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Renewable Energy News

Solar PV drives strong rebound with help from onshore wind – IEA 

By: Simone Liedtke     20th September 2019 After stalling last year, global capacity additions of renewable energy are set to bounce back with double-digit growth in 2019, driven by solar photovoltaic’s (PV’s) strong performance, according to the Internal Energy Agency (IEA). The IEA expects renewable capacity additions to grow by almost... 

Korea electricity utility offers knowledge and equipment to SA

By: Schalk Burger     20th September 2019 National utility Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) stands ready to provide electricity and equipment services in South Africa as part of its goal of growing its export business, Kepco small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) and start-up VP Hwang Kwang-Soo says. The utility has experience... 

Decentralised generation has big implications for distribution network

By: Schalk Burger     20th September 2019 The electricity distribution network will become increasingly important – and has to become increasingly smart – to meet future electricity needs amid the growth of variable and decentralised generation, a range of experts say. The electricity distribution industry will have to change drastically... 

Decentralised generation has big implications for distribution network

Cabinet considers, but fails to approve, IRP update  

By: Terence Creamer     19th September 2019 While Cabinet considered the much-anticipated update to South Africa’s Integrated Resource Plan for electricity at its meeting on Wednesday, Minister in The Presidency Jackson Mthembu said discussions had not yet been concluded. Mthembu attributed the extension of Cabinet-level deliberations on... 

Cabinet considers, but fails to approve, IRP update
Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu

Govt to review coal, IPP contracts 

19th September 2019 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe’s announcement that government plans to review Eskom’s coal contracts, as well as the contracts entered into with independent power producers in the... 

Govt to review coal, IPP contracts
Govt to review coal, IPP contracts

One battery material sector is cheering for lower prices

By: Bloomberg     19th September 2019 Lower prices of vanadium, a metal mainly known for strengthening steel, are key in the drive to increase its use in the booming battery sector, according to the developer of an Australian mine. The metal’s retreat from a price spike in 2018 is being welcomed – rather than lamented – by producers... 

One battery material sector is cheering for lower prices

Ethiopia rejects Egypt's plan for operating giant dam on the Nile

By: Reuters     19th September 2019 Ethiopia on Wednesday rejected a proposal by Egypt to operate a $4-billion hydropower dam the Horn of Africa country is constructing on the Nile, further deepening a dispute between the two nations over the project. In a press conference in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, Sileshi Bekele, minister... 

Pan African studying solar power project  

By: Martin Creamer     18th September 2019 Gold mining company Pan African is completing a feasibility study into the construction of a 10 MVA solar power plant at its Elikhulu Tailings Retreatment Plant, in Evander, Mpumalanga. The R1.74-billion project uses a conventional carbon-in-leach circuit with a proprietary preoxidation process... 

Pan African studying solar power project
Pan African CEO Cobus Loots talks to Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer. Video and editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Uganda says its power generation capacity will jump 55% by year-end

By: Reuters     18th September 2019 Uganda's electricity generation capacity is set to jump by 55.5% in December when a Chinese-financed hydropower plant and other, smaller projects are commissioned, the east African country's energy minister said. In recent years, Uganda has been wooing private-sector energy investors and taking... 

Zambia may import 300 MW of power from South Africa, prices could double – minister

By: Reuters     17th September 2019 Zambia is in talks with South African power utility Eskom to import 300 MW of electricity, Energy Minister Mathew Nkhuwa said on Tuesday, adding that retail prices could double once imports begin. Zambia has a power deficit of more than 750 MW because of low water levels at hydropower dams,... 

Egypt and Ethiopia at odds as talks over Blue Nile dam resume

By: Reuters     17th September 2019 Egypt says Ethiopia has "summarily rejected" its plan for key aspects of operating a giant dam the East African nation is building on the Nile, while dismissing Ethiopia's own proposal as "unfair and inequitable". The comments in a note circulated to diplomats last week show the gap between the... 

Egypt and Ethiopia at odds as talks over Blue Nile dam resume
Photo by Reuters
The Nile river in Egypt

Exxaro to take full ownership of renewables company Cennergi 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      17th September 2019 Diversified resources company Exxaro Resources has concluded an agreement with Khopoli Investments, a subsidiary of Tata Power Company, to acquire Khopoli’s 50% shareholding in Cennergi for R1.55-billion. This will give Exxaro 100% ownership of Cennergi. 

Exxaro to take full ownership of renewables company Cennergi
Photo by Stefanie de Beer
Cennergi's Tsitsikamma Community Wind Farm

Reatile Group completes Phase 2 investment in juwi South Africa

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     16th September 2019 juwi Renewable Energies has concluded a second investment transaction with Reatile Renewables, with Reatile now owning a 43% equity stake in juwi’s solar photovoltaics (PV) Operations and Maintenance (O&M) business. The agreement follows the conclusion of a previous deal between juwi and Reatile... 

