sources.

“The industry will develop more of its own tools for renewables integration on a small and a large scale. Solar inverters that provide reactive power, virtual power plants and inte- grated storage systems are just the beginning. I expect a lot of technical innovation in this field, with a focus on systems and integration, rather than on just a solar cell or just a wind blade,” she concludes.

Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Electricity News
A consortium led by two Kenyan firms won a government tender to build a 1 000-MW, coal-fired power plant, company officials said on Tuesday, part of moves to satisfy rising demand for energy in East Africa's biggest economy. Kenya suffers from regular blackouts due...
Regional interconnections and oil discoveries are expected to drive the transmission and distribution industry’s (T&D’s) growth in East Africa, the second-fastest growing region in Africa, global growth consulting firm Frost & Sullivan said on Tuesday. The...
Small, 100 MW nuclear power plants could be the answer to Africa’s electricity generation challenges, Nuclear Africa CEO Dr Kelvin Kemm said on Tuesday, stating that he believed in 100 years’ time, the world would mostly be run on nuclear power. “I believe...
More
 
 
Latest News
Despite various challenges related to the extraction of shale oil and gas, as countries grow accustomed to the idea, the use of shale as a form of energy will be more widely pursued, international oil and gas market analyst Michael Lynch said on Tuesday. Speaking at...
A consortium led by two Kenyan firms won a government tender to build a 1 000-MW, coal-fired power plant, company officials said on Tuesday, part of moves to satisfy rising demand for energy in East Africa's biggest economy. Kenya suffers from regular blackouts due...
TNPA CEO Tau Morwe
The announcement of the successful bidder for the construction of Durban’s long-awaited passenger cruise terminal was imminent, Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) CEO Tau Morwe told delegates at the African Ports Evolution Conference in Durban on Tuesday. ...
More
 
 
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...
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
South African State-owned defence industrial group Denel has announced its fourth consecutive year of profits. The group's results for the financial year 2013/2014 were recently announced at its head office in Centurion, south of Pretoria. Revenues grew by 17%, net...
There is little opportunity for JSE-listed infrastructure company Group Five to grow shareholder value in the domestic market, says CEO Mike Upton. He says value can still be found in the private sector, in the renewable and industrial power sector, as well as in...
The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) has announced the event dates of the 2015 Johannesburg International Motor Show (JIMS). The event will take place from October 14 to October 25, 2015, at the Johannesburg Expo Centre, Nasrec.
UK engineering support services provider Babcock is set to deliver the largest order of global truck manufacturer DAF’s truck tractors in Southern Africa to bulk carrier road-based logistics company Ngululu Bulk Carriers (NBC), with 133 trucks to be delivered in...
Digital radio communications in the African local government space can open up the world, but have many challenges to overcome, notes integration and migration of legacy radio communications infrastructure with digital mobile radio company Emcom Wireless head of...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks