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Renewable Energy News

$100-million loan for African infrastructure spending

By: Nadine James     26th May 2017 The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) in March signed a $100-million loan agreement aimed at furthering the DBSA’s infrastructure financing activity across Africa. This flexible credit line will focus on DBSA’s four strategic sectors:... 

Free State hydropower plant receives international acclaim

By: Dylan Slater     26th May 2017 The 2017 Monsonyi Award for Excellence in Hydropower was recently presented by the International Hydropower Association (IHA) to local greenfield independent power plants developer Renewable Energy Holdings (REH) for its contribution to the hydropower sector during the World Hydropower Congress,... 

Free State hydropower plant receives international acclaim
ANTON-LOUIS OLIVIER Renewable Energy Holdings was recently awarded the Monsonyi Award for Excellence in Hydropower for its role in three small hydropower projects in South Africa

CSP projects boost South Africa’s green economy

By: Anine Kilian     25th May 2017 Global private engineering company Sener believes the 50 MW Bokpoort concentrated solar power (CSP) plant, together with the 100 MW Ilanga and 100 MW Kathu CSP plants, will significantly contribute to South Africa’s green economy. Sener is the engineering, procurement and construction partner on... 

CSP projects boost South Africa’s green economy
Bokpoort CSP

Central Energy Fund to be restructured 

     25th May 2017 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about the Energy Minister’s plans to restructure the Central Energy Fund, as well as the Minister’s promise to provide some certainty regarding a resolution to the renewables impasse. 

Central Energy Fund to be restructured
Central Energy Fund to be restructured

Côte d'Ivoire to build 25 MW solar power station

By: Reuters     25th May 2017 Côte d'Ivoire plans to build a 25 MW solar power plant in the north of the country as it seeks to bolster a strained power grid with renewables, a government spokesman said on Wednesday. The 23.6-billion CFA franc ($40-million) plant will be built by Korhogo Solaire, a subsidiary of Morocco's... 

Eskom tests microgrid technology in Free State

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     23rd May 2017 The Eskom Research, Testing and Development (RT&D) unit is building a MicroGrid technology demonstration plant in a rural unelectrified village, near Ficksburg, in the Free State. “This project is a demonstration of next-horizon technology that supports Eskom’s future strategic objectives, as... 

Builders Warehouse launches its first store featuring renewable energy

By: Anine Kilian     22nd May 2017 The North Riding-based Builders Warehouse, which forms part of the Builders Warehouse chain of stores owned by management company Massmart, has installed a 126 kW solar photovoltaic (PV) plant, which comprises 400 roof-mounted polycrystalline PV panels. The plant will provide 70% of the store’s... 

Task team deliberating on renewables impasse to report ‘first week in June’

By: Terence Creamer     19th May 2017 A joint departmental task team set up to find solutions to the current impasse holding back the signing of power purchase agreements (PPAs) for 37 renewable-energy projects procured in 2015 will report back in the first week of June, Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi reported on Friday. The task... 

 Task team deliberating on renewables impasse to report ‘first week in June’
Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubay

US awards grant to SA renewable energy company

By: African News Agency      19th May 2017 The US Trade and Development Agency has awarded a grant to Pele Green Energy, a South African independent power developer based in Johannesburg. Wednesday’s grant funds a feasibility study to assess the viability of a 75 MW solar photovoltaic power plant in the Free State province of South... 

Company reaches 400-mark installation milestone

By: Marleny Arnoldi     19th May 2017 Water solutions company Amanziflow Projects have installed more than 400 of its locally developed Fluid Dynamic Systems automatic diaphragm valves (FDS-DVs) across Southern Africa to date.  

Company reaches 400-mark installation milestone
AUTOMATIC APPLICATION The equipment requires no electrical supply or labour to operate

Industry leaders warn of loss in investments in renewables sector

By: Johane Turkstra     19th May 2017 Following State-owned power utility Eskom’s decision last year not to sign a number of contracts with independent power producers (IPP) and the delay in doing so since, industry leaders are warning that a loss in investments in the renewables sector could lead to a severe plateau in... 

Industry leaders warn of loss in investments in renewables sector
Photo by Bloomberg
NON-RENEWABLE ENERGY Eskom is responsible for generating about 95% of South Africa’s electricity and the firm mainly relies on coal for its power generation

Millions invested in renewables, research excellence

     19th May 2017 Last month, State-owned power utility Eskom says over an extended period of time, funded research work done by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Stellenbosch University has ostensibly benefited research in the renewables space. “Eskom’s unique role in driving... 

Young innovative entrepreneurs offer renewable-energy solutions

By: Johane Turkstra     19th May 2017 State-owned power utility Eskom’s Development Foundation’s yearly Business Investment Competition (BIC) continues to discover businesses bringing about positive socioeconomic changes to the benefit of communities and the country. The latest such business is solar energy company Lamo Solar, which... 

