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Renewable Energy News

Wits seeks commercial partner for scalable DC-microgrid innovation

By: Terence Creamer     22nd September 2017 Researchers at the University of the Witwatersrand are aiming to commercialise a plug-and-play DC-microgrid innovation, which is incrementally scalable to any number of power sources, loads and batteries. The direct-current solution has already been proved at a laboratory level through a test-bed... 

Anticipated tariffs hike makes energy efficiency wise choice

     22nd September 2017 A ruling by the Constitutional Court last month which allows State-owned power utility Eskom to retrospectively ask the National Energy Regulator of South Africa to permit Eskom to claw back additional tariffs from consumers, could lead to further hikes in the price of electricity for South... 

Anticipated tariffs hike makes energy efficiency wise choice
Photo by Duane Daws
SOLAR READY Before home owners install solar panels, they have to ensure that the buildings is suitable

Big opportunity for change amid renewables-led disruption

By: Schalk Burger     22nd September 2017 As questions remain over what the future holds for South Africa’s power utility Eskom, there is a window of opportunity for utilities in developing countries to build on international power reform experience and design future power markets and operating systems to respond to new opportunities... 

Legal framework offers model for enhancing transboundary infrastructure investment

By: Mia Breytenbach     22nd September 2017 The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (Uneca) has unveiled the Model Law that provides a framework for the harmonisation of cross-border rules, regulations, laws and policies governing transboundary infrastructure projects in Africa. The Model Law was unveiled at the yearly Nigerian... 

Legal framework offers model for enhancing  transboundary infrastructure investment
Photo by Duane Daws
PAVING THE WAY The Model Law may aid in additional efficiency, transparency and accountability with regard to public and private sector engagement in transboundary infrastructure

Zambia State power firm to end emergency power imports next year

By: Reuters     21st September 2017 Zambian State power company Zesco expects to end emergency power imports from Mozambique in the first quarter of next year, a senior executive said on Thursday. Zambia's power generation had improved and it will largely manage to meet its electricity requirements, Zesco Director of Transmission... 

Enel celebrates its Tom Burke solar plant

By: Natasha Odendaal     21st September 2017 Some three years after expanding operations into South Africa, Italian renewable energy firm Enel Green Power (EGP) has established a significant presence locally, boasting more than 520 MW of wind and solar projects in operation, one of which was declared a National Key Point in June. The 66 MW... 

Enel celebrates its Tom Burke solar plant
Lamberto Dai Pra’, Francina Shongoane, John Motebele and William Price at Enel's Tom Burke plant

Mozambique hopes to raise $500m for renewable energy projects

By: Reuters     20th September 2017 Mozambique offered a portfolio of small renewable energy projects to foreign investors on Tuesday which it hopes will attract $500 million in investment and give everyone in the southern African country electricity by 2030. Around 60% of people living in Mozambique, which is highly indebted, have... 

Two more firms fire KPMG as corporate South Africa weighs links with auditor

By: Reuters     19th September 2017 A South African broker and an energy investment firm fired KPMG on Tuesday, two of a host of local firms weighing whether to ditch the auditor to distance themselves from a scandal involving business friends of President Jacob Zuma. Sasfin and Hulisani, both relatively small financial companies... 

Former Eskom R&D GM to facilitate electric tech transfer in Africa – EPRI

By: Schalk Burger     19th September 2017 State-owned power utility Eskom’s former research, testing and development GM Barry MacColl has joined international nonprofit organisation, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), as an EPRI International senior regional manager facilitating technology transfer in Africa. EPRI has... 

Big fall in DBSA disbursements partly attributed to renewables stand-off 

By: Terence Creamer     19th September 2017 The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) recorded a sharp fall in disbursements to R12.4-billion in 2017, from a record R17.1-billion in 2016, but has promised to "step up" its role as a catalyst of development in 2018, setting a R20-billion disbursement target for the year. The development... 

Big fall in DBSA disbursements partly attributed to renewables stand-off
DBSA CEO Patrick Dlamini and Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba on the fall in disbursements in 2017 and plans for a 'step up' in future. Camera Work: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Lionel da Silva. Recorded: 20.9.2017

New study points to 90% renewables mix being least cost by 2050 

By: Terence Creamer     15th September 2017 New analysis conducted using updated cost assumptions for solar photovoltaic (PV), onshore wind and batteries shows that the share of renewable energy in an electricity mix that would also be the least cost for South Africa could grow to above 90% by 2050. Such a portfolio, the study indicates,... 

New study points to 90% renewables mix being least cost by 2050
Photo by Duane Daws
Enertrag corporate business development head Dr Tobias Bischof-Niemz

Smart regulation key to driving renewable energy sector

By: Anine Kilian     14th September 2017 Smart regulation and market stimulation are key drivers for growing the renewable energy sector and help reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, Finnish Economic Affairs and Employment Deputy Minister Petri Peltonen said on Thursday. Speaking to Engineering News Online on the sidelines of the... 

