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Wind News

Joint venture to boost localisation and skills development

By: Nadine James     23rd June 2017 STEAG EOH Energy Services, a strategic joint venture (JV) – formed in February by JSE-listed technology solutions provider EOH and German energy group STEAG Energy Services – has been actively pursuing opportunities in the local energy market, while identifying areas for localisation and skills... 

Budding local wind technicians graduate on Global Wind Day

By: Kim Cloete     15th June 2017 After seven months of intense training, 18 young South Africans graduated from the internationally recognised Wind Turbine Service Technician programme, in Cape Town, on Thursday, which also happened to be Global Wind Day. Five of the seven months of training were spent at the South African... 

Wind energy continues to grow as installed capacity reaches 500 GW

By: Anine Kilian     15th June 2017 Wind energy has become a major driver for a sustainable energy future and, with over 500 GW of capacity installed worldwide, it is a leading source of new power generation globally. In 2016, $112.5-billion was invested in wind power globally, and the industry now employs 1.2-million people,... 

NPC commissioner calls for energy-planning overhaul 

By: Terence Creamer     14th June 2017 A member of the National Planning Commission (NPC) has pointed to serious shortcomings in South Africa’s current energy planning processes and has called for future plans, including the highly contested Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for electricity, to be compiled by a new independent technical... 

NPC commissioner calls for energy-planning overhaul

Industry trends shift towards efficient, intelligent strategies

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     9th June 2017 The main feature of global demand for energy is a shift to maximising efficiency through delivering energy at the lowest cost per kilowatt per hour, says independent process industry consultant Santosh Gunpath. He tells Engineering News that this was evident from his interactions with industry... 

Industry trends shift towards efficient, intelligent strategies
Photo by Bloomberg
EFFICIENCY PRIORITISED With energy integral to every process, the objective should be to maximise the efficiency of delivering the necessary energy at the lowest cost per kilowatt per hour

Lack of power lines delays sub-Saharan Africa's biggest wind farm

By: Reuters     7th June 2017 The biggest wind farm in sub-Saharan Africa is ready for launch but will remain idle until next year as Kenya's government has not yet installed the transmission lines needed to get the clean power to customers, the provider of the turbines said. Danish wind turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems... 

US agency awards grant to SA IPP for Free State solar study

By: Mia Breytenbach     2nd June 2017 The US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has awarded a grant to Johannesburg-based independent power developer Pele Green Energy. The grant will fund a feasibility study to assess the viability of a 75 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant, in the Free State. US Consul General of Cape Town... 

US agency awards grant to SA IPP for Free State solar study
Photo by Bloomberg
NECESSARY ANALYSIS The grant funds a feasibility study to assess the viability of a 75 MW solar photovoltaic power plant, in the Free State

$100-million loan for African infrastructure spending

By: Nadine James     26th May 2017 The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) in March signed a $100-million loan agreement aimed at furthering the DBSA’s infrastructure financing activity across Africa. This flexible credit line will focus on DBSA’s four strategic sectors:... 

Task team deliberating on renewables impasse to report ‘first week in June’

By: Terence Creamer     19th May 2017 A joint departmental task team set up to find solutions to the current impasse holding back the signing of power purchase agreements (PPAs) for 37 renewable-energy projects procured in 2015 will report back in the first week of June, Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi reported on Friday. The task... 

 Task team deliberating on renewables impasse to report ‘first week in June’
Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubay

Industry leaders warn of loss in investments in renewables sector

By: Johane Turkstra     19th May 2017 Following State-owned power utility Eskom’s decision last year not to sign a number of contracts with independent power producers (IPP) and the delay in doing so since, industry leaders are warning that a loss in investments in the renewables sector could lead to a severe plateau in... 

Industry leaders warn of loss in investments in renewables sector
Photo by Bloomberg
NON-RENEWABLE ENERGY Eskom is responsible for generating about 95% of South Africa’s electricity and the firm mainly relies on coal for its power generation

Millions invested in renewables, research excellence

     19th May 2017 Last month, State-owned power utility Eskom says over an extended period of time, funded research work done by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Stellenbosch University has ostensibly benefited research in the renewables space. “Eskom’s unique role in driving... 

African countries look to minigrids to light up rural areas

By: Kim Cloete     17th May 2017 African countries are increasingly looking towards minigrids to provide people living in remote areas access to electricity. Government officials from Ghana, Uganda and Nigeria have told delegates at the African Utility Week, in Cape Town, this week, that minigrids are the way to go for many... 

