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Renewable Energy News

Cautious optimism in renewables industry as Bid Window 5 opens

By: Schalk Burger     30th March 2021 Renewable energy developers are cautiously optimistic about the announcements made by the South African government that Bid Window 5 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) is going ahead, but the documents specifying requirements are still not... 

New independent utility emerges to pursue private-to-private power niche  

By: Terence Creamer     30th March 2021 A new independent power utility has been established in South Africa to sell electricity directly to private and municipal customers rather than to Eskom. Branded Earth & Wire, the company aims to build a large-scale portfolio of renewable-energy assets and enter into power purchase agreements... 

New independent utility emerges to pursue private-to-private power niche
Photo by Earth & Wire
One of Earth & Wire's existing facilities

Vestas optimistic about South Africa, Africa's onshore wind potential

By: Schalk Burger     30th March 2021 Denmark-based wind energy equipment multinational Vestas is optimistic about renewable energy, and specifically onshore wind energy, opportunities in South Africa and more broadly in Africa. "We are also evaluating the potential of South Africa to act as a possible industrial hub towards the... 

South Africa continues to be G20 coal outlier, report shows  

By: Terence Creamer     29th March 2021 With 86% of the country’s electricity produced from coal, South Africa continued to have the highest reliance on the energy mineral among all G20 countries in 2020, with the global average standing at 34%. The ‘Global Electricity Review 2021’, published on March 29, indicates that the G20 country... 

South Africa continues to be G20 coal outlier, report shows

Mantashe to co-chair global panel this week on people-centred energy transitions  

By: Terence Creamer     29th March 2021 South Africa’s Mineral Resources and Energy Minister, Gwede Mantashe, will co-chair a high-level Ministerial panel this week on ‘Ensuring People-Centred Transitions’ as part of a global ‘Net Zero Summit’ being hosted jointly by International Energy Agency (IEA) executive director Fatih Birol and... 

Mantashe to co-chair global panel this week on people-centred energy transitions
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

BioTherm’s Excelsior wind farm works for bird conservation

By: Marleny Arnoldi     29th March 2021 Working in collaboration with conservation organisations, BioTherm Energy’s Excelsior wind energy facility, in the Western Cape, is pioneering the wind industry’s approach to conserving avifauna. The programmes that are being implemented go beyond looking at the potential impact of the wind... 

Fair Cape Dairies takes step towards going off-grid with new solar plant

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     26th March 2021 Fair Cape Dairies has installed a 560 kW solar power plant at its operations, allowing it to produce fresh milk off grid during daylight hours. This facility will generate about one-million kilowatt-hours of energy and will save about 400 000 kg of carbon dioxide a year. 

Electricity sector developments  

26th March 2021 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about the details of the nature and pricing for projects selected as preferred bidders for the emergency bid window; the National Energy Regulator of South Africa's view of the future; and global wind installations... 

Electricity sector developments
Electricity sector developments

Global wind installation step change required to meet net-zero goal 

By: Terence Creamer     25th March 2021 Despite Covid-afflicted 2020 emerging as the best-ever year for global wind-energy installations, a new industry report argues that the rate of yearly deployments will have to more than double before the end of the current decade if onshore and offshore wind generators are to make their rightful... 

Global wind installation step change required to meet net-zero goal

UK Climate Investment Finance delivers 254 MW of renewable projects in South Africa

By: Schalk Burger     25th March 2021 The UK international climate finance programme, UK Climate Investments, has helped finance three renewable energy projects with a combined capacity of 254 MW in South Africa in South Africa. The inauguration of the 4 MW run-of-river hydropower facility Kruisvallei Hydro, in the Free State, on... 

UK Climate Investment Finance delivers 254 MW of renewable projects in South Africa
Kruisvallei Hydro

Agriculture seen as key just transition enabler in Mpumalanga, but arable land needs urgent safeguarding 

By: Terence Creamer     25th March 2021 Transitioning Mpumalanga’s coal-heavy economy to higher levels of agricultural output could help create new businesses and jobs and improve the long-term economic resilience of the province as mines close and Eskom begins decommissioning power stations in line with the Integrated Resource Plan of... 

Agriculture seen as key just transition enabler in Mpumalanga, but arable land needs urgent safeguarding

Green hydrogen has role to play in wind, solar energy in Africa

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     24th March 2021 Africa has considerable potential to generate solar and wind energy at a low cost, as it hosts many areas of high solar irradiation and good wind speeds. There is also potential to transport that energy to other areas where there is high demand for green energy to produce hydrogen, Delft... 