Young innovative  entrepreneurs offer  renewable-energy solutions
LAMO SOLAR Co-owners Tshibvumo Sikhwivhilu and Elmond Khoza

Sarec again defends renewable energy programme in light of proposed coal station closures

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     18th May 2017 The South African Renewable Energy Council (Sarec) on Thursday said that Eskom’s justifying the proposed closure of some its coal-fired power plants, in Mpumalanga, as being the result of signing power purchase agreements for new renewable energy projects, is misleading. “Coal plants have a... 

Sarec again defends renewable energy programme in light of proposed coal station closures

South African selected as finalist for Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     17th May 2017 South African rocket scientist Andre Nel has been selected as a finalist in the UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation. Nel invented a hybrid, solar microgrid solution, the GreenTower Microgrid, which uses 90% less energy to heat water. 

South African selected as finalist for Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation
GreenTower inventor Andre Nel

African countries look to minigrids to light up rural areas

By: Kim Cloete     17th May 2017 African countries are increasingly looking towards minigrids to provide people living in remote areas access to electricity. Government officials from Ghana, Uganda and Nigeria have told delegates at the African Utility Week, in Cape Town, this week, that minigrids are the way to go for many... 

World Bank cautions African utilities against mounting debt 

By: Kim Cloete     17th May 2017 A survey undertaken by the World Bank has shown that less than half of the utilities in sub-Saharan Africa are able to cover their operating expenditures and that several countries lose in excess of $0.25 for every kilowatt-hour that gets sold.  The sobering assessment of the financial health of... 

Certainty needed to drive energy projects in Africa 

By: Kim Cloete     16th May 2017 Private sector players have called on African governments to be reliable and predictable in their energy policies and programmes. "Investors want to know that the rules won’t change in the middle of a project,” Power Africa coordinator Andrew Herscowitz told delegates at Africa Utility Week on... 

Absence of Eskom CEO rattles opening of African Utility Week 

By: Kim Cloete     16th May 2017 Despite great anticipation ahead of his address, reinstated Eskom CEO Brian Molefe did not open the annual African Utility Week, in Cape Town, as planned. The CEO was scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the opening plenary, attended by several thousand energy and water experts, but pulled out... 

Standard Bank provides $120m debt package to increase energy supply in Zimbabwe

By: Anine Kilian     16th May 2017 Standard Bank has finalised a $120-million debt package with Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) for the rehabilitation of existing power infrastructure at the Kariba South hydropower station and the Hwange thermal power station. The transaction is a continuation of a previous funding arrangement with... 

Focus on future uranium tech amid subdued price

By: Robyn Wilkinson     12th May 2017 With innovations in the extraction and application of uranium constantly being made, the Uranium 2017 International Conference will provide a platform for the discussion of advances in the industry and a forum for generating new ideas. 

Focus on future uranium tech amid subdued price
LOCATION IS KEY The Uranium 2017 International Conference will include a site visit to Rio Tinto’s Rössing mine – the longest running uranium mine in the world

High-level support for innovative agrosolar greenhouse concept

By: Mia Breytenbach     12th May 2017 The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) has pledged its support for the SUNfarming Food & Energy project run by North-West University (NWU), in Potchefstroom, in the North West province, which promotes the growing of and provides an opportunity to grow affordable and... 

High-level support for innovative agrosolar greenhouse concept
TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Minister Senzeni Zokwana and NWU Faculty of Engineering Prof LJ Grobler survey the SUNfarming Food & Energy project

Least-cost electricity transition being played out at CSIR’s Pretoria campus

By: Dylan Slater     12th May 2017 The expansive Pretoria campus of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research is increasingly being taken off-grid with the roll-out of renewable-energy projects as part of its drive to demonstrate the potential of renewable energy to the domestic energy industry.  

Least-cost electricity transition being played out at CSIR’s Pretoria campus

Nuclear energy provides secure, clean, affordable baseload power

By: Nadine James     12th May 2017 Nuclear energy is the only provider of secure, reliable, clean and affordable baseload power that, from a total lifecycle cost perspective, offers one of the most affordable electricity sources, states the Nuclear Industry Association of South Africa (Niasa). Niasa supply chain development... 

Nuclear energy provides secure, clean, affordable baseload power
Photo by Duane Daws
PELINDABA Some South African companies have already achieved local nuclear regulatory standards and requirements and have been implementing them on the Koeberg and Pelindaba's Research Reactor with success

Nuclear is too expensive, too controversial

By: Nadine James     12th May 2017 Implementing a nuclear build programme in South Africa would be extremely difficult because of the associated expenses as well as the controversy surrounding nuclear power, says financial services company Thomson Reuters. “Globally, government decisions regarding nuclear programmes are delayed... 

Nuclear is too expensive, too controversial
ROBERT FISH The costs associated with constructing the necessary infrastructure added to the costs of importing most of the nuclear technology, fuel and materials, will incur large amounts of debt

Warning issued that nuclear ruling may pose risk to legality of IPP programmes 

By: Terence Creamer     11th May 2017 The recent nuclear ruling, which set aside the Ministerial determinations designed to facilitate the procurement of nuclear power stations, may also carry risks for the legality of the various independent power producer (IPP) procurement programmes, which are proceeding on the basis of... 

