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Renewable Energy News

FMF calls for accelerated gazetting of 100 MW distributed generation licensing-exemption threshold

By: Donna Slater     23rd July 2021 Independent nonprofit public benefit organisation the Free Market Foundation (FMF) is calling on government to accelerate the process of detailing and Gazetting President Cyril Ramaphosa’s June announcement about raising the threshold for companies to produce their own electricity without a... 

Micro-Grid Academy Young Talent awards recognise eight finalists for innovation

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd July 2021 The Micro-Grid Academy Young Talent of the Year 2021 Awards have named eight finalists from across Africa in recognition of their sustainable energy innovations. This yearly competition is backed by RES4Africa Foundation, Enel Green Power and the European Investment Bank (EIB). It encourages... 

More municipalities procuring their own power  

23rd July 2021 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about the increasing number of big cities and medium-sized municipalities that are looking to either build or procure new electricity capacity. 

Image of Terence Creamer
More municipalities procuring their own power

Platinum giants eye solar power as green answer to blackouts

By: Bloomberg     23rd July 2021 The world’s biggest platinum miners are ramping up plans to build renewable energy plants to free them from power outages that have plagued South Africa for more than a decade and to reduce their carbon footprint. Sibanye-Stillwater, the No. 1 platinum miner, Impala Platinum Holdings and Anglo... 

Hybrid solar installation completed in Zimbabwe

By: Halima Frost     23rd July 2021 The active partnership between South Africa-based solar solutions provider Blockpower SA and German-managed microgrid integrator Dhybrid has resulted in the completion of a 1.4 MWp, 1 MVA, 480 kWh hybrid solar system at an agriculture estate, in Zimbabwe. The Tanganda Tea Company, which operates... 

Large solar plant at an agriculture estate Zimbabwe
OFF GRID The hybrid solar installation installed by Blockpower SA and Dhybrid was tailor made for the client in Zimbabwe

PowerGen, partners to connect 55 000 people to electricity in Nigeria

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     22nd July 2021 Grid and off-grid distributed energy developer PowerGen is partnering with CrossBoundary Energy Access (CBEA), Oikocredit, Triodos Investment Management, and EDFI ElectriFI to electrify the homes of 55 000 people in rural Nigeria. The project is supported by grant funding from the World Bank and... 

eThekwini issues RFI as it gears up to procure 400 MW of IPP power 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd July 2021 The eThekwini municipality, which has been badly affected by recent deadly rioting and looting, is pushing ahead with its electricity procurement plans and has issued a request for information (RFI) as part of preparations for the procurement of 400 MW of new generation capacity from independent... 

Image of the Durban skyline in the eThekwini municipality
The Durban skyline in the eThekwini municipality

LG commits itself to moving entirely to renewable energy by 2050

By: Donna Slater     21st July 2021 Electronics manufacturer LG Electronics has announced its commitment to transition completely to renewable energy by 2050. The announcement, made in LG’s sustainability report, follows an earlier promise to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 through its Zero Carbon 2030 initiative, in which the... 

Renewable energy associations host capacity-building webinar ahead of fifth Bid Window

By: Donna Slater     21st July 2021 As role-players in South Africa’s renewable energy sector gear up to make submissions in Bid Window 5 (BW 5) of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) and the South African Photovoltaic Industry... 

100-MW reform set to spur rapid increase in larger-scale solar projects – SAPVIA 

By: Terence Creamer     21st July 2021 The South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) is optimistic that the decision to increase the licence-exemption threshold for distributed-generation facilities from 1 MW to 100 MW will support a rapid increase in the deployment of larger-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) projects, with... 

A head shot of SAPVIA spokesperson Maloba Tshehla
SAPVIA spokesperson Maloba Tshehla

Enel Green Power’s overall installed capacity in South Africa rises above 800 MW

By: Simone Liedtke     21st July 2021 Every year, the now completed Oyster Bay wind farm will generate over 568 GWh and prevent 590 000 t of carbon dioxide (CO²) from being emitted into the atmosphere. The project brings the number of operational Enel Green Power South Africa wind and solar sites in South Africa to nine, with an... 

Western Cape making progress on pioneering municipal power projects 

By: Terence Creamer     21st July 2021 The Western Cape provincial government is currently evaluating responses to a request for information (RFI) issued by the Department of Economic Development and Tourism to assess the potential for renewable-energy projects in six municipalities included as part of its Municipal Energy Resilience... 

