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Renewable Energy News

Mainstream says work to begin this month on three more SA wind projects 

By: Terence Creamer     12th February 2015 Global wind and solar company Mainstream Renewable Power reports that construction will begin this month on three new South African wind farms, which recently reached financial close following the third bid window under the country’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement... 

Global wind generation capacity grows by record 44% in 2014

By: Natalie Greve     11th February 2015 After a slowdown in 2013, the wind industry set a new record for yearly installations in 2014, adding 51 477 MW of wind generating capacity globally, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) has revealed. The record-setting figure, which brought total cumulative installations to 369 553 MW,... 

Global wind generation capacity grows by record 44% in 2014

Greenpeace ship returns to SA, highlights solutions to electricity crisis

By: Creamer Media Reporter      6th February 2015 Greenpeace’s iconic ship, the Rainbow Warrior, has arrived in Cape Town for a month long tour of the South African coastline, as part of a Greenpeace campaign to highlight its conviction that renewable-energy investments are the solution to the current electricity crisis.  The... 

Greenpeace ship returns to SA, highlights solutions to electricity crisis

Financial benefits from renewable energy beginning to flow – study

By: Sashnee Moodley     6th February 2015 The renewable energy from South Africa’s first wind and solar projects last year delivered R800-million more in financial benefits for the country than it cost, according to a study by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).  

Financial benefits from renewable energy beginning to flow – study
Photo by Duane Daws
COST BENEFITS The CSIR study found that diesel and coal fuel cost savings were R3.7-billion, owing to the generation of 2.2 TWh of wind and solar energy

Kathu Solar PV project to deliver 179 GWh/y to the national grid

By: Sashnee Moodley     6th February 2015 The Kathu solar photovoltaic (PV) facility, in the Northern Cape, is expected to deliver 179 GWh/y of clean energy to the national grid. 

DoE reveals plans for revitalising SWH rebate programme 

By: Natasha Odendaal     5th February 2015 Shortly after having taken the reins of the national solar water heater (SWH) programme from State-owned power utility Eskom, the Department of Energy (DoE) on Thursday announced its plans to revitalise the stalled industry. Eskom exited the SWH rebate programme, which had been under way since... 

DoE reveals plans for revitalising SWH rebate programme

ACSA invests in solar energy for regional airports 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     2nd February 2015 Airports Company South Arica (ACSA) has called on interested parties to bid for the design of two 500 KWp photovoltaic (PV) solar plants, for installation at its Upington International and its Kimberley airports respectively. ACSA regional airports GM Yvette Schoeman told Engineering News Online... 

ACSA invests in solar energy for regional airports

Zuma outlines progress on African infrastructure projects

By: Natalie Greve     30th January 2015 Commenting in his capacity as chairperson of the Presidential Infrastructure Championing Initiative (PICI), President Jacob Zuma this week provided an update on the progress of several cross-border and regional infastructure projects championed by the heads-of-State cluster and aimed at... 

Zuma outlines progress on African infrastructure projects

Utility-scale solar field to lift Rwanda’s energy capacity by 6%  

By: Natalie Greve     30th January 2015 An 8.5 MW solar field due to be officially launched in Rwanda next week, is set to boost the Central African State’s energy generation capacity by 6%, solar project developer Gigawatt Global has revealed. The landmark $23.7-million project is built on land owned by the Agahozo-Shalom Youth... 

Utility-scale solar field to lift Rwanda’s energy capacity by 6%

Free Web-based thin-film solar planning tool released by US group

By: Schalk Burger     30th January 2015 A free Web-based solar power plant capacity-planning tool offers project planners and developers, as well as governments, a means to assess the solar energy potential of thin-film solar PV power over an area of land. The tool was developed by thin-film solar photovoltaic (PV) company First Solar... 

Mustek donates solar powered toilets to school  

By: Creamer Media Reporter      29th January 2015 From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, this is the Real Economy Report. The first solar powered water-recycling toilets have been installed at a primary school near Midrand.  

Mustek donates solar powered toilets to school
Mustek donates solar powered toilets to school

Renewables fraternity welcomes CSIR study on economic value of projects

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     28th January 2015 The South African Renewable Energy Council (Sarec) has welcomed the conclusions of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR’s) ‘Financial benefits of renewables in South Africa in 2014’ report, published on January 21. “The results of this study truly underline the economic value... 

Renewables fraternity welcomes CSIR study on economic value of projects

Study holds up policy certainty as key green-technology enabler  

By: Terence Creamer     28th January 2015 A newly released study has identified policy certainty and coherence as a “critical enabling factor” for the accelerated adoption and roll-out of green technologies across various industry subsectors in South Africa, including the coal-heavy electricity sector. Entitled ‘The State of Green... 

Study holds up policy certainty as key green-technology enabler
The State of Green Technologies in South Africa panel chairperson Professor Eugene Cloete on the prevailing challenges and the report's recommendations. Camera Work & Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 28.1.2015.

