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Renewable Energy News

Renewable energy organisations to host second series of business development webinars

By: Donna Slater     8th June 2021 Following a successful webinar series on business opportunities in the renewable energy sector in 2020, a second series started in May this year in collaboration between the South Africa Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) and the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA). The 2020... 

CapeNature takes Cederberg office off-grid

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th June 2021 Biodiversity conservation organisation CapeNature is installing a 75 kW solar photovoltaic system at its offices in Algeria, in the Cederberg region of South Africa’s Western Cape. The Cederberg wilderness is three hours outside of Cape Town and the organisation strives to continuously improve... 

Solar plant at CapeNature offices, in Cederberg
Solar plant at CapeNature offices, in Cederberg

EU’s Green Deal will have wide-ranging impact on SA exports, cautions Van Zyl  

By: Irma Venter     8th June 2021 Europe’s Green Deal is not just a vision or an idea, but a well-funded policy that is being implemented, and that is set to have a wide-ranging impact on South African exports, says Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) executive chairperson Dr Johan van Zyl. Van Zyl stepped down earlier this year as... 

Johan Van Zyl
Johan Van Zyl

Masterplan to position South Africa as ‘globally significant’ renewables manufacturer 

By: Terence Creamer     8th June 2021 Department of Mineral Resources and Energy director-general Advocate Thabo Mokoena reports that government intends using the South African Renewable Energy Masterplan (SAREM), which is currently being drafted, to position the country as a “globally significant” producer of inputs used in... 

Masterplan to position South Africa as ‘globally significant’ renewables manufacturer

South Africans to remain focused on delivering Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan

By: Simone Liedtke     7th June 2021 With economic growth fundamental to a brighter future for South Africa, Busines Leadership South Africa (BLSA) CEO Busi Mavuso suggests it is the “only way to turn the trajectory of government’s fiscal position as it will boost earnings” and, therefore, tax collection and start to get debt under... 

South Africans to remain focused on delivering Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan

Eswatini highlights considerable strides in renewable energy development

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     4th June 2021 eSwatini has added two more solar photovoltaic (PV) plants to its sustainable energy portfolio, as another of its projects – the Lavumisa 10 MW solar PV plant – nears completion. In a statement, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy acclaimed that eSwatini has made considerable strides in... 

Peter Bhembe
Peter Bhembe

Johannesburg seeks R3.8bn for solar, gas and batteries

By: Bloomberg     4th June 2021 South Africa’s biggest city plans to seek at least R3.8-billion in investment in solar and gas-fired power as well as battery storage to improve electricity supply. The City of Johannesburg will issue a request for information for the construction of a 150-megawatt solar plant, 50 megawatts of... 

Johannesburg seeks R3.8bn for solar, gas and batteries

Water, offtake markets core focus areas for green hydrogen project developers in South Africa

By: Schalk Burger     3rd June 2021 While renewable energy prices are tracking lower and electrolyser technology is evolving, the availability of water as an input for the production of green hydrogen, sustainably generated from renewable power sources, and the specific markets for green hydrogen products are important focus areas... 

Opinion: Current priorities for South Africa’s electricity policy

3rd June 2021 In this summary of a presentation made to a colloquium organised by Capacity Building Programme for Employment Promotion, Creamer Media CEO and Wits University economics lecturer Dr Kenneth Creamer outlines five priorities for South Africa’s electricity policy 

Priorities on road to electricity reform
Photo by Creamer Media
Priorities on road to electricity reform

STI Norland South Africa optimistic about solar market developments  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     3rd June 2021 Solar tracker manufacturer STI Norland South Africa is optimistic about the solar market in South Africa, particularly as Bid Window 5 of the renewables programme was launched earlier this year and a 10 MW licence-exemption threshold for small-scale embedded generation has been proposed by... 

STI Norland South Africa's single axis trackers operating at the Sishen solar plant
STI Norland South Africa CEO Duncan Palmer shares insight about the company and the solar market

The five steps Meridian says South Africa should take in the next 500 days to future-proof energy sector  

By: Terence Creamer     3rd June 2021 Specialist economics advisory group Meridian Economics has outlined five practical actions that could be taken in the next 500 days to address South Africa’s immediate electricity crisis and position the broader energy sector for future sustainability and climate resilience. In a briefing note... 

The five steps Meridian says South Africa should take in the next 500 days to future-proof energy sector

Germany’s KfW launches green hydrogen programme for South Africa  

By: Terence Creamer     2nd June 2021 On behalf of the German government, the German development bank KfW has initiated a programme of up to €200-million in size to support the establishment of green hydrogen projects in South Africa and it intends releasing a formal request for information (RFI) by the end of June. The funding,... 

