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Renewable Energy News

Nersa to host public hearing on Gold Fields' South Deep solar plant application 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th November 2020 NYSE- and JSE-listed Gold Fields’ South Deep mining operation has lodged an application with the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) for an electricity generation licence for a proposed 40 MW solar photovoltaic plant at the mine, in Westonaria. Nersa has advised that a public... 

Surging Covid-linked borrowing costs pose threat to Africa’s energy transition

By: Terence Creamer     24th November 2020 The surge in borrowing costs affecting most African countries in the wake of the economic and fiscal harm that has accompanied the Covid-19 pandemic poses a serious risk to the much-needed recovery in energy investment across the continent, which is set to collapse by 30% in 2020. International... 

Surging Covid-linked borrowing costs pose threat to Africa’s energy transition
IEA executive director Dr Fatih Birol

Western Cape launches Municipal Energy Resilience project

By: Donna Slater     24th November 2020 The Western Cape government has launched its three-year Municipal Energy Resilience (MER) project to assist municipalities to take advantage of the new energy regulations, which may include buying energy directly from independent power producers (IPPs). 

Nedbank provides financing options for solar power

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     24th November 2020 Banking institution Nedbank is exploring financing options for solar photovoltaic (PV) installation for homeowners and has implemented several options for businesses wanting to install solar PV plants. Nedbank Home Loans strategy head Bruno Cing’andu noted during a November 24 webinar, hosted by... 

A ‘just transition’ is complicated – panel

By: Marleny Arnoldi     24th November 2020 As South Africa emerges from the Covid-19-induced economic crisis, the most strategic objective would be to relieve the economy and its growth path from the stronghold of insufficient access to sustainable and competitive power generation, advisory Pan-African Investment and Research Services... 

De Ruyter calls for upscaling of power procurement plans as he questions whether coal IPP will proceed 

By: Terence Creamer     24th November 2020 Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter has again called on government to open the way for the procurement of more new electricity capacity in addition to the 11 800 MW outlined in a recently gazetted Ministerial determination, cautioning that the 1 500 MW of new coal included in the determination is unlikely... 

De Ruyter calls for upscaling of power procurement plans as he questions whether coal IPP will proceed
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter

Capetonian prepares for 7 000 km solo transatlantic row

By: Donna Slater     23rd November 2020 Capetonian Zirk Botha – a former naval combat officer and adventure racer – is preparing final arrangements to depart from Cape Town on a 7 000-km-long solo rowing trip on his boat Ratel across the Atlantic ocean, to Rio de Janeiro. Sponsored by the company he works for – juwi Renewable Energies... 

Capetonian prepares for 7 000 km solo transatlantic row
Zirk Botha practicing on his boat - Ratel

Enel, Novartis sign ten-year renewable energy deal

By: Donna Slater     20th November 2020 Enel Group renewable energy subsidiary Enel Green Power and medicines company Novartis have signed a ten-year, 100% renewable virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) for 78 MW of renewable power. This pan-European VPPA will start in January 2022 and will help Novartis achieve its goals for 100%... 

Emira continues investment in renewable energy

By: Donna Slater     20th November 2020 JSE-listed real estate investment trust (Reit) Emira Property Fund has been increasing its use of renewable energy since the 2015 installation of a 271 kW solar plant on the roof of its Epsom Downs Shopping Centre, in Bryanston. Since then the company has been continuing the rollout of solutions... 

Emira continues investment in renewable energy
Emira's Boskruin photovoltaic installation

Joint agenda for energy events

20th November 2020 Private sector participation in the energy sector, small-scale hydro and minigrid opportunities, desalination as an option to secure water security and helping sustainable small and medium-sized enterprises with a toolkit are just some of the highlights of the digital African Utility Week and... 

Joint agenda for energy events
POWER AGENDA Amid the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the energy sector in Africa, the organisers of the Digital Energy Festival seek to address critical issues

Africa’s ‘staggering’ hydropower potential discussed at event

20th November 2020 Hydropower plays a key role in all of the African Development Bank's (AfDB’s) High Five priority areas that are intended to support the continent's achievement of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. This is according to AfDB power systems development director Batchi Baldeh, who... 

Africa’s ‘staggering’ hydropower potential discussed at event
ENERGY EVENT The potential for hydropower in Africa is staggering

Wind turbine prototype gives impressive results

20th November 2020 Energy solutions company GE Renewable Energy – which will be exhibiting at African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa 2020 – announced last month that its Haliade-X prototype, the world’s most powerful wind turbine operating to date, has been optimised and is now operating at a 13 MW power output.... 

World Bank says ‘flagship’ Eskom battery scheme to open way for private investment in the technology 

By: Terence Creamer     19th November 2020 The World Bank reports that Eskom’s large-scale battery energy storage initiative, which will involve the installation of  battery energy storage systems (BESS) across up to eight sites, is being treated as a “flagship” initiative by the global development finance institution, which has committed... 