Sudan's cabinet backs UAE mediation in border, dam disputes with Ethiopia

By: Reuters     24th March 2021 Sudan's cabinet has backed an initiative for the United Arab Emirates to mediate in a dispute over Sudan's border with Ethiopia, and over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), the Sudanese information minister said on Tuesday. Tensions surrounding the control of farmland in al-Fashqa, on... 

Against the odds, solar-plus-storage project emerges with lowest RMIPPPP bid 

By: Terence Creamer     23rd March 2021 The fact that a hybrid generation project – combining solar photovoltaic (PV), a battery energy storage system (BESS) and a small portion of gas – emerged with the lowest evaluation price in the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP) has been described as... 

Against the odds, solar-plus-storage project emerges with lowest RMIPPPP bid

Senqu river bridge construction tender launched in early March

By: Schalk Burger     23rd March 2021 The tender for the construction of the largest of three bridges that will span the Polihali reservoir and that will be built as part of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) Phase 2 – the Senqu River bridge – was released on March 4. The bridge will be the first extradosed bridge, which... 

Three European companies join renewable organisation RES4Africa

By: Schalk Burger     19th March 2021 Three Europe-based companies have joined renewable energy industry organisation Renewable Energy Solutions for Africa Foundation (RES4Africa). The companies are renewable energy company EDP Renewables; energy management and automation company Schneider Electric; and wind energy company Vestas 

SAPVIA welcomes solar in emergency power procurement programme

By: Schalk Burger     19th March 2021 Solar industry organisation the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) says it welcomes the inclusion of solar photovoltaic (PV) projects among preferred bidders for the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP) announced by Mineral Resources... 

Renewables announcement provides certainty, but urgency still needed, says Maynier

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     19th March 2021 Western Cape Finance and Economic Opportunities Minister David Maynier has welcomed the announcement by Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe, on March 18, of the preferred bidders for the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme and the release of the... 

Renewables announcement provides certainty, but urgency still needed, says Maynier
David Maynier

DMRE to host bidders conference in April as it restarts renewables procurement 

By: Terence Creamer     19th March 2021 The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) intends convening a virtual bidders conference in April to provide information on the qualifying criteria and bid submission expectations for the fifth bid window (BW5) of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme... 

DMRE to host bidders conference in April as it restarts renewables procurement

RMIPPPP preferred bidders announced; REIPPPP procurement resumes  

19th March 2021 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about announcements by Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe of the preferred bidders for the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, as well as that Bid Window 5 of the... 

RMIPPPP preferred bidders announced; REIPPPP procurement resumes
RMIPPPP preferred bidders announced; REIPPPP procurement resumes

128 MW Karoo hybrid project to blend wind, sun and batteries to provide dispatchable power

By: Terence Creamer     19th March 2021 The lead sponsor of a 128 MW hybrid facility named as a preferred bidder under South Africa’s Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP) reports that the project is pioneering globally in the way it will use co-located wind turbines, solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays,... 

128 MW Karoo hybrid project to blend wind, sun and batteries to provide dispatchable power

Fossil fuels found accountable for millions of deaths

By: Halima Frost     19th March 2021 Fossil fuels are, through a marked contribution to air pollution, accountable for 8.7-million deaths globally in 2018, which adds to the mounting evidence that air pollution from ongoing dependence on fossil fuels is detrimental to global health, says University College London (UCL) associate... 

Fossil fuels found accountable  for millions of deaths
POISON Fossil fuels are responsible for millions of deaths globally every year

Hydrogen supplier fuels public transport

By: Halima Frost     19th March 2021 Renewable-energy and hydrogen supply company Nel Hydrogen has installed a 2 MW proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyser system at transport operator SunLine Transit’s premises in California, in the US, to fuel their fleet of fuel cell buses.  

Hydrogen supplier fuels public transport
ENERGY MAKER The Nel Hydrogen proton exchange membrane electrolyser allows for on site hydrogen generation from water

Sustainability leader ramps up ESG strategy

By: Halima Frost     19th March 2021 Energy management and automation company Schneider Electric has begun to implement its new Schneider Sustainability Impact (SSI) programme for 2021 to 2025, in the hopes of significantly accelerating its progress to being a more sustainable company.   The programme is built on six long-term... 

Sustainability leader ramps up ESG strategy
ZANELLE DALGLISH Our vision of sustainability is holistic and ecosystemic, as it covers all environmental, social and governance topics

Biogas holds great power generation potential

By: Halima Frost     19th March 2021 South Africa has the potential to generate upwards of 10 000 MW of power if it were to harness and capitalise on all biogas opportunities, however, the greatest challenge is not a lack of capacity but more the lack of market opportunity, says Southern African Biogas Industry Association (Sabia)... 