Renewables’ share of global energy market to rise, system stability central

By: Anine Kilian     14th September 2017 The world’s energy system will decarbonise over the next three decades, says advisory services and risk management company DNV GL Africa business manager Robert O’Keefe. Unpacking DNV GL’s ‘Energy Transition Outlook 2017’ report at the Nordic Energy Days conference, in Pretoria, on Thursday, he... 

Southern African Power Pool could learn from Nordic countries’ approach to energy market

By: Natasha Odendaal     13th September 2017 Southern Africa can take heed of the success of the Nordic region’s achievement of energy security through successful cross-border trade and integration, its integrated markets and other critical elements of the Nord Power Pool. This is the message that emerged from the first day of the three-day... 

Southern African Power Pool could learn from Nordic countries’ approach to energy market
Photo by Duane Daws
Norwegian Energy and Water Resources director Ove Flataker

Unido, WEC to disseminate sustainable energy solutions

By: Schalk Burger     13th September 2017 The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (Unido) and the World Energy Council (WEC) have signed a joint declaration to support the global dissemination of sustainable energy solutions. The parties have committed to help develop leadership skills and the overall capacity of energy... 

Energy sector has opportunity to change amid ‘disruptive moment’ caused by renewables

By: Schalk Burger     12th September 2017 As questions remain over what the future holds for South Africa’s power utility Eskom, there is a window of opportunity for utilities in developing countries to build on international power reform experience and design future power markets and operating systems to respond to new opportunities... 

Honda previews 2019 electric car, showcases revenue opportunity for EV owners

By: Irma Venter     12th September 2017 Honda has revealed an all-new electric vehicle (EV), the Urban EV Concept, at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. The concept car is built on a completely new platform, and sets the direction for the technology and design that will appear on a future battery electric Honda production model. 

 Honda previews 2019 electric car, showcases revenue opportunity for EV owners
The Urban EV Concept

Free State micro-grid pilot offers new universal-access hope  

By: Terence Creamer     12th September 2017 State-owned electricity utility Eskom is piloting a micro-grid system in a rural Free State town that may offer a solution to electrifying other remote areas, where the cost of connection to the national grid is currently prohibitive, due to a number of factors such as difficult terrain. The... 

Free State micro-grid pilot offers new universal-access hope
Photo by Duane Daws
Thava Govender

Solar grid keeps harvests high, hospitals lit in parched rural Zimbabwe

By: Reuters     11th September 2017 Until recently, farmers in this town in southern Zimbabwe struggled to water their crops, frustrated by poor rainfall and the regular breakdown of the diesel engines that powered their irrigation systems. As in most areas of rural Zimbabwe, rain-fed agriculture provides most of the jobs in this... 

Alviva to leverage services strength for growth over next year

By: Schalk Burger     7th September 2017 Business information and communication technology (ICT) company Alviva will leverage the investments made into its subsidiaries and infrastructure, which has helped to reduce gearing, broadened its offerings and improved efficiencies, to drive growth over the next year. The firm had increased the... 

Several risks to govt's proposed remedy for breaking renewables impasse 

     7th September 2017 Creamer Media’s Samantha Herbst talks to Engineering News editor Terence Creamer about the Energy Minister’s October deadline for the signing of 26 renewables projects, along with the 77c/kWh price cap. 

Several risks to govt's proposed remedy for breaking renewables impasse
Govt offers solution to long-standing power-purchase impasse

Cross-border power trade expected to rise as Southern Africa returns to surplus

By: Terence Creamer     7th September 2017 The Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP) is expecting growth in regional electricity trade in 2017 after a return to surplus power generation capacity across Southern Africa, led by South Africa’s State-owned utility Eskom. Nevertheless, the potential for cross-border electricity trade is expected... 

Cross-border power trade expected to rise as Southern Africa returns to surplus

Caution creeps in as renewables industry digests implications of 77c/kWh tariff cap

By: Terence Creamer     4th September 2017 South Africa’s solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind industry bodies have added a degree of caution to their initial positive reactions to an announcement by Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi regarding the signing of power purchase agreements (PPAs) for 26 renewable-energy projects that have been on... 

Caution creeps in as renewables industry digests implications of 77c/kWh tariff cap
Photo by Duane Daws
Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi (in the centre) at the September 1 renewables IPP announcement in Pretoria

Kubayi sets 77c/kWh price cap and October deadline for signing of 26 renewables projects

By: Terence Creamer     1st September 2017 Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi opened the window on Friday for the signing of contracts for 26 renewable-energy independent power producer (IPP) projects that have been on hold since 2015 when Eskom indicated it was no longer willing to enter into further power purchase agreements (PPAs), owing... 

