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Renewable Energy News

2020s a ‘once-in-generation opportunity’ to scale job-rich, zero-carbon industries

By: Terence Creamer     10th December 2020 The 2020s represent a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” for countries, companies and investors to scale zero-carbon industries that will stimulate growth, support more resilient economies and create millions of jobs, a newly released global report argues. Titled ‘The Paris Effect: How the... 

Western Cape Cabinet approves Atlantis SEZ land transaction

By: Yvonne Silaule     9th December 2020 The Western Cape Cabinet has approved key amendments to the founding documents of the Atlantis Special Economic Zone Company (ASEZ Co), which enabled the purchase of land on which the ASEZ Co is located from the City of Cape Town in exchange for minority shareholding in the ASEZ Co. This is... 

juwi appoints new South Africa MD, Emea financial director

By: Simone Liedtke     9th December 2020 International project developer juwi has appointed Richard Doyle as its new MD for South Africa, while Carlos Duran has been appointed the new Europe, Middle East and Africa (Emea) FD. Both appointments are effective December 1. 

juwi appoints new South Africa MD, Emea financial director

AfDB, Irena to jointly advance Africa’s energy transition

By: Simone Liedtke     9th December 2020 The International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) will jointly support investment in low-carbon energy projects, a move which is expected to advance Africa’s energy transition. The two entities have signed a declaration of intent to coordinate on a range of... 

Social partners ink compact on reducing Eskom’s debt and facilitating ‘just transition’ to renewables  

By: Terence Creamer     8th December 2020 Organised business, labour, community and government have officially signed a social compact in support of debt-laden Eskom that also endorses the need for a “just transition” for coal workers and communities as the electricity system begins to transition to higher levels of renewable energy and... 

Social partners ink compact on reducing Eskom’s debt and facilitating ‘just transition’ to renewables

Public hearing participant questions Nersa mandate in evolving electricity market 

By: Donna Slater     4th December 2020 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa was outdated, and regulation changes were needed to bring it in line with current trends, the only respondent to public hearings into gold miner Gold Fields' application to build a 40 MW solar plant near its mine in Westonaria said on Thursday. Brian... 

Solar project roll-out under way as Ford eyes energy self-sufficiency by 2024

By: Irma Venter     4th December 2020 The Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) has kicked off a 13.5 MW, R135-million solar-energy project at its Silverton assembly plant, in Pretoria. The project forms part of a larger programme to develop an integrated renewable- energy solution for the facility, with the aim to be... 

Upscaling of wind technician training needed to support 14.4 GW roll-out 

By: Terence Creamer     3rd December 2020 The planned growth of South Africa’s wind-energy sector over the coming decade, and beyond, will require a material upscaling of the country’s training infrastructure to ensure that there are sufficient South African wind technicians trained to support the building and maintenance of an expanding... 

Upscaling of wind technician training needed to support 14.4 GW roll-out
Photo by Saretec
Trainee wind technicians being put through their paces as the South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre

Financing instruments need to be overhauled for a successful just transition

By: Marleny Arnoldi     3rd December 2020 Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS) points out that South Africa needs to overhaul its existing financing mechanisms and instruments if communities are to truly benefit from a just energy transition to a green economy. This emerged as a central theme during a TIPS-hosted development... 

Sasol keeps rights-issue powder dry having ‘banked’ $3bn in disposals

By: Terence Creamer     2nd December 2020 Debt-laden chemicals and energy group Sasol is keeping its rights-issue powder dry, indicating on Wednesday that a final decision on any possible issuance, including its scale, will depend on various factors, including whether or not it is successful in completing yet more asset disposals. CEO... 

Sasol keeps rights-issue powder dry having ‘banked’ $3bn in disposals
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Sasol CEO Fleetwood Grobler

Germany scraps renewable fee on hydrogen to encourage new technology

By: Reuters     2nd December 2020 Germany's government on Wednesday lifted a charge levied on power prices to support renewable energy for producers of so-called green hydrogen, part of a bid to encourage the nascent technology for low-carbon fuels. The Berlin cabinet decided to waive the renewable energy fee under the EEG... 

