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Solar News

Robben Island inaugurates R25m microgrid

By: Mia Breytenbach     20th October 2017 Robben Island, a World Heritage Site has gone green with the installation of a R25-million solar energy, lithium-ion battery storage microgrid that will supply almost half of the island’s yearly electricity requirement. The Department of Tourism, together with the appointed engineering,... 

Engie targets Africa with home solar acquisition

By: Reuters     20th October 2017 French gas utility Engie has bought a Ugandan home solar systems company to expand in sub-Saharan Africa by providing power to millions of people who have no access to electricity. Engie said on Thursday that it had acquired Fenix International, which sells home solar kits financed through tiny... 

Sending right economic signals key to integration of distributed energy resources

By: Terence Creamer     16th October 2017 The transition from centralised electricity systems to ones that increasingly comprise both large-scale centralised resources and distributed energy resources (DERs) is under way globally. However, to successfully manage the shift will depend substantially on sending the right economic signals, a... 

 Sending right economic signals key to integration of distributed energy resources

Warning that Cape Town's water outages could cause solar water geysers to 'explode'

By: News24Wire      13th October 2017 Water outages to preselected suburbs by the City of Cape Town could lead to solar water geysers "exploding", an electrical and electronic engineer warned on Thursday. The City on Monday announced that Phase One of its Critical Water Shortages Disaster Plan came into effect which would cause water... 

Pan-European bank celebrates 45 years in SA

By: Robyn Wilkinson     13th October 2017 Pan-European banking and financial services provider UniCredit will celebrate 45 years of successful service in South Africa this year, having provided support for European companies entering African markets from its Johannesburg-based representative office since 1972. 

Pan-European bank  celebrates 45 years in SA
FAR-REACHING NETWORK Headquartered in Milan, UniCredit has a unique Pan-European network that provides expertise to 25-million clients globally

SA weighs market opportunities as utility-scale battery storage prospects improve

By: Mia Breytenbach     13th October 2017 Following the release of an energy storage techno-economic study ‘The South Africa Energy Storage Technology and Market Assessment’, advocating that South Africa requires market preparation to take advantage of growth opportunities in the stationary and mobility value chains of energy storage,... 

SA weighs market opportunities as utility-scale  battery storage prospects improve

Minister offers snapshot of renewables generation

By: Terence Creamer     6th October 2017 Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi reports that, as at the end of July, the combined installed generation capacity of renewable-energy independent power producers (IPPs) stood at more than 3 200 MW across 58 sites. In a reply to a Parliamentary question posed by Economic Freedom Fighters MP... 

Minister offers snapshot of renewables generation

Innovative system helps control wastewater pumping

     6th October 2017 Pumps and valves producer KSB Pumps and Valves has introduced the PumpDrive variable speed system, for the effective and controlled pumping of waste water. The system has been designed specifically to overcome problems related to the pumping of waste water. Three innovative functions have been... 

Innovative system  helps control wastewater pumping
INDUSTRY PLATFORM The annual Agritech Expo in Zambia is an opportunity for industry stakeholders and consumers to communicate and find solutions

IEA lifts five-year renewables forecast after record 2016

By: Reuters     4th October 2017 The International Energy Agency (IEA) has raised its forecasts for renewable energy over the next five years following a record 2016, mainly driven by a surge in solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity in China, India and the United States. In its medium-term renewables market report, the IEA expects... 

IEA lifts five-year renewables forecast after record 2016

Electricity industry approaching ‘breaking point’, City Power warns 

By: Terence Creamer     3rd October 2017 Johannesburg’s electricity utility City Power is warning that the current structure of South Africa’s electricity sector is unsustainable and that, in the absence of a coherent national policy, the sector is approaching “breaking point”. Demand- and supply-side manager Paul Vermeulen says that... 

Electricity industry approaching ‘breaking point’, City Power warns

FedGroup acquires controlling stake in Emergent Energy   

     3rd October 2017 Financial services provider FedGroup has acquired a controlling stake in provider of installed solar photovoltaic commercial projects in South Africa Emergent Energy.   The acquisition is aimed at vertically integrating FedGroup's Direct Ownership investment platform into the solar energy... 

SAPVIA member appointed Global Solar Council director

By: Schalk Burger     29th September 2017 South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) programme manager Niveshen Govender has been elected to serve as director on the Global Solar Council (GSC) board. The GSC was established during the twenty-first Conference of Parties climate dialogue, held in Paris, France, in 2015. It... 

LED best fit for energy-hungry smart cities

By: Schalk Burger     29th September 2017 Energy efficiency is critical to sustaining smart cities, especially as the levels of urbanisation are expected to increase, and light-emitting diode- (LED-) technologies will be a key component, says electronic multinational Philips Lighting Southern Africa GM Reggie Nxumalo. “As much as 78% of... 

