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Solar News

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 want solution for all 26 outstanding renewables projects, not only some 

By: Terence Creamer     13th January 2017 The South African Renewable Energy Council (Sarec) indicated on Friday that, while it welcomed indications that Eskom was willing to reopen lines of communication on 26 outstanding renewables projects, it could only entertain a solution that remained faithful to the procurement process already... 

IPPs want solution for all 26 outstanding renewables projects, not only some
Brenda Martin

Sarec slams Eskom for distorting facts in calculating renewables-related loss 

By: Terence Creamer     12th January 2017 The South African Renewable Energy Council (Sarec) has slammed as a “blatant distortion of facts” Eskom’s claim that the country suffered a net economic loss of R9-billion in 2016 as a result of the State-owned utility’s purchases of power from the country’s renewable-energy plants. It has also... 

Sarec slams Eskom for distorting facts in calculating renewables-related loss

CSIR responds to Eskom claim of R9bn renewables-related economic loss in 2016 

By: Terence Creamer     11th January 2017 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has responded to Eskom’s claim that buying power from the country’s renewable-energy plants resulted in a net economic loss of R9-billion in 2016 – a trend that could persist for the next five years, owing to the country’s surplus supply... 

CSIR responds to Eskom claim of R9bn renewables-related economic loss in 2016

DoE extends comment period for energy plans to end of March 

By: Terence Creamer     9th January 2017 The Department of Energy (DoE) has formally extended the period for public comment on the draft Integrated Energy Plan (IEP) and the draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) base case until March 31. The closing date for written comment was initially set as February 15, after the two plans were... 

DoE extends comment period for energy plans to end of March

Eskom’s delay in approving PPAs could cost country 15 000 jobs – Sarec 

By: Ilan Solomons     19th December 2016 The South African economy is in jeopardy of losing 15 000 possible jobs, associated with 26 Department of Energy- (DoE-) approved renewable energy plants, if State-owned power utility Eskom does not follow through with its legal obligations to finalise power purchasing agreements (PPAs) with the... 

Solar PV industry criticises DoE for IRP base case assumptions 

By: Kim Cloete     13th December 2016 The South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (Sapvia) has criticised the Department of Energy (DoE) for “grossly incorrect pricing assumptions” for solar PV in its updated Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) model. “The IRP is using numbers that are 40% higher than numbers available to them and... 

Solar PV industry criticises DoE for IRP base case assumptions

Intercontinental hybrid air race raises awareness of unique technology, design

By: Dylan Slater     8th December 2016 Earlier this week Canada-based hybrid airship manufacturer Solar Ship challenged US aerospace, defence and security technologies company Lockheed Martin to undertake an intercontinental friendly air race to raise international awareness about hybrid aircraft and renewable-energy technologies in... 

DoE urged to re-run IRP base case without ‘artificial constraints’ 

By: Terence Creamer     8th December 2016 A call has been made for the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) base case to be re-run in order to generate a “least-cost” outcome that is free from the “artificial constraints” imposed on renewable energy in the current draft. The base case, published by the Department of Energy (DoE) on November... 

DoE urged to re-run IRP base case without ‘artificial constraints’

86 MW Northern Cape solar photovoltaic plant connected to national grid

By: Dylan Slater     2nd December 2016 Developed on a remote site 50 km south-west of Prieska in the Northern Cape, the 86 MW Mulilo-Sonnedix-Prieska photovoltaic (PV) project was connected to the national grid in October, thereby finalising the project on schedule, on budget and reaching full grid code compliance in good time for... 

86 MW Northern Cape solar photovoltaic plant  connected to national grid
MEGA POWER The 86 MW Mulilo-Sonnedix-Prieska photovoltaic project has the capacity to power 86 000 homes

Solar system donation for Western Cape nonprofit organisation

By: David Oliveira     2nd December 2016 Solar power solutions manufacturer SolarWorld Africa donated a R120 000 5 kW solar system to Western Cape-based non-profit organisation Grootbos Foundation’s Green Futures horticulture and life-skills college, which will significantly reduce the foundation’s electricity overheads, allowing for... 

Awareness low of South Africa’s ‘astounding’ renewables success, US survey finds

By: Terence Creamer     1st December 2016 Amid domestic uncertainty about the future of South Africa’s renewable-energy procurement programme, a US State Department official has described the initiative as “astoundingly successful” and reports that several countries are currently seeking to draw lessons from the country’s reverse-auction... 

Awareness low of South Africa’s ‘astounding’ renewables success, US survey finds

Brown says current power build ‘trajectory’ may be detrimental to consumers 

By: Terence Creamer     30th November 2016 Public Enterprises Lynne Brown says that South Africa is currently adding electricity capacity to the grid at rate higher than what is required and argues that the “current trajectory” could be detrimental to consumers. She asserts, therefore, that it is “critical that the Integrated Resource... 

