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$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:... 

Free State hydropower plant receives international acclaim

By: Dylan Slater     26th May 2017 The 2017 Monsonyi Award for Excellence in Hydropower was recently presented by the International Hydropower Association (IHA) to local greenfield independent power plants developer Renewable Energy Holdings (REH) for its contribution to the hydropower sector during the World Hydropower Congress,... 

Liang He Kou hydropower plant project, China

By: Sheila Barradas     26th May 2017 The project entails the construction of a 3 000 MW hydroelectric plant. 

Life imitating art at power utility Eskom

By: Terry Mackenzie-hoy     26th May 2017 There is a most wonderful musical, A Little Night Music, which is based on a film by Ingmar Bergen, Smiles of a Summer Night. Probably the very best known song from A Little Night Music is Send in the Clowns. The last lines of the song are: "And where are the clowns? / Quick, send in the clowns /... 

Solar power projects, Australia

By: Sheila Barradas     26th May 2017 The project involves the construction of two solar farms in Longreach and Oakey respectively. 

CSP projects boost South Africa’s green economy

By: Anine Kilian     25th May 2017 Global private engineering company Sener believes the 50 MW Bokpoort concentrated solar power (CSP) plant, together with the 100 MW Ilanga and 100 MW Kathu CSP plants, will significantly contribute to South Africa’s green economy. Sener is the engineering, procurement and construction partner on... 

Coal India wins tax-cut boost as environmentalists fret

By: Reuters     25th May 2017 State-run Coal India Ltd , saddled with millions of tonnes of unsold coal, is expected to be the biggest beneficiary of a controversial government decision to more than halve the sales tax on the fuel after a jump in local supplies. The world's third-largest greenhouse gas emitting country said... 

Côte d'Ivoire to build 25 MW solar power station

By: Reuters     25th May 2017 Côte d'Ivoire plans to build a 25 MW solar power plant in the north of the country as it seeks to bolster a strained power grid with renewables, a government spokesman said on Wednesday. The 23.6-billion CFA franc ($40-million) plant will be built by Korhogo Solaire, a subsidiary of Morocco's... 

Opinion: PBMRs could be built in old power stations due to be decommissioned 

     25th May 2017 The African Utility week saw an important and welcome announcement. Eskom’s Chief nuclear officer revealed that Eskom was reconsidering the Pebble Bed Modular reactor (PBMR). For whatever reason, work on this ground-breaking project was stopped by the South African Government in 2010. The latest... 

Eskom tests microgrid technology in Free State

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     23rd May 2017 The Eskom Research, Testing and Development (RT&D) unit is building a MicroGrid technology demonstration plant in a rural unelectrified village, near Ficksburg, in the Free State. “This project is a demonstration of next-horizon technology that supports Eskom’s future strategic objectives, as... 

Builders Warehouse launches its first store featuring renewable energy

By: Anine Kilian     22nd May 2017 The North Riding-based Builders Warehouse, which forms part of the Builders Warehouse chain of stores owned by management company Massmart, has installed a 126 kW solar photovoltaic (PV) plant, which comprises 400 roof-mounted polycrystalline PV panels. The plant will provide 70% of the store’s... 

Entrepreneurs key to unlocking continent’s economy – AfDB report

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd May 2017 With the continent continuing to face sluggish growth, African governments need to integrate entrepreneurship more fully into their industrialisation strategies, the African Development Bank’s (AfDB’s) ‘African Economic Outlook 2017’ suggests. Last year, Africa’s economic growth slowed to 2.2%... 

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... 

US awards grant to SA renewable energy company

By: African News Agency      19th May 2017 The US Trade and Development Agency has awarded a grant to Pele Green Energy, a South African independent power developer based in Johannesburg. Wednesday’s grant funds a feasibility study to assess the viability of a 75 MW solar photovoltaic power plant in the Free State province of South... 

Engine solar photovoltaic hybrid power plant project, Burkina Faso

By: Sheila Barradas     19th May 2017 The project entails the construction of a 15 MWp solar power plant. 

Gulf of Suez wind farm project, Egypt

By: Sheila Barradas     19th May 2017 The project entails the construction of a 200 MW wind farm. 

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... 

Young innovative entrepreneurs offer renewable-energy solutions

By: Johane Turkstra     19th May 2017 State-owned power utility Eskom’s Development Foundation’s yearly Business Investment Competition (BIC) continues to discover businesses bringing about positive socioeconomic changes to the benefit of communities and the country. The latest such business is solar energy company Lamo Solar, which... 

No corruption in nuclear negotiations, Eskom chief nuclear officer assures 

By: Kim Cloete     18th May 2017 Eskom’s chief nuclear officer David Nicholls is still firmly committed to the principle that nuclear is the way to go for a sustainable energy future and says he knows of no corruption in negotiations on a deal to procure new nuclear energy capacity. “I’ve been in the middle of this deal for... 