World Bank says ‘flagship’ Eskom battery scheme to open way for private investment in the technology
The Skaapvlei site, with the Sere wind farm in the background

Green economy faces challenge to replace carbon energy sources

By: Bloomberg     19th November 2020 The march toward a greener global economy is headed into a more difficult second phase that will aim to replace carbon as an energy source, said panelists during the Bloomberg New Economy Forum. Companies including Honeywell International and Schneider Electricare offering solutions to reduce... 

Climate Transparency questions South Africa’s commitment to phasing out coal

By: Marleny Arnoldi     18th November 2020 A report by Climate Transparency has cautioned the Group of Twenty (G20) countries against quick-fix Covid-19 stimulus packages that favour fossil fuel industries. The global partnership has a shared mission to stimulate a “race to the top” in climate action in the G20 countries through enhanced... 

Ramaphosa stresses South Africa’s gateway-to-Africa role as he seeks to reignite investment amid Covid  

By: Terence Creamer     18th November 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa used the platform of the third South Africa Investment Conference to underline the country’s potential to act a gateway to the African market, as he sought to reignite investor interest in an economy that has been underperforming for more than a decade and has been... 

Ramaphosa stresses South Africa’s gateway-to-Africa role as he seeks to reignite investment amid Covid
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Green hydrogen, exploration offer best opportunities for South Africa’s mining sector 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     18th November 2020 There are a myriad of opportunities that the mining industry can capitalise on, and the Covid-19 pandemic has provided a major catalyst for the collaboration required to unlock it, speakers said during a mining-focused session at the South African Investment Conference on November 17. Hydrogen... 

Solar power industry has opportunity to build recycling value chain from scratch  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     18th November 2020 Solar photovoltaic (PV) power users, both utility-scale and rooftop users alike, will have to start thinking about, and develop, ways in which the waste of solar power generation facilities will be managed at the end of their lives. In terms of the industry’s regulatory requirements, the solar... 

Solar power industry has opportunity to build recycling value chain from scratch
DEFF hazardous waste management and licensing chief director Mishelle Govender shares insight on solar PV recycling

More than 60 power firms signal intention to bid into ‘emergency’ scheme – IPP Office 

By: Terence Creamer     17th November 2020 South Africa’s Independent Power Producer (IPP) Office reported on Tuesday that more than 60 respondents had signalled their intention, by the October 31 deadline for doing so, to participate in the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP), through which... 

More than 60 power firms signal intention to bid into ‘emergency’ scheme – IPP Office
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
IPP Office CEO Tshifhiwa Bernard Magoro

Institutions call for more awareness on skills development in the solar sector 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     17th November 2020 The decommissioning of coal-fired power stations without repurposing of labour will considerably exacerbate the unemployment crisis in South Africa and, therefore, workforce relocation and the associated skills development it calls for, needs to be considered ahead of time. Energy & Water... 

Institutions call for more awareness on skills development in the solar sector
EWSETA CFO and acting CEO Mpho Mookapele explains the skills needed for a burgeoning solar power sector

Eskom moves to finalise just energy transition framework as shutdown of Grootvlei, Komati and Hendrina draws near 

By: Terence Creamer     17th November 2020 State-owned power utility Eskom expects to complete its socioeconomic impact studies by the end of March for the planned shutdown of the Grootvlei, Komati and Hendrina power stations, in Mpumalanga, which are the first of ten coal plants scheduled for decommissioning by 2040. The decommissioning... 

Eskom moves to finalise just energy transition framework as shutdown of Grootvlei, Komati and Hendrina draws near

Municipalities have integrated 282 MW of embedded power and see benefits in embracing transition 

By: Terence Creamer     16th November 2020 A total of 29 South African municipalities have already approved tariff frameworks for small-scale embedded generation (SSEG), with 282 MW of mostly rooftop solar capacity having be formally integrated into municipal networks, the South African Local Government Association (Salga) reports. The... 

Municipalities have integrated 282 MW of embedded power and see benefits in embracing transition

Kangnas Wind Farm starts commercial operations

By: Donna Slater     16th November 2020 The Kangnas Wind Farm on November 15 achieved its commercial operations date, making it the first Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) Bid Window 4 wind farm in the Northern Cape to come on stream. Construction started in June, 2018 but was halted by the... 

Kangnas Wind Farm starts commercial operations
The Northern Cape-based Kangnas Wind Farm

Sasol working to reset business for low-carbon world 

13th November 2020 Financially and environmentally beleaguered energy and chemicals group Sasol is working to reset its business for a low-carbon world. Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer unpacks the emerging strategy. 

Sasol working to reset business for low-carbon world
Sasol working to reset business for low-carbon world

Cape Town’s largest bus company now a net exporter of green energy 

By: Irma Venter     13th November 2020 Cape Town’s largest bus company, Golden Arrow Bus Services (GABS), has become a net exporter of electricity. This achievement is the culmination of a multiyear collaborative effort between Golden Arrow, New Southern Energy and the City of Cape Town. 

