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Renewable Energy News

South Africa’s green hydrogen ‘first mover’ opportunity based on three structural advantages  

By: Terence Creamer     8th September 2021 South Africa has three favourable structural characteristics that potentially give it a “first mover advantage” to become a global green-hydrogen leader, Sasol CEO Fleetwood Grobler argued in his address during a ‘Hydrogen Economy Discussion’ facilitated by well-known mining personality Bernard... 

World's largest plant capturing carbon from air starts in Iceland

By: Reuters     8th September 2021 The world's largest plant that sucks carbon dioxide directly from the air and deposits it underground is due to start operating on Wednesday, the company behind the nascent green technology said. Swiss start-up Climeworks, which specialises in capturing carbon dioxide directly from the air, has... 

South Africa’s updated NDC climate pledge to be released ‘very soon’ 

By: Terence Creamer     7th September 2021 Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Minister Barbara Creecy reported on Tuesday that South Africa’s revised Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), which is to be deposited with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change later this year, is close to being finalised and will... 

Forestry, Fisheries and Environment Minister Barbara Creecy
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Forestry, Fisheries and Environment Minister Barbara Creecy

ANC offers strong endorsement of Eskom’s just energy transaction following lekgotla  

By: Terence Creamer     7th September 2021 The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the African National Congress (ANC) has given its backing to the just energy transaction being pursued by State-owned electricity producer Eskom. In closing remarks following the NEC’s September lekgotla, ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa said that the... 

Photo of the Komati power station
The Komati power station

Engie partners with Scatec for PV support at mine-based hydrogen plant  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th September 2021 Renewable energy company Scatec has signed a two-year lease agreement with Engie to provide a mobile plug-and-play solar photovoltaic (PV) plant at its hydrogen production plant at Anglo American Platinum’s Mokalakwena mine, in Limpopo. Scatec launched its Release by Scatec service in September... 

Local world-record rower joins Solar Capital as South Africa country manager

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th September 2021 Renewable energy company Solar Capital has appointed the Row2Rio ocean rower Zirk Botha country manager of its South African operations. Solar Capital is a subsidiary of the Phelan Energy Group.  

A photo of Zirk Botha on his boat Ratel
Zirk Botha on his boat

ACWA says investor pitch well received as it gears up for IPO

By: Bloomberg     6th September 2021 ACWA Power, one of Saudi Arabia’s main vehicles for building renewable energy projects, said meetings with potential investors ahead of an initial public offering have gone “very well.” The company, half-owned by the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, is pushing ahead with an IPO it’s been... 

Eskom CEO says carbon capture being considered in South Africa

By: Bloomberg     3rd September 2021 Eskom Holdings, South Africa’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, is evaluating the use of carbon capture at power plants as part of decarbonisation plans to transform the coal-burning utility. The process that captures carbon-dioxide emissions would need to be financially viable, CEO Andre de... 

Mediclinic Southern Africa enters R2bn renewables procurement deal 

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd September 2021 Diversified international private healthcare services group Mediclinic’s Southern Africa division has entered into an agreement, valued at up to £110-million, or about R2-billion, with Energy Exchange of Southern Africa to procure renewable electricity. As part of the group's broad environmental,... 

Pic of Wind Turbines and solar panels.

Researchers using Joburg as live lightning research laboratory

By: Schalk Burger     3rd September 2021 The University of the Witwatersrand' (Wits') Johannesburg Lightning Research Laboratory (JLRL) is turning Johannesburg into a laboratory where live lightning events are measured and characterised through the use of high-speed cameras, direct current measurements, fast electric field measurements,... 

Western Cape launches renewable energy planning fund

By: Marleny Arnoldi     2nd September 2021 The Western Cape provincial government has launched its Municipal Energy Resilience Fund (MERF), which will make nearly R13-million available to qualifying municipalities for research and planning for renewable energy projects. This should help mitigate load-shedding in the province, the... 

Organisations raise concern over lack of public participation in nuclear energy talks 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     2nd September 2021 Societal wellbeing organisations the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (Safcei) and Earthlife Africa Johannesburg have expressed their concern about the South African government pushing for more nuclear energy, while renewables wait in the wings. The two organisations... 

Koeberg nuclear power station
Photo by Creamer Media
Koeberg nuclear power station

RMB launches ESG-risk-measuring platforms to support sustainable investing

By: Donna Slater     2nd September 2021 Financial services provider Rand Merchant Bank (RMB), a division of FirstRand Bank, has launched environmental, social and governance- (ESG-) measuring platforms – ESGo! and ESGNow. The platforms are envisaged to drive sustainable finance by offering client interfaces that enable more informed... 

