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Renewable Energy News

Renewables sector welcomes Presidency’s support of renewables

By: Anine Kilian     10th February 2017 The South African Renewable Energy Council (Sarec) has welcomed the Presidency’s clear support for the country’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). During his State of the Nation address on Thursday night, President Jacob Zuma announced that State-owned... 

Renewables a bright spot in an otherwise chaotic Sona 

     10th February 2017 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about the highlights of President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation address, including the announcement that Eskom will sign outstanding power purchase agreements with renewables IPPs and proposals on radical... 

Renewables a bright spot in an otherwise chaotic Sona
Is the end of the impasse over renewables power purchase agreements in sight?

Microlevel electricity grids advantageous for African applications

By: Dylan Slater     10th February 2017 Although the price of electricity and cost of generation in many African countries are major challenges, they also present opportunities to implement clean small-scale energy solutions that can use existing infrastructure and apply Africa’s natural resources, says energy, water,... 

Northern Cape youths receive financial aid for tertiary education

By: David Oliveira     10th February 2017 Twenty-six youths from the Emthanjeni municipality, in the Northern Cape, were awarded full tertiary bursaries last month by solar energy project developer Solar Capital and its subsidiary Solar Capital De Aar 3. These bursaries were among the 80 distributed at the well-attended Ministerial... 

Zuma says Eskom will sign renewables contracts amid disrupted, economy-focused Sona

By: Terence Creamer     9th February 2017 President Jacob Zuma announced on Thursday that Eskom would sign the outstanding power purchase agreement (PPAs) for renewable energy projects that had been procured during the most recent rounds of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).   Zuma made the... 

Zuma says Eskom will sign renewables contracts amid disrupted, economy-focused Sona
Photo by Duane Daws
President Jacob Zuma

Hammond takes the lead in managing 287 MW renewable-energy portfolio

By: Creamer Media Reporter      8th February 2017 Ryan Hammond has been appointed CEO of Cookhouse Windfarm, Umoya Energy Windfarm and REISA Solar PV, a renewable-energy portfolio totaling 287 MW.  He takes on the responsibility of managing the facilities’ operations, finance and community operations, with effect from February 1. 

Hammond takes the lead in managing 287 MW renewable-energy portfolio

IDC hopes to salvage wind-tower plant, but warns liquidation can’t be ruled out 

By: Terence Creamer     8th February 2017 The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) is hoping to salvage the domestic manufacturing capability established to produce wind-tower sections in the Eastern Cape that was set up in response to government’s demand for higher levels of local content in the renewable-energy sector. However, it... 

IDC hopes to salvage wind-tower plant, but warns liquidation can’t be ruled out
Sections being manufactured at DCD Wind Towers plant, which has been shut since December

PPA stand-off risks future wind energy jobs as new graduates enter saturated market

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th February 2017 South Africa’s fledgling wind turbine service technician training programme will be "training its graduates for unemployment" if construction on the next round of State-commissioned wind farms does not get under way this year, warns South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre (Saretec)... 

PPA stand-off risks future wind energy jobs as new graduates enter saturated market
Saratec director Naim Rassool

Enel’s South African unit brings two new PV plants into operation

By: Natasha Odendaal     6th February 2017 Italian energy group Enel’s renewable-energy subsidiary Enel Green Power RSA has brought its 82.5 MW apiece Adams and Pulida solar photovoltaic (PV) plants into commercial operation. The Pulida PV plant, in the Northern Cape, and the Adams PV facility, in the Free State, which are supported by... 

The big questions when Ministers meet on renewables standoff

By: Terence Creamer     6th February 2017 When the Ministers responsible for seeking resolution to the current impasse in South Africa’s renewable-energy sector meet this month, they will be expected to weigh the serious legal and policy implications of backtracking from a Ministerial determination – as well as from one of the country’s... 

The big questions when Ministers meet on renewables standoff

Eskom’s refusal to sign new renewables PPAs costing jobs, investments – DCD 

By: Natasha Odendaal     3rd February 2017 Fears that State-owned Eskom’s protracted delay in concluding power purchase agreements (PPAs) with selected independent power producers (IPPs) could result in job losses and the idling of projects, are emerging, as DCD Wind Towers starts cutting jobs. The R536-million DCD Wind Towers venture,... 

Conference aims to foster low carbon economy

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     3rd February 2017 With South Africa’s signing of the Paris Agreement at the United Nations twenty-first Conference of the Parties in 2015 requiring it to have met certain greenhouse-gas emission reduction targets from a mitigation and an adaptation point of view by 2020, this year’s Industrial Efficiency... 

Conference aims to foster low carbon economy
TRANSFORMING INDUSTRIES The Industrial Efficiency Conference aims to guide industries in energy, water and waste efficiency

Expo and conference to focus on major industry trends

     3rd February 2017 In line with significant changes in the power and energy landscapes in Africa, this year’s African Utility Week (AUW) conference and expo will focus on the latest challenges, developments and opportunities in the power and water sectors. “The availability of private investment for power and... 