Image of solar rooftops with a Cape mountain in the background

New study assesses ways to scale up off-grid solar across Africa 

By: Terence Creamer     20th July 2021 A new study assessing the commercial and economic feasibility of enhancing off-grid solar inclusion in sub-Saharan Africa indicates that solar home systems (SHS) could offer the most cost-effective solution for providing electricity access for most unserved segments in the region. Commissioned by... 

Image of a solar panel

Carbon emissions to reach record levels in 2023 as stimulus spending fails to match net-zero ambition 

By: Terence Creamer     20th July 2021 The financial resources allocated by governments globally to clean-energy measures in response to the Covid-19 crisis currently represents only 2% of the $16-trillion in total fiscal support set aside for economic stimulus, the International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) new Sustainable Recovery... 

Photo of IEA executive director Fatih Birol
IEA executive director Fatih Birol

Ethiopia says second filling of giant dam on Blue Nile complete

By: Reuters     20th July 2021 Ethiopia has completed filling the reservoir of its huge dam on the Blue Nile river for a second year and the plant may start generating power in the next few months, a minister said on Monday, a move that has already angered Egypt and Sudan. Addis Ababa says the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam... 

ArcVera Renewables sets up office in Cape Town

By: Simone Liedtke     19th July 2021 Wind, solar and energy storage project consultancy and technical services provider ArcVera Renewables has set up a permanent office and new subsidiary company in Cape Town, strengthening its six-year local presence to offer and meet the growing renewable energy ambitions of South Africa and... 

Pic/Image of ArcVera Solar and wind operations South Africa

ATI provides Malawi solar PV plant with liquidity support

By: Schalk Burger     16th July 2021 Insurance agency African Trade Insurance (ATI) Agency has provided the 60 MW Salima solar photovoltaic (PV) plant, in Malawi, with a revolving liquidity guarantee that can be drawn following any payment delays by the national offtaker, namely the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom).... 

Savings lead to solar expansion for food handler

By: Darren Parker     16th July 2021 Frozen goods handling company iDube Cold Storage, based at the Dube Tradeport, King Shaka International Airport, in KwaZulu-Natal, is expanding its rooftop solar system. The project entails installing a solar carport structure to house pallets and will be installed and managed by solar solutions... 

SolarSaver monitors its systems daily and if production levels drop below optimal output, its maintenance team cleans the system
CLEAN ENERGY SolarSaver monitors its systems daily and if production levels drop below optimal output, its maintenance team cleans the system

Opinion: Inclusive process now vital to define a collective electricity industry vision

15th July 2021 In this opinion article, Energy Intensive User Group CEO Fanele Mondi says that, although reforms allowing for higher levels of own generation will make a significant difference, there is also an urgent need for South Africans to collectively shape the future of the electricity supply industry... 

An image of Fanele Mondi, the CEO of the Energy Intensive User Group

IEA report points to growth in global electricity demand this year

By: Donna Slater     15th July 2021 The International Energy Agency (IEA) expects global electricity demand to rebound strongly this year and next. Electricity demand decreased by about 1% in 2020, but is expected to grow by 5% this year and by 4% in 2022, a new IEA report shows.  

New initiative launched to raise awareness on key role of power grids in Africa 

By: Terence Creamer     15th July 2021 The RES4Africa Foundation, an Italian non-profit organisation that promotes the development of renewable energy on the continent, has launched a Grids4Africa initiative to support the development of the transmission and distribution networks needed to raise levels of renewables deployment and... 

An image of power lines

AfDB sustainable energy fund secures $90m in new funding

By: Schalk Burger     15th July 2021 The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (Sefa), managed by development finance institution the African Development Bank (AfDB), approved seven high-impact projects worth $54-million in 2020, the fund's 2020 Annual Report shows. The fund also attracted increased donor funding and secured... 

Nedbank leverages additional tier one instruments to help drive a net-zero economy

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     14th July 2021 To strategically finance the transition to a net-zero economy, financial services provider Nedbank has once again approached the investment market to raise ‘use-of-proceeds’ green finance, this time through the issuance of the first listed green additional tier one instrument by a financial... 

Consortium unveils plans for zero-emission Eastern Cape e-methanol plant 

By: Terence Creamer     14th July 2021 An agreement for the development of a greenfield facility in Humansdorp, in the Eastern Cape, to manufacture zero-carbon e-methanol for sale locally and for export has been concluded by a consortium comprising Earth and Wire, ENERTRAG South Africa and 24Solutions. The proposed facility will... 