Public Works to release RFI in development of green energy, resource efficiency drive 

By: Donna Slater     2nd September 2021 The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) plans to release a request for information (RFI) for the Integrated Renewable Energy and Resource Efficiency Programme (iREREP) on September 20, to garner ideas and information into ways to deliver mutual value through strong partnerships... 

An image of the Mpumalanga High Court
The Mpumalanga High Court, which the DPWI handed over in November 2019, is an example of a building where energy and water saving technologies could be rolled out

Eskom offers business customers a trial Renewable Energy Tariff 

By: Simone Liedtke     1st September 2021 State-owned power utility Eskom has launched the Renewable Energy Tariff pilot programme to assist businesses who have corporate renewable energy commitments. This, the entity said on September 1, enables customers to source a blended electricity supply with up to 100% of their electricity from... 

Pic/Image of Eskom's Sere wind farm.
Eskom's Sere wind farm.

Enel Green Power’s Nontokozi Nkosi joins SAWEA board

By: Simone Liedtke     1st September 2021 Enel Green Power (EGP) Republic of South Africa (RSA) commercial office head Nontokozo Nkosi has been appointed to the board of the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) as a co-opted member. Having joined EGP RSA in 2016 as a commercial officer, Nkosi’s key responsibilities include... 

Pic/Image/Headshot of Nontokozo Nkosi
Nontokozo Nkosi

DBSA expects strong demand for $200m embedded-generation scheme amid regulatory reform tail wind 

By: Terence Creamer     31st August 2021 The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) is optimistic that there will be a significant uptake of its $200-million Embedded Generation Investment Programme (EGIP) in light of recent regulatory changes exempting sub-100 MW facilities from licensing and enabling distributed plants to both... 

Photo of DBSA project finance head Mpho Mokwele
DBSA project finance head Mpho Mokwele

Trina Solar expanding its presence in East, Central Africa

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     31st August 2021 Global photovoltaic (PV) and smart energy solutions provider Trina Solar has appointed Solinc East Africa, in Kenya, as an official distributor to supply its products and solutions in East Africa. This forms part of Trina Solar’s commitment to further increasing its footprint and presence in... 

Eskom considers R106bn in wind and solar investment by 2030

By: Bloomberg     30th August 2021 Eskom Holdings, which supplies almost all South Africa’s electricity from coal-fired power plants, is considering spending R106-billion on wind and solar energy by 2030. The investment plan, which Eskom could carry out by itself or in partnerships, is the most detailed demonstration yet of the... 

An image of wind turbines

SANEDI joins EnergyDRIVE road trip

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     30th August 2021 The South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) has announced that it will board the renewable energy educational road trip, the EnergyDRIVE, as a partner in this year’s campaign. Industry organisation the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA), in partnership with the... 

Wesley-Ciskei wind energy farm supplying electricity to the grid

By: Simone Liedtke     27th August 2021 The 34.5 MW Wesley-Ciskei wind energy farm (WEF), in the Eastern Cape, achieved its commercial operations date this month, reports renewable energy developer and operator EDF Renewables. After successfully completing the final Grid Code Compliance tests, the project has reached commercial... 

Pic/Image of the Wesley-Ciskei wind energy farm.
The Wesley-Ciskei wind energy farm.

Irena guides Botswana govt on its immense renewable energy potential

By: Marleny Arnoldi     27th August 2021 A new report published by the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) has confirmed that Botswana has considerable opportunity to enhance its domestic energy security and increase access to modern energy services. The agency says the country’s significant wind and solar resources, as well... 

Botswana's location on African continent

As Mpumalanga towns plot future beyond coal, workers express pain over mine closures 

By: Terence Creamer     27th August 2021 The Steve Tshwete local municipality, in Mpumalanga, which is at the epicentre of South Africa’s coal industry, is revising its Local Economic Development (LED) strategy to take account of the anticipated closure of coal mines and power stations and create the framework for a more diversified... 

The Komati coal-fired power station, which will be fully decommissioned in 2022
The Komati coal-fired power station, which will be fully decommissioned in 2022

Hydrogen a suitable greener alternative

By: Nadine Ramdass     27th August 2021 South Africa’s Gas Act defines “gas” as natural gas (CH4) and hydrogen (H2). Hydrogen will, in the future, be a suitable substitute for natural gas to support decarbonisation, says South African Oil and Gas Alliance (SAOGA) Gas Economy Leadership Group chairperson Craig Morkel. However, the... 

An image of South African Oil and Gas Alliance (SAOGA) Gas Economy Leadership Group's chairperson Craig Morkel
CRAIG MORKEL Imported LNG can start developing gas market

LNG opportunities abound

By: Nadine Ramdass     27th August 2021 The anticipated decline of Mozambique’s Pande & Temane gasfields creates a need for new sources of natural gas for the local industry, says engineering services consulting firm WSP regional director Martin Mkhabela. “The quickest and most cost-effective option to fill the gap is through the... 

