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Renewable Energy News

Government commits to improving infrastructure spending 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     Updated 3 hours ago The 2021 Budget, presented by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni on February 24, outlines that R93.1-billion has been earmarked for economic regulation and infrastructure, from consolidated government expenditure of R2.02-trillion each year over the medium term. To boost infrastructure spending,... 

Investec-backed energy fund plans R1.5bn South Africa IPO

By: Bloomberg     Updated 7 hours ago Revego Africa Energy Fund, an investor in South African renewable projects, is looking to raise as much as R1.5-billion by April with the industry poised to grow.The fund is backed by Investec, the Eskom Pension & Provident Fund and UK Climate Investment and is seeking to list on Johannesburg’s... 

Just energy transition remains priority to ensure sustainable future

By: Donna Slater     23rd February 2021 South Africa’s energy sector needs to broadly embrace a just energy transition to ensure it improves energy security and stability, as well as meets its obligations towards mitigating climate change, says nonprofit economic research institution Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies senior... 

Eskom’s tariff restructure not all bad, says energy solutions provider  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd February 2021 Eskom’s recently tabled tariff restructure programme, which proposes changes such as charging consumers a fixed connection fee, may indeed improve the landscape for renewable energy in South Africa, says Energy Partners Intelligence business development head Tygue Theron. He tells Engineering... 

NGO International Rivers calls on SA not to support Grand Inga scheme

By: Schalk Burger     23rd February 2021 International rivers and river communities rights nongovernmental organisation International Rivers has called on South Africa to withdraw its agreement to offtake electricity from the Inga 3 hydropower project being built in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). South Africa continues to... 

SALT doubles grid-tied solar system, supported by year-long test

By: Schalk Burger     22nd February 2021 The Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), in the Northern Cape, has added a new 53 kW solar installation to its grid-tied 40 kVA solar rooftop system. This follows after a system installed on the workshops of the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) provided one year of operational... 

Botha nears end of solo transatlantic row

By: Simone Liedtke     22nd February 2021 South African adventurer and former naval officer Zirk Botha is days away from finishing his solo transatlantic ocean row, from Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro, during which he will have covered 7 200 km, or 4 000 nautical miles. Botha left Cape Town on December 19, 2020, and is set to arrive in Rio... 

Botha nears end of solo transatlantic row
Zirk Botha's route from Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro.

Sasol upscales renewables roll-out ambition to 900 MW, starts plotting big green-hydrogen role 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd February 2021 JSE-listed Sasol announced on Monday that it would pursue a 900 MW renewable-energy roll-out at its Secunda and Sasolburg complexes by 2030, raising its initial deployment target of 600 MW by 50%. President and CEO Fleetwood Grobler said that the upscaled plan would be pursued in partnership with... 

Sasol upscales renewables roll-out ambition to 900 MW, starts plotting big green-hydrogen role
The Secunda complex, in Mpumalanga

Ocean energy fund expected to boost sector

By: Donna Slater     19th February 2021 Ocean energy professional network Ocean Energy Europe (OEE) has appointed risk and insurance consultancy Renewable Risk Advisers to carry out the design of a brand new European and European Union-funded insurance fund for the ocean energy sector as part of the OceanSET project. The project is... 

Storage high on the agenda for emerging economies

19th February 2021 Energy storage coupled with renewable energy ensures less intermittent supply of power, thereby solving balancing and system reliability issues, the Africa Energy Indaba stated in a January press release. 

Storage high on the agenda for emerging economies
SHAKING UP THE INDUSTRY Energy storage technologies are viewed as a potential game-changer for widespread adoption of renewable energy generation throughout Africa

Rising demand underpins renewables’ importance

19th February 2021 As demand rises for more accessible renewable energy, the Africa Energy Indaba conference discussions are set to underscore various new avenues for innovative financing to steer Africa’s ever-changing energy landscape towards sustainability. 

Rising demand underpins renewables’ importance
RESILIENT INDUSTRY The renewables sector is proving its resilience in the midst of a crisis

Shoprite expands solar PV project; 19 sites outfitted

By: Donna Slater     18th February 2021 Fast-moving consumer goods company the Shoprite Group has expanded its solar photovoltaic (PV) programme, with 19 of its sites in South Africa and Namibia now boasting rooftop PV installations. There are now 18 Shoprite Group stores throughout South Africa and Namibia that use solar power,... 

Shoprite expands solar PV project; 19 sites outfitted
Shoprite's Basson distribution centre in Brackenfell

AfDB grants Morocco energy company $965 000 for renewables transition

By: Donna Slater     18th February 2021 The African Development Bank’s (AfDB’s) Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (Sefa) is providing a $965 000 grant to Morocco’s Société d’Ingénierie Energétique (SIE), to support its transition into the first “super energy service company (Esco)” initiative in Africa. Sefa is an AfDB-managed... 