Reatile Group completes Phase 2 investment in juwi South Africa
Signing of the papers by Simphiwe Mehlomakulu and Greg Austin

$11bn green-energy initiative takes shape in South Africa 

By: Bloomberg     16th September 2019 A plan to establish the world’s largest green-energy financing initiative is being threshed out in South Africa, which needs to reduce its environmental footprint and find innovative ways to fund debt-stricken state power utility Eskom Holdings. The plan being formulated by Meridian Economics, a... 

Ghana power producers say plan to save costs carries hefty bill

By: Bloomberg     16th September 2019 Ghana’s plans to stop paying for power that it doesn’t consume may cost the country as much as $2-billion in upfront claims. Private operators will not accept Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta’s proposal to renegotiate agreements and will demand the full payment of their contracts’ termination... 

South Africa’s energy transition risks amplified by high exposure to slowing Indian coal market  

By: Terence Creamer     16th September 2019 South Africa’s thermal coal export industry is facing a “long-term, permanent decline” as new energy technologies replace coal-fired generation at a pace faster than was previously forecast and as financial institutions and diversified miners abandon the coal industry, a new report warns.... 

South Africa’s energy transition risks amplified by high exposure to slowing Indian coal market

Govt to seek to renegotiate coal, IPP contracts

By: Terence Creamer     13th September 2019 Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe has confirmed that government intends initiating discussions with both coal miners and independent power producers (IPPs) in an effort to lower the contracted prices currently being paid by struggling State-owned electricity group Eskom. He... 

Govt to seek to renegotiate coal, IPP contracts
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

Mantashe expects IRP to go before Cabinet next week

By: Terence Creamer     13th September 2019 Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe says he expects the long-awaited update to the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) to be considered for approval by Cabinet at its next meeting, scheduled for Wednesday September 18. The IRP has not been updated since the IRP2010 was officially... 

Mantashe expects IRP to go before Cabinet next week

Corporate power deals expected to add impetus to South Africa’s future wind-energy demand

By: Terence Creamer     12th September 2019 The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) is anticipating that bilateral power purchase agreements (PPAs) with corporates and municipalities could add further impetus to domestic demand for wind energy and that a shift to such deals is likely to gain momentum once Eskom’s transmission and... 

Corporate power deals expected to add impetus to South Africa’s future wind-energy demand

First turbine at Perdekraal East Wind Farm erected

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     11th September 2019 Perdekraal East Wind Farm this month celebrated the erection of its first wind turbine – a pivotal point in the construction of the project. The milestone was also achieved by a predominantly South African team. 

First turbine at Perdekraal East Wind Farm erected

SolarSaver’s rooftop solar installations said to save costs 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th September 2019 Solar photovoltaic solutions provider SolarSaver says manufacturing companies such as Sheffield Manufacturing, in Durban, are increasingly turning to solar energy to supplement energy needs, go green and bring down costs. “With electricity costs rising, solar energy is a low-risk investment... 

CHEM to set up South Africa’s first fuel cell factory in the Dube TradePort

By: Creamer Media Reporter      11th September 2019 Taiwanese electric solutions manufacturer CHEM Corporation will build the first fuel cell factory in South Africa. CHEM has established a subsidiary company called CHEM Energy South Africa, and secured a facility in the Dube TradePort special economic zone, near King Shaka International Airport,... 

CHEM to set up South Africa’s first fuel cell factory in the Dube TradePort
A CHEM G5 ME fuel cell

Parliament briefed on Eskom's continuing financial challenges 

By: Kim Cloete     10th September 2019 Eskom’s debt is reaching R450-billion, with no signs of letting up as borrowing increases, revenue remains flat and municipalities renege on their commitments even further, Parliament has heard. Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and Eskom chairperson and acting CEO Jabu Mabuza outlined... 

Parliament briefed on Eskom's continuing financial challenges
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Pravin Gordhan and Jabu Mabuza

Uganda seeks $3.5bn in private money for power transmission

By: Bloomberg     10th September 2019 Uganda is seeking $3.5-billion in private investment to expand its power-transmission network in attempt to curb spending without slowing its economic growth. Liberalizing transmission will provide additional resources needed to transmit power from new generation projects including the 600 MW... 

Proactively managing South Africa’s energy transition

10th September 2019 In this article, South African Independent Power Producer Association (SAIPPA) members Tommy Garner and Brenda Martin outline the organisation’s approach to the energy transition and explains the programme it is launching to manage the transition. 

Proactively managing South Africa’s energy transition
Tommy Garner and Brenda Martin

The massive cost of not adapting to climate change

By: Bloomberg     10th September 2019 Slowing the planetary march toward climate catastrophe – and the multitrillion-dollar investment required to avoid it – has become a central issue of global and national debate. But there’s the equally expensive matter of dealing with the here and now: From historic wildfires to unprecedented... 

