http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 18.08Change: -0.03
R/$ = 16.03Change: 0.12
Au 1191.03 $/ozChange: -2.97
Pt 929.50 $/ozChange: 4.50
 
 
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 About Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Nov 20, 2009

SA thin-film solar plant may be operating within ‘two-and-a-half years'

Back
Construction|Africa|CoAL|Copper|Efficiency|Environment|Health|Modular|Nuclear|Power|PROJECT|Projects|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|Safety|Solar|Storage|Systems|Technology|Testing|Water|Africa|Energy|Equipment|Solutions|Systems
Construction|Africa|CoAL|Copper|Efficiency|Environment|Health|Modular|Nuclear|Power|PROJECT|Projects|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|Safety|Solar|Storage|Systems|Technology|Testing|Water|Africa|Energy|Equipment|Solutions|Systems
construction|africa-company|coal|copper|efficiency|environment|health|modular|nuclear|power|project|projects|renewable-energy|renewable-energy-company|safety|solar|storage|systems-company|technology|testing|water|africa|energy|equipment|solutions|systems
© Reuse this



Energy and chemicals group Sasol, which is a coinvestor in the development of a thin film solar-panel technology start-up enterprise, reported on Friday that the "development phase" for a commercial-scale project should begin in Germany in December, opening the way for a South African production facility that could become operational within "two-and-a-half" years.

The head of the JSE-listed group's new energy unit, Henri Loubser, confirmed that the facility would be established in Paarl, in the Western Cape, and would have a capacity to produce 40 MW of the copper-indium-gallium-diselenide (CIGS) modules yearly.

The CIGS solution is considered to be a second-generation thin-film photovoltaic (PV) technology, with material cost advantages over PV solutions based on crystalline silicon. PV technology is able to convert solar energy directly into electricity and has been included into South Africa's latest renewable energy feed-in tariff structure.

South Africa's State-owned Central Energy Fund, Sasol, the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and the National Empowerment Fund are pursuing the South African project jointly as a public-private partnership (PPP). The European Investment Bank has also lent €40-million to PPP to support the construction of the local PV production facility. Sasol has a 40% interest in the start-up PV enterprise.

"We are confident that the development phase of the project will kick off in December," Loubser said, adding that Sasol was sending a team to Germany during November to facilitate the final agreements for the programme.

The development phase is expected to continue for between 12 months and 18 months. Thereafter, the facility will be relocated from Germany to South Africa in a project that could take another 12 months to complete.

News of the advances in the South African project comes as MiaSolé, a US manufacturer of CIGS thin-film PV modules, has announced that it has started shipping its CIGS thin-film modules from its California production facility.

In a press statement issued in mid-November, CEO Dr Joseph Laia reported that it had shipped modules to 30 customer sites in Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Portugal and various locations in the US. "We now have commercial projects in the ground, under development and on the drawing board," Laia said.

Sasol's Loubser acknowledged the growing competitive pressures surrounding PV, but said that the South African investors were confident that the development phase would prove that the technology was indeed cost and efficiency competitive.

The other second-generation thin-film solutions emerging were amorphous-silicon panels and cadmium-telluride units. Further, there was much work is going into so-called third-generation solutions, which could reduce costs further and improve efficiencies up to 40%. The efficiency of the current systems is between 8% and 20%.

The South African CIGS solution has been advanced by Vivian Alberts, a professor in the department of physics at UJ, and a patent was filed in 2003.

Land had been procured in the Western Cape for the new PV facility, while a German company was producing and testing the production machinery at a facility in Bradenburg.

A R12-million pilot production facility was commissioned in March 2006 but work was now required to prove commercial-scale production.

"The moment that the technology step has been proven . . . then the equipment, which was erected in Germany, will be moved to Paarl, and expanded in capacity," Loubser explained.

OTHER PROJECTS

Meanwhile, Sasol new energy unit was also working on a range of other low-carbon technologies and solutions, in line with targets for reducing the carbon insensitivity of its current and future coal-to-liquids (CTL) fleet.

Group safety health and environment centre manager Fred Goede reaffirmed that the company was aiming to lower the carbon intensity (the percentage of carbon dioxide for a ton of final product) of its existing CTL plants in South Africa, as well as their absolute emissions.

A reduction target of 15% by 2020 had been set for its existing plants, as benchmarked against 2005 levels, while future CTL facilities would need to be 30% less carbon intense against the same benchmark. The group, which emitted 71,3-million tons of greenhouse gases in 2009, also had an aspiration of lowering its absolute emissions by 20% for new CTL plants commissioned before 2020 and 30% for plants commissioned before 2030.

Loubser said that the plan included the deployment of energy-efficiency solutions, renewable energy, hydro and nuclear energy, as well as carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies.

A series of projects were already under way, with Sasol targeting to improve the energy efficiency of its utilities by 15% a unit of production by 2015, based on a baseline set in 2000.