Germany’s KfW launches green hydrogen programme for South Africa

Two solar power plants in Senegal start operations

By: Schalk Burger     2nd June 2021 Two solar photovoltaic (PV) plants, with a combined capacity of 60 MW and located in Kael and Kahone, in Western Senegal, launched operations in May. The plants were financed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the European Investment Bank and French development finance institution... 

Business appetite for alternative energy solutions increasing

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     2nd June 2021 Companies in South Africa should consider investing in alternative energy solutions to minimise business interruptions while managing the cost of electricity, especially given the country’s challenges with load-shedding, which negatively impacts on businesses, FNB Business Alternative Energy... 

South Africa adds $1bn solar-battery project portfolio to RMIPPPP preferred bidder list  

By: Terence Creamer     2nd June 2021 The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has announced the appointment of three additional preferred bidder projects under the 2 000-MW Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP), following the completion of “value for money negotiations” with... 

South Africa adds $1bn solar-battery project portfolio to RMIPPPP preferred bidder list

Renewables to take lion’s share of energy investment in 2021, but still falling short of net-zero goal

By: Terence Creamer     2nd June 2021 Renewables projects are expected to account for 70% of a record $820-billion in new power generation investment in 2021, as global electricity deployments exceed those of oil and gas for the sixth year in a row. Nevertheless, a new International Energy Agency (IEA) report warns that energy... 

Renewables to take lion’s share of energy investment in 2021, but still falling short of net-zero goal

Solar energy to supply 70% of Chryso factory's electricity requirement

By: Schalk Burger     1st June 2021 Cement additives manufacturing company Chryso Southern Africa has installed a solar electricity generating system at its Jet Park premises, in Gauteng. The system will generate almost 240 MWh/y, says Chryso Southern Africa CEO Norman Seymore. 

Solar energy to supply 70% of Chryso factory's electricity requirement

New global report highlights growing demand for wind workforce training in South Africa 

By: Terence Creamer     1st June 2021 South Africa is identified in a new international report as one of ten countries where training efforts will need to be intensified and accelerated over the coming five years to match the skills demand that will be created during the construction, installation, operation and maintenance of new... 

New global report highlights growing demand for wind workforce training in South Africa

South African adviser urges shift to renewables to spur growth

By: Bloomberg     1st June 2021 Replacing South Africa’s aging and inadequate electricity generation capacity with renewable energy plants is an opportunity to spur economic growth and cut emissions, the effective head of a presidential climate change commission said. While many countries face the problem of having to idle... 

South African adviser urges shift to renewables to spur growth

Competition Tribunal approves two separate renewable energy transactions

By: Donna Slater     28th May 2021 The Competition Tribunal has unconditionally approved two mergers, by the same acquiring firm in the renewable energy sector after determining that both transactions are unlikely to substantially prevent or lessen competition in any relevant market, or have a negative impact on the public... 

Davies calls for a New Deal-style recovery strategy that eschews austerity  

By: Terence Creamer     28th May 2021 Former Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies is urging the South African government, in which he served as a Cabinet Minister from 2009 to 2019, to implement a New Deal-style recovery programme to address the economic damage arising from both Covid-19 and more than a decade of economic drift.... 

Dr Rob Davies
Photo by Creamer Media
Dr Rob Davies

Irena to launch latest version of data platform

By: Marleny Arnoldi     28th May 2021 As resource assessment continues to be a challenge in renewable energy project development processes, the extensive research in resource data and improved modelling approaches have led to the development of better high-resolution resource data, the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena)... 

AfDB provides $140m loan for Tanzania hydropower project

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     27th May 2021 Finance institution the African Development Bank Group and the government of Tanzania have signed loan agreements totalling $140-million to finance the construction of the 50 MW Malagarasi hydropower plant in Western Tanzania. The agreements cover a $120-million sovereign loan from the bank and... 

South Africa’s about-turn on solar panels raises industry ire

By: Bloomberg     27th May 2021 South Africa’s plans to buy emergency power, already the subject of a court challenge, face fresh controversy after a local-content requirement for solar-panel frames was scrapped subsequent to the award of the tenders. The 65% local-content requirement on aluminium frames for photovoltaic panels... 

Four energy scenarios that may define Southern Africa’s energy transition

By: Donna Slater     27th May 2021 Four vastly different energy transition scenarios, from very ambitious to the least ambitious, were posited by management advisory Africa International Advisors integrated energy practice leader Henry Gilfillan this week. The four scenarios, presented during a webinar on hydrogen, gas and... 

