http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 13.79Change: 0.01
R/$ = 12.55Change: -0.04
Au 1097.09 $/ozChange: 1.60
Pt 985.00 $/ozChange: 0.00
 
 
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 Letters Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Oct 04, 2012

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

Back
Cape Town|Africa|Consulting|Environment|Installation|Projects|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|Storage|Sustainable|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|Environment|Installation|Projects|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|Storage|Sustainable|System|Systems|Turbines|Water|Africa||Energy|Manufacturing|Service|Systems|Wind Energy|Power|Turbines|Water||
cape-town|africa-company|consulting-company|environment|installation|projects|renewable-energy|renewable-energy-company|storage|sustainable|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
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Renewable Energy News
Escalating electricity costs, shortage of electricity and a lack of backup power during load-shedding are eating into South African farming profit margins and even threatening the survival of some sectors of the agriculture industry, says Nedbank. As such, the...
The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has put its two biomass pellet manufacturing plants up for sale. Potential buyers, who would be subject to a confidentiality agreement, were invited last week to submit their offers for the IDC’s 100 000 t/y Coega-based...
After striking a deal to buy two Westinghouse Siemens gas turbines from South African independent power producer Ipsa for £16.1-million, Latin America-focused Rurulec has made an interim payment to Ipsa’s primary creditor, Ethos Energy, bringing the amount still owed...
Article contains comments
More
 
 
Latest News
Not only were new oil and gas (O&G) discoveries in East Africa a catalyst for investment into road, rail and pipeline infrastructure, but they also contributed to the region’s economic growth, with growth of 5.5% projected for this year and an estimated 6% to 7% for...
Transnet has won the 2014 Nkonki State-Owned Company (SOC) Integrated Reporting Award for the best performer. Assurance and advisory firm Nkonki on Wednesday released the findings of its 2015 review of integrated reporting by South African SOCs. The report, titled...
Leading water scientists say it is no longer debatable that South Africa is experiencing a water crisis given that there are already serious problems in supplying enough water of sufficient quality to meet the country’s social and economic needs. CSIR researchers...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book comprises separate reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Water 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
Meyerton-based steel tank manufacturer Structa Technology is currently rolling out a water infrastructure build programme that supports local municipalities, water utilities, schools, hospitals and clinics.
Alternative funding models could be expected to begin coming to the fore in South Africa’s renewable-energy sector as the market becomes more competitive and domestic development finance institutions (DFIs) begin scaling back their direct involvement in projects....
DIMITRI MARKOULIDES An innovation champion must involve employees in innovation projects and keep them updated to enable them to support and drive innovation and create the future of the business
An innovation champion course that trains executives to manage innovation in their organisations aims to help companies grow revenue streams and tap new markets, says business change management consultancy BMGI South Africa innovation practice lead Dimitri...
Future digital workplaces will require employees to continuously learn new “literacies”, including new media, information and technical skills, to help their company thrive and spur personal growth. Information technology (IT) research firm Gartner, thus, suggests...
Only 25% of large construction projects surveyed in KPMG’s Global Construction Project Owner’s Survey, released in June, were concluded on time and within budget over the last three years. “Every project owner wants predictability when it comes to large projects, and...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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
Subscribe Now for $96 Close
Subscribe Now for $96