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Renewable Energy News

Renewables procurement to resume  

5th March 2021 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about South Africa's plans to resume the procurement of renewable energy after a six-year stall, what commitments have been made by government and the potential for industrialisation around the programme?   

Deployments of 515 MW in 2020 cement South Africa’s wind leadership in Africa 

By: Terence Creamer     4th March 2021 South Africa added 515 MW of new wind capacity in 2020 cementing its wind leadership on the African continent, a new Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) analysis shows. By the end of last year, South Africa had 2 500 MW of cumulative wind capacity installed, representing about 34% of the 7 300 MW... 

Deployments of 515 MW in 2020 cement South Africa’s wind leadership in Africa

Kruisvallei hydro project comes on line

By: Marleny Arnoldi     4th March 2021 Power project developer Red Rocket has announced the start of commercial operations at the 4 MW Kruisvallei hydropower plant, along the Ash River between Clarens and Bethlehem, in the Free State. The completion of the plant comes almost two years since construction began on March 26, 2019.  

Green revolution gets more expensive as copper price surges

By: Bloomberg     4th March 2021 Look just beneath the surface of many of the technologies powering the energy transition and there’s a red metallic glint. Copper is a vital part of green infrastructure from grids to wind turbines, and a recent price surge threatens to make decarbonization more costly. Copper has doubled from... 

Green revolution gets more expensive as copper price surges

Southern Africa has ‘huge potential’ to benefit from the shift to green hydrogen

By: Simone Liedtke     4th March 2021 While there is growing momentum across the world in investing in hydrogen and the related import and export value chains, management consulting company Kearney MD Romain Debarre warns that there is still a lack of supply and demand for the hydrogen economy. While there is a market for hydrogen... 

Finance secured for Golomoti Solar construction

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     3rd March 2021 InfraCo Africa, part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group, and its project partner, independent power producer JCM Power, have announced their commitment to finance construction of the 20 MWAC Golomoti Solar project with a 5 MW/10 MWh lithium-ion battery energy storage system (BESS).... 

South Africa urged to play to strengths as its plots role in lithium-ion battery value chain 

By: Terence Creamer     3rd March 2021 A newly released study of the potential for developing a lithium-ion battery value chain in South Africa concludes that the country should prioritise minerals beneficiation and mining, as well as battery manufacturing as it seeks to carve out a niche for itself in what is a fast-growing, highly... 

South Africa urged to play to strengths as its plots role in lithium-ion battery value chain

Mantashe sees new industries emerging from South Africa’s renewables-led drive to boost electricity supply 

By: Terence Creamer     3rd March 2021 South Africa’s move to increase electricity generation capacity provided a “unique opportunity” for the development of new industries, Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe said this week. Addressing delegates virtually during Canada’s annual Prospectors and Developers Association... 

Mantashe sees new industries emerging from South Africa’s renewables-led drive to boost electricity supply
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

UN chief urges wealthy nations to phase out coal use by 2030

By: Reuters     3rd March 2021 UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday called on wealthy nations to end coal use by 2030 so the world can meet its goals to curb global warming, urging G7 nations to make that commitment before or at a leaders' summit in June. In a video message to a virtual gathering of the "Powering... 

UN chief urges wealthy nations to phase out coal use by 2030
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

Africa’s recovery must include sustainable energy

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     2nd March 2021 Africa’s recovery from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic will take a long time, as each country has experienced different levels of disruption, and therefore, require different pathways. This was indicated during a World Energy Council session as part of the virtual Africa Energy Indaba on... 

SAPVIA supports large and small IPP procurement for long-term capacity

By: Schalk Burger     1st March 2021 Industry body the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) COO Niveshen Govender says the organisation supports the implementation of technology-specific, nuanced procurement programmes based on long-term capacity requirements to facilitate cheaper power. Energy security is a... 

Africa urged to unlock private finance to raise yearly renewables investment to $105bn  

By: Terence Creamer     1st March 2021 The International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) is urging African policymakers to use their limited public resources strategically, and alongside policy and regulatory instruments, to unlock the $105-billion required yearly to install the 1 026 GW of renewable energy needed by 2050 to meet the... 

Africa urged to unlock private finance to raise yearly renewables investment to $105bn
Irena director-general Francesco La Camera

De Ruyter urges greater industrial policy integration with renewables roll-out 

By: Terence Creamer     1st March 2021 South Africa would be foregoing an “extraordinary opportunity” should it fail to develop local manufacturing capacity around its large-scale and multidecade deployment of renewable energy, Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter argued on Monday. Speaking during the opening session of the virtual Africa Energy... 

