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Renewable Energy News

Ramaphosa proclaims 'new era' of self-generation 

16th January 2020 Creamer Media’s Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about Business Unity South Africa’s statements to President Cyril Ramaphosa that inadequate electricity supply is the biggest risk for businesses and the South African economy and the President’s commitment to... 

Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan agree to US-brokered deal over Nile dam

By: Bloomberg     16th January 2020 Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan said they reached an agreement on the operation of a giant dam on a Nile tributary, a sign of easing tensions in the region. The countries issued a joint statement along with the US and World Bank, which had participated as observers at meetings in Washington this week.... 

UK pledges new aid to help build green cities across Africa

By: African News Agency      15th January 2020 The United Kingdom has pledged new aid towards building green cities across Africa with quality infrastructure to help the continent reach its economic potential. The announcement from the UK Department for International Development (DFID) came as its secretary Alok Sharma visited Kenya ahead of... 

Zimbabwe power utility in talks with Afreximbank on debt plan

By: Bloomberg     13th January 2020 Zimbabwe’s State electricity utility is in talks with the African Export–Import Bank to help clear $70-million of arrears it owes power producers in neighbouring South Africa and Mozambique. Zesa Holdings needs to repay the debt to avoid having supplies shut off. Zimbabwe relies on imports... 

Zimbabwe power utility in talks with Afreximbank on debt plan

Sawep seeking wind turbine suppliers for Eastern Cape minigrid

By: Marleny Arnoldi     13th January 2020 The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy and the South Africa National Energy Development Institute, through the South African Wind Energy Programme (Sawep), have invited proposals for work on a minigrid in the Raymond Mhlaba local municipality, in the Eastern Cape. The Eastern Cape... 

Renewables’ share in global power should more than double by 2030

By: Simone Liedtke     13th January 2020 The share of renewables in global power should more than double by 2030 to advance the global energy transformation, achieve sustainable development goals and create a pathway to climate safety, the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) says. Renewable electricity should supply 57% of... 

Ethiopia seeks mediation over Nile dam deadlock with Egypt

By: Bloomberg     13th January 2020 Ethiopia’s Prime Minister asked South Africa’s President to intervene in the Nile dam deadlock between Egypt and his country. The three countries and neighboring Sudan are being hosted by the US Treasury for negotiations in Washington on Monday. 

Enel Green Power breaks wind, solar installation record

By: Marleny Arnoldi     10th January 2020 Renewable energy developer Enel Green Power (EGP) set a new record in 2019 by building about 3 029 MW of new renewables capacity globally. This new capacity was set to generate around 9.3 TWh/y, avoiding the emission of 5.85-million tons of carbon dioxide a year into the atmosphere, contributing... 

South Africa has huge 'green fuels' potential. But it needs to act now

10th January 2020 In this opinion piece, first published in The Conversation, professors David Walwyn and Rod Crompton make the case for South Africa to pay greater research and development attention to the production of green hydrogen using a combination of wind and solar power and electrolysers. In addition,... 

South Africa has huge 'green fuels' potential. But it needs to act now

Ethiopia warns of last chance to reach agreement on $5bn dam

By: African News Agency      10th January 2020 Ethiopia has warned of a “last chance” to reach an agreement on the filling and operation of the $5-billion dam being built by Addis Ababa (the country’s commercial and cultural hub) on the Nile.  According to Anadolu Agency (AA), Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan have been in talks on the Grand... 

Saudi Arabia launches third round of renewables procurement programme

By: Simone Liedtke     9th January 2020 The Renewable Energy Project Development Office (Repdo) of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Energy has issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) for round three of the Kingdom’s National Renewable Energy Program (NREP), which comprises four solar photovoltaic (PV) projects with a combined generation... 

Clarity on emergency procurement of 3 000 MW expected only by end Feb  

By: Terence Creamer     8th January 2020 Hundreds of potential respondents to a request for information (RFI) – issued in December by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) for supply and demand solutions to South Africa’s prevailing power deficit – descended on Centurion on Wednesday for a briefing ahead of the... 

