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Renewable Energy News

Private-sector investment a key driver of growth  

By: Mamaili Mamaila     13th December 2019 Ahead of the 2019 South African Investment Conference, JSE-listed and diversified mining company Exxaro hosted a media tour, which started at The conneXXion – its head office in Centurion, Gauteng.  

Diversified miner announces R20-billion investment drive 

By: Mamaili Mamaila     13th December 2019 JSE-listed diversified mining company Exxaro officially announced its commitment of R20-billion towards President Cyril Ramaphosa’s investment drive for South Africa at the 2019 South African Investment Conference, which took place in Johannesburg, last month. 

Diversified miner announces R20-billion investment drive
Exxaro CEO Mxolisi Mgojo discussed the company’s investments ahead of the 2019 South African Investment Conference. Camerawork: Creamer Media’s Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Creamer Media’s Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 31.10.2019

Large power users say options to alleviate pressures need to be urgently unlocked

By: Terence Creamer     12th December 2019 The Energy Intensive Users Group of Southern Africa reiterated on Thursday that its members had several options available to alleviate South Africa’s electricity supply constraints, while warning that the risk of load-shedding would persist until new supply- and demand-side solutions were... 

Large power users say options to alleviate pressures need to be urgently unlocked
Mines such as Gold Fields are ready to invest in power projects

Zambia's power supply deficit worsens as water levels sink

By: Reuters     12th December 2019 Zambia's electricity supply shortage increased to 810 MW in November from around 750 MW in September, State power firm Zesco said on Thursday, adding it would quickly commission new power plants to plug the gap. Africa's second-biggest copper producer has seen electricity supply dwindle due to... 

Uganda's Umeme gets $70m loan for national grid expansion

By: Reuters     12th December 2019 Umeme, the Ugandan power distributor, said on Thursday it has secured $70-million in a syndicated loan to fund infrastructure upgrades and grid expansion. The loan was agreed with the World Bank's private lending arm IFC, South Africa's Standard Bank and Dutch development bank FMO. 

Juwi completes first stage of Agnew hybrid mini-grid

By: Marleny Arnoldi     12th December 2019 International project developer Juwi has successfully completed the first stage of the development of one of Australia’s largest hybrid renewable micro-grid projects. Juwi’s Australian subsidiary, Juwi Renewable Energy, had installed a 4 MW single axis tracking photovoltaic system at Gold... 

Juwi completes first stage of Agnew hybrid mini-grid
Gold Fields' hybrid renewable energy project at Agnew gold mine

OptiPower making progress on EC wind farm project, welcomes benefits of M&R buyout  

12th December 2019 Transmission and distribution services provider OptiPower Projects, which was recently acquired by Murray & Roberts, is progressing with its work on the Golden Valley Wind Farm, in the Eastern Cape. Tasneem Bulbulia tells us more. 

OptiPower making progress on EC wind farm project, welcomes benefits of M&R buyout
OptiPower making progress on EC wind farm project, welcomes benefits of M&R buyout

Cabinet to consider emergency power plan as Eskom asks for 5 000 MW breathing space 

By: Terence Creamer     11th December 2019 President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday said Cabinet would consider several emergency power supply options at its meeting on Friday. He indicated during a briefing at Eskom's Megawatt Park head office that the power utility needed 5 000 MW of additional supply to help it address a deficit that has... 

Cabinet to consider emergency power plan as Eskom asks for 5 000 MW breathing space

Metair completes Romanian battery factory, mulls sale of energy storage business

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th December 2019 JSE-listed automotive components maker Metair has successfully completed the installation of the company’s first lithium-ion battery cell manufacturing and assembly facility in Bucharest, Romania. The facility will start producing cells from the second quarter of next year, at a capacity of... 

DMRE’s promise of urgent action on power supply fails to include timelines

By: Terence Creamer     10th December 2019 The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) announced on Tuesday that the much-anticipated request for information (RFI) for emergency supply- and demand-side solutions to close the gap left by Eskom’s underperforming coal-fired power stations, both old and new, would be published soon.... 

DMRE’s promise of urgent action on power supply fails to include timelines
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

Sluggish economic growth affecting companies' hiring plans – survey

By: Simone Liedtke     10th December 2019 South African employers have reported soft hiring intentions for the first quarter of 2020. The latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey shows that while 10% of employers forecast an increase in payrolls, 8% anticipate a decrease and 81% expect to make no changes. 

Industry bodies call for increased renewables to help bridge power supply constraints  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     10th December 2019 The South African Wind Energy Association has called for the immediate release of available wind power into the national grid, as the country continues to face daily load-shedding. After days of implementing Stage 1 to Stage 4 power cuts, State-owned Eskom on Monday evening implemented... 

