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Renewable Energy News

Eskom launches microgrid pilot plant in Free State

By: Marleny Arnoldi     5th November 2018 State-owned power utility Eskom has launched a pilot solar-powered microgrid at Wilhelmina farm, in Fickburg, in the Free State. The microgrid demo plant is capable of providing electricity to 14 households with 81 family members, making up the Wilhelmina community. 

New dawn, and possible expansion, for trailblazing wind farm

By: Terence Creamer     5th November 2018 Independent energy company ENERTRAG South Africa, which acquired the iconic 5.2 MW Darling wind farm in mid-October, has confirmed that it intends studying the feasibility of expanding the Western Cape facility. The wind farm was South Africa’s first-ever renewable-energy independent power... 

New dawn, and possible expansion, for trailblazing wind farm
The 5.2 MW Darling wind farm

Zambia power system glitch cuts electricity supply to some mines

By: Reuters     2nd November 2018 Power supply to some mines in Africa's second-biggest copper producer was cut due to a technical fault, Zambian state power firm Zesco said on Friday. "We had a system disturbance which led to loss of power on the Copperbelt, including the mines," the utility's spokesman Henry Kapata said. 

Egypt signs $2.3bn power plant deal with Saudi ACWA Power – Minister

By: Reuters     2nd November 2018 Egypt signed a deal with Saudi Arabian utility developer ACWA Power on Thursday to build a $2.3-billion power plant in the country's south, the Egyptian electricity minister said. The plant, which will have a capacity of 2 250 MW, will be built in Luxor province, the minister, Mohamed Shaker,... 

Small thermal plants hold promise for regions without grid electricity 

By: Nadine James     2nd November 2018 Small-scale power generation plants driven by hydrocarbon sources and biomass are still likely to play a valuable part in rolling out electricity in regions of Africa unserved by grid power and where renewable resources are insufficient to sustain a reliable energy supply, according to SRK... 

Digitisation set to shake up the energy sector

By: Kim Cloete     1st November 2018 Energy experts believe there are great opportunities to save money and boost efficiency with a move towards more digitisation in the energy sector. They are preparing for a shake-up, spurred on by a move away from conventional generation systems, a surge in renewable energy and the introduction... 

Offgrid firm BBOXX targets two new African markets with EDF – CEO

By: Reuters     30th October 2018 UK-based off-grid power company BBOXX is looking to enter two new African markets in partnership with France's EDF Group next year as it capitalises on growing interest in the sector from large energy companies, its chief executive said on Monday. The two companies announced last week that the... 

Calls to even out procurement for wind energy

By: Kim Cloete     29th October 2018 The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) has called for energy planners to even out the procurement of wind energy allocations between 2021 and 2030 to prevent a "stop-start" scenario.  The current draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) has a gap in the years, 2022, 2023 and 2024, when no... 

Business concerned about coal sector job losses

By: Kim Cloete     26th October 2018 The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and the Black Business Council (BBC) have called for amendments to the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2018, telling Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Energy, on Friday, that the draft plan, with its emphasis on renewable energy rather than coal,... 

NGOs criticise IRP public hearings process

By: Kim Cloete     26th October 2018 Energy Governance South Africa (EGSA) has expressed concern about the way the public hearings process into the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) has been conducted in Parliament, saying it had been a "one-way flow of information, without interrogation and interaction". The organization has penned a... 

CSIR points to 30 000 net jobs gain in electricity to 2030, despite fall in coal jobs 

By: Terence Creamer     26th October 2018 An analysis of the Department of Energy’s (DoE’s) recommended plan in the draft Integrated Resource Plan 2018 (IRP 2018) shows that there will be a 30 000 net increase in employment in the electricity industry to 2030, despite a 100 000 fall in coal jobs over the period. In its formal response to... 

CSIR points to 30 000 net jobs gain in electricity to 2030, despite fall in coal jobs

South Africa prepares for an electrified future

By: Paige Müller     26th October 2018 Amid the conclusion of this year’s Sasol Solar Challenge (SSC), founder and director Winstone Jordaan tells Engineering News that South Africa is poised to adopt electrified transport. “Without any doubt in my mind, we are heading for an electric future. This means we must find better, cleaner... 

South Africa prepares for an electrified future
INSPIRING STUDENTS The Sasol Solar Challenge aims to inspire students to take up science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects

Klawer awaits PPA signature, while Roggeveld surges ahead

By: Tracy Hancock     26th October 2018 Having received preferred bidder status three years ago, Cape Town-based wind farm developer G7 Renewable Energies’ Klawer wind farm project awaits a power purchase agreement (PPA) signature before undertaking the 18 months of construction needed to add 5 MW of electricity to the national grid. 

