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Renewable Energy News

SA students urged to enter global engineering competition

By: Irma Venter     28th November 2008 Engineering students from South African universities are invited to enter the largest worldwide engineering contest, the Mondialogo Engineering Award, also dubbed the ‘Engineer’s Oscar’.  

DME sifts through more than 100 renewable project proposals 

By: Terence Creamer     25th November 2008 The South African government has received more than 100 renewable-energy project proposals, involving as much as 5 000 MW of potential generation capacity, in response to its recent call for expressions of interest (EOI) that closed on October 12. The Department of Minerals and Energy (DME),... 

IDC sticks to R60bn approval target, but shifts attention from resources to energy

By: Terence Creamer     21st November 2008 South Africa’s State-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has decided not to pull back from its stated goal of approving at least R60-billion worth of new investments over the next five years to 2012/13, despite an increasingly violent global financial storm that will lead to recession... 

Microalgae could offer promising fuel alternative

By: Leandi Kolver     14th November 2008 Microalgae research can now be applied to technologies to alleviate pollution caused by CO2 emissions, breakdown of waste products and production of essential products such as proteins, vitamins and lipids for biodiesel fuels, say Dheepak Maharajh and Raj Lalloo in a research paper produced for... 

Holistic model needed to deal with Africa’s energy shortfalls

By: Guy Copans     14th November 2008 In light of the government’s long-term goal of establishing a sustainable renewable energy industry, the local manufacture of related renewable energy technologies needs to be encouraged to limit the cost of imported equipment, to benefit from economies of scale, and to create employment... 

The virtues of dye solar cells expounded

By: Guy Copans     14th November 2008 Using dye-adsorbed, large-band gap metal oxide materials, such as titanium dioxide (TiO 2) to absorb solar light is an attractive and cheaper alternative to silicon-based photovoltaic (PV) cells for the conversion of solar light into electrical energy. 

REEEP has €4,3m available for renewable energy projects, calls for proposals

12th November 2008 Vienna-based Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP) has made a call for project proposals supporting the development of markets for renewable energy and energy efficiency - with more than €4,3-million available for projects in least developed countries and emerging market... 

W Cape sets up CDM office in Cape Town 

By: Christy van der Merwe     7th November 2008 The Western Cape provincial government has established a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) office in Cape Town, and is set to work with one of the largest CDM projects in the public transport sector, worth some€60-million, in collaboration with the Italian government. The CDM office was working... 

DME, DBSA create fund to boost renewable energy investments 

By: Christy van der Merwe     7th November 2008 The Department of Minerals and Energy (DME), together with the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), has established a renewable energy market transformation programme (REMT) to assist investors in overcoming some of the obstacles and barriers preventing growth in the renewable energy... 

Study shows 15% renewable energy target financially viable 

By: Christy van der Merwe     6th November 2008 Reaching a 15% renewable energy target by 2020 would not cost the earth, and in fact, it would be only slightly more expensive (about 15% more) than the average energy costs baseline in 2020, said University of Cape Town researcher Dr Andrew Marquard. Proven, and rapidly developing technologies... 

India, Brazil, South Africa turn their attention to renewables

By: Keith Campbell     31st October 2008 The three countries of the Ibsa Dialogue Forum – India, Brazil, and South Africa – have decided to focus their attention of their cooperation in renewable energy on biofuels, wind power, and remote electrification mainly through the use of solar technologies. 

Safcol draws up short list for waste-to-electricity study

By: Chanel de Bruyn     28th October 2008 The South African Forestry Company (Safcol) has short-listed candidates for a study to investigate the most effective method of applying its forestry waste to produce electricity. The company in July announced that it had started studies to investigate the possibility of producing more than 20... 

World can halt fossil fuel use by 2090 - study

By: Reuters     27th October 2008 The world could eliminate fossil fuel use by 2090 by spending trillions of dollars on a renewable energy revolution, the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) and environmental group Greenpeace said on Monday. The 210-page study is one of few reports - even by lobby groups - to look in detail... 

Japanese clinch inaugural SA solar race title

By: Irma Venter     24th October 2008 A car powered by the sun is such a novel idea to South Africans that the Kokstad traffic police stopped the participants in the country's first solar car race, demanding to know where "they are taking these solar panels". 

Eskom still talking to suppliers for Cape wind farm 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     17th October 2008 State-owned Eskom was in negotiations with potential suppliers for its proposed wind farm, to be built near Koekenaap in the Vredendal area of the Western Cape, the utility's media desk said on Friday. "It is expected that these negotiations will end at the end of October. Thereafter,... 

Affordable solar geyser launched in South Africa 

By: Guy Copans     17th October 2008 South African solar heating specialist Home Comfort has launched a high pressure solar geyser which, it says, is the first affordable solar geyser for South Africa. 

New renewable energy scholarship launched in Cape Town

By: Jade Davenport     17th October 2008 A new scholarship support programme to further post graduate research in the field of renewable energy has been launched in Cape Town. 

Energy shift on the cards, but not soon 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     9th October 2008 The world would eventually see a significant shift towards an era where energy was used more efficiently and carbon emissions were reduced, Shell South Africa planning and strategy manager Leon Lizamore said at the Department of Minerals and Energy's Oil Summit on Thursday. He explained that... 

SA gets set to launch rating tool, but supply-side gaps persist

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     3rd October 2008 The creeping realisation among South Africans that energy saving is an economic imperative, together with government’s signal that it would like to see the country’s carbon dioxide emissions peak by 2030, is providing impetus to what is still a relatively underdeveloped theme domestically, that... 