Least-cost electricity transition being played out at CSIR’s Pretoria campus

By: Dylan Slater     12th May 2017 The expansive Pretoria campus of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research is increasingly being taken off-grid with the roll-out of renewable-energy projects as part of its drive to demonstrate the potential of renewable energy to the domestic energy industry.  

Least-cost electricity transition being played out at CSIR’s Pretoria campus

Nersa may probe whether Eskom’s refusal to sign renewables PPAs contravened licence 

By: Terence Creamer     11th May 2017 The electricity subcommittee of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) will recommend that the Energy Regulator institute a formal investigation into a complaint that Eskom was flouting the conditions of its licence by refusing to conclude power purchase agreements (PPAs) for 37... 

Nersa may probe whether Eskom’s refusal to sign renewables PPAs contravened licence

Internship academy launches young professionals platform

     5th May 2017 In response to the youth unemployment epidemic on the African continent, internship facilitators  Africa Internship Academy (AIA), will be launching its Young Energy and Power Professionals (YEPP) platform at the 2017 African Utility Week, which takes place at the  Cape Town International... 

Internship academy launches young professionals platform
NURTURING POTENTIAL The launch intends to establish a network of graduates attempting to solve Africa’s power and energy issues

Renewable microgrids the future of African power system – research institution

By: Nadine James     5th May 2017 Self-sustaining renewable microgrids could foreseeably drive the development of Africa’s power system, resulting in quick, cost-effective electrification that enhances power security, says South African national research institution, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). CSIR... 

Renewable microgrids the future of African power system – research institution
SUBSISTENCE POWER A power system based on renewable technologies would be vastly different to the current system as an individual wind turbine could be used to generate cheap electricity for a microgrid in a remote village

Gaia lifts FY earnings a share by 205% y/y

By: Anine Kilian     3rd May 2017 Infrastructure investment company Gaia Infrastructure Capital has reported a 205% year-on-year increase in earnings a share to 65.59c for the year ended February 28. The company delivered an enhanced tangible net asset value per share of R10.63 during the period, compared with R9.97 in 2016. 

End to Eskom ‘stalemate’ will unleash wind market in 2017 – GWEC 

By: Terence Creamer     25th April 2017 The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) expects a recovery in the deployment of wind projects in South Africa, following a hiatus in 2016 brought about by Eskom’s refusal to enter into power purchase agreements (PPAs) for renewable-energy projects procured in 2015. In its ‘Global Wind Report:... 

End to Eskom ‘stalemate’ will unleash wind market in 2017 – GWEC

Gigaba slams Eskom’s ‘mistake’ of contradicting government policy on renewables 

By: Terence Creamer     19th April 2017 Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba says Eskom made a “mistake” by raising its corporate difficulties in relation to the signing of power purchase agreements (PPAs) with renewable-energy generators in a way that undermined the policy position of government on both the energy mix and the... 

Gigaba slams Eskom’s ‘mistake’ of contradicting government policy on renewables
Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba

Renewables still largely underexploited in most African countries

By: Dylan Slater     14th April 2017 The biggest challenge faced by the renewable-energy industry is storage, and a lack of wide-spread adoption is impeding renewable-energy sources from realising their full potential in the greater energy mix, according to Eaton Africa operations head Eugèn Ranft.  

Solar body urges Energy Minister to provide revised PPA signing date 

By: Terence Creamer     11th April 2017 The South African Solar Photovoltaic Industry Association (Sapvia) expressed confidence on Tuesday that the latest delay in signing of power purchase agreements (PPAs) for 37 renewable-energy projects procured in 2015 would be “short-term” in nature. However, it urged newly appointed Energy... 

Solar body urges Energy Minister to provide revised PPA signing date

Renewables contracts will not be signed on April 11 

By: Terence Creamer     10th April 2017 The signing of power purchase agreements (PPAs) for the projects procured under the fourth bid window of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) will not take place on April 11 as initially envisaged. The date had been set by former Energy Minister Tina... 

Renewables contracts will not be signed on April 11

Opinion: Renewables IPP programme an example of impeccable governance

     7th April 2017 It is important to regularly pause, reflect and appreciate a job well conceived and well executed. Back in 2010, the South African government took the bold decision to create a legislative and practical environment in which the Department of Energy could procure power generated by private... 

Opinion: Renewables IPP programme an example of impeccable governance
Brenda Martin

Least-cost base case essential starting point for IRP process – Sawea

By: Mia Breytenbach     7th April 2017 The South African Wind Energy Association (Sawea) has rejected the current base case scenario used for the 2016 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) Update for Electricity, calling for the scenario to be remodelled as a “least-cost energy plan” and re-issued for consultation. The public participation... 