Klawer awaits PPA  signature, while  Roggeveld surges ahead
KILIAN HAGEMANN A key area of improvement would be greater visibility and certainty of future power procurement, but G7 Renewable Energies is confident that the new Integrated Resource Plan will address this

Wind farm to power local development

By: Tracy Hancock     26th October 2018 The R3.1-billion Perdekraal East Wind Farm, in the Western Cape’s Witzenberg local municipality, has started work on its electrical distribution network, edging closer to not only making an impact on the national grid but also on the economies of surrounding communities. 

Wind energy investors watching S Africa closely

By: Tracy Hancock     26th October 2018 For the last several years, from the wind industry’s perspective, the South African government has done everything it can to discourage investor confidence; however, that has changed with the new government, states Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). 

SAWEA CEO bullish about SA wind energy outlook

By: Tracy Hancock     26th October 2018 As forecast, 2018 is shaping up to be a landmark year for the South African energy sector, South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) CEO Brenda Martin tells Engineering News. Bolstering South Africa’s energy sector is much-improved policy certainty, transparent decision-making and public... 

SAWEA CEO bullish about SA wind energy outlook
MONEY IN THE WIND Wind power is a significant foreign direct investment contributor and a driver of local socioeconomic growth in South Africa

Industry growth demands maintenance skills

By: Tracy Hancock     26th October 2018 With the growth in wind energy utilities, the demand to install, repair and maintain such facilities in Africa, including South Africa, is on the rise, says Knowledge Pele (KP) Academy head Richard Setati. He tells Engineering News that many reports and commentators attest to the overall growth... 

South32 foresees short-term volatility, but long-term growth, sustainability 

By: Schalk Burger     25th October 2018 Diversified mining and metals company South32 on Thursday forecast short-term price volatility for the commodities it produces, but also highlighted its strong cash position and its work to further optimise its global portfolio of assets. In a speech delivered at the company’s 2018 annual general... 

Siemens launches distributed energy system as solution to Africa’s energy transition

By: Simone Liedtke     25th October 2018 German electronics manufacturer Siemens on Wednesday launched, at its headquarters in Midrand, its end-to-end distributed energy system (DES) as a solution to assist the African continent in its energy transition. The DES provides for the targeted use of renewable energy, combined heating and... 

Siemens launches distributed energy system as solution to Africa’s energy transition
Photo by Dylan Slater
Siemens HQ and its solar car park in Midrand, Johannesburg

Mali's first independent power project to start up next week

By: Reuters     25th October 2018 Mali's first independent power project – a €122-million ($139.06-million), 90 MW diesel plant – will go online next week in the country's gold-rich southwest, a board member of the operator said on Wednesday. The new plant could spur more of the foreign investment Mali has struggled to attract... 

Cosatu calls for overhaul of draft IRP

By: Kim Cloete     24th October 2018 The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has rejected the draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2018, calling for an overhaul. It also called for a firm commitment not to retrench workers as well as tougher, hard-hitting plans to halt looting and recover money stolen from Eskom. 

Don’t limit renewables in IRP, urges prominent activist

By: Kim Cloete     24th October 2018 Prominent activist Liz McDaid has called on the government not to limit the construction of renewable energy capacity under the draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2018. “A look at the IRP says renewables must be constrained. The rationale for restricting renewables is to pull nuclear or coal... 

NGOs call for more time to deliberate on the draft IRP

By: Kim Cloete     23rd October 2018 Earthlife Africa has called for more time to deliberate on the draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), saying the 60-day period for public comment is "highly ambitious" and many citizens have been left out of the process. Makoma Lekalakala of Earthlife Africa said South Africans had a right to... 

Energy storage seen as an enabler for grid modernisation in realising IRP 2030 vision 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd October 2018 The advent of technologies such as energy storage, small-scale embedded generation and smart grid solutions are set to fundamentally change South Africa’s electricity landscape, outgoing Eskom generation group executive Thava Govender said during an opening address at the SA Energy Storage... 

Energy storage seen as an enabler for grid modernisation in realising IRP 2030 vision
Photo by Dylan Slater
Eskom generation group executive Thava Govender

Pollutec 2018 shines the spotlight on Burkina Faso

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     23rd October 2018 Pollutec 2018, which will mark the fortieth anniversary of this international environmental trade show, is set to cover 14 key industry sectors, and focus keenly on Africa – notably Burkina Faso – as well as other key regions, such as South America and South-East Asia. Pollutec has featured an... 