LED best fit for energy-hungry  smart cities
REGGIE NXUMALO The well-established use of energy-efficiency systems supports industrial development in Africa

Nigeria to diversify power supply, then focus on repairs

By: Reuters     28th September 2017 Nigeria is focused on diversifying power supply and ensuring its stability before pouring money into a creaking transmission system, a government minister told Reuters. Minister of Information Lai Mohammed said that while Nigeria had already increased power generation to the point that its... 

Anticipated tariffs hike makes energy efficiency wise choice

     22nd September 2017 A ruling by the Constitutional Court last month which allows State-owned power utility Eskom to retrospectively ask the National Energy Regulator of South Africa to permit Eskom to claw back additional tariffs from consumers, could lead to further hikes in the price of electricity for South... 

Anticipated tariffs hike makes energy efficiency wise choice
Photo by Duane Daws
SOLAR READY Before home owners install solar panels, they have to ensure that the buildings is suitable

New study points to 90% renewables mix being least cost by 2050 

By: Terence Creamer     15th September 2017 New analysis conducted using updated cost assumptions for solar photovoltaic (PV), onshore wind and batteries shows that the share of renewable energy in an electricity mix that would also be the least cost for South Africa could grow to above 90% by 2050. Such a portfolio, the study indicates,... 

New study points to 90% renewables mix being least cost by 2050
Photo by Duane Daws
Enertrag corporate business development head Dr Tobias Bischof-Niemz

Smart regulation key to driving renewable energy sector

By: Anine Kilian     14th September 2017 Smart regulation and market stimulation are key drivers for growing the renewable energy sector and help reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, Finnish Economic Affairs and Employment Deputy Minister Petri Peltonen said on Thursday. Speaking to Engineering News Online on the sidelines of the... 

Renewables’ share of global energy market to rise, system stability central

By: Anine Kilian     14th September 2017 The world’s energy system will decarbonise over the next three decades, says advisory services and risk management company DNV GL Africa business manager Robert O’Keefe. Unpacking DNV GL’s ‘Energy Transition Outlook 2017’ report at the Nordic Energy Days conference, in Pretoria, on Thursday, he... 

Alviva to leverage services strength for growth over next year

By: Schalk Burger     7th September 2017 Business information and communication technology (ICT) company Alviva will leverage the investments made into its subsidiaries and infrastructure, which has helped to reduce gearing, broadened its offerings and improved efficiencies, to drive growth over the next year. The firm had increased the... 

Caution creeps in as renewables industry digests implications of 77c/kWh tariff cap

By: Terence Creamer     4th September 2017 South Africa’s solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind industry bodies have added a degree of caution to their initial positive reactions to an announcement by Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi regarding the signing of power purchase agreements (PPAs) for 26 renewable-energy projects that have been on... 

Caution creeps in as renewables industry digests implications of 77c/kWh tariff cap
Photo by Duane Daws
Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi (in the centre) at the September 1 renewables IPP announcement in Pretoria

Kubayi sets 77c/kWh price cap and October deadline for signing of 26 renewables projects

By: Terence Creamer     1st September 2017 Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi opened the window on Friday for the signing of contracts for 26 renewable-energy independent power producer (IPP) projects that have been on hold since 2015 when Eskom indicated it was no longer willing to enter into further power purchase agreements (PPAs), owing... 

Kubayi sets 77c/kWh price cap and October deadline for signing of 26 renewables projects
Photo by Duane Daws
Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi

Cost of rooftop solar can be lowered through use of 12J tax rebate

By: Schalk Burger     1st September 2017 Businesses and property owners can leverage an industrial development-focused tax rebate, Section 12J of the Income Tax Act No 58 of 1962, to reduce the costs of installing solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. Venture capital company Nesa Investment Holdings (NIH) has developed a solar PV rental... 

Study urges South Africa to find energy storage niche

By: Mia Breytenbach     1st September 2017 With energy storage considered to be the “new wave” in the energy sector and increasingly becoming a reality, South Africa needs to prepare itself if it wishes to take advantage of the energy storage growth opportunities within the energy storage stationary value chain and the mobility value... 

Uncertain power price path heightening grid-defection risk, EIUG warns

By: Terence Creamer     31st August 2017 Energy Intensive Users Group of Southern Africa’s (EIUG’s) Piet Van Staden has expressed serious anxiety about the near-term sustainability of South Africa’s electricity industry in light of the prospect of yet more tariffs hikes, which would further damage industrial demand and, in turn, trigger... 

Uncertain power price path heightening grid-defection risk, EIUG warns

Managing the socioeconomic impacts of SA’s lower-carbon economy transition

     30th August 2017 In this opinion piece, Jarredine Morris argues that it is important that the socioeconomic impacts, including the impact on employment, are assessed as South Africa transitions to a lower-carbon electricity sector   

Managing the socioeconomic impacts of SA’s lower-carbon economy transition
Jarredine Morris

Botswana reaffirms commitment to 100 MW solar project

By: Terence Creamer     29th August 2017 The Botswana government has assured potential renewable-energy investors that it will follow through with the implementation of a proposed 100 MW utility-scale solar project, for which it received 166 responses to a call for expressions of interest (EoI) released earlier this year. The Botswana... 

