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Renewable Energy News

Eskom hints at earlier Ingula completion as it marks start-up of first unit 

By: Terence Creamer     27th July 2016 With the first 333 MW unit, Unit 4, of Eskom’s Ingula pumped-storage scheme officially in commercial operation, the State-owned utility has expressed optimism that the full 1 332 MW, four-unit peaking plant will be completed ahead of its official timeline of July next year. Unit 4 was officially... 

86 MW Prieska solar plant enters commercial operation 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      26th July 2016 The 86 MW Mulilo-Sonnedix-Prieska solar photovoltaic (PV) project, in the Northern Cape, has officially started operating commercially, following 17 months of construction. The R1.3-billion project, which is located on a 125 ha site 50 km south-west of Prieska, comprises 275 000 PV modules,... 

86 MW Prieska solar plant enters commercial operation
The 86 MW solar PV plant near Prieska in the Northern Cape

Nafcoc ‘alarmed’ by Eskom move against IPPs 

By: Terence Creamer     25th July 2016 The National African Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Nafcoc) has added its voice to those questioning Eskom’s resistance to connecting new independent power producers (IPPs), saying it is “alarmed” by the State-owned electricity producer’s move. In a letter sent to Energy Minister... 

Nafcoc ‘alarmed’ by Eskom move against IPPs

Eskom’s IPP stance seen undermining investment and green industrialisation 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd July 2016 The decision by Eskom not to sign any new power purchase agreements (PPAs) with independent power producers (IPPs) beyond those selected in the latest competitive bidding round could have a “chilling” effect on investment and undermine industrialisation efforts under way in the green economy,... 

Eskom’s IPP stance seen undermining investment and green industrialisation

Africa’s brightest youth brainstorm solutions to socioeconomic challenges 

By: David Oliveira     22nd July 2016 One hundred of Africa’s most innovative youth gathered at the Brightest Young Minds (BYM) 2016 summit, held in Johannesburg last month, to discuss and find innovative solutions for Africa’s socioeconomic challenges. “BYM is a nonprofit public-benefit organisation aimed at providing a platform for... 

Africa’s brightest youth brainstorm solutions to socioeconomic challenges
Absa corporate and investment banking CEO Stephen van Coller and Brightest Young Minds (BYM) CEO Dhiren Govender discusses the 2016 BYM summit. Camerawork: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Lionel da Silva

Eastern Cape gas-to-power hub plans on track

     22nd July 2016 The Eastern Cape’s plan to host a gas-to-power hub is well advanced with the Coega industrial development zone (IDZ) now clearly the province's preferred location for the development says Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism MEC Sakhumzi Somyo.  

Eastern Cape  gas-to-power hub  plans on track
Photo by Duane Daws
GAS-TO-POWER HUB Coega, as the province’s preferred site for the gas-to-power hub, has led the charge and continues to press ahead with preparations

Greenpeace International executive director visits Africa for the first time

By: David Oliveira     22nd July 2016 Greenpeace International executive director Bunny McDiarmid visited the Greenpeace Africa office in Johannesburg, earlier this month, to show solidarity and gain further insight into the key issues. The visit was McDiarmid’s first to Africa since taking office in April. 

Rosebank office awarded top green rating

By: Dylan Slater     22nd July 2016 Green-focused architecture consultancy Solid Green Consulting’s Rosebank offices were recently awarded 6-Star Green Star South Africa Interiors v1 certification for the incorporation of ecofriendly aspects into their offices.  

Rosebank office awarded top green rating
GREEN CERTIFICATION Solid Green Consulting’s new Rosebank office has 6-Star Green Star South Africa Interiors v1 certification

S Africa to use fuel-flexible turbines as interim power supply solution

     22nd July 2016 South Africa’s gas-to-power programme, aimed at delivering 3 726 MW of electricity, is expected to come on line between 2019 and 2025, says power generation plant and product provider APR Energy regional sales director Mark Makanda.  

