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Renewable Energy News

Renewable projects set for completion in 2013

By: Sashnee Moodley     5th October 2012 Waste-to-energy company South African Clean Energy (SACE) expects to complete two renewable energy projects in 2013, reveals CEO Dave Kruger. 

SA law firm teams up with international practice to pursue African energy prospects

By: Schalk Burger     5th October 2012 Local black economic-empowered law firm KapdiTwala has boosted its expertise in energy laws through its formal association with global law firm SNR Denton in September and will focus on the energy development opportunities in Africa’s economies, especially in renewable energy and oil and gas,... 

Solar-powered LED lighting for 100 light centres in rural Africa

     5th October 2012 Energy efficient lighting solutions provider Philips has launched a new initiative, which will see the installation of 100 light centres across rural Africa by 2015.  

South Africa has attractive foundation for wind energy

By: Sashnee Moodley     5th October 2012 South Africa’s weather offers an attractive foundation for producing a significant amount of wind energy, with the Western Cape and Eastern Cape having particularly impressive wind speeds that surpass those of most European countries, says consultancy Mott MacDonald renewable-energy consultant Jo... 

Substandard solar energy systems a concern

By: Sashnee Moodley     5th October 2012 Substandard solar-panel installation is an increasingly worrying problem in South Africa and many buyers fall into the trap of buying a cheap solar energy system from inexperienced companies at seemingly cheaper prices than that of the cost of a good-quality system, says advanced power products... 

KES submits proposal to continue KZN solar electrification project 

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     4th October 2012 KwaZulu Energy Services, a subsidiary of French power utility EDF, has submitted a proposal to the Department of Energy to continue the installation of solar home systems in its rural electrification project in central KwaZulu-Natal. 

Japanese teams win solar challenge, SA university takes third 

By: Natasha Odendaal     1st October 2012 Japan-based Tokai University has won the 2012 Sasol Solar Challenge, followed closely by former Tokai driver Kenjiro Shinozuka, with his own team in second place. The three-time solar race champion Tokai University recorded a cumulative time of 71 hours and 13 minutes, and Shinozuka 89 hours and... 

Fresh renewables delay, but DoE insists projects will be signed off in October  

By: Terence Creamer     28th September 2012 The first 28 preferred bidders selected under South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP) have again been formally requested to extend the validity of their bids to enable government to tie some final loose ends before signing off on the projects. Under the... 

Canadian solar photovoltaic firm appoints SA reseller

By: Joanne Taylor     28th September 2012 Canadian Solar has appointed Johannesburg distributor Powermode as an authorised reseller of its products in the South African market. 

Solar-thermal sector’s industrialisation potential to be probed 

By: Terence Creamer     27th September 2012 A study aimed at assessing the potential industrial development spinoffs for South Africa of a large-scale deployment of concentrated solar power (CSP) generation technologies is in the process of being initiated. The project, which will be funded by the German Agency for International... 

SA teams gaining in solar-race confidence

By: Natasha Odendaal     21st September 2012 As the teams entered the third leg of the 11-day 5 400 km Sasol Solar Challenge, it emerged that the South African teams had started gaining momentum as more cars reached the finishing point on their own steam. The two Japanese teams, Tokai University and team Kenjiro Shinozuka, held on to the... 

SA’s first utility-scale solar inverter factory opens 

     21st September 2012 International power equipment supplier 3W Power/AEG Power Solutions has officially opened a manufacturing facility, in the Western Cape, which has the capacity to produce 200 MW/year of solar inverters, as well as electrical distribution boxes. Situated in Milnerton, the 3400 m2 factory is the... 

Push on to expose industry to energy efficient building standard

By: Joanne Taylor     21st September 2012 South Africa's new energy efficiency in buildings standard, SANS 204, which has been developed to provide guidelines for the design of energy-efficient buildings, is now being marketed and popularised. 

Rural solar power lighting up people’s lives, research shows

     21st September 2012 The large-scale use of solar-powered lighting in a rural community offers several benefits, including an enhanced sense of safety, significant cost and time savings, as well as more school homework being completed by children in Mpumalanga, showed research conducted by South African development... 

$250m OPIC backing for 60 MW SA solar project 

By: Terence Creamer     18th September 2012 US development finance institution the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has approved up to $250-million in financial support for a 60 MW solar power project to be developed in South Africa’s Free State province. The development would be the agency’s first solar project in South... 

Latest energy efficient building solutions showcased

By: Joanne Taylor     14th September 2012 The Star Interbuild Africa expo, with Glass Expo Africa, EcoAfribuild, Plumbdrain Africa, Frigair, Woodpro Africa and Current Africa showcased the latest energy-efficient building solutions, in line with new building industry regulations, at Nasrec last month. 

DoE confirms new renewables bid schedule after window-one delays 

By: Terence Creamer     10th September 2012 Following delays to achieving financial close on the first 28 wind and solar projects, which advanced to the preferred-bidder stage in December last year under South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP), the Department of Energy (DoE) has confirmed a... 

Renewables firm secures more capital for projects in SA, Ireland, Chile and Canada

By: Terence Creamer     10th September 2012 International renewable-energy company Mainstream Renewable Power – which advanced to the preferred-bidder stage for South African wind and solar projects involving a combined 238 MW of capacity – has signed a corporate facility for up to €60-million with Macquarie and has also raised a further... 

Consolidation seen as key to making fractured solar-geyser industry sustainable  

By: Natalie Greve     7th September 2012 The announcement of a government-initiated, Eskom-managed solar water heating (SWH) programme in 2008 spurred the inception of a number of new local manufacturing entities that hoped to cash in on the programme’s 2014, one-million solar geyser installation target. Several local entrepreneurs and... 

