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Wind News

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... 

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

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

IDC hopes to salvage wind-tower plant, but warns liquidation can’t be ruled out 

By: Terence Creamer     8th February 2017 The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) is hoping to salvage the domestic manufacturing capability established to produce wind-tower sections in the Eastern Cape that was set up in response to government’s demand for higher levels of local content in the renewable-energy sector. However, it... 

IDC hopes to salvage wind-tower plant, but warns liquidation can’t be ruled out
Sections being manufactured at DCD Wind Towers plant, which has been shut since December

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
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