De Ruyter urges greater industrial policy integration with renewables roll-out

Planning commission wants new climate-change commission to drive ‘just transition’ social compact 

By: Terence Creamer     26th February 2021 The outgoing National Planning Commission (NPC) is preparing to hand over the extensive work it has done to build consensus on South Africa’s ‘just transition’ to a low-carbon and climate-resilient society to the newly formed Presidential Coordinating Commission on Climate Change (PCCCC). When... 

Planning commission wants new climate-change commission to drive ‘just transition’ social compact

Energy Regulator approves 40 MW solar licence for Gold Fields' South Deep 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      25th February 2021 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) announced on Thursday that the Energy Regulator, at its meeting held on February 25, approved the issuance of a generation licence for a 40 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) plant to be developed at the South Deep gold mine, in Gauteng. The licence... 

Energy Regulator approves 40 MW solar licence for Gold Fields' South Deep

Government commits to improving infrastructure spending 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     24th February 2021 The 2021 Budget, presented by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni on February 24, outlines that R93.1-billion has been earmarked for economic regulation and infrastructure, from consolidated government expenditure of R2.02-trillion each year over the medium term. To boost infrastructure spending,... 

Investec-backed energy fund plans R1.5bn South Africa IPO

By: Bloomberg     24th February 2021 Revego Africa Energy Fund, an investor in South African renewable projects, is looking to raise as much as R1.5-billion by April with the industry poised to grow.The fund is backed by Investec, the Eskom Pension & Provident Fund and UK Climate Investment and is seeking to list on Johannesburg’s... 

Just energy transition remains priority to ensure sustainable future

By: Donna Slater     23rd February 2021 South Africa’s energy sector needs to broadly embrace a just energy transition to ensure it improves energy security and stability, as well as meets its obligations towards mitigating climate change, says nonprofit economic research institution Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies senior... 

Eskom’s tariff restructure not all bad, says energy solutions provider  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd February 2021 Eskom’s recently tabled tariff restructure programme, which proposes changes such as charging consumers a fixed connection fee, may indeed improve the landscape for renewable energy in South Africa, says Energy Partners Intelligence business development head Tygue Theron. He tells Engineering... 

NGO International Rivers calls on SA not to support Grand Inga scheme

By: Schalk Burger     23rd February 2021 International rivers and river communities rights nongovernmental organisation International Rivers has called on South Africa to withdraw its agreement to offtake electricity from the Inga 3 hydropower project being built in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). South Africa continues to... 

SALT doubles grid-tied solar system, supported by year-long test

By: Schalk Burger     22nd February 2021 The Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), in the Northern Cape, has added a new 53 kW solar installation to its grid-tied 40 kVA solar rooftop system. This follows after a system installed on the workshops of the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) provided one year of operational... 

Botha nears end of solo transatlantic row

By: Simone Liedtke     22nd February 2021 South African adventurer and former naval officer Zirk Botha is days away from finishing his solo transatlantic ocean row, from Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro, during which he will have covered 7 200 km, or 4 000 nautical miles. Botha left Cape Town on December 19, 2020, and is set to arrive in Rio... 

Botha nears end of solo transatlantic row
Zirk Botha's route from Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro.

Sasol upscales renewables roll-out ambition to 900 MW, starts plotting big green-hydrogen role 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd February 2021 JSE-listed Sasol announced on Monday that it would pursue a 900 MW renewable-energy roll-out at its Secunda and Sasolburg complexes by 2030, raising its initial deployment target of 600 MW by 50%. President and CEO Fleetwood Grobler said that the upscaled plan would be pursued in partnership with... 

Sasol upscales renewables roll-out ambition to 900 MW, starts plotting big green-hydrogen role
The Secunda complex, in Mpumalanga

Ocean energy fund expected to boost sector

By: Donna Slater     19th February 2021 Ocean energy professional network Ocean Energy Europe (OEE) has appointed risk and insurance consultancy Renewable Risk Advisers to carry out the design of a brand new European and European Union-funded insurance fund for the ocean energy sector as part of the OceanSET project. The project is... 

Storage high on the agenda for emerging economies

19th February 2021 Energy storage coupled with renewable energy ensures less intermittent supply of power, thereby solving balancing and system reliability issues, the Africa Energy Indaba stated in a January press release. 

Storage high on the agenda for emerging economies
SHAKING UP THE INDUSTRY Energy storage technologies are viewed as a potential game-changer for widespread adoption of renewable energy generation throughout Africa

Rising demand underpins renewables’ importance

19th February 2021 As demand rises for more accessible renewable energy, the Africa Energy Indaba conference discussions are set to underscore various new avenues for innovative financing to steer Africa’s ever-changing energy landscape towards sustainability. 

