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Renewable Energy News

Amid worries over IPP-programme credibility, Eskom says issues being resolved

By: Terence Creamer     31st August 2016 A South African solar industry body has warned that the credibility of the country’s much-vaunted Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) is being threatened by ongoing delays to the programme, as well as uncertainty over Eskom’s willingness to conclude power... 

Third Ingula unit enters into commercial operation 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      31st August 2016 Unit 1 of Eskom’s Ingula pumped storage scheme entered into commercial operation on Tuesday, with the three units now in operation contributing nearly 1 000 MW to the national grid. “The commercial operation of Unit 1 is further proof that we are well on our way to ensure security of power supply... 

Third Ingula unit enters into commercial operation

Qhena confident solar project commitment will be ‘honoured’

By: Terence Creamer     30th August 2016 Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) CEO Geoffrey Qhena expressed confidence on Tuesday that projects that had been adjudicated under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) would proceed, despite the recent resistance shown by Eskom to signing a power... 

Qhena confident solar project commitment will be ‘honoured’
Photo by Duane Daws
IDC CEO Geoffrey Qhena

Eskom’s IPP pushback continues despite Cabinet endorsement 

By: Terence Creamer     30th August 2016 Despite Cabinet having insisted at its recent lekgotla that South Africa has no intention of “changing course midstream” in its support of the independent power producer (IPP) programme and notwithstanding that all determinations are in terms of official Ministerial determinations, State-owned... 

Eskom’s IPP pushback continues despite Cabinet endorsement

Eskom backtracks, wants review of green energy project 

By: News24Wire      29th August 2016 While Eskom said it remains committed to sign all of the remaining renewable energy independent power producer procurement programme (REIPPPPPP) contracts under the current bid window, it reportedly backtracked on this pledge last week. Eskom CEO Brian Molefe reportedly refused to sign an... 

Barloworld launches solar energy solution

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     26th August 2016 Global industrial company Barloworld on Friday launched a high-performance photovoltaic (PV) solar energy solution targeted at Southern Africa’s commercial and industrial (C&I) power segment. The Cat Thin Film PV solar energy system, available in sizes ranging from 25 kW to 5 MW, can deliver up... 

Barloworld launches solar energy solution

Offshore wind could replace UK’s Hinkley ‘at same cost’

By: Bloomberg     26th August 2016 Britain could scrap the $23-billion (18-billion pounds) nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point and get the same amount of electricity from offshore wind turbines for roughly the same investment. That’s the assessment of Bloomberg New Energy Finance following Prime Minister Theresa May’s decision to... 

‘Green’ gas demand up, shale provides long-term opportunity

By: Kimberley Smuts     26th August 2016 The biggest potential for growth in the gas industry lies in finding additional gas resources that can replace traditional gases used in industrial processes to generate electricity, which waste management company Interwaste is doing  by generating methane gas from its landfill sites. “With... 

‘Green’ gas demand  up, shale provides  long-term opportunity
Photo by Bloomberg
GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES Lie in finding additional gas resources that can replace traditional gases used in industrial processes to generate electricity

Ingula’s second unit in operation 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     23rd August 2016 The second unit at State-owned electricity provider Eskom’s Ingula pumped storage scheme has entered into commercial operation. The second unit has been contributing 333 MW to the national power grid since May, while in a testing phase. 

Eskom under fire as Ingula costs said to balloon to R36bn 

By: News24Wire      22nd August 2016 Eskom’s board is facing calls to appear before Parliament with documents relating to the Ingula pumped storage scheme, which has allegedly seen costs spiral from R8.9-billion to R36-billion. On July 27, President Jacob Zuma unveiled the first of four turbines at Ingula, which is on the border of... 

South Africa won’t change IPP course ‘midstream’ 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd August 2016 Cabinet appears to have put paid to Eskom efforts to halt the country’s highly regarded independent power producer (IPP) programme, with Minister in The Presidency for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Jeff Radebe indicating on Monday that there was no intention to “change course midstream”.... 

South Africa won’t change IPP course ‘midstream’
Minister in The Presidency for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Jeff Radebe on South Africa's commitment to the IPP programme. Camera Work & Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 22.8.2016

Wind, solar can supply bulk of South Africa’s power at least cost, CSIR model shows 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd August 2016 The dramatic fall in the cost of supplying power from wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) plants has moved the global electricity supply industry beyond a critical “tipping point”, which leading energy scientist Dr Tobias Bischof-Niemz says is irreversibly altering the operating model, with... 

Wind, solar can supply bulk of South Africa’s power at least cost, CSIR model shows
Photo by Duane Daws
Dr Tobias Bischof-Niemz

Anaergia takes over as manager of SA’s first commercial biogas plant

By: Irma Venter     19th August 2016  The day-to-day management of South Africa’s first commercial biogas plant have shifted to biogas expert Anaergia Africa, part of the Anaergia international group of companies, as from July. Anaergia Africa will manage the plant in a two-year contract. 