Expo and conference  to focus on major  industry trends
SOURCING SOLUTIONS The African Utility week conference and expo will gather over 7000 decision-makers from more than 40 countries

New Nersa chief insists regulator will not act illegally when determining 2017 power tariffs

By: Terence Creamer     31st January 2017 Newly appointed National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) CEO Christopher Forlee insists that the Energy Regulator will not take any “illegal” decisions when making a determination in February about the trajectory of Eskom’s 2017 tariffs. Instead, any decision will seek to navigate the... 

New Nersa chief insists regulator will not act illegally when determining 2017 power tariffs
Photo by Duane Daws
Nersa CEO Christopher Forlee

Inspired Evolution exits renewable-energy fund, starts another 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     31st January 2017 Clean energy and resource efficiency specialised fund manager Inspired Evolution is exiting a number of its renewable-energy investments, held under its Evolution One Fund portfolio, as the renewable-energy industry reaches maturity. The $90-million Evolution One Fund, which focuses on the clean... 

Inspired Evolution exits renewable-energy fund, starts another

Opinion: How Minister Brown can address Eskom’s conflicting interests 

     30th January 2017 In this article, Mark Pickering argues that the short answer to the current impasse between Eskom and renewables generators is to instruct Eskom to comply with the law and sign the agreements. The longer answer, however, will involve a more complex restructuring of the utility. 

Opinion: How Minister Brown can address Eskom’s conflicting interests
Mark Pickering

Africa Power Roundtable to consider continent’s power challenges, opportunities

     27th January 2017 The upcoming Africa Power Roundtable (APR) will seek to further address challenges such as regulatory certainty to enable investment in long-term grid connected power projects on the continent. The event, to be held in Sandton on February 1 and 2 and sponsored by investment and advisory company... 

Cape Town draws battle lines over right to buy alternative energy from IPPs 

By: News24Wire      27th January 2017 The City of Cape Town plans to take Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson to court for the right to buy power directly from alternative energy suppliers, instead of Eskom. The city wanted to get 20% of its energy from renewable resources by 2020, but needed the minister to sign off on an... 

Aeroderivative gas turbines seen offering stable accompaniment to renewables

By: David Oliveira     27th January 2017 Aeroderivative gas turbine technology could provide an economical and efficient alternative to wind, solar and tidal power generation, particularly as these technologies depend on unpredictable weather. Global engineering firm Siemens sub-Saharan Africa power and gas executive VP Andreas Pistauer... 

Aeroderivative gas turbines seen offering stable accompaniment to renewables
EFFICIENT DESIGN Siemens aero gas turbines have a cycle efficiency that is typically 1% to 3% better than that of traditional industrial gas turbines

Company supplies solar electricity system to NPO

     27th January 2017 By way of its distribution partner and project implementer, Solek Innovations, high-tech solar power solutions manufacturer SolarWorld Africa supplied a solar electricity system to the Grootbos Foundation, in the Western Cape. SolarWorld donated the solar system while Solek provided a free of... 

Electronics company boasts unique PID inverter

By: Sascha Solomons     27th January 2017 Global electronics company Omron says the Omron KP100L photovoltaic (PV) inverter has the unique distinction of being the only potential induced degradation (PID) preventive inverter on the market. “The importance of this has been recognised in recent years, owing to the introduction of increased... 

Electronics company boasts unique PID inverter
ROSS ALLAN Many residential and business consumers aim to produce their own electricity and rely less on Eskom

New sewer pipeline to relieve pressure on existing works

By: Simone Liedtke     27th January 2017 Dube TradePort will construct the 6-km-long Hlawe river sewer pipeline, which will link the Dube TradePort precinct to the existing Tongaat Wastewater Treatment Works, service the northern part of the TradePort precinct and relieve pressure on the wastewater works. 

New sewer pipeline to relieve pressure on existing works
DUBE TRADEPORT The Dube AgriZone is intended to act as a catalyst for high-value agribusiness in Kwa-Zulu Natal

Ongoing solar projects promote IPP success 

By: Sascha Solomons     27th January 2017 Global private engineering and technology company Sener and its engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) partners, Emvelo and Cobra, are scheduled to complete the EPC of the 100 MW Ilanga solar thermal power plant near Upington, in the Northern Cape, at the end of 2018. The company... 

Ongoing solar projects promote  IPP success
Sener’s Southern Africa regional MD Siyabonga Mbanjwa discusses the importance of solar energy, as well as current projects the company is working on.