Stanlib enters infrastructure, private equity sectors with R1.2bn fund

By: Natasha Odendaal     27th January 2015 Financial services provider Stanlib aims to channel the bulk of a R1.2-billion infrastructure equity fund into some of the infrastructure projects under way in South Africa, with a particular focus on renewable energy. Stanlib on Tuesday said the fund, which would also inject capital into... 

Stanlib enters infrastructure, private equity sectors with R1.2bn fund

New solar plant to add 216 GWh/y to local grid 

     27th January 2015 The 94.3 MWp Sishen solar photovoltaic (PV) plant, in the Northern Cape, was expected to deliver 216 GWh/y of electricity into power utility Eskom’s national grid. The plant, which was built by Spanish firm Acciona and commissioned by Spanish consulting firm Enertis, featured 319 600 PV modules,... 

New solar plant to add 216 GWh/y to local grid

DTI, Sessa hit impasse over view of SWH industry status

By: Natasha Odendaal     26th January 2015 A debate over the impact on the industry of the local content regulations governing solar water heaters (SWHs) has heated up as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and industry body, the Sustainable Energy Society Southern Africa (Sessa) stand firm on their views. The DTI this week... 

DTI, Sessa hit impasse over view of SWH industry status

New solar energy long-term rental solution launched

By: Mia Breytenbach     23rd January 2015 As part of its aim to become a renewable-energy utility, solar energy solutions provider SolarPlus Energy Investments has launched the SolarPlus residential long-term solution, a complete solar water heating (SWH) system installed free and provided at a fixed monthly subscription fee, says... 

New solar energy  long-term rental  solution launched
MASS ADOPTION SolarPlus’s goal is to implement its systems at 200 000 homes within a ten-year period

R8m solar PV system launched at Gauteng mall

By: Mia Breytenbach     23rd January 2015 Property group Hyprop Investments launched a new solar photovoltaic (PV) system, valued at about R8-million, at its Clearwater Mall, in Gauteng, in December. “Clearwater Mall is the first property of Hyprop to which we applied a solar PV system of this magnitude,” comments Hyprop CEO Pieter... 

R8m solar PV system launched at Gauteng mall
SUSTAINABLE SUPPLY The facility comprises 2 000 solar panels covering a surface area of 4 000 m2 and produces approximately 843 MWh/y

Solar PV industry experiencing positive response, market boost

By: Mia Breytenbach     23rd January 2015 Since power protection and management solutions provider Powermode forecast a significant demand increase for solar photovoltaic (PV) rooftop solutions for local industry in August last year, the company registered “serious” growth in the solar PV market. “Powermode is witnessing a significant... 

Solar PV industry experiencing positive response, market boost
Photo by Bloomberg
AGGRESSIVE TAKE-OFF Powermode’s average monthly installations have increased from about seven to more than 15 installations, for this month

Solar water heating and photovoltaic solution growth increase expected

By: Mia Breytenbach     23rd January 2015 Alternate energy products distributor Enerjetic expects a 30% to 35% increase in demand for the Nobel solar water heater  (SWH) and Victron Energy photovoltaic (PV) solutions this year, as a result of unstable electricity supply significantly driving solar energy product demand. “While Enerjetic... 

Solar water heating and photovoltaic solution growth increase expected
POPULAR DEMAND The Victron EasySolar 1600 solution generates sufficient power to run the critical components of a home for up to 48 hours

Sishen solar photovoltaic plant connects to national grid

By: Sashnee Moodley     23rd January 2015 The 216-GWh-producing Sishen solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in the Northern Cape has officially connected to the national grid and will have the highest level of electricity output of all the operational solar PV plants in Africa, said Spanish stakeholder Acciona Energía, last month.  

Sishen solar photovoltaic plant connects to national grid
SISHEN SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAIC PLANT The plant will produce electricity equivalent to the consumption of around 100 000 South African households a year and has a peak capacity of 94.3 MW and 74 nominal MW

REIPPPP solar facilities surpass predicted performance 

By: Mia Breytenbach     23rd January 2015 The two solar photovoltaic (PV) energy facilities, in the Northern Cape, which form part of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), implemented by renewables developer and independent power producer BioTherm Energy, are exceeding their... 

REIPPPP solar  facilities surpass predicted performance
Konkoonsies and Aries solar facilities are constructed in the Northern Cape.

Tech partners in resolving project issues

By: Mia Breytenbach     23rd January 2015 Common problems faced by local solar photovoltaic (PV) projects and Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) projects, such as technical and contractual issues, can easily be resolved through the assistance of technical advisory partners, states technical... 

Tech partners in resolving project issues
Photo by Reuters
TECHNICAL NECESSITY Professional technical partners can provide advisory services for solar projects to reduce technical, quality and contractual issues

€625m financial backing for Lake Turkana wind project

By: Sashnee Moodley     23rd January 2015 International investors have arranged a €625m finance package for the Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP) project, for which the construction of a 300 MW wind farm, in north-eastern Kenya is taking place.  