S Africa to use fuel-flexible turbines as interim power supply solution
DUAL-FUEL TURBINES Provide the flexibility to seamlessly switch between liquid petroleum gas and other fuels

South Africa draws up plans for gas-generated power

By: Sebastian Whyle     22nd July 2016 In South Africa’s search for viable long-term gas import partners to meet demand in the power sector, Nigeria has been identified as a strong contender, owing to its large natural gas reserves, says professional services firm KPMG.  

South Africa draws up plans for gas-generated power
Photo by Duane Daws
MEETING GROWING DEMAND Global demand for energy will increase as the global economy expands

Eskom letter sends shock waves through private power sector 

By: Terence Creamer     21st July 2016 News of Eskom’s letter to Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson – seeking clarity on the approach the utility should take to contracting in future with independent power producers (IPPs) – sent shock waves through the private power community, which is only just starting to find its feet in a... 

Eskom letter sends shock waves through private power sector
Photo by Duane Daws
Eskom chairperson Dr Ben Ngubane

Siemens upbeat about South Africa’s gas-to-power, renewables potential

By: Anine Kilian     21st July 2016 Global engineering firm Siemens says it is committed to South Africa’s renewable-energy revolution and supports the country’s imminent procurement of gas-to-power infrastructure.  Speaking to Engineering News Online on the sidelines of the Power-Gen Africa conference in Sandton, Johannesburg,... 

Siemens upbeat about South Africa’s gas-to-power, renewables potential
Siemens CEO Sabine Dall'Omo

IDC, AFD sign €60m credit agreement for green projects

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     20th July 2016 South Africa’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has signed an agreement with France's development agency, Agence Française de Développement (AFD), for a €60-million credit line aimed at local small-scale green projects. The facility, a collaboration under the Sustainable Use of Natural... 

Geothermal exploration for S Africa a possibility, funding a major challenge 

By: Anine Kilian     20th July 2016 While geothermal energy is renewable and can be used for baseload supply, the major challenge surrounding this type of energy in South Africa is that geothermal exploration is expensive, which is why it has yet to be undertaken in the country, says Royal Haskoning energy consultant David Johnson.... 

Geothermal exploration for S Africa a possibility, funding a major challenge

Senwes to save from completed solar project

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     20th July 2016 The installation of 2 392 solar panels at South African agribusiness Senwes’s head office, in Klerksdorp, will save a projected 1 172 t/y of carbon emissions, equivalent to 270 running cars or 481 t/y of coal. CEO Joe Maswanganyi says the project, which was completed in June, will save about 1 kg... 

Financing and legal frameworks key for successful renewables projects in Africa

By: Anine Kilian     19th July 2016 Less than 30% of renewable energy projects in Africa reach financial close, with the development process highlighted as the riskiest part of the development cycle, according to advisory firm Castalia Africa practice leader Patrick Longmire. “Renewable energy project development is expensive and... 

Financing and legal frameworks key for successful renewables projects in Africa

$150m Brics bank facility seen helping ease South Africa’s grid bottlenecks

By: Terence Creamer     19th July 2016 State-owned electricity producer Eskom expects to finalise commercial terms with the New Development Bank (NDB), of the Brics grouping, for a $150-million facility in the next quarter, CFO Anoj Singh reports. A term sheet has been signed with the NDB and Singh reports that, once consummated, the... 

$150m Brics bank facility seen helping ease South Africa’s grid bottlenecks
Photo by Duane Daws
Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown

Group of 30-somethings making steady progress in building black-owned IPP 

By: Terence Creamer     18th July 2016 The Pele Energy Group (PEG), which is owned and managed by a group of 30-something black professionals, is making strides in its stated objective of evolving from an energy investor into a fully-fledged independent power producer (IPP) and, ultimately, a private utility company. Headquartered in... 