Botswana reaffirms commitment to 100 MW solar project

DoE solar water heating programme delayed

By: Creamer Media Reporter      25th August 2017 The procurement processes for the installation of solar energy systems under the Department of Energy’s (DoE’s) Solar Water Heating programme has not yet started, with no systems installed during the 2015/16 and 2016/17 financial years. In response to a Parliamentary question, Energy Minister... 

Morocco receives funding for hybrid renewable-energy plants

By: Dylan Slater     25th August 2017 A loan to the value of $25-million has been granted to Morocco for investment in renewable-energy projects to help the country generate solar power through an innovative hybrid concentrated solar power (CSP) and photovoltaic (PV) solution.  

AfDB’s sustainable energy fund to support PV project in Lesotho

By: Mia Breytenbach     25th August 2017 The African Development Bank- (AfDB-) managed Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (Sefa) has approved a $695 500 grant to NEO I SPV, a subsidiary of independent power producer OnePower Lesotho, to support the preparation of a bankable business case for the development of the winning project of the... 

AfDB’s sustainable energy fund to support PV project in Lesotho
Photo by Bloomberg
WINNING PROJECT The 20 MW solar photovoltaic project is expected to become the first utility-scale solar PV project in Lesotho

Cape firm launches compact solar-powered battery system

By: Dylan Slater     18th August 2017 Cape Town-based energy storage solutions company BlueNova Energy has launched its first, fully integrated solar photovoltaic (PV) system – the CompactHybird – onto the South African market.  

Cape firm launches compact solar-powered battery system
COMPACT HYBRID The CompactHybrid renewable-energy solution is designed to be aesthetically pleasing for household use

AfDB’s sustainable energy fund to support first utility-scale solar PV project in Lesotho

By: Mia Breytenbach     14th August 2017 The African Development Bank- (AfDB-) managed Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (Sefa) has approved a $695 500 grant to NEO I SPV, a subsidiary of independent power producer OnePower Lesotho, to support the preparation of a bankable business case for the development of the winning project of the... 

AfDB’s sustainable energy fund to support first utility-scale solar PV project in Lesotho

African countries embrace alternative energy sources

     28th July 2017 With African governments realising that long-term power solutions will not come in the form of one technology, South Africa’s Department of Energy is advocating advances in coal, renewable energy, gas and nuclear technologies, says global engineering, procurement, construction and consulting... 

African countries embrace  alternative energy sources
Photo by Reuters
IMPROVED ALTERNATIVES Kenya is making use of diverse alternative energy sources, such as geothermal electricity

Moves to fast-track regulation could ignite energy efficiency sector

By: Mia Breytenbach     28th July 2017 As businesses move to become more self-reliant and decrease their exposure to electricity price volatility, government is also moving ahead with policy support for energy efficiency initiatives in homes, business and industry, says Pan-African law firm Bowmans public law and regulatory head and... 

Moves to fast-track regulation could ignite energy efficiency sector
Photo by Bloomberg
EFFICIENCY INCENTIVE A range of initiatives in the energy sector that promote energy efficiency include an income tax incentive for those installing renewable-energy generation

CSP engineering specialist optimistic of technology’s inclusion in new IRP

By: Terence Creamer     24th July 2017 Global engineering and technology group SENER, which is active in three concentrated solar power (CSP) projects in South Africa, is optimistic that South Africa’s updated Integrated Resources Plan (IRP) will include an allocation for CSP, despite the technology’s exclusion from the draft Base... 

CSP engineering specialist optimistic of technology’s inclusion in new IRP
SENER regional MD Siyabonga Mbanjwa

Futureproof solutions ensure green living

By: Robyn Wilkinson     21st July 2017 Demonstrating its capability for creative thinking, engineering and project management consultancy Royal HaskoningDHV South Africa has overcome bulk services shortages and ensured the preservation of the natural environment along KwaZulu-Natal’s north coast through the sustainable design of the... 

Hybrid solutions key for Africa’s energy growth  

By: Anine Kilian     19th July 2017 Solar photovoltaic (PV) hybrid technology is fast becoming a cost- and energy efficient solution for remote locations throughout sub-Saharan Africa. There is huge demand for electricity across the continent; however, poor and unreliable grid infrastructure is becoming a major challenge for... 

Africa’s energy future lies in solar energy, says CEO 

By: Anine Kilian     19th July 2017 The future of Africa’s energy sector must rest in solar power if it is going to overcome the obstacles it currently faces, according to Zimbabwe-based renewable energy company Samansco CEO Nyasha Bamhare. Addressing delegates at the PowerGen Africa conference, which is taking place in Sandton... 

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