Warning issued that nuclear ruling may pose risk to legality of IPP programmes

South African solar firm in 50 MW India win after intense online bidding 

By: Terence Creamer     11th May 2017 A South African solar photovoltaic (PV) project developer won the right this week to build a 50 MW solar power plant in Rajasthan, India, following an intensive competitive-bidding process. Phelan Energy Group (PEG), based in Cape Town, prevailed in an online reverse auction involving 14... 

South African solar firm in 50 MW India win after intense online bidding
PEG chairperson Paschal Phelan

Nersa may probe whether Eskom’s refusal to sign renewables PPAs contravened licence 

By: Terence Creamer     11th May 2017 The electricity subcommittee of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) will recommend that the Energy Regulator institute a formal investigation into a complaint that Eskom was flouting the conditions of its licence by refusing to conclude power purchase agreements (PPAs) for 37... 

Nersa may probe whether Eskom’s refusal to sign renewables PPAs contravened licence

Too much money, not enough green projects in Africa

By: African News Agency      5th May 2017 There is more capital than there are ready renewable projects in Africa, according to the African Development Bank. Speaking at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Durban, Amadou Hott, African Development Bank’s vice-president, said the continent was the most impacted by climate change yet it... 

Challenged renewable energy sector growing rapidly in Africa

By: Johane Turkstra     5th May 2017 The renewable energy sector has grown rapidly in the last four years and has delivered over 5 000 MW in South Africa alone, owing to the completion of about 80 renewable energy projects, says financial services company Thomson Reuters. “Renewables will receive considerable attention at African... 

Challenged renewable  energy sector growing  rapidly in Africa
RENEWABLE ENERGY Renewables will receive considerable attention at African Utility Week and in Africa’s energy sector in the future

Claims for 100% renewable electricity too sanguine, study asserts 

By: Keith Campbell     5th May 2017 In a paper published in “Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews” Volume 76, four Australian researchers have warned that published modelled scenarios which affirm that an electricity system based entirely on renewable energy sources is possible are significantly underestimating the challenges... 

Innovation, home-grown solutions to be showcased at event

     5th May 2017 Conference and exhibition African Utility Week, held in Cape Town from May 16 to 18, will showcase how the continent is coming up with innovative, home-grown solutions to its energy and water challenges and how these are creating exciting and lucrative opportunities for utilities and industry... 

Innovation, home-grown solutions to be showcased at event
COMMUNITY ENERGY PROJECTS Community-scale projects are an important emerging trend in the sector

Internship academy launches young professionals platform

     5th May 2017 In response to the youth unemployment epidemic on the African continent, internship facilitators  Africa Internship Academy (AIA), will be launching its Young Energy and Power Professionals (YEPP) platform at the 2017 African Utility Week, which takes place at the  Cape Town International... 

Internship academy launches young professionals platform
NURTURING POTENTIAL The launch intends to establish a network of graduates attempting to solve Africa’s power and energy issues

New Development Bank invited to join Africa’s power push

By: Mia Breytenbach     5th May 2017 African Development Bank Group (AfDB) president Akinwumi Adesina has invited the New Development Bank (NDB) to support Light up and power Africa – the first of five top priorities of AfDB’s continental transformation agenda. Speaking at the second annual meeting of the NDB, in New Delhi, last... 

New Development Bank invited to join Africa’s power push
Photo by Bloomberg
CONNECTION AIM The African Development Bank’s New Deal on Energy for Africa advocates the ultimate objective of achieving universal access to electricity within ten years

Portable power and solar solutions manufacturer to launch in SA

By: Mia Breytenbach     5th May 2017 US-based portable power and solar manufacturer Goal Zero will launch its product range in South Africa through local multichannel distributor Wintec Solutions this month. Goal Zero has been developing a line of sustainable portable power solutions and lighting accessories since 2010, with its... 

Portable power and solar solutions manufacturer to launch in SA
Photo by Goal Zero
PORTABLE POWER Goal Zero’s product range includes the Boulder 100 solar panel and Yeti 400 generator

Renewable microgrids the future of African power system – research institution

By: Nadine James     5th May 2017 Self-sustaining renewable microgrids could foreseeably drive the development of Africa’s power system, resulting in quick, cost-effective electrification that enhances power security, says South African national research institution, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). CSIR... 

Renewable microgrids the future of African power system – research institution
SUBSISTENCE POWER A power system based on renewable technologies would be vastly different to the current system as an individual wind turbine could be used to generate cheap electricity for a microgrid in a remote village

South Africa’s junk status problematic for power sector

By: Johane Turkstra     5th May 2017 South Africa’s recent demotion to credit rating junk status is immediately and directly affecting the country’s power supply. South Africans should not “bluff themselves” as the country’s newfound status can become a huge problem says audit, tax and advisory services company KPMG advisory head De... 

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