Treasury's economic turnaround plan lacks 'inclusivity', says BBC  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     9th September 2019 In reviewing Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s 77-page economic growth policy paper, industry organisation, the Black Business Council says the policy is lacking in inclusivity, specific detail and ambition. Mboweni released the document, titled 'Economic Transformation, Inclusive Growth and... 

Treasury's economic turnaround plan lacks 'inclusivity', says BBC
BBC president Sandile Zungu discusses key concerns about Finance Minister Tito Mboweni's economic policy. Video done by Kutlwano Matlala; editing done by Nicholas Boyd.

S&P's advice to South Africa: Beware what you say about Eskom debt

By: Bloomberg     9th September 2019 Talks around restructuring Eskom Holdings’ bonds must be approached carefully to avoid spooking the market, according to S&P Global Ratings. Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Thursday the government will consult with the power utility’s debt holders on any reorganization and that... 

S&P's advice to South Africa: Beware what you say about Eskom debt

Korea electricity utility offers knowledge and equipment to South Africa

By: Schalk Burger     6th September 2019 National utility Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) stands ready to provide electricity and equipment services in South Africa as part of its goal of growing its export business, Kepco small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) and start-up VP Kwang-Soo Hwang said on Thursday. The utility has... 

Eskom confident of avoiding summer load-shedding but does not rule it out  

By: Natasha Odendaal     4th September 2019 State-owned power utility Eskom on Wednesday said it was unlikely that there would be any load-shedding over the next seven months as the utility’s generation performance was starting to improve. The embattled utility had managed to avoid load-shedding for 164 consecutive days, with an average... 

Eskom confident of avoiding summer load-shedding but does not rule it out
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer

Ntombifuthi Ntuli to steer R200bn wind energy sector as SAWEA's new CEO

By: Creamer Media Reporter      4th September 2019 The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) has appointed Ntombifuthi Ntuli CEO. She is tasked with steering the R200-billion wind energy industry, by "drawing on her deep knowledge and talents gained during her 14 years of experience in the energy and related sectors", the association said... 

Ntombifuthi Ntuli to steer R200bn wind energy sector as SAWEA's new CEO
SAWEA CEO Ntombifuthi Ntuli

Evolution II Fund reaches final close at $216m

By: Creamer Media Reporter      3rd September 2019 Investment management business Inspired Evolution has secured a further $87.75-million in commitments from CDC Group, Cyane Holdings, the European Investment Bank, KLP Norfund Investments, Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners and a US healthcare system, to reach total capital... 

Engie buys African offgrid solar firm Mobisol

By: Reuters     3rd September 2019 French utility Engie said in a statement it had bought African offgrid solar firm Mobisol, adding the acquisition would make it African market leader in that industry. Founded in 2011, Mobisol employs 500 staff and some 1 200 freelance installers and is present in Tanzania, Rwanda and Kenya,... 

How hydrogen could solve steel’s climate test and hobble coal  

By: Bloomberg     30th August 2019 Steel could shed its reputation as a climate threat by using hydrogen instead of fossil fuels for as much as half of global output by 2050, according to BloombergNEF. The steel industry could adopt hydrogen for between 10% and 50% of output by mid-century given the right carbon pricing,... 

EVs present economic and sustainability opportunities for SA

By: Schalk Burger     30th August 2019 Electric vehicles present economic and sustainability benefits for South Africa by offsetting fossil fuel imports and improving air quality, while providing potential storage and grid balancing benefits as the use of renewable energy grows, says electric vehicle and smart mobility company... 

Carbon tax awareness leads to gas conversions, growth for company

By: Cameron Mackay     30th August 2019 Increased demand for converting to the use of natural gas from heavy fuel oils for energy solutions has led to opportunities for compressed natural gas supplier Virtual Gas Network. The introduction of the Carbon Tax Act in June this year has led to an increase in awareness in the industrial and... 

Carbon tax awareness  leads to gas conversions, growth for company
ACCESS FOR GROWTH Importing and increased access to LNG would allow for downstream development and could help Virtual Gas Network become a national gas distributor

Virginia project to stimulate local gas economy

By: Cameron Mackay     30th August 2019 Alternative fuels investment firm Renergen’s Tetra4 Virginia natural gas project, in the Free State, will produce liquefied natural gas (LNG) in 2021, with a Phase 2 expansion being planned. Tetra4 is a natural gas and helium company, which Renergen acquired 90% of in December 2015. 

Virginia project to stimulate local gas economy
DOMINO EFFECT Once the plant is built and producing commercially, it will inspire confidence for other project developers to bring similar projects on line
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