Group of 30-somethings making steady progress in building black-owned IPP
The five PEG founders

Electronic bike hubs piloted in Sandton business district 

By: Irma Venter     15th July 2016 Growthpoint Properties has introduced two electronic bike hubs to the Sandton business district, in a pilot project the company hopes will grow its footprint, says Growthpoint head of energy sustainability Werner van Antwerpen. The two hubs are opposite the Sandton Gautrain Station, at the... 

Energy company signs 20-year power purchase agreement

     15th July 2016 Wind energy developments project management company Kipeto Energy, is one step closer to delivering additional clean energy to the people of Kenya following an announcement that it formally signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with Kenya Power last month. 

Energy company signs 20-year power purchase agreement
Photo by Duane Daws
ENERGY UPGRADES The increase in energy production forms part of Kenya’s Vision 2030

Interbuild Africa 2016 targets small and medium-sized building contractors

By: Mia Breytenbach     15th July 2016 The 2016 Interbuild Africa, Africa’s largest building, building services and construction exhibition, will predominantly target the small and medium-sized building contractor companies, as this market remains fairly resilient, says event organiser Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery portfolio... 

Interbuild Africa 2016 targets small and medium-sized  building contractors
Photo by Duane Daws
TARGET MARKET While some construction majors had struggled in in the past year, market growth is expected to stem from smaller industry players

SolarAfrica, Aquion Energy install offgrid solar system in Kenya

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th July 2016 Solar energy services firm SolarAfrica on Thursday said it had, along with Aqueous Hybrid Ion batteries and energy storage systems manufacturer Aquion Energy, completed the installation of an offgrid microgrid at the wildlife research and ecotourism hub Loisaba Conservancy, in Kenya. The offgrid... 

ABB inaugurates its first South African microgrid at Longmeadow headquarters 

     14th July 2016 Automation technology group ABB has commissioned an integrated solar-diesel microgrid installation at its 96 000 m2 Longmeadow facility in Johannesburg. This is the group’s first microgrid in South Africa. Mia Breytenbach tells us more.  

ABB inaugurates its first South African microgrid at Longmeadow headquarters
ABB inaugurates its first South African microgrid at Longmeadow headquarters

France, South Africa join hands on development

By: Natasha Odendaal     11th July 2016 There is further room to increase bilateral trade and investment and expand cooperation between South Africa and France, particularly in energy and infrastructure, President Jacob Zuma said on Monday. Zuma, currently on his second State visit to France to meet with French counterpart President... 

France, South Africa join hands on development
Photo by Reuters
South Africa President Jacob Zuma and France President Francois Hollande

80 MW Noupoort wind farm enters commercial operation

By: Terence Creamer     11th July 2016 The 80 MW Noupoort wind farm, in the Northern Cape, entered commercial operation on July 11, with all 35 turbines at the R1.9-billion facility commissioned and connected to the Eskom grid. Country programme manager Savva Antoniadis reports that Noupoort is also the first wind farm selected during... 

80 MW Noupoort wind farm enters commercial operation
The 80 MW Noupoort wind farm

Creamer Media publishes Real Economy Insight 2016: Electricity research report

     11th July 2016 This eight-page brief is a synopsis of key developments in the electricity sector over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s constrained power system; State-owned power utility Eskom’s financial status and tariffs, capacity expansion programme, funding, independent power... 

Creamer Media publishes Real Economy Insight 2016: Electricity research report

Ekurhuleni metropolitan municipality hosts investment tour

By: David Oliveira     8th July 2016 The Ekurhuleni municipality has given journalists insight into some of the key industrial and infrastructure developments in the metropolitan, including the Harambee bus-rapid transit (BRT) system and the Lords View Industrial Park. Ekurhuleni economic development facilitator Yusuf Mayet... 

Event costs deter local companies

By: Robyn Wilkinson     8th July 2016 The lack of emphasis on local innovation seems to be reflected in the pricing scheme of the Power-Gen Africa event, which favours international currencies more than the local one, says solar solutions provider Microcare Solar Components marketing manager Gareth Burley. 