Image of an ENERTRAG green hydrogen facility in Germany
An ENERTRAG green hydrogen facility in Germany

Steel giant to harness green hydrogen, renewables to produce zero-carbon steel

By: Terence Creamer     14th July 2021 Steel group ArcelorMittal has signed an undertaking with the Spanish government in support of a €1-billion plan to construct a green hydrogen direct reduced iron (DRI) plant and a new hybrid electric arc furnace (EAF) at its facility in Gijón, in Asturias, as part of a pioneering move to... 

An image of flat steel being rolled

AfDB provides $6m grant to launch West Africa desert-to-power programme

By: Schalk Burger     13th July 2021 Development finance institution the African Development Bank (AfDB) has provided a $6-million grant to the West African Power Pool (WAPP) to conduct prefeasibility studies for the construction of the Sahel Transmission Backbone that will link regional solar parks in five countries that contribute... 

Trina Solar expands into South Africa with new distribution facility

By: Simone Liedtke     13th July 2021 Solar photovoltaic (PV) and energy solutions provider Trina Solar will be launching a new distribution facility in South Africa. The expansion, the company says in a statement on July 13, comes as a step that further “caters to the company’s overarching expansion strategy to grow in the region”. 

An artist's impression of Trina Solar's new distribution facility.

Schneider’s Africa president joins Res4Africa in green energy drive

By: Marleny Arnoldi     9th July 2021 Nonfprofit think tank Res4Africa Foundation has appointed technology company Schneider Electric’s Middle East and Africa president Caspar Herzberg to its executive committee. Res4Africa has, since 2012, been promoting a green energy transition in Africa and appointed Herzberg for four years to... 

Ivorian engineer wins Royal Academy award for biowaste innovation

By: Schalk Burger     9th July 2021 Côte d'Ivoire chemical engineer Noël N’guessan has won the Royal Academy of Engineering’s 2021 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation. He developed biowaste equipment for smallholder farmers in West Africa to efficiently manage and generate income from biowaste. 

Benefits of licence exemption depend also on expedited effort from enviro, water departments

By: Marleny Arnoldi     9th July 2021 Now that the licence exemption threshold for self-generation has been extended to 100 MW, it encourages the development of a robust embedded energy sector, says law firm Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr (CDH). CDH says the risks to South Africa’s energy security, in addition to the economic impacts of... 

Giant dam is messing up water in Africa even before it is filled

By: Bloomberg     9th July 2021 As Ethiopia begins diverting 13.5-billion cubic meters of water from the Blue Nile river to its controversial new megadam, residents of Sudan to the south fear a repetition of last year’s devastating drought. The second stage of filling the $4.5-billion reservoir is ratcheting up tensions between... 

Another hurdle in embedded generation licensing exemption saga  

9th July 2021 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe's latest update on amendments to be made to Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act to lift the licensing-exemption threshold for embedded generation... 

Image of Terence Creamer
Another hurdle in embedded generation licensing exemption saga

Mantashe 'grapples' with difference between a permit and licence as 100-MW reform drafting nears completion  

By: Terence Creamer     7th July 2021 Mineral Resource and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe says that a revised amendment to Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act, reflecting an increase in the licence-exemption cap from 1 MW to 100 MW, will be finalised within the coming week and will be shared with The Presidency “so that we... 

Photograph of Mineral Resource and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe
Mineral Resource and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

Kenya’s Kipeto wind plant reaches commercial operation

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th July 2021 Kenya-based Kipeto Energy has completed construction of the 100 MW Kipeto wind farm, in the Kajiado county, in Kenya. The project’s 60 wind turbines are producing power for the national grid.  

Kipeto wind farm, in Kenya
Kipeto wind farm, in Kenya

Kenya's KenGen says CERs for sale more than double

By: Reuters     6th July 2021 Kenya's largest utility said on Tuesday its certified emission reduction credits (CERs) available for sale had more than doubled to over 550 000. A CER is equivalent to one tonne of carbon dioxide and they are part of emission reduction efforts under the Kyoto Protocol. 

Egypt notified that Ethiopia has resumed filling of giant dam

By: Reuters     6th July 2021 Egypt's irrigation minister said on Monday he had received official notice from Ethiopia that it had begun filling the reservoir behind its giant hydropower dam, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), for a second year. Egypt has informed Ethiopia of its categorical rejection of the measure,... 

Opinion: Cheap renewables offer the key to universal electricity access in Africa

6th July 2021 In this opinion article, co-authored by European Commission executive vice president Frans Timmermans and International Energy Agency executive director Fatih Birol, it is argued that to make energy poverty history in Africa the whole world will need to work in concert to end funding for coal... 

European Commission executive VP Frans Timmerman
European Commission executive VP Frans Timmerman
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