Least-cost base case essential starting point for IRP process – Sawea

Construction of Northern Cape wind farm ramping up as first components arrive

By: Dylan Slater     7th April 2017 Construction of the Northern Cape-based Khobab Wind Farm has begun in earnest with the transportation and arrival of various wind turbine components to its construction site in the Hantam municipality, 60 km north of Loeriesfontein, both in the Northern Cape.  

Construction of Northern Cape wind farm  ramping up as first components arrive
MASSIVE UNDERTAKING Transporting the individual wind turbine components for the Khobab Wind Farm is expected to be completed in August, 2017

CSIR’s formal IRP submission deviates dramatically from Base Case 

By: Terence Creamer     5th April 2017 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR’s) formal input into the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) public consultation process, which ended on March 31, proposes a new-build mix that deviates materially from the IRP Base Case released by the Department of Energy (DoE) in November.... 

CSIR’s formal IRP submission deviates dramatically from Base Case

Economics now key driver of commercial rooftop solar adoption as supply stabilises - juwi

By: Terence Creamer     3rd April 2017 Renewable energy engineering, procurement and construction services group juwi Renewable Energies expects the commercial solar market in South Africa to undergo a significant shift in the coming months as independent power producers (IPPs) begin playing a more prominent role. CEO Greg Austin says... 

Economics now key driver of commercial rooftop solar adoption as supply stabilises - juwi
The rooftop solar photovoltaic facility at Growthpoint’s Brooklyn Mall

Liquid metal battery inventor questions lithium-ion as grid-scale storage solution 

By: Terence Creamer     29th March 2017 Liquid metal battery inventor Professor Donald Sadoway, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, believes the technology has the potential to provide the “missing piece” in an electricity market that relies on “redundancy and overcapacity” to balance supply and demand – a feature that will... 

Liquid metal battery inventor questions lithium-ion as grid-scale storage solution
Professor Donald Sadoway

Driving home the renewable energy message

By: David Oliveira     24th March 2017 The Energy and Water Skills Education and Training Authority (Ewseta) has unveiled an innovative mobile renewable-energy technology unit, which has been developed with the Durban University of Technology (DUT). Known as energyDRIVE, the unit comprises a custom-built truck that will be used... 

Want to sell more wind, solar power? Find corporate buyers

By: Bloomberg     24th March 2017 Contracts to sell electricity directly to corporate users are among the key demand drivers for wind and solar power, while the influence of state mandates wanes, according to a report by Moody’s Investors Service. Multiple factors are spurring corporate power deals, especially from companies that... 

Eskom initiates talks on triggering government support to cover IPP costs 

By: Terence Creamer     15th March 2017 Eskom has written to the signatories of the Government Support Framework Agreement (GSFA) – which guarantees support for the State-owned utility in meeting its obligation to buy electricity from renewable-energy independent power producers (IPPs) – to discuss a possible triggering of government... 

Eskom initiates talks on triggering government support to cover IPP costs
Photo by Duane Daws
Eskom interim CEO Matshela Koko

Economic development a competitive advantage for renewables bidders – juwi

By: Anine Kilian     10th March 2017 Since renewable-energy feed-in tariffs have decreased over the last few years – 35% and 78% for wind and solar respectively since 2008 – project owners are paying more attention to the competitive advantage they gain by focusing on economic development (ED) targets, such as increasing the number... 

Deadlock broken between Eskom and IPPs, Joemat-Pettersson insists 

By: Terence Creamer     28th February 2017 Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson says the “deadlock has been broken” between Eskom and the renewable-energy independent power producers (IPPs), with the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) confirming its willingness to consider an application from the State-owned utility... 

Deadlock broken between Eskom and IPPs, Joemat-Pettersson insists
Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson

Opinion: Eskom supports renewables, but flags cost-recovery uncertainty as a worry

     27th February 2017 Eskom has noted with concern various misleading reports in the media regarding the signing and execution of budget quotations and power purchase agreements with independent power producers (IPPs) participating in the Department of Energy’s procurement programmes. In 2012, Eskom established the... 

Opinion: Eskom supports renewables, but flags cost-recovery uncertainty as a worry
Photo by Duane Daws
Thava Govender,

Electricity-mix model shows South Africa won’t need to trade off clean for low-cost 

By: Terence Creamer     23rd February 2017 The steep decline in wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) costs means that South Africa will not need to make the traditional trade-off between investing in either clean or least-cost electricity production, as the “cost-optimal mix” for South Africa is now also the cleanest, research conducted by... 

Electricity-mix model shows South Africa won’t need to trade off clean for low-cost

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... 

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

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
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