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Solar News

15 on Orange’s PVT energy system now fully operational

By: Simone Liedtke     11th December 2018 The newly installed Solarus energy system on the roof of the 15 on Orange Hotel, in Cape Town, is now fully operational. According to a statement issued on Tuesday, the hybrid photovoltaic and thermal (PVT) project is currently the largest in Cape Town and is a system that provides the luxury... 

South Africa should not be over-reliant on renewable energy for its future electricity needs

By: Rebecca Campbell     6th December 2018 The proposal of the country’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2018 that wind, solar and gas generation account for a combined total of 42% of South Africa’s total installed electricity capacity by 2030 was most unwise, AFRA-NEST Regional Coordinator Dr Anthonie Cilliers has warned. (AFRA stands... 

South Africa should not be over-reliant on renewable energy for its future electricity needs
Photo by Duane Daws/Creamer Media
Jeffreys Bay wind farm

Sener advocates for IRP policy adjustment to cater for ‘reliable, carbon-free’ CSP 

By: Terence Creamer     4th December 2018 Spanish technology group Sener, which has overseen the construction of three concentrated solar power (CSP) projects in South Africa and 29 in total internationally, is urging the South African government to reconsider CSP’s exclusion from the final version of the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).... 

Sener advocates for IRP policy adjustment to cater for ‘reliable, carbon-free’ CSP
Photo by Dylan Slater
Sener Southern Africa regional MD Siyabonga Mbanjwa

100 MW Karoshoek Solar One CSP project commissioned in Northern Cape

By: Marleny Arnoldi     3rd December 2018 The 100 MW Karoshoek Solar One project was commissioned on November 30 – the latest success in government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). Karoshoek is a concentrated solar project (CSP) that harvests the sun’s energy through a series of concave... 

100 MW Karoshoek Solar One CSP project commissioned in Northern Cape
Karoshoek Solar One plant

100 MW CSP project, developed by black-owned IPP, enters commercial operation  

By: Terence Creamer     30th November 2018 A new 100 MW concentrated solar power (CSP) plant, developed by black-owned independent power producer (IPP) Emvelo, officially entered into commercial operation this week, providing Eskom with a new dispatchable generation option at a time of severe supply-side constraints. Located in Upington,... 

100 MW CSP project, developed by black-owned IPP, enters commercial operation
The Ilanga CSP1 plant

Zambia targets 200 MW of solar power to reduce hydro dependency

By: Reuters     28th November 2018 Zambia is seeking proposals from potential developers of solar power projects with a combined 200 MW capacity as it tries to diversify its energy mix away from hydroelectric power. Energy Minister Matthew Nkhuwa said in a statement at an investment conference on Tuesday that the 200 MW would be... 

Resolute procures 40 MW solar hybrid power plant for Syama

By: Creamer Media Reporter      26th November 2018 ASX-listed Resolute Mining has signed a joint development agreement with power project financier, developer and operator Ignite Energy Projects for the development of a 40 MW independent solar hybrid power plant at its Syama gold mine, in Mali. The power plant, which will be operational by the... 

100 MW Kathu CSP to enter commercial operation in early 2019 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      26th November 2018 The 100 MW Kathu Solar Park concentrated solar power (CSP) plant, in the Northern Cape, has been synchronised to the national grid and the power station is expected to enter into full commercial operation in early 2019. Construction of the parabolic-trough CSP plant began in May 2016, following... 

100 MW Kathu CSP to enter commercial operation in early 2019
The 100 MW Kathu Solar Park

Big plans afoot for training more young people in renewable energy

By: Kim Cloete     20th November 2018 The South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre (Saretec), which provides training for wind turbine service technicians and which has recently expanded into training solar photovoltaic (PV) installers, has been officially launched in Cape Town. The sophisticated and state-of-the-art training... 

Policy support needed for development of sustainable alternative energy sources – SAEEC

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th November 2018 Although natural gas is about 60% cleaner than coal in terms of carbon dioxide emissions, it currently contributes only 1.5% of the country’s total primary energy needs. Even through the National Development Plan (NDP) aims to delink economic development from environmental decay and... 

Flexibility to take on ‘unprecedented importance’ as renewables rise 

By: Terence Creamer     13th November 2018 The International Energy Agency (IEA) says that higher shares of variable renewable energy in electricity systems will require a “step change” in the requirement for flexibility, which is the capability to balance electricity supply and demand at all times so as to keep the lights burning. The... 

Flexibility to take on ‘unprecedented importance’ as renewables rise

Electrifying the world no panacea for global warming, IEA says  

By: Bloomberg     13th November 2018 Driving electric cars and scrapping your natural gas-fired boiler won’t make a dent in global carbon emissions, and may even increase pollution levels. Higher electrification may lead to oil demand peaking by 2030, but any reduction in emissions from the likes of electric vehicles will be offset... 