Australian energy firm rolls out home battery solution

By: Bloomberg     19th August 2016 A revolution in south Australia is wresting power from utility-owned grids and putting it inside batteries installed inside the homes of electricity consumers. Billed as the world’s biggest “virtual power plant”, AGL Energy is installing 1 000 batteries in and around Adelaide at a cost of about... 

Carbon offset regulations could have major financial implications for businesses

By: Dylan Slater     19th August 2016 Draft regulations on carbon offsets, which were published for comment by the National Treasury on June 20, under the Carbon Tax Bill, are due to come into effect in early 2017 and could have significant financial implications for businesses in South Africa, according to legal services firm Cliffe... 

Consulting firm warns of ‘vicious cycle of defection’ from Eskom, municipalities

By: Mia Breytenbach     19th August 2016 The rapid decline in renewables pricing, large-scale battery production and new technologies reducing the price of storage, which will make renewables feasible on a larger scale within 15 years is putting State-owned power utility Eskom at risk of losing electricity demand to the... 

Consulting firm warns of ‘vicious cycle of defection’  from Eskom, municipalities
Photo by Bloomberg
CHANGING MODEL Eskom and municipalities could redesign the grid and distribution model to focus on the benefits and generating properties of renewables

Food and beverage companies aim to minimise project risk

     19th August 2016 In line with ELB Engineering Services’ (ELB’s) diversification strategy the Industrial Projects business line has expanded from its traditional pneumatic and fine handling capability into the food, beverage and fast moving consumer goods sector, as well as the power sector associated with... 

Food and beverage  companies aim to  minimise project risk
JOHN TUCKER “A big part of minimising risk in terms of project execution is securing a one-stop service provider”

Exxaro eyes more renewables

By: Natasha Odendaal     18th August 2016 Following the success of its entry into renewable energy through a 50% wind farm joint venture (JV) with Tata Power, diversified miner Exxaro Resources is exploring further opportunities in clean energy. Independent power producer (IPP) Cennergi had marked its first income generation following... 

Exxaro eyes more renewables
Photo by Duane Daws
Exxaro CEO Mxolisi Mgojo

Tsitsikamma wind farm reaches commercial operation

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     18th August 2016 The 95 MW Tsitsikamma Community wind farm project, in the Eastern Cape, this week started commercial operation, marking the second wind farm by independent power producer Cennergi to achieve the milestone this year. Cennergi, a 50:50 joint venture between coal miner Exxaro Resources and India’s... 

Editorial: Nersa judgment epitomises rise in civil society vigilance

By: Terence Creamer     17th August 2016 In all spheres of South African public life, the level of civil-society engagement and vigilance is rising. Increasingly, too, citizens are not merely tackling issues at the level of principle, but are also taking into account the minutiae of procedural fairness, executive responsibility and... 

Editorial: Nersa judgment epitomises rise in civil society vigilance

First Loeriesfontein wind turbine lift completed

By: Creamer Media Reporter      15th August 2016 The construction of the R3.5-billion Loeriesfontein wind farm, in the Northern Cape, has passed another milestone, with the lifting of the first of 61 wind turbines completed. It takes a day to lift the 100-m-tall wind turbines – assuming the weather is favourable and the first two sections of... 

First Loeriesfontein wind turbine lift completed

Hybrid power generation system wins energy award

By: Mia Breytenbach     12th August 2016 The Hybrid Power Generation System (HPGS) of national security alliance North Atlantic Treaty Organisation’s (Nato’s) Energy Security Center of Excellence has won one of the Energy Transition Trophies 2016. The awards, held in Paris, France, in June, covered such themes, as factories, energy,... 

Hybrid power generation system wins energy award
COMBINED SOURCES The system creates isolated power grids in which wind turbine and photovoltaic systems are combined with conventional diesel generators

Integrating supply chain systems the future of warehouse efficiency

By: Sascha Solomons     12th August 2016 With warehousing and logistics becoming increasingly complex and fast-moving, resolving operating issues regarding materials handling, data capturing, order fulfilment and software technology have become business imperatives, asserts beverage company Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA). “As... 

Nontransparent development plans leave Free State community in lurch

By: Dylan Slater     12th August 2016 Relocated families and local residents of farms bordering State-owned power utility Eskom’s newly constructed Ingula hydroelectric power scheme have been left in the dark about how the power utility plans to develop the area.  

Power Up energy systems boost green development

By: Kimberley Smuts     12th August 2016 With construction expected to begin in September, specialised procurement company Build Africa Corporation will supply its Power Up energy systems to 480 luxury-living housing units in the Acorn Creek complex in Somerset West, in the Western Cape. “This is the largest green residential... 