Africa still lagging, but cogen coming to the fore

By: Leandi Kolver     3rd October 2008 Global cogeneration is bound to increase from the current 6,5% to 10% by 2010, owing to aggressive encouragement by Western governments, says Energy for Sustainable Development Kenya MD Stephen Mutimba. 

What are the ingredients of a cogeneration project?

By: Leandi Kolver     3rd October 2008 For a cogeneration project to qualify as a cogenerator, the electricity produced should be the coproduct, byproduct, waste product or residual product of some industrial process, says the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) senior manager for energy, infrastructure and operations... 

SA ponders business spin-offs from solar

By: Guy Copans     26th September 2008 South Africa is in the fortunate position of having one of the best climates in the world. Many South Africans, especially those living in the interior of the country, have become accustomed to monthly stretches of sun-drenched days. In fact, a study by Johannesburg’s City Power shows that, in... 

South Africa waking up to solar, as well as its business and employment spin-offs

By: Guy Copans     26th September 2008 South Africa is in the fortunate position of having one of the best climates in the world. Many South Africans, especially those living in the interior of the country, have become accustomed to monthly stretches of sun-drenched days.  

German engineering company envisions renewable energy options

By: Jonathan Faurie     19th September 2008 Diversified German engineering company, Voith, is spending a significant amount of capital on researching the development of renewable energy sources reports the South African division of the company.  

Accentuate's E Cape pilot wind farm to be operational by end Oct

By: Chanel de Bruyn     18th September 2008 AltX-listed flooring and chemicals company Accentuate, formerly Safic, was still going ahead with plans to build a wind turbine power station to power its subsidiary FloorworX's East London plant, in the Eastern Cape. Accentuate head of environmental affairs Clive Garner told Engineering News... 

Eskom to unveil first cogen projects this month, official says 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     16th September 2008 State power utility Eskom would unveil the first cogeneration projects, forming part of the Pilot National Cogeneration Project (PNCP), by the end of this month, but it was unclear whether these projects would meet the initial 900-MW target. Speaking at the Cogeneration World Africa 2008 on... 

Africa’s sugar industry said to hold massive energy potential

By: Chanel de Bruyn     16th September 2008 The contribution of cogeneration to the world's electricity mix was set to increase to 10% or 900 GW by 2010, up from 6,5% currently, but Africa was still lagging in exploiting the full energy potential associated with cogeneration, Energy for Sustainable Development MD Stephen Mutimba said on... 

Carbon trading could become one of world’s largest markets – Macquarie Capital Funds

By: Chanel de Bruyn     16th September 2008 The carbon economy was receiving a lot of political support worldwide, especially from the US, with carbon trading set to become one of the largest markets in the world in future, Macquarie Capital Funds director Andrew Johnstone commented during a cogeneration conference on Tuesday. He added... 

Rainbow Millennium plans to generate 270 MW from waste coal in KZN 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     16th September 2008 While using circulating fluidised bed (CFB) technology to generate energy from waste coal was a relatively new concept in South Africa, Rainbow Millennium Power Company director Hugo Stewart said on Tuesday that there was huge potential for this technology. The company was working in partnership... 

SA’s ‘Energy Champions’ set 150-MW, six-month savings target

By: Jade Davenport     5th September 2008 The much-anticipated programme of action that would govern the so-called ‘Energy Champions’ initiative, announced by South Africa President Thabo Mbeki in his State of the Nation address at the start of the year, was unveiled at a press briefing in Cape Town this week. Deputy President Phumzile... 

South Africa failing to harness its renewable-energy potential

By: Guy Copans     5th September 2008 South Africa could easily overcome the current electricity crisis, if it made better use of its natural resources, argues geologist Jonathan Handley.  

Companies could reduce energy costs by using waste heat

By: Guy Copans     29th August 2008 The waste heat recovered from a company’s stack, chimney or flue, could be put to work in lowering energy expenses, generating additional electricity, or providing preheat, heating and airconditioning, through recovered energy power generation (REG), says engineering company Lebone Engineering... 

Cape Town's largest-ever housing project seeks to cut reliance on Eskom power 

By: Jade Davenport     20th August 2008 The biggest housing project in Cape Town’s urban history, the N2 Gateway Pilot Project, has marked a significant milestone with the completion and hand over of 1 000 Breaking New Ground (BNG) homes. Addressing a media briefing on Tuesday, Department of Housing DG Itumeleng Kotsoane said that the... 

Denmark launches campaign to slash per capita CO2 emissions

By: Irma Venter     8th August 2008 In oil-producing Kuwait, the carbon-dioxide emissions for each citizen number 25 tons a year - the highest in the world. The US is second, at 20 t/y, says Danish Energy Authority climate division chief adviser Bodil Harder. 

Gas would add positive dimension to SA’s energy economy if only it were more readily available

By: Leandi Kolver     8th August 2008 South Africa is primarily a coal-based economy, with abundant cheap coal reserves and other energy sources struggle to compete,” September laments, adding that, within the current pricing regime, natural gas is relatively uncompetitive. 

Tongaat Hulett could spend up to R7bn on cogen projects

By: Matthew Hill     4th August 2008 Agroprocessing firm Tongaat Hulett could generate up to 266 MW of power in three years’ time if its builds cogeneration plants at four of its Southern African sugar mills, it said on Monday. All four projects were either in pre-engineering or environmental-impact assessment stages, CEO Peter... 

Regulator to hold hearings on cogeneration programmes

By: Chanel de Bruyn     1st August 2008 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) would hold public hearings on Eskom's Medium-Term Power Purchase Programme (MTPPP) as well as discuss the cogeneration regulatory guidelines, in Pretoria, on August 6. The power utility wanted to source up to 3 000 MW of generation capacity... 

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