Lazard says ‘inflection point’ reached making new renewables cheaper than existing coal 

By: Terence Creamer     9th November 2018 A new US study comparing the costs of energy from various generation technologies indicates that an “inflection point” has been reached where, in some cases, it is more cost effective to build and operate new renewable-energy projects than to maintain existing conventional generation plants. The... 

Lazard says ‘inflection point’ reached making new renewables cheaper than existing coal

Wartsila wins contract to build two Kenyan solar-power farms

By: Bloomberg     8th November 2018 Wartsila Oyj’s East African unit won two engineering, procurement and construction contracts to develop grid-connected solar farms in Kenya, each with a capacity of 40 megawatts. Construction is expected to begin next year, according to George Oywer, a business development manager at Wartsila... 

Africa poised to be global renewable-energy leader – AfDB president  

By: Terence Creamer     8th November 2018 African Development Bank (AfDB) president Dr Akinwumi Adesina says Africa is poised to become the leading region for renewable-energy globally and has reaffirmed the bank’s support for the ambitious ‘Desert to Power’ programme in the Sahel region. Speaking in Johannesburg at the inaugural Africa... 

Africa poised to be global renewable-energy leader – AfDB president
Photo by Reuters
AfDB president Dr Akinwumi Adesina

Prices for renewable energy likely to drop further, suggests energy expert

By: Kim Cloete     7th November 2018 Prices for renewable energy are likely to continue to drop, while the next utility-scale renewable energy procurements will probably come sooner rather than later, suggests energy expert, Professor Anton Eberhard. “I have no doubt that we will see prices coming down further,” Eberhard told... 

New oil, gas opportunities emerge in Sudan, Niger

By: Kim Cloete     7th November 2018 Some countries in Africa are emerging as potentially exciting players in the oil and gas space – from Sudan, which has emerged out of the clutches of civil war, to Niger, which is rising up as a new producer of petroleum products. Sudanese Petroleum and Gas Minister Azhari Abdalla Abdelgader on... 

Eskom launches microgrid pilot plant in Free State

By: Marleny Arnoldi     5th November 2018 State-owned power utility Eskom has launched a pilot solar-powered microgrid at Wilhelmina farm, in Fickburg, in the Free State. The microgrid demo plant is capable of providing electricity to 14 households with 81 family members, making up the Wilhelmina community. 

Calls to even out procurement for wind energy

By: Kim Cloete     29th October 2018 The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) has called for energy planners to even out the procurement of wind energy allocations between 2021 and 2030 to prevent a "stop-start" scenario.  The current draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) has a gap in the years, 2022, 2023 and 2024, when no... 

Business concerned about coal sector job losses

By: Kim Cloete     26th October 2018 The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and the Black Business Council (BBC) have called for amendments to the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2018, telling Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Energy, on Friday, that the draft plan, with its emphasis on renewable energy rather than coal,... 

CSIR points to 30 000 net jobs gain in electricity to 2030, despite fall in coal jobs 

By: Terence Creamer     26th October 2018 An analysis of the Department of Energy’s (DoE’s) recommended plan in the draft Integrated Resource Plan 2018 (IRP 2018) shows that there will be a 30 000 net increase in employment in the electricity industry to 2030, despite a 100 000 fall in coal jobs over the period. In its formal response to... 

CSIR points to 30 000 net jobs gain in electricity to 2030, despite fall in coal jobs

South Africa prepares for an electrified future

By: Paige Müller     26th October 2018 Amid the conclusion of this year’s Sasol Solar Challenge (SSC), founder and director Winstone Jordaan tells Engineering News that South Africa is poised to adopt electrified transport. “Without any doubt in my mind, we are heading for an electric future. This means we must find better, cleaner... 

South Africa prepares for an electrified future
INSPIRING STUDENTS The Sasol Solar Challenge aims to inspire students to take up science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects

South32 foresees short-term volatility, but long-term growth, sustainability 

By: Schalk Burger     25th October 2018 Diversified mining and metals company South32 on Thursday forecast short-term price volatility for the commodities it produces, but also highlighted its strong cash position and its work to further optimise its global portfolio of assets. In a speech delivered at the company’s 2018 annual general... 

Siemens launches distributed energy system as solution to Africa’s energy transition

By: Simone Liedtke     25th October 2018 German electronics manufacturer Siemens on Wednesday launched, at its headquarters in Midrand, its end-to-end distributed energy system (DES) as a solution to assist the African continent in its energy transition. The DES provides for the targeted use of renewable energy, combined heating and... 