Clean technology under the spotlight at October event

     7th September 2012 The African Clean Technology Conference will present a networking platform for business and investment in the renewable energy, waste management, water conservation and recycling projects sectors in Africa.  

Consolidation seen as key to making fractured solar-geyser industry sustainable

By: Natalie Greve     7th September 2012 The announcement of a government-initiated, Eskom-managed solar water heating (SWH) programme in 2008 spurred the inception of a number of new local manufacturing entities that hoped to cash in on the programme’s 2014, one-million solar geyser installation target. 

Greater collaboration urged as SA moves towards multiparticipant power market

By: Schalk Burger     7th September 2012 Effective collaboration in the energy and electricity sector, between independent power producers and government, is necessary to overcome hurdles in the sector, says legal firm Werksmans Attorneys director Greg Nott. 

SA smart-grid deployment should draw on global experiences

     31st August 2012 A domestic smart grid must be mapped out correctly to avoid any unnecessary and awkward setbacks, as have been experienced by some projects internationally, and requires government to partially fund the projects, says Frost & Sullivan energy and power Africa business unit leader Cornelis van der... 

Eskom moves to expand solar at Joburg HQ 

By: Terence Creamer     27th August 2012 During the peak of the load-shedding crisis of 2008 electricity-use practices at Eskom’s head office came in for major public scrutiny. Despite constant attempts by Eskom to assure the public that Megawatt Park had indeed been fully integrated into the rotational load-shedding schedule, radio... 

Eskom expects first Sere wind unit to be operating by late 2013 

By: Terence Creamer     20th August 2012 Power utility Eskom has submitted a licence application to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) for its proposed 100 MW Sere wind farm project, to be developed near Vredendal, in the Western Cape, for around R3-billion. Should Eskom receive the 20-year sanction being sought, the... 

Eskom says decisions on new generation capacity urgent 

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     17th August 2012 Government would have to start implementing the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for electricity soon, to avoid another power supply crisis, Eskom CEO Brian Dames said on Friday. He expressed concern as plans of further generation capacity build programmes, beyond the completion of the coal-fired... 

Innovative solar-powered connection centre launched in Alex

By: Nomvelo Buthelezi     17th August 2012 In many of South Africa’s townships, unemployment and the dismal state of education are ongoing topics of discussion. To address this problem, solutions provider of indoor and outdoor solar lighting Solar Charge has launched a world-first solar-powered connection centre at the Thusong Youth... 

Researcher to monitor impact of renewable energy on bird life

     17th August 2012 A senior researcher has been appointed by nongovernmental conservation organisation BirdLife South Africa to monitor and report on the impact of renewable- energy generation on bird life, specifically regarding wind farms, says BirdLife South Africa conservation manager Dr Hanneline Smit. 

Solar project well under way

By: Zandile Mavuso     17th August 2012 The completion of the construction of the single-roof photovoltaic solar array at telecommunications group Vodacom’s Century City building, in Cape Town, is well under way but with some expected delays as a result of adverse weather. “The completion of the project has been slightly delayed... 

Ministerial determinations on way to unlock baseload, renewables IPPs

By: Terence Creamer     16th August 2012 Energy Minister Dipuo Peters will issue determinations in the near future to kick-start a baseload independent power producer (IPP) procurement process, as well as extend the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP) beyond the 3 725 MW currently being procured for delivery... 

DoE to begin closing first renewables projects, but hints to extension beyond Aug

By: Terence Creamer     16th August 2012 The Department of Energy (DoE) announced on Thursday that it expected to begin concluding outstanding financial-closure agreements with the first 28 wind and solar bidders named in December as preferred bidders under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP) from the... 

Development plan calls for more gas, warns on coal export restrictions 

By: Terence Creamer     15th August 2012 South Africa’s ‘National Development Plan 2030’ calls for efforts to be made to substitute coal with gas in the country’s energy mix, including developing shale gas resources “provided the overall economic and environmental costs and benefits outweigh those associated with South Africa’s... 

1 MW PV plant to be built at Limpopo mine 

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     10th August 2012 South African photovoltaic engineering, procurement and construction company Solea Renewables will start construction of the first off-grid, utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) plant in Southern Africa at a chrome mine near Thabazimbi next week. The 1 MW plant at Cronimet Chrome Mining’s Thaba mine,... 

Thermal plants will be key to supporting hydro in drought-prone Africa

By: Joanne Taylor     10th August 2012 Hydropower generation can be a viable option for future electricity supply to rural areas in Africa, provided it is supported by thermal power plants particularly in times of drought, says Wärtsilä Power Plants VP and Power-Gen Africa conference advisory board member Theo van Essen. 

Ex-Im chief confirms SA’s priority-market status, makes $2bn energy commitment

By: Terence Creamer     8th August 2012 The head of the Export-Import Bank of the US (Ex-Im Bank) expects the $2-billion recently set aside to support the export of US products and services into South Africa’s energy sector to be absorbed over the coming eight to ten years. The package was unveiled by US Secretary of State Hillary... 

Winde sees big jobs potential in Western Cape green economy

By: Creamer Media Reporter      6th August 2012 Employment opportunities in the Western Cape’s green economy are projected to grow 500% by 2020, with the majority of the new opportunities to be created in the manufacturing of components for the renewable energy sector. Western Cape Finance, Economic Development and Tourism Minister Alan Winde... 

MTN to sell carbon credits from its trigeneration plant

By: Natasha Odendaal     1st August 2012 Telecommunications group MTN has entered into a commercial agreement to sell carbon credits from its new trigeneration plant to electricity utility company EDF Trading, a wholly owned subsidiary of Electricité de France SA. The R22-million energy efficient, methane-powered plant, which was... 

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