Rising demand underpins renewables’ importance
RESILIENT INDUSTRY The renewables sector is proving its resilience in the midst of a crisis

Shoprite expands solar PV project; 19 sites outfitted

By: Donna Slater     18th February 2021 Fast-moving consumer goods company the Shoprite Group has expanded its solar photovoltaic (PV) programme, with 19 of its sites in South Africa and Namibia now boasting rooftop PV installations. There are now 18 Shoprite Group stores throughout South Africa and Namibia that use solar power,... 

Shoprite expands solar PV project; 19 sites outfitted
Shoprite's Basson distribution centre in Brackenfell

AfDB grants Morocco energy company $965 000 for renewables transition

By: Donna Slater     18th February 2021 The African Development Bank’s (AfDB’s) Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (Sefa) is providing a $965 000 grant to Morocco’s Société d’Ingénierie Energétique (SIE), to support its transition into the first “super energy service company (Esco)” initiative in Africa. Sefa is an AfDB-managed... 

Construction on Inga 3 hydropower project could start by year end, ambassador says

By: News24Wire      17th February 2021 Democratic Republic of Congo's ambassador to Ethiopia and the African Union, Jean Le'on Ngandu Ilunga has hinted that construction on the Inga 3 hydro-power project could start by the end of the year. "We believe in the coming month we will see concrete steps towards implementation. Towards the... 

Repowering and Repurposing  

17th February 2021 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about Eskom's plans for repowering and repurposing the Komati power station and others in its coal-fired fleet, as well as the power utility's focus on ensuring the transition to renewables is just. 

Repowering and Repurposing
Repowering and Repurposing

Eskom could launch bidding for repurposing and repowering of Komati within two months  

By: Terence Creamer     16th February 2021 State-owned power utility Eskom is preparing a pioneering request for proposals (RFP) for the repowering and repurposing of the Komati power station, in Mpumalanga, which is among the first four coal plants scheduled for decommissioning in the coming few years. Eskom just energy transition office... 

Eskom could launch bidding for repurposing and repowering of Komati within two months
The Komati power station

Lifting distributed-generation cap ‘one of the easier decisions’ facing government – De Ruyter   

By: Terence Creamer     15th February 2021 Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter has described the plan, announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his State of the Nation (SONA) address, to lift the licence-exemption threshold for distributed-generation plants as “one of the easier decisions” government could make in the near-term to alleviate stress... 

Lifting distributed-generation cap ‘one of the easier decisions’ facing government – De Ruyter
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter

Afsia publishes inaugural solar outlook report

By: Schalk Burger     15th February 2021 Industry body the Africa Solar Industry Association (Afsia) has published its first yearly 'Africa Solar Outlook' report, which provides clear and concise information about the solar dynamics in each country in Africa to help solar professionals make decisions, says Afsia CEO John van Zuylen. The... 

Ramaphosa’s SoNA holds bold promises, but lacks finer details, says BLSA

By: Donna Slater     15th February 2021 In his February 13 State of the Nation Address (SoNA), President Cyril Ramaphosa highlighted factors that will serve to lift the economy, tackle Covid-19 and boost ailing electricity infrastructure, says Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) CEO Busi Mavuso. Of particular interest, she says,... 

Defy launches solar hybrid product range in South Africa

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     11th February 2021 Domestic appliance manufacturer Defy on February 11 launched its latest innovation, the Solar Hybrid fridge and freezer products, during a virtual event. The product range includes a fridge and a chest freezer, both of which use solar and grid power. 

ESG is key to future resilience, says Mgojo 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th February 2021 In the recent past, environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria were predominantly focused on environmental impact and related governance issues, such as climate change. However, since the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the everyday lives of people across the world, more companies are... 

ESG is key to future resilience, says Mgojo
Exxaro Resources CEO Mxolisi Mgojo

Bank sees load-shedding, factionalism impeding strong fixed-investment recovery in 2021 

By: Terence Creamer     10th February 2021 A leading bank economist expects fixed investment in South Africa to remain muted in 2021, weighed down by ongoing power shortages, political uncertainty and the Covid-19 pandemic. Standard Bank chief economist Goolam Ballim forecasts that investment levels will pick up in 2022, however, spurred... 

Bank sees load-shedding, factionalism impeding strong fixed-investment recovery in 2021
Standard Bank chief economist Goolam Ballim
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