Siemens launches distributed energy system as solution to Africa’s energy transition
Photo by Dylan Slater
Siemens HQ and its solar car park in Midrand, Johannesburg

Mali's first independent power project to start up next week

By: Reuters     25th October 2018 Mali's first independent power project – a €122-million ($139.06-million), 90 MW diesel plant – will go online next week in the country's gold-rich southwest, a board member of the operator said on Wednesday. The new plant could spur more of the foreign investment Mali has struggled to attract... 

Eskom gearing up for big grid-scale battery storage roll-out  

By: Terence Creamer     22nd October 2018 State-owned electricity utility Eskom is preparing to roll-out battery energy storage systems (BESS) across multiple sites as part of a replacement plan for the 100 MW Kiwano concentrated solar power (CSP) project initially approved as part of the $3.75-billion World Bank loan extended to the... 

Eskom gearing up for big grid-scale battery storage roll-out
Photo by Creamer Media
Eskom has been testing battery storage solutions at its research facility in Rosherville for the past few years

Breytenbach welcomes greater certainty for renewable energy projects 

By: Kim Cloete     19th October 2018 Participants in the renewable energy sector say they are encouraged by the dedicated infrastructure team that will be set up in the Presidency, as it will give investors more certainty and confidence to back projects. “We’ve seen what the last two years of delays in the signing of renewable... 

Breytenbach welcomes greater certainty for renewable energy projects
Photo by Dylan Slater
IPP Office CEO Karen Breytenbach

Renewable energy industry comments on draft IRP

By: Kim Cloete     17th October 2018 The renewable energy sector in South Africa has welcomed the draft Integrated Resource Plant (IRP) 2018, but has also expressed concerns. “While the IRP forecasting is rational in its choices, it unfortunately requires us to accept some overly optimistic assumptions,” said the South African... 

Roman’s Pizza head office kitted out with solar PV plant

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th October 2018 Fast food franchise Roman’s Pizza’s head office in Centurion, Gauteng, has installed a 137 kW grid-tied photovoltaic (PV) solar plant, which is one of several actions the company is implementing to help conserve the environment. Other green initiatives by Roman’s include eliminating plastic... 

Renewable energy sector could provide jobs boost to SA

By: African News Agency      15th October 2018 The renewable energy sector could provide an unexpected but much-needed jobs boost to South Africa’s employment levels, as the sector continues to mature, solar enery company SOLA Future Energy said on Monday. SOLA Future Energy is the company that replaced Robben Island’s diesel-powered... 

Govt urged to include IRP adjustment that steers renewables jobs the way of coal regions 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      10th October 2018 South Africa should consider including a policy adjustment in its upcoming Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) directing developers of new renewable-energy infrastructure to build projects in regions currently geared towards coal mining and coal-fired electricity production. University of Johannesburg... 

Govt urged to include IRP adjustment that steers renewables jobs the way of coal regions
Photo by Creamer Media
Dr Tobias Bischof-Niemz

Technology cost assumptions used to produce IRP explained 

By: Terence Creamer     9th October 2018 An experienced electricity system modeller has corrected a suggestion that the draft 2018 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP 2018) uses levelised cost assumptions for the various generation technologies tested, explaining that overnight capital cost assumptions for each technology are key inputs. The... 

Technology cost assumptions used to produce IRP explained

Kenya on course to develop nuclear energy, official says

By: Reuters     5th October 2018 Kenya's ambition of having a nuclear power plant is still on course and it hopes to build its first such facility in the next 12 to 15 years, a senior Energy Ministry official said on Friday. Joseph Njoroge, principal secretary for electricity, told Reuters the East African nation plans to turn... 

Total to roll out solar-powered service stations in Kruger National Park

By: Marleny Arnoldi     26th September 2018 Total South Africa (Total SA) on Wednesday revealed a demonstration model of its solar-powered service station at the Skukuza camp, in the Kruger National Park, in Mpumalanga, on the occasion of celebrating a 60-year partnership with South African National Parks (SANParks). The demonstration... 

Total to roll out solar-powered service stations in Kruger National Park

Three UCT lecturers participate in international Solar Decathlon competition

By: Simone Liedtke     26th September 2018 Thee lecturers from the University of Cape Town (UCT) are part of Team Mahali, the only team representing sub-Saharan Africa in the international Solar Decathlon competition, which will be held in Morocco next year. The Solar Decathlon is an international competition to design and build a fully... 

Link Solar launches portable solar panels suitable for outdoor, marine use

By: Simone Liedtke     26th September 2018 There is a lack of portable solar panels in the market, says specialised solar product manufacturer Link Solar, which has released of its own portable solar panel range for outdoor use and marine grade level use. These solar panels, the company explained, are specifically created to serve as an... 

Shift to renewables to become a growing trend in the mining sector

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     10th September 2018 Owing to a reduction in renewable energy costs, the prospect of a more reliable power supply and an increasingly favourable regulatory environment in key mining markets, renewable energy is anticipated to play an increasingly important role in powering mining operations worldwide over the coming... 

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