Industry bodies call for increased renewables to help bridge power supply constraints

Water levels at world’s biggest dam sink to two-decade low

By: , Bloomberg     10th December 2019 The Kariba dam has plunged to its lowest level since 1996, raising further risks to the hydropower plants that Zimbabwe and Zambia depend on for nearly half of their power. Water levels at the world’s largest man-made freshwater reservoir that straddles the two countries, fell to 10% of usable... 

Association calls for more small-scale embedded generation as load-shedding persists  

By: Simone Liedtke     9th December 2019 The most recent bout of load-shedding in the country has provided further evidence of embattled power utility Eskom’s “increasing inability to supply the level of electricity required” by South Africa’s households and industries, the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) said... 

Association calls for more small-scale embedded generation as load-shedding persists

FNB/BER Civil Confidence Index finds ‘some life’ within construction sector

By: Marleny Arnoldi     9th December 2019 First National Bank (FNB) and the Bureau for Economic Research (BER) says construction activity has continued to improve in the fourth quarter of the year. The higher activity lifted the FNB/BER Civil Confidence Index to 22, from 15 in the third quarter. 

Finally, Australians' electricity bills look set to fall. Here's how much you could save

9th December 2019 Household electricity bills in Australia have increased sharply in the past decade. But new official figures show they are projected to fall markedly - in some cases by 20%. In-house modelling we conducted at the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) shows that a wave of new renewable energy... 

Finally, Australians' electricity bills look set to fall. Here's how much you could save

Victoria Falls shrink to a trickle, feeding climate change fears

By: Reuters     6th December 2019 For decades Victoria Falls, where southern Africa's Zambezi river cascade down 100 metres into a gash in the earth, have drawn millions of holidaymakers to Zimbabwe and Zambia for their stunning views. But the worst drought in a century has slowed the waterfalls to a trickle, fuelling fears that... 

Opinion: Why is SA in sweet spot for global corporate-led decarbonisation projects?

By: Tobias Bischof-Niemz     6th December 2019 Several large multinationals, such as Google and Amazon, are actively procuring renewable energy as part of efforts to transition their operations away from fossil fuels. Typically, these companies are seeking to take physical delivery of the clean energy produced by wind and solar plants to... 

Opinion: Why is SA in sweet spot for global corporate-led decarbonisation projects?
Photo by Dr Tobias Bischof-Niemz
GOOGLE PPA: A simplified representation of how the power purchase agreement could work

Tribunal approves Exxaro's buyout of Cennergi

By: Creamer Media Reporter      5th December 2019 The Competition Tribunal has unconditionally approved diversified miner Exxaro Resources' proposed buyout of the remaining 50% interest in the Cennergi joint venture (JV). Exxaro in September announced the proposed R1.55-billion transaction to buy out Khopoli Investments' share in the JV, which... 

CT and nine world cities participating in carbon-neutral competition

By: African News Agency      4th December 2019 The City of Cape Town on Wednesday said it will be participating to the carbon-neutral competition with Chicago, Dubai, Lima, Madrid, Milan, Montreal, Singapore, Reykjavik, and Rome. The competition requires projects to deliver the most ambitious climate solutions that will also benefit the local... 

 CT and nine world cities participating in carbon-neutral competition

CESA appoints new president

By: Marleny Arnoldi     3rd December 2019 Industry body Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA) on Tuesday inaugurated its new president Sugen Pillay for the next two years. He succeeds Neresh Pather.  

CESA appoints new president
CESA president Sugen Pillay

Gridworks completes Mettle Solar investment, appoints new chairperson

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     2nd December 2019 Gridworks, the company set up this year to develop and invest in Africa’s electricity networks, on Monday announced the financial close of its investment in Mettle Solar Investments. Mettle is a South African-based commercial and industrial (C&I) solar power company that provides energy solutions... 

Debt relief and more tariff hikes in focus as Eskom warns of yet another R20bn loss 

By: Terence Creamer     28th November 2019 Troubled State-owned power utility Eskom warned on Thursday that its record R20-billion loss of 2018/19 would be repeated in 2019/20 and said that planned cost-savings and already-secured fiscal transfers would have to be accompanied by debt relief and further tariff hikes if the debt-laden group... 

Debt relief and more tariff hikes in focus as Eskom warns of yet another R20bn loss
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Eskom chairperson Jabu Mabuza

Energy security to be key theme at Busa’s upcoming Indaba with government

By: Terence Creamer     26th November 2019 Business Unity South Africa’s (Busa’s) second Business Economic Indaba will focus on five key issues confronting South Africa, including energy security, when it convenes on January 14, in Johannesburg. The gathering, which will be held under the theme of ‘Activating Actual Outcomes’, takes place... 

Energy security to be key theme at Busa’s upcoming Indaba with government
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
President Cyril Ramaphosa speaking at the inaugural Business Economic Indaba in 2019

Zimbabwe miners appeal to Minister over power-supply failure

By: , Bloomberg     26th November 2019 Zimbabwe’s mining industry has appealed to the government for help, saying output is slumping as the state-owned power company fails to honour electricity-supply contracts. Zesa Holdings has broken its promise to “ring-fence” supplies to miners, Zimbabwe’s Chamber of Mines wrote in a letter last... 