Vivo sees growth potential for hybrid fuel, solar energy solution in Africa's mining sector

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     13th November 2020 Vivo Energy, which sells and distributes Shell- and Engen-branded fuels and lubricants in Africa, believes it will be able to transform how energy is supplied to mines across the continent. It announced last month that it had reached an agreement to supply Canadian mining company Robex Resources'... 

Glencore tests market for self-generation solutions at chrome, vanadium operations  

By: Terence Creamer     12th November 2020 Mining group Glencore has issued a pre-qualifying tender for companies interested in supplying ‘alternative green’ electricity and storage solutions to its chrome and vanadium operations in South Africa. In the tender notice, Glencore Alloys states that the generation facilities should have a... 

Glencore tests market for self-generation solutions at chrome, vanadium operations

European firms say South Africa’s poor utilities deter investment

By: Bloomberg     12th November 2020 European businesses are delaying investment in South Africa because of poor power and water supply and the costs of complying with Black economic empowerment legislation, representatives of an industry body said. South Africa has suffered intermittent power outages since 2008 after the state... 

Bushveld nears construction of solar plant at Vametco mine  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th November 2020 Aim-listed Bushveld Minerals continues to progress with the hybrid minigrid project being developed at the Vametco vanadium mine, near Brits, on the Western Limb of the Bushveld Complex in South Africa. The project comprises 3.5 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) generation and 4 MWh of vanadium... 

Bushveld nears construction of solar plant at Vametco mine
Bushveld's Vametco mine will see built a 3.5 MW solar photovoltaic and storage plant

UP partners with Bambili, EWSeta, DSI to train graduates on fuel cell systems

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th November 2020 The University of Pretoria (UP) will, for the next month, provide training for technical and vocational education and training college graduates on hydrogen fuel cell systems. The training, which is provided in partnership with Bambili Energy, the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and... 

Sasol pins low-carbon ‘reset’ hopes on gas, renewables and green hydrogen  

By: Terence Creamer     11th November 2020 Energy and chemicals group Sasol, which is coming under increasing pressure to reduce its carbon emissions, reports that climate change is now “front and centre” in its unfolding ‘strategic reset’, which will involve a transition away from coal to gas, renewable energy and green hydrogen. In... 

Sasol pins low-carbon ‘reset’ hopes on gas, renewables and green hydrogen
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Sasol CEO Fleetwood Grobler

Covid-19 accelerates energy transitions - PwC 

By: Donna Slater     11th November 2020 Assurance, advisory and tax services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) reports – through its newly released Africa Oil & Gas Review, titled Energising a New Tomorrow – that the rampant spread of the Covid-19 pandemic globally has resulted in galvanising of commitments to a green energy... 

Covid-19 accelerates energy transitions - PwC
PwC energy strategy and infrastructure director James Mackay discusses how Covid-19 has sped up developments in the green energy sector.

Absa considers a combined solar, EV finance package, should domestic market grow  

By: Irma Venter     11th November 2020 Absa is mulling the roll-out of a finance mechanism for electric vehicles (EVs) that will incorporate a solar home installation to charge that vehicle, says Absa Vehicle and Asset Finance (AVAF) business analytics and strategy head Henry Botha. However, before that can happen, South Africa’s EV... 

Absa considers a combined solar, EV finance package, should domestic market grow
Henry Botha

Sun Exchange launches first of three crowd sales for 1.9 MW solar project in Zim

By: Marleny Arnoldi     10th November 2020 Peer-to-peer solar leasing platform Sun Exchange has launched a crowd sale for Phase 1 of a multiphase 1.9 MW solar and storage project for fresh produce exporter Nhimbe Fresh, in Zimbabwe. This will be the largest Sun Exchange solar installation to date and the first outside of South Africa.  

Sun Exchange launches first of three crowd sales for 1.9 MW solar project in Zim
Nhimbe Fresh, in Zimbabwe

Renewables display Covid immunity with record 2020 and strong outlook 

By: Terence Creamer     10th November 2020 New additions of renewable-energy capacity worldwide will increase to a record level of almost 200 GW this year, shrugging off the demand slump that accompanied the Covid-19 crisis and which negatively affected the demand for fossil fuels. In addition, a new International Energy Agency (IEA)... 

Renewables display Covid immunity with record 2020 and strong outlook

Just transition away from coal lies in diversified municipal economies, says TIPS

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th November 2020 During a Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS) Development Dialogue webinar hosted recently, experts agreed that the brunt of a transition away from coal would be borne by vulnerable stakeholders and that it had to be mitigated. The webinar explored ground-level impacts associated with a... 

Shift in strategy to maximise offering

By: Halima Frost     6th November 2020 Bearings manufacturer and distributor SKF held a virtual webinar last month to discuss the company’s three-pronged strategy shift to better meet client requirements.  “The strategy has encouraged every part of the company to rethink the way it works, especially SKF’s core research and development... 

Shift in strategy to maximise offering
LEARNING CURVE The ability to re-look at the company's research and development strategy has been important to SKF during the Covid-19 pandemic
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