Brown says current power build ‘trajectory’ may be detrimental to consumers
Photo by Duane Daws
Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown

Renewables body questions ongoing constraints on clean technologies in IRP base case 

By: Terence Creamer     25th November 2016 The South African Renewable Energy Council (Sarec) has added its voice to those questioning the constraints imposed on renewable-energy technologies in the updated base case of Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which has been released for public comment. The council, which is the umbrella body for... 

Renewables body questions ongoing constraints on clean technologies in IRP base case

Wind and solar PV bodies cautiously welcome draft IRP, CSP body to contest exclusion 

By: Terence Creamer     23rd November 2016 The wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) industry bodies have responded positively to the allocations outlined in the draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) base case, while the concentrated solar power (CSP) body has expressed dismay at the technology’s exclusion. South African Wind Energy Association... 

Wind and solar PV bodies cautiously welcome draft IRP, CSP body to contest exclusion

Dismissive of 2037 nuclear timeline in IRP base case, Eskom to release RFP by year-end 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd November 2016 State-owned power utility Eskom indicated on Tuesday that it planned to move ahead with a controversial request for proposals (RFP) for nuclear before the end of 2016, despite the base case in a draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) update indicating that the first reactor would only be required... 

Dismissive of 2037 nuclear timeline in IRP base case, Eskom to release RFP by year-end
Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson

ACWA Power to reassess bullish South Africa stance should Redstone collapse 

By: Terence Creamer     15th November 2016 The head of Saudi Arabian electricity group ACWA Power says that, while the company remains a patient investor in South Africa, the outcome of the current impasse with Eskom relating to its 100 MW Redstone concentrated solar power (CSP) project will be critical to the group’s future investment... 

ACWA Power to reassess bullish South Africa stance should Redstone collapse
ACWA Power CEO Paddy Padmanathan

Renewables body urges new Eskom chief to restore communications and momentum 

By: Terence Creamer     14th November 2016 The South African Renewable Energy Council (Sarec) has expressed the hope that the new CEO of Eskom will restore “constructive communication” with the renewable-energy industry, which it says has faced “increasingly irrational and inaccurate criticism” during Brian Molefe’s tenure. Molefe... 

Renewables body urges new Eskom chief to restore communications and momentum

South African renewables IPP in financing deal with Japan’s Inabata

By: Mia Breytenbach     4th November 2016 Renewable energy independent power producer and energy consulting group Next Renewable Generation (NrG) has concluded a significant investment deal with large Japanese trading company Inabata to further fund the development of renewable energy projects in Africa. The investment deal, finalised in... 

South African renewables IPP in financing deal with Japan’s Inabata
GENERATION DEVELOPMENT Next Renewable Generation is currently involved in about 50 projects, which are in various stages of proposals and feasibility

CSIR study reveals optimistic renewable-energy scenario

By: Kim Cloete     3rd November 2016 A study by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has revealed that South Africa could radically cut its energy costs if it aims for a 70% renewable-energy share by 2040. CSIR Energy Centre head Dr Tobias Bischof-Niemz provided details of the study, titled ‘Least-cost... 

CSIR study reveals optimistic renewable-energy scenario
CSIR Energy Centre head Dr Tobias Bischof-Niemz

Sawea considers legal options to get Eskom to sign PPAs

By: Kim Cloete     2nd November 2016 The South African Wind Energy Association (Sawea) is considering legal options in a bid to get Eskom CEO Brian Molefe to sign power purchase agreements (PPAs) for round four of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). Sawea says 26 projects totalling... 

Sawea considers legal options to get Eskom to sign PPAs

Another large-scale solar PV plant officially opens in N Cape

By: Creamer Media Reporter      31st October 2016 The 86 MW Prieska solar photovoltaic (PV) project, in the Northern Cape, has been officially inaugurated, having entered commercial operation in July. The plant has been developed by the Mulilo Sonnedix joint venture and was opened at the end of October by Sonnedix CEO Andreas Mustad and Mulilo... 

Another large-scale solar PV plant officially opens in N Cape
The 86 MW Prieska solar photovoltaic power plant

Firm begins installing off-grid solar-charging stations in informal settlements

By: Mia Breytenbach     28th October 2016 Following the successful installation of its solar-powered charging station in the Mooiplaas informal settlement, in Centurion, renewable-energy supplier ePower Holdings are installing additional charging stations, with the latest stations to be installed in Shoshanguve, Gauteng, and in Zambia,... 

Government initiatives result in more road lighting projects

By: Nadine James     28th October 2016 The South African government’s drive to implement energy efficiency practices and maximise energy savings, along with its work with municipalities and State-owned power utility Eskom in the electrification of informal settlements and rural areas, has ensured that there are more opportunities for... 

