http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 13.04Change: 0.08
R/$ = 12.05Change: 0.25
Au 1186.86 $/ozChange: 1.06
Pt 1142.00 $/ozChange: 1.50
 
 
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 Letters 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|Environment|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|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|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
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Electricity News
President Jacob Zuma
President Jacob Zuma says the independent commission of inquiry into Eskom should get to the root cause of the problems facing the power utility. In an exclusive interview with the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) on Thursday night, the President spoke...
A South African court dismissed on Friday an application by Westinghouse Electric Company to re-open the bidding process for a generator contract awarded to French rival Areva, a court official said. Westinghouse, the world's largest nuclear fuel producer and part of...
Lynne Brown
Power utility Eskom has implemented regular power cuts this year to prevent the national grid being overwhelmed, as South Africa faces its worst energy crisis in decades, Public Enterprise Minister Lynne Brown said earlier this week, adding that power outages cost...
More
 
 
Latest News
The Department of Communications (DoC) digital terrestrial television (DTT) project team was accelerating its efforts to “revive” South Africa’s long anticipated transition from analogue to digital broadcasting. After a more than six-year delay, the next few weeks...
Paul-Roux de Kock
Residential property prices are forecast to grow at 7.2% this year, on the back of 6.72% growth in 2014.
The petrol price will increase by R1.62/ℓ next week, while diesel would increase by R1.24/ℓ, the Department of Energy (DoE) revealed on Friday. The DoE said the adjustment was based on local and international factors.
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
Projected capital expenditure (capex) in the South African automotive assembly industry should reach a record R7.48-billion this year, says the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) in its 2014 fourth quarter business review. Capex...
After several years of navigating project-threatening red tape and currency fluctuations, the 4.4 MW Bronkhorstspruit biogas power plant, which will supply clean energy to a leading automotive manufacturer in Gauteng, is expected to enter production before June....
RESOURCEFUL The raw material for the pilot plant would be supplied from the dissolving wood pulp plants at Sappi’s Saiccor and Ngodwana mills, in South Africa, and the Cloquet mill, in the US
South African paper and pulp producer Sappi reported earlier this month that it would build a pilot plant for the production of low-cost Cellulose NanoFibrils, or CNF (nanocellulose) at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Sittard-Geleen in the Netherlands.
The long-term outlook for Nigeria is a country that has the potential to be very strong. So affirmed International Monetary Fund (IMF) Nigeria Mission Chief and Senior Resident Representative Dr Gene Leon on recently. "But we are starting from a point of huge...
Poor infrastructure planning and inadequate maintenance are becoming increasingly problematic for new developments and the associated infrastructure required to support such developments. In many urban and rural municipalities, the state of infrastructure has been...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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