Solar LED light available in Southern Africa

By: Sascha Solomons     27th January 2017 To reach its goal of enlarging its footprint in Southern Africa, solar street light  manufacturing and distribution company Solar Eco Systems Africa has made promotional magnets manufacturer Magnet Energy an exclusive distributor of its range of self-sustaining solar light-emitting diode (LED)... 

Solar LED light available in Southern Africa
SOLAR LED STREET LIGHTING Solar Eco Systems Africa’s range of self-sustaining solar LED street lighting combine enhanced aesthetics and the latest PV and LED technology

Solar opportunities raised at exhibition

     27th January 2017 After the success of Solar Africa 2015, at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi, Kenya, organiser of trade events Expogroup announced the return of Solar Africa 2017 from June 10 to 12. Expogroup highlights that one of the major challenges in the renewable energy... 

Solar power plants planned for all domestic airports

By: Simone Liedtke     27th January 2017 Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) plans to build solar power plants at all six of the South African airports its owns and operates by November this year. 

Eskom talks tough on renewables, coal 

     26th January 2017 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about Eskom’s continued reluctance to sign power purchase agreements for new renewables capacity and its aim to use its coal procurement as leverage to transform the coal industry. 

Eskom talks tough on renewables, coal
Eskom talks tough on renewables, coal

Ground-breaking waste-to-energy plant opens in Cape Town

By: Kim Cloete     24th January 2017 The first large-scale waste-to-energy plant in Africa will be opened in Athlone in Cape Town, on Wednesday, with the aim of converting municipal solid waste into energy. The state-of-the-art R400-million biogas plant is expected to create 80 full-time jobs and few hundred indirect jobs. The plant... 

Ground-breaking waste-to-energy plant opens in Cape Town

Brown says Ministers to meet in mid-Feb to seek ‘answer’ to Eskom-IPP deadlock

By: Terence Creamer     24th January 2017 Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown says a meeting, involving herself, the Ministers of Energy and Finance, as well as Eskom, should take place by mid-February to seek an “answer” to the current standoff over the signing, by Eskom, of 37 outstanding power purchase agreements (PPAs) with... 

Brown says Ministers to meet in mid-Feb to seek ‘answer’ to Eskom-IPP deadlock
Photo by Duane Daws
Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown

Opinion: Billions can be saved by building gas turbines ahead of solar and wind 

     24th January 2017 In this opinion piece, Professor Dawid Serfontein enters the debate on the costs and benefits of South Africa’s renewable-energy fleet, responds to recent media articles on the matter and makes the case for a revision to the sequence in which new generation technologies are added to the... 

DoE resumes IEP, IRP public consultations

By: Natasha Odendaal     24th January 2017 The Department of Energy’s (DoE’s) public consultation workshops on the updated draft Integrated Energy Plan (IEP) and the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) will resume in Limpopo on Wednesday. This followed on the first series of public consultation sessions, which were held in Gauteng,... 

Opinion: South Africa at an electricity crossroads 

     23rd January 2017 In this commentary, independent economic consultant Rob Jeffrey cautions that a future electricity mix which relies heavily on wind and limits the contribution of coal could undermine South Africa’s plans for addressing unemployment and poverty 

Opinion: South Africa at an electricity crossroads
Rob Jeffrey

Tesla expects SA offering to become increasingly attractive as tariffs rise

By: Irma Venter     20th January 2017 Tesla has finally arrived in South Africa, even if in a somewhat unexpected guise. With the availability of the US company’s electric cars apparently still some way off, South Africans do, however, now have access to its energy storage solutions. The stationary, rechargeable lithium-ion battery... 

Construction under way at 7.5 MW Burundi solar park

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     19th January 2017 Solar and social development enterprise Gigawatt Global on Wednesday broke ground on a 7.5 MW solar field that will boost Burundi’s electricity generation capacity. The $14-million project is being built in the Mubuga district, in one of the world's least-developed nations and is expected to be... 

Construction under way at 7.5 MW Burundi solar park

Eskom, IPP deadlock on renewables PPAs coming to a head 

     19th January 2017 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about the impasse between Eskom and renewables IPPs on the signing of power purchase agreements. 

Eskom, IPP deadlock on renewables PPAs coming to a head
Eskom, IPP deadlock on renewables PPAs coming to a head

Sapvia welcomes Ramaphosa’s support of REIPPPP

By: Creamer Media Reporter      18th January 2017 The South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (Sapvia) on Wednesday welcomed Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recognition of the success of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). Ramaphosa was addressing delegates at the World Economic... 

IPPs ‘entitled’ to approach courts to force Eskom to sign PPAs 

By: Terence Creamer     18th January 2017 A legal opinion secured by the South African Renewable Energy Council (Sarec) relating to the refusal by Eskom to conclude contracts with 37 independent power producers (IPPs) selected as preferred bidders by the Department of Energy (DoE) more than a year ago states that the IPPs “would be... 

IPPs ‘entitled’ to approach courts to force Eskom to sign PPAs

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