Clarity on emergency procurement of 3 000 MW expected only by end Feb

BMW, ACSA launch EV charging stations at three airports 

8th January 2020 In an effort to push the boundaries of innovation through partnerships, and to improve the customer experience, Airports Company South Africa and BMW South Africa have launched BMW ChargeNow electric vehicle charging stations at OR Tambo International Airport, Cape Town International Airport and... 

BMW, ACSA launch EV charging stations at three airports
BMW, ACSA launch EV charging stations at three airports

Solar installations to continue growing at double-digit rates – IHS

By: Simone Liedtke     8th January 2020 Global solar installations will continue double-digit growth rates into the new decade, global information provider IHS Markit reports in its ‘2020 Global Photovoltaic (PV) Demand Forecast’. IHS estimates new yearly installations to increase by 14% year-on-year to 142 GW this year. 

Key Ramaphosa ally hinders efforts to tackle power supply crisis 

By: Bloomberg     8th January 2020 South Africa has been hit by rolling power cuts less than a month after President Cyril Ramaphosa gave renewed assurances that energy constraints were being addressed, making his pledges ring hollow and highlighting his administration’s inability to tackle the crisis. While Eskom Holdings, the... 

Key Ramaphosa ally hinders efforts to tackle power supply crisis

DMRE hosts briefing ahead of launch of emergency power programme 

By: Terence Creamer     7th January 2020 A briefing session will be held on Wednesday for potential respondents to the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy’s request for information for power generation solutions that can be “grid connected in the shortest time at the least possible cost”. The responses will be used to inform a... 

DMRE hosts briefing ahead of launch of emergency power programme

Eskom mulls new maintenance strategy that would leave 5 000 MW gap for two years  

By: Terence Creamer     6th January 2020 The Eskom board will, before the end of January, consider a new approach to the maintenance of its ailing coal fleet – one premised on creating more time and space for intensive maintenance and repair, whereby the utility makes a firm commitment to only a minimum level of supply that falls well... 

Eskom mulls new maintenance strategy that would leave 5 000 MW gap for two years
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer

Drought, mounting debt leave Zambia and Zimbabwe in the dark

By: Bloomberg     18th December 2019 Drought has plunged millions of Zambians and Zimbabweans into darkness as hydro-power dams drain, and their governments’ debt is making matters worse. Rolling electricity blackouts lasting 18 hours a day have choked the two economies. Ballooning debt has left them unable to afford to import... 

Drought, mounting debt leave Zambia and Zimbabwe in the dark

South Africa should use all available energy resources, Minister says at coal event  

By: Simone Liedtke     17th December 2019 Secure and reliable energy supply is a catalyst for economic growth and development, especially within the South African context, says Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe, who highlights that an energy mix that uses all available resources is required to bring certainty to the... 

South Africa should use all available energy resources, Minister says at coal event
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

Renergen’s Free State project shows ‘game changing’ potential for domestic power

By: Simone Liedtke     17th December 2019 Drilling at emerging natural gas and helium producer Renergen’s Virginia project, in the Free State, has progressed through the Karoo Supergroup and successfully intersected gas-charged sandstones and fractures, as was previously expected, the company reported on Monday. The gas was intersected... 

Renergen’s Free State project shows ‘game changing’ potential for domestic power
CEO Stefano Marani

DRC reverts to 4 800 MW plan for Inga

By: Bloomberg     16th December 2019 The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will proceed with a smaller version of the Inga III hydropower project and expand the facility over time, President Felix Tshisekedi said. The Inga III dam, which will begin as a 4 800 MWplant, will have its capacity increased to 7 500 MW and 11 000 MW... 

DMRE sets Jan 31 deadline for responses to RFI for 3 000 MW of near-term supply

By: Terence Creamer     13th December 2019 The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) on Friday released a request for information (RFI) in a bid to procure between 2000 MW and 3000 MW of power generation capacity "that can be grid connected in the shortest time at the least possible cost". Respondents to the RFI have been... 