Event costs deter local companies
FOCUS ON SOLAR Renewable energy will be a key focus at this year’s Power-Gen Africa event

Metair says acquisition extends its reach into renewable energy

By: Irma Venter     8th July 2016 Manufacturer, distributor and retailer of energy storage solutions and automotive components, Metair, has acquired 25% of Kenya-based Associated Battery Manufacturers East Africa (Abmeal), and its subsidiaries, at a price tag of $7.3-million. “This transaction ticked critical boxes for us as it... 

Quality standards for grid-tied systems worth the wait

By: Robyn Wilkinson     8th July 2016 The publication of Small-Scale Embedded Generators (SSEG) national standards for grid-tied systems are more than 12 months overdue, which is a noteworthy delay because of how crucial they are to advancing safe and cost-effective solar energy practices in South Africa, says advanced power product... 

Quality standards  for grid-tied systems  worth the wait
CIS TECHNOLOGY Japanese-manufactured copper, indium and selenium (CIS) solar photovoltaic technology supplied by Sinetech

Temporary power plants an immediate solution to energy challenges

     8th July 2016 Temporary power plants represent an immediate, reliable, scalable and cost-efficient solution to Southern Africa’s power concerns, says large-scale power solutions provider Altaaqa Global Cat Rental Power marketing manager Robert Bagatsing. 

Temporary power plants an immediate solution to energy challenges
ORANGE RIVER South Africa’s hydropower stations on the river have also been affected by drought

Greenpeace International executive director visits Africa for the first time 

By: David Oliveira     6th July 2016 Greenpeace International executive director Bunny McDiarmid visited the Greenpeace Africa office in Johannesburg, on Wednesday, to show solidarity and gain further insight into the key issues. The visit was McDiarmid’s first to Africa since taking office in April. 

First carbon-friendly pour for Khobab wind farm foundations

By: Natasha Odendaal     6th July 2016 The first of 61 low-carbon foundations for the turbines at the new Khobab wind farm, in the Northern Cape, has been poured, using a 89% cement-replacement formula that would reduce the wind farm’s carbon footprint to 90.7 kg/m3 of carbon dioxide (CO2). The formula for the emerging wind farm’s... 

First carbon-friendly pour for Khobab wind farm foundations

South Africa takes steps to nurture nascent biomanufacturing industry

By: David Oliveira     1st July 2016 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR’s) Biomanufacturing Industry Development Centre (BIDC), a biomanufacturing innovation hub aimed at supporting small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs) to enter the local bio-industry, will have provided about R50-million worth of... 

South Africa takes steps to nurture nascent  biomanufacturing industry

S Africa still reliant on coal, struggling to transition to low-carbon economy 

By: Anine Kilian     29th June 2016 South Africa is the twelfth-greatest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the world, as well as the biggest polluter on the African continent, according to German political foundation Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) South Africa director Renate Tenbusch, speaking at a roundtable event on black... 

S Africa still reliant on coal, struggling to transition to low-carbon economy

Growthpoint introduces electric bikes, solar charging hubs to Sandton

By: Irma Venter     29th June 2016 Growthpoint Properties has introduced two electronic bike hubs to the Sandton business district, in a pilot project the company hopes will grow its footprint, says Growthpoint head of energy sustainability Werner van Antwerpen. The two hubs are opposite the Sandton Gautrain Station, at the... 

Growthpoint introduces electric bikes, solar charging hubs to Sandton
Photo by Duane Daws
Growthpoint's e-bike charging hub

Loeriesfontein wind farm turbine foundations completed on schedule

     29th June 2016 The Loeriesfontein wind farm has completed the foundations for the 61 wind turbines to be erected at the site. Situated in the Hantam municipality 60 km north of Loeriesfontein in the Northern Cape, the wind farm will have 61 99-m-high wind turbines erected on 3 453 ha of agricultural land. 

Loeriesfontein wind farm turbine foundations completed on schedule

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