Solar-energy was another big focus area, with Loubser indicating that, besides the PV investment in Paarl, the group was participating in solar water heating and concentrating solar power (CSP) projects.

It was currently funding a University of Stellenbosch project to research various CSP technologies, which would inform its decision as to which solution it could support. Sasol expected to make a final technology choice by June, 2010.

It was also possible that the company could participate in some of the many hydroelectric schemes currently under consideration in the region, while it was also mulling over its nuclear-energy options.

Loubser said that it envisaged a possible process-heat/electricity role for the pebble-bed modular reactor (PBMR), which is being researched by a South African State-owned company. However, he warned that the protracted timeframes surrounding the development of the PBMR might make it difficult for the solution to be integrated into some of its near-term project plans.

Sasol also had ambitious CCS plans, and it "will not commit to invest in future CTL, or other coal-based plants, without clear mitigation solutions".

For instance, CCS had been integrated into the prefeasibility analysis for a possible new CTL plant being studied for China.

 

Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter
© Reuse this

To subscribe email subscriptions@creamermedia.co.za or click here
To advertise email advertising@creamermedia.co.za or click here
 
Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Renewable Energy News
Khi Solar One
The 50 MW Khi Solar One concentrated solar power plant near Upington, in the Northern Cape, has started commercial operation. The plant is operated and maintained by Spanish technology group Abengoa, which owns 51% of the project, with the Industrial Development...
AILING INFRASTRUCTURE Damaged and outdated electrical infrastructure is impeding Africa's socioeconomic growth
Most infrastructure investments on the African continent are in the energy sector, but power plants and transmission lines across Africa presently operate at a fraction of installed capacity due to insufficient maintenance and lack of modernisation.
GO WITH THE FLOW Energy storage devices, such as redox-flow batteries, are becoming more cost effective, which will boost growth in the renewable energy sector
The narrow focus on cost may be leading to misconceptions about the real value of energy storage, according to a new report by the World Energy Council (WEC) called ‘E-storage – shifting from cost to value’.
More
 
 
Latest News
Updated 15 minutes ago While international companies are keen to invest in South Africa, they are unable to meet the conditions of employment that have been extended to non-parties, forming part of a myriad of reasons why the the Free Market Foundation (FMF) is challenging the current...
Updated 1 hour 18 minutes ago South Africa- and Botswana-based research institutions have teamed up to research dynamic spectrum access and the sharing of television (TV) band frequencies using a TV white space (TVWS) experimental network. South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial...
Randgold CEO Mark Bristow
Updated 1 hour 37 minutes ago Mining companies owed it to their host countries and their shareholders to invest in the troughs so that they could reap the benefits in the peaks, Randgold Resources CEO Dr Mark Bristow said on Tuesday. Speaking during a panel discussion at the 2016 Investing in...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Construction 2016: A review of South Africa's construction industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2016 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; key participants; local demand; geographic diversification; corporate activity; black economic...
Energy Roundup – February 2016 (PDF Report)
The February 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for December 2015 and January 2016 and includes details of a Government Gazette notice that confirms Cabinet’s decision to move ahead with the 9 600 MW nuclear procurement programme; State-owned power...
Energy Roundup - December 2015 (PDF Report)
The December 2015 roundup includes details of State-owned utility Eskom’s application to claw back R22.8-billion; South Africa’s ranking as an investment destination for renewable energy; and a nuclear expert’s thoughts on reactor designs for South Africa’s nuclear...
Water 2015: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2015 Report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context but also in the African and global context in terms of supply and demand, water stress and insecurity, and access to water and sanitation, besides others.
Input Sector Review: Pumps 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2015 Input Sector Review on Pumps provides an overview of South Africa’s pumps industry with particular focus on pump manufacture and supply, aftermarket services, marketing strategies, local and export demand, imports, sector support, investment...
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
Power and automation company ABB is in the launch phase of its highest payload, multipurpose industrial robot, the IRB 8700. The robot has a reach of 3.5 m and can handle a payload of up to 800 kg. “When designing the IRB 8700, we emphasised reach and payload, as...
Identity and Access Management (IAM) is a critical facet of a connected security ecosystem, as controlling the confidentiality, integrity and authorisation of data access and use is key to securing new digital business channels. However, companies face several...
RORY YOUNG Managed security services provide companies with a means to actively monitor their environment and ward against threats
Data underpins digital business models, the digital economy, the Internet of Things and the fundamental changes in the ways people interact and protecting data is crucial to securing new ways of doing business, says T-Systems South Africa information and...
The City of Cape Town will issue a tender for the procurement of electric buses for its MyCiTi service, in line with the council’s commitment to lower its carbon footprint, says executive mayor Patricia de Lille. The tender, to be advertised early in February, will...
The iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority signed a R10-million contract last month with local tailings storage facility specialists Cyclone Engineering Projects to remove about 100 000 m3 of dredge spoil obstructing the natural course of the uMfolozi river, in...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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 $149 Close
Subscribe Now for $149