An image of WSP regional director Martin Mkhabela
MARTIN MKHABELA Gas-fired power plants are cost-effective and dispatchable alternatives

The importance of organisational culture in supporting women

27th August 2021 Project developer G7 Renewable Energies head of development Karen de Bruyn has spoken about the importance of organisational culture in supporting careers for women in previously male dominated sectors. 

An image of Karen de Bruyn the head of development at G7 Renewable Energies
KAREN DE BRUYN The global renewable energy revolution has set in motion new opportunities for women to contribute to the engineering sector

DMRE outlines timetable for electricity procurement programmes  

By: Terence Creamer     24th August 2021 The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has provided an updated timetable for the implementation of its long-term electricity procurement programmes, which are being pursued in line with a Section 34 Ministerial determination, published in September 2020, and catering for the... 

Photo of workers installing solar panels at a project in South Africa
Photo by Creamer Media
Workers installing solar panels at a project in South Africa

Zimbabwe private power industry held up by currency dispute

By: Bloomberg     24th August 2021 Zimbabwe’s State electricity company is awaiting the outcome of international arbitration in a currency dispute with the country’s biggest private power producer that’s holding up other investments. Nyangani Renewable Energy, which operates solar and hydropower plants in Zimbabwe and Malawi, took... 

Opinion: New issues with amended amended Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act for private power generation

24th August 2021 In this opinion article, law firm Webber Wentzel's Jason van der Poel, Alexandra Felekis and Mzukisi Kota write about uncertainties that remain following the latest amendments to Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act. 

SANEDI develops new strategic plan to address modern energy issues

By: Donna Slater     23rd August 2021 Various challenges in the South African energy sector must be addressed for wider socioeconomic advancement – for which the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) has developed a new strategic plan, positioning it to address key energy sector issues. SANEDI interim CEO... 

DMRE confirms 102 solar and wind bids as renewables procurement resumes  

By: Terence Creamer     20th August 2021 The Independent Power Producer Office (IPPO) has released the project names and technologies bid in response to Bid Window 5 (BW5) of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), the bid deadline for which was August 16. The list released shows that 63 solar... 

A photo of a utility scale solar farm

Energy study on grid capacity to assist Eskom

By: Cameron Mackay     20th August 2021 Stellenbosch University (SU), in the Western Cape, is conducting a study to examine grid capacity and determine ideal locations for renewable-energy projects that will support the grid. The study is funded by global organisation the European Climate Foundation (ECF); SU reports on the results of... 

Image of Stellenbosch Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies Director Professor Sampson Mamphweli
PROFESSOR SAMPSON MAMPHWELI We have plenty of solar resources and wind energy resources in South Africa, and we haven’t exploited the energy storage systems to their fullest

Legislative guidance needed to unlock renewable- energy-storage benefits

By: Cameron Mackay     20th August 2021 The use of renewable energy, such as solar photovoltaic, and exploring energy storage technologies, are integral to balancing the local energy mix in South Africa, including in the domestic and commercial sectors of the country. However, government needs to provide more guidance in terms of... 

Image of a solar energy system roof mounting installed by Valsa Energy
AFFORDABLE ENERGY The reduction in the cost of solar generation technologies will make energy storage more viable locally

Company offers solutions to manage decentralised power systems

By: Cameron Mackay     20th August 2021 The shift to renewable sources of power generation that are decentralised and have to be managed presents opportunities for technology company Hitachi ABB Power Grids to be involved in the local energy sector. Hitachi ABB Power Grids lead sales and marketing manager Stuart Michie states that new... 

US moves to secure critical minerals for EV supply chain

By: Darren Parker     20th August 2021 Modern civilisation was built on fossil fuels, with the invention and commercialisation of the internal combustion engine during the 1800s setting the stage for petroleum-based vehicles to be dominant worldwide for the next 150 years. Various oil majors continue to produce huge volumes of oil and... 

Image of Engineering News and Mining Weekly magazine cover

Renewables can benefit from repurposed batteries uptake

By: Cameron Mackay     20th August 2021 Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe’s announcement of the opening of Bid Window 5 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) in March this year will result in significant opportunities to use more energy storage technologies locally, says... 

Image of REVOV chief technology officer Felix von Bormann
FELIX VON BORMANN The most ideal chemistry for storing energy is by far the 2nd LiFe EV lithium ferro phosphate cells that we supply

Gauteng ‘day-zero drought’ is South Africa’s biggest near-term climate risk, IPCC scientist warns 

By: Terence Creamer     19th August 2021 A leading South African climate scientist believes a ‘Gauteng day-zero drought’ represents the biggest near-term climate change risk faced by the country, which is poised to become hotter and drier as average global temperatures rise. Francois Engelbrecht, who is a distinguished professor of... 

An image of a drought stricken landscape
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