Kubayi sets 77c/kWh price cap and October deadline for signing of 26 renewables projects
Photo by Duane Daws
Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi

Cost of rooftop solar can be lowered through use of 12J tax rebate

By: Schalk Burger     1st September 2017 Businesses and property owners can leverage an industrial development-focused tax rebate, Section 12J of the Income Tax Act No 58 of 1962, to reduce the costs of installing solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. Venture capital company Nesa Investment Holdings (NIH) has developed a solar PV rental... 

Project to unlock local gas economy

By: Marleny Arnoldi     1st September 2017 The pursuit of piped gas into South Africa from Mozambique could unlock South Africa’s gas economy, says investment and project development company Fortune Capital.  

Project to unlock local gas economy
Photo by Bloomberg
UNLOCKING POTENTIAL Fortune Capital is an entity that is going to enable power players to access gas in South Africa Filename:

Studies point to favourable outlook for vanadium redox flow battery

By: Mia Breytenbach     1st September 2017 There is favourable demand for vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFBs), particularly in the utility and offgrid, as well as minigrid, markets, with demand to peak from 2025 to 2030. This is according to recently concluded market studies, commissioned by Aim-listed Bushveld Minerals’ energy... 

Studies point to favourable outlook for vanadium redox flow battery
Photo by Duane Daws
FORTUNE MOJAPELO There is no longer any doubt about the growth of energy storage globally to gigawatts of annual capacity and billions of dollars in market opportunity

Study urges South Africa to find energy storage niche

By: Mia Breytenbach     1st September 2017 With energy storage considered to be the “new wave” in the energy sector and increasingly becoming a reality, South Africa needs to prepare itself if it wishes to take advantage of the energy storage growth opportunities within the energy storage stationary value chain and the mobility value... 

Waste management company recommends alternative energy switch

By: Marleny Arnoldi     1st September 2017 Considering natural gas as an alternative energy source could prove beneficial for the country’s economy in the long run, says waste management company Interwaste COO Jason McNeil.  

Waste management company recommends alternative energy switch
JASON MCNEIL South Africa’s gas economy is in its infancy, but once the market becomes more competitive, you will see a lot more technology introduced

Uncertain power price path heightening grid-defection risk, EIUG warns

By: Terence Creamer     31st August 2017 Energy Intensive Users Group of Southern Africa’s (EIUG’s) Piet Van Staden has expressed serious anxiety about the near-term sustainability of South Africa’s electricity industry in light of the prospect of yet more tariffs hikes, which would further damage industrial demand and, in turn, trigger... 

Uncertain power price path heightening grid-defection risk, EIUG warns

Kubayi to make much-anticipated renewables announcement on Friday

By: Terence Creamer     31st August 2017 Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi will on Friday announce the outcome of stakeholder consultations regarding the signing of long-outstanding power purchase agreements (PPAs) for renewable-energy projects procured from independent power producers (IPPs) in 2015. The briefing, which will provide an... 

Kubayi to make much-anticipated renewables announcement on Friday
Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi

Tanzania invites bids for hydropower project in game reserve

By: Reuters     31st August 2017 Tanzania has invited bids to build a 2 100 MW hydroelectric plant in a World Heritage site renowned for its animal populations, despite opposition from conservationists to the long-delayed project. The East African nation considers the project at Stiegler’s Gorge in the Unesco-designated Selous... 

CIG expects lower FY17 earnings

By: Creamer Media Reporter      31st August 2017 JSE-listed Consolidated Infrastructure Group (CIG) expects its earnings per share (EPS) and headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the financial year ended August 31, to decrease by 25% to 35%. EPS are expected to be between 165.75c and 191.25c, compared with 225c in the 2016 financial year,... 

Nigeria awards dam power plant contract to Chinese State firm again

By: Reuters     31st August 2017 Nigeria has approved the construction of a $5.8-billion hydroelectric power plant by a Chinese State firm, the power minister said on Wednesday, the latest in a series of Chinese deals since the project was first envisioned decades ago. The project, if completed, could provide a much needed... 

Zambia's CEC to restore full power to Glencore's Mopani Copper Mines

By: Reuters     30th August 2017 Zambian electricity utility Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) and Glencore's Mopani Copper Mines have reached an agreement to restore full power supply to the mine from Wednesday, the president's office said. Details of the agreement, which was facilitated by the government, will be finalised... 

Managing the socioeconomic impacts of SA’s lower-carbon economy transition

     30th August 2017 In this opinion piece, Jarredine Morris argues that it is important that the socioeconomic impacts, including the impact on employment, are assessed as South Africa transitions to a lower-carbon electricity sector   

Managing the socioeconomic impacts of SA’s lower-carbon economy transition
Jarredine Morris

Botswana reaffirms commitment to 100 MW solar project

By: Terence Creamer     29th August 2017 The Botswana government has assured potential renewable-energy investors that it will follow through with the implementation of a proposed 100 MW utility-scale solar project, for which it received 166 responses to a call for expressions of interest (EoI) released earlier this year. The Botswana... 

Botswana reaffirms commitment to 100 MW solar project
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