Construction on Inga 3 hydropower project could start by year end, ambassador says

By: News24Wire      17th February 2021 Democratic Republic of Congo's ambassador to Ethiopia and the African Union, Jean Le'on Ngandu Ilunga has hinted that construction on the Inga 3 hydro-power project could start by the end of the year. "We believe in the coming month we will see concrete steps towards implementation. Towards the... 

Repowering and Repurposing  

17th February 2021 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about Eskom's plans for repowering and repurposing the Komati power station and others in its coal-fired fleet, as well as the power utility's focus on ensuring the transition to renewables is just. 

Repowering and Repurposing
Repowering and Repurposing

Eskom could launch bidding for repurposing and repowering of Komati within two months 

By: Terence Creamer     16th February 2021 State-owned power utility Eskom is preparing a pioneering request for proposals (RFP) for the repowering and repurposing of the Komati power station, in Mpumalanga, which is among the first four coal plants scheduled for decommissioning in the coming few years. Eskom just energy transition office... 

Eskom could launch bidding for repurposing and repowering of Komati within two months
The Komati power station

Lifting distributed-generation cap ‘one of the easier decisions’ facing government – De Ruyter  

By: Terence Creamer     15th February 2021 Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter has described the plan, announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his State of the Nation (SONA) address, to lift the licence-exemption threshold for distributed-generation plants as “one of the easier decisions” government could make in the near-term to alleviate stress... 

Lifting distributed-generation cap ‘one of the easier decisions’ facing government – De Ruyter
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter

Afsia publishes inaugural solar outlook report

By: Schalk Burger     15th February 2021 Industry body the Africa Solar Industry Association (Afsia) has published its first yearly 'Africa Solar Outlook' report, which provides clear and concise information about the solar dynamics in each country in Africa to help solar professionals make decisions, says Afsia CEO John van Zuylen. The... 

Ramaphosa’s SoNA holds bold promises, but lacks finer details, says BLSA

By: Donna Slater     15th February 2021 In his February 13 State of the Nation Address (SoNA), President Cyril Ramaphosa highlighted factors that will serve to lift the economy, tackle Covid-19 and boost ailing electricity infrastructure, says Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) CEO Busi Mavuso. Of particular interest, she says,... 

Defy launches solar hybrid product range in South Africa

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     11th February 2021 Domestic appliance manufacturer Defy on February 11 launched its latest innovation, the Solar Hybrid fridge and freezer products, during a virtual event. The product range includes a fridge and a chest freezer, both of which use solar and grid power. 

ESG is key to future resilience, says Mgojo 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th February 2021 In the recent past, environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria were predominantly focused on environmental impact and related governance issues, such as climate change. However, since the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the everyday lives of people across the world, more companies are... 

ESG is key to future resilience, says Mgojo
Exxaro Resources CEO Mxolisi Mgojo

Bank sees load-shedding, factionalism impeding strong fixed-investment recovery in 2021 

By: Terence Creamer     10th February 2021 A leading bank economist expects fixed investment in South Africa to remain muted in 2021, weighed down by ongoing power shortages, political uncertainty and the Covid-19 pandemic. Standard Bank chief economist Goolam Ballim forecasts that investment levels will pick up in 2022, however, spurred... 

Bank sees load-shedding, factionalism impeding strong fixed-investment recovery in 2021
Standard Bank chief economist Goolam Ballim

Solarise Africa adds Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia to renewable leasing solutions

By: Schalk Burger     10th February 2021 Renewable energy leasing solutions company Solarise Africa has announced its expansion into Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia after signing a partnership agreement with turnkey energy services company Centennial Generating. The partnership adds seven projects in Rwanda, spread across the education,... 

Green hydrogen and powerfuels could revive ailing PetroSA, unlock green steel and create €160bn export platform   

By: Terence Creamer     9th February 2021 The combination of South Africa’s world-class wind, solar and land resources, its platinum group metals reserves, as well as its historical experience in industrial-scale synthetic-fuel manufacture, position the country strongly for the production of green hydrogen and tradeable synthetic... 

Green hydrogen and powerfuels could revive ailing PetroSA, unlock green steel and create €160bn export platform
Higher Education, Science and Technology Minister Blade Nzimande on South Africa's comparative advantage when it came to the production of renewable hydrogen and green powerfuels.

Hyde Park Corner rolls out solar panel project

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     9th February 2021 Shopping centre Hyde Park Corner has installed a 384 kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system on its two office block roofs and carports on the North Eastern parking deck to lower its carbon footprint. The system, rolled out by specialist solar PV company Solareff, comprises 900 430 W half cut Mono... 