Siemens, juwi join forces to focus on microgrids for mining industry

By: Simone Liedtke     25th November 2019 Technology and engineering multinational Siemens and renewable energy developer juwi have entered into a strategic technology partnership to focus on supplying microgrids to the mining industry. The companies plan to roll-out and continually develop the advanced microgrid control system that... 

Zim set to benefit from pumped hydroelectric energy storage power plant

By: Simone Liedtke     25th November 2019 With Zimbabwe currently experiencing up to 18 hours of load-shedding daily, business development service provider Ngonyezi Projects executive director Tomas Persson says the company’s pumped hydroelectric energy storage power plant at Osborne dam, in Zimbabwe, will contribute to the reduction of... 

Zambian farm looks to install a solar microgrid

By: Marleny Arnoldi     22nd November 2019 A Zambian farm input supplier, African Green Resources (AGR), plans to invest $150-million in an irrigation dam and 50 MW solar project at a farm in the Mkushi farming block, in Zambia. AGR chairperson Zuneid Yousuf says engineers from global solar power firm Vico Solar will visit the site in... 

Hoedspruit air force base solar water heating system proves efficient

By: Marleny Arnoldi     22nd November 2019 A solar water heating (SWH) installation at the South African National Defence Force’s air force base in Hoedspruit has proven to improve efficiency, as well as act as a catalyst for upskilling personnel from the Department of Defence (DoD). The training has produced 20 artisans, who have... 

Gordhan says he will ‘interfere’ if Eskom jobs are threatened 

By: Terence Creamer     20th November 2019 Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has refuted suggestions that government is interfering with the work of boards and executives at State-owned companies, such as Eskom, but has also indicated that he will not stand by should decisions be made that lead to significant job losses. In... 

Gordhan says he will ‘interfere’ if Eskom jobs are threatened
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan

Gold Fields marks milestones as its Agnew renewables plant starts operating  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     20th November 2019 The 23 MW renewable energy power station built at JSE-listed Gold Fields’ Agnew mine, in Australia, has started operating. Global distributed energy producer EDL installed the power station that integrates 4 MW photovoltaic solar power with 19 MW of gas and diesel generation to power the gold... 

Gold Fields marks milestones as its Agnew renewables plant starts operating
Gold Fields' hybrid renewable energy project at Agnew mine, in Australia

Meeco Group completes rope-structured solar PV plant in Kenya

By: Marleny Arnoldi     18th November 2019 Swiss clean energy provider Meeco Group has completed the installation of its first photovoltaic (PV) solar project using an innovative solar power mounting structure called the sun2rope. This environment-friendly system comprises PV modules that are mounted on tailor-made rope structures,... 

Fuel for rockets, Zeppelins points toward green heat solution 

By: , Bloomberg     18th November 2019 It’s the most nettlesome problem in the quest to ditch fossil fuels: how can you get thousand-degree heat used in factory furnaces without pumping billions of tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere? Heat-intensive processes like steelmaking and oil refineries are the starting point for... 

Fuel for rockets, Zeppelins points toward green heat solution
The Enel Fusina hydrogen plant near Venice, Italy.

SAWEA appoints three new board members

By: Marleny Arnoldi     13th November 2019 The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) on Wednesday announced the appointment of three new members – Mark Tanton, Dhesen Moodley and Toni Beukes – to its board of governance. The existing members are Tobias Niemz, Katherine Persson, CEO Ntombifuthi Ntuli and Mercia Grimbeek.  

Forum expected to drive investment to improve regional integration in Africa

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th November 2019 This year's Africa Investment Forum (AIF) is focused on regional integration and accelerating investment accordingly, says African Development Bank (AfDB) president Akinwumi Adesina. Speaking on the first day of the forum, which is being held in Sandton, he noted that a lack of infrastructure,... 

Angola may seek almost half the power from a $14bn Congo hydro plant

By: , Bloomberg     11th November 2019 Angola may buy as much as 5 000 MW from neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo’s proposed $14-billion hydropower plant. In its current design, the Inga III dam would be the biggest hydropower plant in Africa, generating 11 050 MW. The two partners developing the project – one Chinese, one... 

OptiPower making progress on EC wind farm project, welcomes benefits of M&R buyout 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     8th November 2019 Transmission and distribution services provider OptiPower Projects, which was recently acquired by Murray & Roberts (M&R), is progressing with its work on the Golden Valley Wind Farm, in the Eastern Cape. The 120 MW Golden Valley project is a BioTherm Energy development, comprising 48 2.5 MW... 

OptiPower making progress on EC wind farm project, welcomes benefits of M&R buyout
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