Kathu Solar PV project to deliver 179 GWh/y to the national grid

By: Sashnee Moodley     22nd January 2015 The Kathu solar photovoltaic (PV) facility, in the Northern Cape, is expected to deliver 179 GWh/y of clean energy to the national grid. 

Kathu Solar PV project to deliver 179 GWh/y to the national grid

South Africa sees financial benefits from renewable energy in 2014 – CSIR  

By: Sashnee Moodley     21st January 2015 The renewable energy from South Africa’s first wind and solar projects last year delivered R800-million more in financial benefits for the country than it cost, according to a study by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).  

South Africa sees financial benefits from renewable energy in 2014 – CSIR

SA top renewable-energy investment destination, says global firm

By: Natalie Greve     20th January 2015 Despite an array of challenges ranging from labour volatility, a weakened currency and unpredictable policy, South Africa continues to lure international investment to its various renewable-energy projects, global solar group Talesun Energy VP Arthur Chien has asserted.  “Foreign investment has... 

SA top renewable-energy investment destination, says global firm

Price volatility a key worry for global energy leaders – WEC report

By: Terence Creamer     20th January 2015 Energy and commodity price volatility and uncertainty remained at the top of the list of concerns confronting global and African energy leaders canvassed for the World Energy Council’s (WEC’s) 2015 World Energy Issues Monitor. More than 1 000 energy executives and policymakers from nearly 80... 

Price volatility a key worry for global energy leaders – WEC report
Photo by Duane Daws
WEC secretary general Christoph Frei

Free solar power planning tool to boost solar projects

By: Schalk Burger     19th January 2015 A free Web-based solar power plant capacity-planning tool has been developed to offer project planners and developers, as well as governments, a means to assess the solar energy potential of thin-film photovoltaic (PV) over an area of land. The tool was developed by thin-film solar PV company... 

The worldwide push for aviation biofuels

By: Keith Campbell     16th January 2015 On October 19, 2004, the world’s first exclusively biofuels powered production aircraft received its certification, allowing it to be flown operationally. That aircraft was (and is) the Neiva (now Embraer) EMB-202A Ipanema crop-duster. This is the most recent version of a design that first flew... 

The worldwide push for aviation biofuels

SA urged to invest in renewable energy to counter electricity shortages 

     14th January 2015 It was crucial for renewable energy projects to be fast-tracked nationally to counter electricity shortages in the short-term, photovoltaic (PV) solutions provider Talesun Energy VP Arthur Chien said. State-owned Eskom has been struggling to keep the lights on in the country and has, on occasion,... 

SA urged to invest in renewable energy to counter electricity shortages

DoE tests market for near-term power demand reduction offers 

By: Terence Creamer     12th January 2015 South Africa’s Department of Energy (DoE) has issued a formal appeal for companies and individuals to provide it with information on possible near-term solutions to reduce or shift electricity demand, as well as to immediately improve supply – the responses will guide the design of future... 

DoE tests market for near-term power demand reduction offers

Industry body says transfer of solar-geyser scheme to DoE may spur recovery

By: Terence Creamer     9th January 2015 The Sustainable Energy Society of Southern Africa (SESSA), which represents the domestic solar water heating (SWH) industry, has described the decision to transfer the implementation authority for the solar-geyser incentive scheme from Eskom to the Department of Energy (DoE) as a “positive... 

Industry body says transfer of solar-geyser scheme to DoE may spur recovery

More solar thermal projects, with storage, set to enter SA power mix 

By: Terence Creamer     8th January 2015 South Africa is poised to add yet more concentrating solar power (CSP) capacity, with two additional preferred projects named by the Department of Energy (DoE) and two others reaching financial close in December. The development brings to seven the number of active CSP projects being pursued by... 

More solar thermal projects, with storage, set to enter SA power mix
Photo by SolarReserve
An artist impression of the 100 MW Redstone Solar Thermal Power project

Solar IPP gears up for construction of 86 MW Prieska plant 

By: Terence Creamer     5th January 2015 Independent power producer (IPP) Sonnedix, which reached financial close in December on a 86 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) project near the Northern Cape town of Prieska, expects to begin site mobilisation during the second quarter of 2015 and for the plant to enter commercial operations by the... 

Solar IPP gears up for construction of 86 MW Prieska plant
The Sonnedix team with DoE officials at the financial close function in December

Eaton to provide elec equipment for Africa’s largest solar microgrid

By: Natalie Greve     12th December 2014 Power management company Eaton announced on Friday that it would be providing electrical engineering services and power distribution equipment for the construction of a 5 MW solar microgrid system in Annobon province – an island off Equatorial Guinea, in central Africa. The microgrid had battery... 

Eaton to provide elec equipment for Africa’s largest solar microgrid

‘Africa’s highest producing’ solar plant connects to national grid 

By: Sashnee Moodley     12th December 2014 The 216-GWh-producing Sishen solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in the Northern Cape has officially connected to the national grid and will have the highest level of electricity output of all the operational solar PV plants in Africa, says Spanish stakeholder Acciona Energía.  

‘Africa’s highest producing’ solar plant connects to national grid

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