Sarec again defends renewable energy programme in light of proposed coal station closures

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     18th May 2017 The South African Renewable Energy Council (Sarec) on Thursday said that Eskom’s justifying the proposed closure of some its coal-fired power plants, in Mpumalanga, as being the result of signing power purchase agreements for new renewable energy projects, is misleading. “Coal plants have a... 

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... 

Miners increase green energy use to power their pits

By: Reuters     16th May 2017 Major mining companies, including some of the world's biggest suppliers of fossil fuel, are seeking to use more renewable energy themselves as they strive to drive down costs and curb emissions. Glencore, the world's biggest shipper of seaborne coal, said in Tuesday's 2017 sustainability report... 

Absence of Eskom CEO rattles opening of African Utility Week 

By: Kim Cloete     16th May 2017 Despite great anticipation ahead of his address, reinstated Eskom CEO Brian Molefe did not open the annual African Utility Week, in Cape Town, as planned. The CEO was scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the opening plenary, attended by several thousand energy and water experts, but pulled out... 

Kubayi expresses support for 3 700 MW gas-to-power vision amid IPP uncertainty 

By: Terence Creamer     16th May 2017 Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi expressed her support on Tuesday for the country’s proposed gas-to-power programme, assuring delegates to a conference in Cape Town that government intended proceeding in line with the existing “vision and policy objectives” for gas infrastructure. “Over the past... 

DoE won’t appeal nuclear ruling, but Kubayi leaves door open for new nuclear determination ahead of IRP update 

By: Terence Creamer     13th May 2017 Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi announced on Saturday that government would not appeal the April 26 ruling of the Western Cape High Court, which declared the processes hitherto used to procure new nuclear capacity to be unconstitutional and illegal, along with three nuclear-related... 

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 (CSIR) is increasingly being taken off the 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. To drive... 

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.  

Warning issued that nuclear ruling may pose risk to legality of IPP programmes 

By: Terence Creamer     11th May 2017 The recent nuclear ruling, which set aside the Ministerial determinations designed to facilitate the procurement of nuclear power stations, may also carry risks for the legality of the various independent power producer (IPP) procurement programmes, which are proceeding on the basis of... 

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... 

Local hydropower plants receive international recognition

By: Anine Kilian     10th May 2017 South Africa-based independent power producer Renewable Energy Holdings (REH) has received the Monsonyi award for excellence in hydropower from the International Hydropower Association (IHA). The award recognises individuals within IHA’s membership for outstanding contributions to the sector. 

Prophecy signs binding accord to buy Gibellini vanadium project, Nevada

By: Henry Lazenby     9th May 2017 Diversified miner Prophesy Development Corp has entered a binding letter agreement with arm’s-length, private parties to acquire, through lease, the Gibellini vanadium project, in Nevada, with the intent to carry-out mining operations there. Previously held by American Vanadium, which let the... 

Nordex completes fifth wind farm project in South Africa

By: Anine Kilian     8th May 2017 Wind turbine manufacturer Nordex has successfully deployed 37 wind turbines in the Eastern Cape as part of Round 3 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme. Producing 111 MW of power, Nordex’s Delta Generation wind turbines have started operation. It is the first... 

Eskom says plan to mothball power plants only a 'scenario'

By: Reuters     5th May 2017 The chairperson of State-run South African power utility Eskom said on Thursday that plans unveiled in March to decommission five coal-fired power station were not set in stone and could be shelved depending on economic growth and other factors. South Africa is diversifying its energy mix away... 

Too much money, not enough green projects in Africa

By: African News Agency      5th May 2017 There is more capital than there are ready renewable projects in Africa, according to the African Development Bank. Speaking at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Durban, Amadou Hott, African Development Bank’s vice-president, said the continent was the most impacted by climate change yet it... 

Awards to recognise innovation and efficiency at utility event

     5th May 2017 The fourth edition of the yearly African Utility Week (AUW) Industry Awards will once again honour pioneering utilities, projects and people in the energy and water industry on the continent during the AUW event, on May 17, at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.  

Claims for 100% renewable electricity too sanguine, study asserts 

By: Keith Campbell     5th May 2017 In a paper published in “Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews” Volume 76, four Australian researchers have warned that published modelled scenarios which affirm that an electricity system based entirely on renewable energy sources is possible are significantly underestimating the challenges... 

Innovation, home-grown solutions to be showcased at event

     5th May 2017 Conference and exhibition African Utility Week, held in Cape Town from May 16 to 18, will showcase how the continent is coming up with innovative, home-grown solutions to its energy and water challenges and how these are creating exciting and lucrative opportunities for utilities and industry... 

New Development Bank invited to join Africa’s power push

By: Mia Breytenbach     5th May 2017 African Development Bank Group (AfDB) president Akinwumi Adesina has invited the New Development Bank (NDB) to support Light up and power Africa – the first of five top priorities of AfDB’s continental transformation agenda. Speaking at the second annual meeting of the NDB, in New Delhi, last... 

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