Hyde Park Corner rolls out solar panel project
Hyde Park Corner solar panel project

NamPower requests market information for 50 MW wind project

By: Marleny Arnoldi     9th February 2021 State-owned power utility Namibian Power Corporation (NamPower) has launched a request for information to developers or technology providers for the proposed development of the 50 MW Luderitz wind power project. This exercise is aimed at soliciting market information from interested parties,... 

Outa, HSF speak out against proposed procurement of new nuclear power capacity

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th February 2021 The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) and the Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) have opposed Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe’s proposal to procure new nuclear power capacity. This follows after the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) issued a consultation paper... 

Nersa subcommittee recommends approval of 40 MW Gold Fields solar licence 

By: Terence Creamer     8th February 2021 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s (Nersa’s) electricity subcommittee has recommended that the Energy Regulator approves Gold Fields’ high-profile licence application for a 40 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) project to be developed at its South Deep mine, in Gauteng. Nersa has confirmed... 

Nersa subcommittee recommends approval of 40 MW Gold Fields solar licence
South Deep

Filling Ethiopia's Renaissance Dam in July threatens Sudan's security - Minister

By: Reuters     8th February 2021 Any unilateral step by Ethiopia to fill its hydropower project, called the Renaissance Dam, in July would directly threaten Sudan's national security, Sudanese Irrigation and Water Resources Minister Yasser Abbas said on Saturday. Sudan is also proposing a mediation role for the United States,... 

Eskom supports lifting licensing exemption threshold for electricity generation to 50MW  

5th February 2021 Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter has expressed support for a lifting of the licensing threshold on distributed generators from 1 MW to 50 MW. Engineering News editor Terence Creamer unpacks the significance of this statement.   

Eskom supports lifting licensing exemption threshold for electricity generation to 50MW
Eskom supports lifting licensing exemption threshold for electricity generation to 50MW

US-based scientists develop global extreme wind speed atlas to help wind energy sector

By: Rebecca Campbell     5th February 2021 Scientists at Cornell University’s Cornell Atkinson Centre for Sustainability, in Ithaca in New York state in the US, have developed a new, digital, global wind atlas. Entitled “A Global Assessment of Extreme Wind Speeds for Wind Energy Applications”, it was unveiled in a paper published in the... 

RWE leads Global Blockage Effect research initiative

By: Marleny Arnoldi     4th February 2021 Renewable energy company RWE Renewables has announced a new project to reduce the commercial uncertainty around the modelling of the Global Blockage Effect (GBE). The GBE in offshore wind is the latest joint industry initiative under the Offshore Wind Accelerator (Owa) programme and is designed... 

Top 10 GreenPitch Challenge 2021 entrepreneurs to showcase green innovations

By: Schalk Burger     3rd February 2021 The organisers of the Invest Cape Town and the Business Hub GreenPitch Challenge 2021 have identified ten innovators and entrepreneurs with economically viable green economy innovation business ideas to pitch those ideas to a panel of expert judges at a virtual event on February 10. "The... 

Exxaro no longer investing in thermal coal as it strives for 2050 carbon neutral goal

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd February 2021 Diversified miner Exxaro Resources will no longer invest in thermal coal assets, as this forms part of the company’s transition to becoming carbon neutral by 2050 in terms of Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions, CEO Mxolisi Mgojo said on February 2. Speaking during an environmental, social and... 

Exxaro no longer investing in thermal coal as it strives for 2050 carbon neutral goal
Exxaro CEO Mxolisi Mgojo

Busa supports De Ruyter's call for lifting licensing exemption threshold for distributed generators

By: Schalk Burger     3rd February 2021 Business organisation Business Unity South Africa (Busa) applauds the statement made by Eskom CEO André de Ruyter during a webinar on February 2, in favour of lifting the licencing exemption threshold for electricity generation. "Busa Energy structures have considered the analysis conducted by... 

De Ruyter backs call for lifting of licensing cap on distributed generators to 50 MW  

By: Terence Creamer     2nd February 2021 Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter says the State-owned utility is fully supportive of moves by large customers to develop distributed generation plants to power their operations, as well as growing calls to lift the licensing threshold from 1 MW to 50 MW so as to accelerate these investments. South... 

De Ruyter backs call for lifting of licensing cap on distributed generators to 50 MW
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter

Sacreee, Irena partner once again on decentralised renewables in Southern Africa

By: Marleny Arnoldi     2nd February 2021 The Southern African Development Community’s (SADC’s) Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (Sacreee) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) to accelerate decentralised renewable energy deployment in Southern Africa. The two... 

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