Electricity liberalisation up to 50 MW will support economy, allow more renewables, storage, says Neasa

By: Schalk Burger     26th May 2021 Business organisation the National Employers' Association of South Africa (Neasa), in its comments on the proposed amendments to Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act (ERA), called for the liberalisation of electricity generation up to 50 MW. It also called for wheeling and for definitions... 

Following long period of disruption, potential renewables bidders show strong interest in South Africa again 

By: Terence Creamer     26th May 2021 South Africa’s renewable-energy procurement programme, which finally resumed again on April 12 following a seven-year disruption, continues to attract strong interest with some 800 people, including representatives from over 300 registered bidders, participating in a virtual bidders conference on... 

IPP Office head Bernard Magoro speaks during the bidders conference
IPP Office head Bernard Magoro speaks during the bidders conference

Lesotho may see water revenue and undersea cable share seized

By: Bloomberg     26th May 2021 Lesotho is facing the loss of revenue from water and power sales to South Africa and may see its share of an undersea communications cable seized after it breached the terms of a contract with Frazer Solar. Under a global enforcement order, following the award of €50-million in damages in an... 

Western Cape government urges Mantashe to lift embedded generation licence-exemption threshold to 50 MW

By: Donna Slater     26th May 2021 The Western Cape government, through its Finance and Economic Opportunities Minister David Maynier, has submitted comments to the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) to amend Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act to increase the licence-exemption cap for embedded generation... 

Diamond explorer Bill McKechnie feels South Africa has battery mineral exploration potential  

By: Martin Creamer     25th May 2021 The renowned exploration geologist linked to the colossal and still-thriving diamond discovery against all odds at the Venetia diamond mine in Limpopo, believes there is no reason why new battery and other specialist minerals cannot be discovered in South Africa, using the techniques that he... 

Bill McKechnie
Exploration geologist Bill McKechnie interviewed by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer

SAPVIA elects new board, celebrates ten-year anniversary

By: Donna Slater     25th May 2021 During its May 18 annual general meeting, the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) elected a new board, comprising three new members, as it also celebrated ten years in existence and proactive policy advocacy and lobbying efforts. The association states that it has been at... 

Eskom debt solution remains a ‘work in progress’ despite reduction to R401bn 

By: Terence Creamer     25th May 2021 Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan reported on Tuesday that, while Eskom was able to reduce its debt by R83-billion, from R484-billion to R401-billion, during the 2021 financial year, efforts to find a lasting solution to the State-owned utility’s unsustainable debt remained a “work in... 

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan
Photo by Creamer Media
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan

Solar power's decade of falling costs is thrown into reverse

By: Bloomberg     24th May 2021 A key selling point that made solar energy the fastest-growing power source in the world – rapidly decreasing costs – has hit a speed bump. Solar module prices have risen 18% since the start of the year after falling by 90% over the previous decade. The reversal, fueled by a quadrupling in the... 

Critical structural reforms taking too long – BLSA

By: Donna Slater     24th May 2021 The structural reform required to transform South Africa’s economy has “frustratingly” progressed very little, even with the establishment of Operation Vulindlela, Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) CEO Busi Mavuso asserts. She says organised business has consistently argued that South... 

BLSA CEO Busi Mavuso
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
BLSA CEO Busi Mavuso

IDC highlights role in Redstone CSP project

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     21st May 2021 The 100 MW Redstone concentrated solar power (CSP) project demonstrates that South Africa is using modern technologies, including renewables, as it transitions to adopting clean sources of energy, says Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) CEO TP Nchocho. After having recently reached... 

Sustainable construction ethos prioritised by manufacturer

By: Darren Parker     21st May 2021 Cement additive manufacturing company CHRYSO Southern Africa has installed a solar electricity generating system at its Jet Park manufacturing facility, in Gauteng; this forms part of the company’s efforts to lower its carbon footprint. The installation was completed in January and consists of... 

ENERGY EFFICIENCY
The solar installation provides about 70% of the facility’s energy requirement
ENERGY EFFICIENCY The solar installation provides about 70% of the facility’s energy requirement

Energy efficiency financing must be scaled up to unlock opportunities

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     20th May 2021 There is considerable opportunity and potential to be unlocked in energy efficiency projects in South Africa, but more needs to be done with regard to financial solutions to catalyse a take up of opportunities, speakers said during a webinar hosted by industry organisation the South African... 

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