Biogas holds great power generation potential
POWER-TENTIAL Biogas has the potential to contribute significantly to the power mix in South Africa and globally

Gas can decrease emissions in power generation

By: Halima Frost     19th March 2021 With power generation being accountable for 41% of current global carbon emissions, which amount to about 33.7 Gt/y of carbon dioxide (CO2), multinational conglomerate General Electric Company (GE) believes that gas can play a vital role in decreasing carbon emissions. “Gas burns at less than... 

Gas can decrease emissions in power generation
TURNING GAS TO POWER The HA turbine supplied by GE has made significant inroads into the energy sector since its introduction

Research shows promise in decarbonisation drive

By: Halima Frost     19th March 2021 The research of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) into accelerated decarbonisation scenarios for the South African power system confirms considerable opportunity to accelerate decarbonisation at low or zero net cost, says CSIR electrochemical energy technologies research... 

Research shows promise in decarbonisation drive
SAVING FOR THE FUTURE Battery storage can become a substantial contributor to maximizing the efficacy of renewable energy

Bidding for renewables finally opens as powership-heavy ‘emergency’ projects are unveiled  

By: Terence Creamer     18th March 2021 Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe released the names of the eight preferred bidders – including three powership projects – selected as part of government’s 2 000-MW ‘emergency’ procurement programme and also launched the much-anticipated fifth bid window (BW5) for the... 

Bidding for renewables finally opens as powership-heavy ‘emergency’ projects are unveiled
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

34 South African cities join global move towards setting renewables targets 

By: Terence Creamer     18th March 2021 A new international report shows that 34 South African cities, in which some 15.3-million people live and work, had adopted renewable-energy targets and/or policies by the end of 2020, with Cape Town, eThekwini, Johannesburg and Tshwane having also announced official net-zero targets. The... 

34 South African cities join global move towards setting renewables targets

AfDB funds $530m Angola electricity project to expand renewable energy, regional connectivity

By: Creamer Media Reporter      18th March 2021 Development finance institution the African Development Bank (AfDB) has committed $530-million to finance the construction of a 343 km, 400 kV central-south transmission line that will connect the north and south transmission grids in Angola and allow for the distribution of clean energy between... 

Green hydrogen could help South Africa increase its energy exports 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     17th March 2021 South Africa has traditionally been a net importer of energy, but a relatively new clean technology could be pivotal in helping South Africa become an exporter and dramatically cut the country’s carbon emissions, says Rand Merchant Bank (RMB). RMB CEO James Formby says that although green... 

Local lithium-ion batteries to help businesses manage load-shedding 

By: Schalk Burger     17th March 2021 Local residential and commercial lithium-ion battery company iG3N has designed a battery storage solution to enable businesses to store and use energy. The solution is designed with a lifespan of ten years, says iG3N co-founder Tumi Mphahlele. 

Western Cape names candidate municipalities to be primed for direct IPP procurement 

By: Terence Creamer     17th March 2021 Six Western Cape municipalities, as well as the City of Cape Town, have been named by Western Cape Finance and Economic Opportunities Minister David Maynier as candidates to participate in the first phase of the province’s Municipal Energy Resilience (MER) project. The MER initiative, which was... 

Western Cape names candidate municipalities to be primed for direct IPP procurement

Schneider Electric partners with Minesto to roll out marine energy solutions

By: Schalk Burger     17th March 2021 Energy management and automation multinational Schneider Electric has signed a memorandum of understanding with marine energy technology company Minesto to develop and build ocean energy farms based on Minesto’s Deep Green technology. The companies will jointly identify, assess and develop... 

Schneider Electric partners with Minesto to roll out marine energy solutions

Sudan formally requests four-party mediation over Ethiopian dam

By: Reuters     16th March 2021 Sudan's prime minister has written to the African Union, the United Nations, the European Union and the US to formally request their mediation on the Nile water being used to fill Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), the Sudanese foreign ministry said on Monday. Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok... 

What countries will fight over when green energy dominates

By: Bloomberg     16th March 2021 The Rand Corporation’s been designing war games with the Pentagon since the 1950s, modelling such hard-nosed security scenarios as a two-front US war with China and Russia. Now the think tank is turning its realpolitik tool kit to a question more often associated with environmental dreamers: How... 

SMEs in renewable sector receives leg-up from TDB

By: Marleny Arnoldi     16th March 2021 The Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (TDB) on March 15 launched an off-grid facility for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The $75-million facility is aimed at facilitating access to debt financing for SMEs, primarily targeting renewable energy businesses in the... 

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