Pollutec 2018 shines the spotlight on Burkina Faso

Eskom gearing up for big grid-scale battery storage roll-out  

By: Terence Creamer     22nd October 2018 State-owned electricity utility Eskom is preparing to roll-out battery energy storage systems (BESS) across multiple sites as part of a replacement plan for the 100 MW Kiwano concentrated solar power (CSP) project initially approved as part of the $3.75-billion World Bank loan extended to the... 

Eskom gearing up for big grid-scale battery storage roll-out
Photo by Creamer Media
Eskom has been testing battery storage solutions at its research facility in Rosherville for the past few years

Congo sets deadline for plan on 11 000 MW hydropower plant

By: Bloomberg     22nd October 2018 The Democratic Republic of Congo gave two groups of investors a four-week deadline to submit a joint proposal on the development of the multibillion-dollar Inga 3 hydropower plant. The government signed an accord with Chinese and Spanish consortia this week to advance the 11 000 MW facility, the... 

Breytenbach welcomes greater certainty for renewable energy projects 

By: Kim Cloete     19th October 2018 Participants in the renewable energy sector say they are encouraged by the dedicated infrastructure team that will be set up in the Presidency, as it will give investors more certainty and confidence to back projects. “We’ve seen what the last two years of delays in the signing of renewable... 

Breytenbach welcomes greater certainty for renewable energy projects
Photo by Dylan Slater
IPP Office CEO Karen Breytenbach

Germany's Voith to supply more turbines for Ethiopia's Renaissance Dam

By: Reuters     18th October 2018 German mechanical engineering conglomerate Voith has signed an agreement to supply turbines for a $4-billion dam Ethiopia is building along the River Nile, state-affiliated media said on Wednesday. The 6 000 MW Grand Renaissance Dam is the centrepiece of the Horn of Africa country's bid to become... 

Renewable energy industry comments on draft IRP

By: Kim Cloete     17th October 2018 The renewable energy sector in South Africa has welcomed the draft Integrated Resource Plant (IRP) 2018, but has also expressed concerns. “While the IRP forecasting is rational in its choices, it unfortunately requires us to accept some overly optimistic assumptions,” said the South African... 

CSIR seeks municipal partners for energy master plan pilot project 

By: Terence Creamer     16th October 2018 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) aims to partner with a metropolitan council and a district municipality to compile pilot municipal energy master plans for electricity (MEMPs), which will provide the two councils with insight into the best electricity supply blends for... 

CSIR seeks municipal partners for energy master plan pilot project
CSIR Energy Centre head Dr Clinton Carter-Brown

Roman’s Pizza head office kitted out with solar PV plant

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th October 2018 Fast food franchise Roman’s Pizza’s head office in Centurion, Gauteng, has installed a 137 kW grid-tied photovoltaic (PV) solar plant, which is one of several actions the company is implementing to help conserve the environment. Other green initiatives by Roman’s include eliminating plastic... 

Renewable energy sector could provide jobs boost to SA

By: African News Agency      15th October 2018 The renewable energy sector could provide an unexpected but much-needed jobs boost to South Africa’s employment levels, as the sector continues to mature, solar enery company SOLA Future Energy said on Monday. SOLA Future Energy is the company that replaced Robben Island’s diesel-powered... 

South Africa’s synfuels know-how could give it edge as world mulls power fuels 

By: Terence Creamer     15th October 2018 The newly formed Global Alliance Power Fuels believes that South Africa is well positioned to become a leading site for the large-scale production of liquid fuels from renewable energy and has confirmed with Engineering News Online that the country is on its radar for possible future... 

South Africa’s synfuels know-how could give it edge as world mulls power fuels
Photo by Creamer Media
Transmission lines with Sasol's Secunda complex in the background, where synthetic fuels and chemicals are produced from coal

KenGen says new geothermal plant nearly ready

By: Reuters     12th October 2018 KenGen's new 165.4 MW capacity plant powered by geothermal steam is three quarters complete and on schedule for commissioning next July, Kenya's main electricity producer said on Friday. Geothermal steam, hot underground steam found in the Rift Valley which is used to drive turbines for... 

Wind body to request smoothing of procurement profile in IRP submission

By: Terence Creamer     11th October 2018 The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) will appeal for a “smooth rolling procurement” of new wind-energy capacity in its response to the draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP 2018) so as to close a three-year procurement gap in the current document. The Draft IRP 2018 was released on... 

Wind body to request smoothing of procurement profile in IRP submission
The Nojoli wind farm

Cape vulture provides inspiration for homegrown vertical-axis wind turbine 

11th October 2018 A South African inventor has developed a new flexible wing, which he believes could have application in everything from wind energy and sailing to aviation and motoring. 

Cape vulture provides inspiration for homegrown vertical-axis wind turbine
Cape vulture provides inspiration for homegrown vertical-axis wind turbine

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