DMRE sets Jan 31 deadline for responses to RFI for 3 000 MW of near-term supply
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

Sasol willing to consider using ‘green hydrogen’ to produce lower-carbon fuels 

By: Terence Creamer     13th December 2019 South African energy and chemicals group Sasol, which is under increasing pressure to lower its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, has indicated a willingness to participate in demonstration projects aimed at deploying its Fischer-Tropsch assets in combination with ‘green hydrogen’, produced from... 

Sasol willing to consider using ‘green hydrogen’ to produce lower-carbon fuels

Renewable-energy projects well under way

By: Darren Parker     13th December 2019 Construction on several Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) fourth bid window projects are well under way. The REIPPPP fourth window bids include 12 wind farms, 12 solar photovoltaic (PV) projects, a biomass project, a mini-hydro project and a concentrated... 

Renewable-energy projects well under way
BLADE RUNNING About half of the turbine components had been delivered to Kangnas and Perdekraal Wind Farms in October

Success of renewables programme continues

By: Darren Parker     13th December 2019 Over the past eight years, the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) has attracted about R209.4-billion in committed private-sector investment, with the successful fourth window bids being valued at about R56-billion. South African companies, such as... 

Success of renewables programme continues
WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY 27 preferred bidders signed agreements last year and their respective renewable energy projects are well underway

Additional renewable energy development zones proposed

13th December 2019 The second phase of the Strategic Environmental Assessment for wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) energy in South Africa proposes three additional renewable energy development zones for wind and solar PV energy projects. The renewable energy development zones support the responsible implementation... 

Additional renewable energy development zones proposed
RENEWABLE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT ZONES The Phase 2 proposed zones support the responsible implementation of the Integrated Resource Plan 2019

Environmental studies essential to REIPP success

By: Darren Parker     13th December 2019 In most renewable-energy independent power producer (REIPP) project cases, environmental sensitivities can be successfully avoided if developers embrace advice given by environmental consultants during the environmental impact assessment (EIA) stage. This enables developers to better ensure that... 

Environmental  studies essential  to REIPP success
NOT WINGING IT Embracing the advice given by professional environmental consultants early on can lead to the avoidance of many environmental issues

Government reaffirms support for rural, township economies

By: Mamaili Mamaila     13th December 2019 To improve access to information and bring economic infrastructure support closer to township and rural-based enterprises, government is expanding incubators and digital hubs to townships and rural areas, says President Cyril Ramaphosa. 

Government reaffirms support for rural, township economies
Photo by SA Investment Conference
VIBRANT THINKING South Africa's small, medium-sized and microenterprises are demonstrating out-of-the-box thinking in business skills

Small enterprises present strongest growth potential – Ramaphosa

By: Mamaili Mamaila     13th December 2019 With the local and global economy under pressure, it is small enterprises that present the greatest potential for growth, says President Cyril Ramaphosa. 

Small enterprises present strongest growth potential – Ramaphosa
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
PRETTY PLEASE? President Cyril Ramaphosa has appealed to the global investor community to support small enterprises following the commitments made at the annual South African Investment Conference

Gas project beneficial for local economy

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     13th December 2019 Emerging natural gas producer Renergen’s Virginia gas project is a good example of how effectively small amounts of gas – if they are indigenous – can be used in the local economy, says industry body South African Oil and Gas Alliance (Saoga) executive director Niall Kramer. Renergen is an... 

Gas project beneficial  for local economy
STUNT DEVELOPMENT that South Africa’s lack of policy certainty is hindering the development of it is on- and offshore oil and gas resources

Water project underway and making progress

13th December 2019 Last month, the official ground-breaking function for Phase II of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) took place and was attended by Kingdom of Lesotho Minister of Water Samonyane Ntsekele and South Africa Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu. “Implementing Phase... 

Water project underway and making progress
DAM BIG PROJECT The site of the 2.3-billion-cubic-metre Polihali dam

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.  

Private-sector investment  a key driver of growth
InvestSA CEO Yunus Hoosen discusses the importance of domestic investments. Camerawork: Creamer Media’s Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Creamer Media’s Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 31.10.2019

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
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