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Solar News

Ewseta, DUT launch EnergyDrive to create awareness of alternative energy sources

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     21st February 2017 The Energy and Water Sector Education and Training Authority (Ewseta) and the Durban University of Technology (DUT) on Tuesday launched the EnergyDrive initiative, to educate rural communities on climate change and alternative energy sources. A custom-designed truck equipped with ten solar... 

Solar-powered Africa 'never more possible and less expensive' – energy chief

By: Reuters     20th February 2017 A “solar revolution” is coming to Africa, comparable in scale and importance to the rapid surge in mobile phone use on the continent two decades ago, predicts the head of the International Renewable Energy Agency. Fast-dropping costs for solar power, combined with plenty of sun and a huge need... 

Sarec says Eskom dragging its feet in honouring Zuma’s renewables ‘injunction’ 

By: Terence Creamer     17th February 2017 The South African Renewable Energy Council (Sarec) claims that Eskom has yet to issue any updated budget quotes for projects that President Jacob Zuma said in his State of the Nation address (Sona) would proceed, following a protracted impasse that arose as a result of the State-owned utility’s... 

Sarec says Eskom dragging its feet in honouring Zuma’s renewables ‘injunction’
Mark Pickering

Chamber looks to strengthen partnerships in local green economy

By: Nadine James     17th February 2017 The Italian–South African Chamber of Trade and Industries’ chief aim at the 2017 Africa Energy Indaba is to raise awareness among Italian corporations regarding investment opportunities in South Africa’s green economy. Chamber secretary-general Mariagrazia Biancospino says the chamber mediated a... 

Chamber looks to strengthen partnerships in local green economy
LONG STANDING RELATIONSHIP Members of the Italian–South African Chamber of Trade and Industries have been involved in the South African energy sector since 2013

Conference hopes to catalyse African energy revolution

By: Nadine James     17th February 2017 The 2017 Africa Energy Indaba will enable African energy sector stakeholders to evaluate opportunities and the means to pursue them that could unlock the continent’s energy potential and spark something of an energy revolution, says Indaba organising company Siyenza. “The African continent has... 

Conference hopes to catalyse African energy revolution
BOOSTING ENERGY The Africa Energy Indaba brings together politicians and energy luminaries to envision and catalyse decisions that will enhance access to energy

Exponential increase in the number of power generation projects

By: Nadine James     17th February 2017 The African continent’s large energy deficit has resulted in an exponential increase in the number of power generation projects – both planned and implemented – as well as the number of stakeholders which are a consequence of renewed commercial interest in the African energy sector, says... 

Exponential increase in the number of power generation projects
TSIDISO DISENYANA Foreign investment is targeted at establishing Africa’s green economy, therefore renewables will become a driver of socioeconomic growth

Programme to accelerate investment implemented

     17th February 2017 The African Union’s (AU’s) planning body, the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad), is undertaking an exercise that will accelerate the development and implementation of Africa’s high priority renewable energy projects and will be organising a showcase at the Africa Energy Indaba for... 

Programme to accelerate investment implemented
Photo by Duane Daws
MOMENT IN THE SUN Governments will be showcasing high priority renewable energy projects to attract private sector participation and investment

Renewables division experiences record-breaking 2016

     17th February 2017 Italian energy company Enel Green Power’s (EGP’s) global renewable energies division made 2016 a record-breaking year after building an all-time-high 2 018 MW of new capacity within a calendar year. This is a major achievement for EGP as it more than doubled what it achieved in 2015, when... 

Renewables division experiences  record-breaking 2016
NOJOLI WIND FARM Enel Green Power's global renewable energies division completed more than 470 MW of solar and wind projects locally, including the 88 MW Nojoli wind farm

Third Women in Energy conference cohosted at Energy Indaba

     17th February 2017 The yearly Women in Energy conference, organised by the Africa Energy Indaba, will bring together Africa’s leading women in the energy sector for its third iteration on Monday, February 20 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. The Africa Energy Indaba was the first energy conference... 

Third Women in Energy conference cohosted at Energy Indaba
DOING IT FOR THEMSELVES The Women in Energy conference is designed to aid the increase in leadership and development of women involved in the African energy sectors

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... 

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

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

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. 

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... 

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

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
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