Solar aeroplane completes round-the-world trip

By: David Oliveira     12th August 2016 The zero-emission electric and solar aeroplane Solar Impulse 2 (Si2) completed its circumnavigation of the globe when it landed in Abu Dhabi again last month, following a 43 041 km journey of 17 legs. Flying from Egypt, Solar Impulse chairperson Bertrand Piccard landed in Abu Dhabi to complete... 

Stortemelk Hydro adds 4.5 MW to local electricity grid 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     10th August 2016 Stortemelk Hydro, the third hydropower plant developed in South Africa by Renewable Energy Holdings (REH), started commercial operations on July 29. The 4.5 MW, R190-million project, which was awarded preferred bidder status under the second bid window of government’s Renewable Energy Independent... 

Stortemelk Hydro adds 4.5 MW to local electricity grid

Bio2Watt appoints Anaergia to manage biogas plant, looks to expand

By: Irma Venter     10th August 2016 The day-to-day management of South Africa’s first commercial biogas plant have shifted to biogas expert Anaergia Africa, part of the Anaergia international group of companies, as from July. Anaergia Africa will manage the plant in a two-year contract. 

Bio2Watt appoints Anaergia to manage biogas plant, looks to expand
Sean Thomas

Municipal election results won’t derail fiscal consolidation – Treasury

By: Creamer Media Reporter      8th August 2016 South Africa’s National Treasury has reaffirmed government’s commitment to fiscal consolidation and “returning public finances to a sustainable path”, following local government elections that saw the governing African National Congress (ANC) record its worst performance since 1994. The ANC’s... 

Municipal election results won’t derail fiscal consolidation – Treasury

Kenya exhibition places focus on renewable energy

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     2nd August 2016 With investment in the offgrid solar sector reaching $276-million last year – a 15-fold increase over 2012 – the third International Off-grid Renewable Energy Conference and Exhibition (Iorec), which will be held in Nairobi, Kenya, from September 30 to October 1, will aim to further improve... 

Partners appointed for first SA waste-to-energy project 

By: African News Agency      2nd August 2016 Black & Veatch announced on Tuesday that it had been chosen by MBHE African Power to provide technical assistance for South Africa’s first waste-to-energy (WTE) plant to be located in the Drakenstein municipality, near Wellington in the Western Cape. A statement from the US-based, employee-owned... 

Joemat-Pettersson backs renewables; promises coal, expedited renewable-energy IPP decision soon

By: Natasha Odendaal     29th July 2016 With government preparing to announce its long-awaited decision on the expedited round of  the Renewable-Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) and the Coal Baseload Independent Power Producer Procurement  Programme (CBIPPPP), Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson has... 

Joemat-Pettersson backs renewables; promises coal, expedited renewable-energy IPP decision soon

Eskom postpones IPP signing with Redstone

By: News24Wire      29th July 2016 Eskom postponed the signing of a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Redstone Solar Thermal Power Project, intended to happen on Thursday July 28 2016. The agreement would have seen Eskom buy 100 MW from the project for an estimated R50-billion for the duration of the contract, according... 

Concentrated solar plants valuable for South Africa 

By: Robyn Wilkinson     29th July 2016 As baseload plants, concentrated solar plants (CSPs) are highly sought after in the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), says infrastructure operations and maintenance (O&M) company Invest in Africa Holdings (IIAH) director Gabriel Reeder. 

Concentrated solar plants valuable  for South Africa
Investing in Africa Holdings directors Gabriel Reeder and Mandla Sibanda discuss the value of concentrated solar plants in South Africa

Construction on the largest solar field in S Africa to start in 2017

     29th July 2016 Norwegian power producer Scatec Solar plans to start construction by mid-2017 on three new adjacent solar projects in Upington, in the Northern Cape, which will form the largest solar field in South Africa and one of the biggest in the world with a combined peak capacity of 258 MW. 

Phase II update: Polihali dam construction expected in 2019

By: Nadine James     29th July 2016 Construction of the Polihali dam – an integral part of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) Phase II – is expected to begin in 2019.  The Polihali dam, Polihali-Katse transfer tunnel and other infrastructural aspects of the LHWP Phase II should be completed by 2024. Once Phase II is... 

Phase II update: Polihali dam construction expected in 2019
ONTO PHASE II To date, five contracts have been awarded for various elements of the advance infrastructure works

Power builds to continue despite decreased demand across industries

By: Robyn Wilkinson     29th July 2016 Despite a decrease in demand for energy from the mining and related industries, construction, engineering and mining contractor Murray & Roberts Power & Water platform CEO Steve Harrison believes that the power station builds at Medupi, in Limpopo, and Kusile, in Mpumalanga, will continue to... 

Power builds to continue despite  decreased demand across industries
MEDUPI POWER STATION Unit 5 at Medupi first fired on oil in June

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