Government initiatives  result in more road  lighting projects
DE HOEK PLAZA BEKA Schréder’s LEDlume-midi streetlight luminaires and its OMNIstar floodlights were used for the N3 Toll Plaza projects

Survey shows only modest rise in innovation performance by SA firms

By: David Oliveira     28th October 2016 South African companies have shown only marginal growth in innovation in 2016, business management consultancy Accenture’s Innovation Index finds. A total of 57% of respondents were found to be laggards, 29% acted as leaders in innovation and 8% served as innovation value champions, with an... 

IEA upscales five-year renewables growth forecast after 2015 ‘turning point’

By: Terence Creamer     25th October 2016 The International Energy Agency (IEA) has significantly increased its five-year growth forecast for renewable energy in light of what it describes as a “turning point” in 2015, when a record 153 GW of new renewables capacity was added globally. In its ‘Medium-Term Renewable Market Report’, the... 

IEA upscales five-year renewables growth forecast after 2015 ‘turning point’
Photo of Enel's Pulinda solar project in South Africa

Enel expects renewables to prevail in South Africa despite current uncertainty 

By: Terence Creamer     20th October 2016 Enel Green Power South Africa country manager William Price says he is “surprised” by Eskom’s current resistance to signing power purchase agreements (PPAs) for new renewable-energy projects in light of the undeniable success of the competitive-bidding model pursued by the Department of Energy... 

Enel expects renewables to prevail in South Africa despite current uncertainty
Photo by Duane Daws
Enel Green Power South Africa country manager William

CSIR cost study shows new solar, wind to be 40% cheaper than new coal

By: Terence Creamer     17th October 2016 A new comparative analysis of the cost of electricity generated from various supply sources in South Africa shows new solar photovoltaic (PV) and onshore wind to be 40% cheaper than the costs associated with new baseload coal-fired power stations. The analysis, conducted by Council for Scientific... 

CSIR cost study shows new solar, wind to be 40% cheaper than new coal
Photo by Duane Daws
Dr Tobias Bischof-Niemz

New Eaton Africa MD to put his energy into powering Africa

By: Schalk Burger     14th October 2016 Newly appointed power quality and management multinational Eaton Africa MD Seydou Kane is passionate about helping Africa overcome its energy deficit and unlock its growth potential by leveraging the company’s international experience and collaboration. The French-speaking, Niger-born Kane has... 

New Eaton Africa MD to put his energy  into powering Africa
SEYDOU KANE Eaton will leverage its experience to ensure that suitable solutions and effective designs are deployed

Black business pioneer raises concern about IPP uncertainty

By: Terence Creamer     16th September 2016 One of South Africa’s pioneering black-owned companies, Thebe Investment Corporation, says it is critical that the prevailing uncertainty surrounding the future of independent power producers (IPPs) be urgently resolved, saying that the current “confusion is not appreciated” by it and other... 

Black business pioneer raises concern about IPP uncertainty
Thebe executive chairperson Vusi Khanyile

Zambia starts development of 600 MW solar plant

By: African News Agency      16th September 2016 The Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) says it has started developing a 600 megawatt solar power station as part of measures to diversify power sources to deal with a crippling nationwide power crisis. Presently, the Zambia Electricity Supply Commission (Zesco) runs a daily load shedding regime of... 

Renewables investment in 2015 more than covers global power demand growth for first time

By: Terence Creamer     14th September 2016 A new report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) states that global electricity sector investment rose 4% to a record $682-billion in 2015 – a year when overall investment in the energy sector fell to $1.8-trillion, from $2-trillion, mainly as a result of lower oil and gas investment. The... 

Renewables investment in 2015 more than covers global power demand growth for first time

Investec says release of updated IRP could ease IPP frustration and uncertainty

By: Terence Creamer     7th September 2016 Banking group Investec, which has supported various renewable energy and peaking power projects in South Africa, including the Avon and Dedisa open cycle gas turbines that recently entered commercial operation, remains convinced that the country will continue with its independent power producer... 

Investec says release of updated IRP could ease IPP frustration and uncertainty
The Avon peaking power plant

Editorial: Decisive leadership needed to address IPP impasse and industry structure 

By: Terence Creamer     1st September 2016 Eskom's hostility towards independent power producers (IPPs) can no longer be disputed, or ignored. The antagonism has also brought to the fore the oft-repeated warning about the genuine risk associated with the current structure of the industry, where IPPs are beholden to a dominant competitor... 

Editorial: Decisive leadership needed to address IPP impasse and industry structure

NWU to take on international competition at Sasol Solar Challenge

By: Samantha Herbst     31st August 2016 Various improvements, including the exclusive use of include German-made Gochermann solar panels, have been made to the North-West University (NWU) solar car team’s Sirius X25 enabling the R1-million sponsored solar car to perform about 20% more effectively. Nearly a year after becoming the first... 

NWU to take on international competition at Sasol Solar Challenge

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... 

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

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
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