Proposed 2 400 MW Batoka Gorge hydro scheme to have major impact on adventure tourism  

By: Terence Creamer     2nd December 2020 The main environmental and social impacts of the propose 2 400 MW Batoka Gorge Hydroelectric Scheme (BGHES) on the Zambezi river, including serious negative impacts on adventure tourism and on the habitat of a rare bird species, were highlighted during a virtual stakeholder engagement on... 

Proposed 2 400 MW Batoka Gorge hydro scheme to have major impact on adventure tourism
Batoka Gorge site

Irena partners with Ocean Energy Europe to foster incentives, regulatory reforms for ocean energy

By: Marleny Arnoldi     1st December 2020 The International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Ocean Energy Europe (OEE) to accelerate the commercialisation of ocean energy technologies by promoting the right policy incentives and innovative business models in Europe and globally. OEE and... 

Opinion: How African countries can mobilise private capital for their infrastructure drives

27th November 2020 In this opinion piece, Standard Bank corporate and investment banking CE Kenny Fihla writes about governments turning to public-private partnerships to deliver large-scale projects. Given the pressure on investment yields in developed markets, African nations have an opportunity to attract... 

Opinion: How African countries can mobilise private capital for their infrastructure drives

SA's prospects for future coal projects 

27th November 2020 The role of new coal in South Africa’s electricity mix is coming under increasing scrutiny, with Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter the latest to question whether it can indeed be built. Engineering News editor Terence Creamer discusses the prospects for future coal projects. 

SA's prospects for future coal projects
SA's prospects for future coal projects

Local company overcoming power challenges with flow battery system 

By: Schalk Burger     27th November 2020 Local electronic printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturer Bosco is using a flow battery energy storage system alongside a rooftop solar energy and a battery management system (BMS) to keep a crucial production line and its engineering and sales departments free of disruptions caused by power... 

Waterloo solar PV farm starts commercial operations

By: Donna Slater     26th November 2020 The 75 MW Waterloo solar photovoltaic (PV) farm, located 10 km outside of Vryburg, in the North West province, has started commercial operations. The project achieved full quality and grid-code compliance by local engineering, procurement and construction contractor juwi Renewable Energies on... 

Waterloo solar PV farm starts commercial operations

Six steps proposed for unlocking larger-scale self-gen projects, amid ongoing government resistance  

By: Terence Creamer     26th November 2020 Six steps could be taken immediately by the South African government and the energy regulator to unlock more self-generation investment by residential, commercial, industrial, mining and agricultural consumers so as to minimise power shortages and reduce the threat of load-shedding, a newly... 

Six steps proposed for unlocking larger-scale self-gen projects, amid ongoing government resistance

Nersa to host public hearing on Gold Fields' South Deep solar plant application 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th November 2020 NYSE- and JSE-listed Gold Fields’ South Deep mining operation has lodged an application with the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) for an electricity generation licence for a proposed 40 MW solar photovoltaic plant at the mine, in Westonaria. Nersa has advised that a public... 

Nersa to host public hearing on Gold Fields' South Deep solar plant application
South Deep mine

Surging Covid-linked borrowing costs pose threat to Africa’s energy transition

By: Terence Creamer     24th November 2020 The surge in borrowing costs affecting most African countries in the wake of the economic and fiscal harm that has accompanied the Covid-19 pandemic poses a serious risk to the much-needed recovery in energy investment across the continent, which is set to collapse by 30% in 2020. International... 

Surging Covid-linked borrowing costs pose threat to Africa’s energy transition
IEA executive director Dr Fatih Birol

Western Cape launches Municipal Energy Resilience project

By: Donna Slater     24th November 2020 The Western Cape government has launched its three-year Municipal Energy Resilience (MER) project to assist municipalities to take advantage of the new energy regulations, which may include buying energy directly from independent power producers (IPPs). 

Nedbank provides financing options for solar power

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     24th November 2020 Banking institution Nedbank is exploring financing options for solar photovoltaic (PV) installation for homeowners and has implemented several options for businesses wanting to install solar PV plants. Nedbank Home Loans strategy head Bruno Cing’andu noted during a November 24 webinar, hosted by... 

A ‘just transition’ is complicated – panel

By: Marleny Arnoldi     24th November 2020 As South Africa emerges from the Covid-19-induced economic crisis, the most strategic objective would be to relieve the economy and its growth path from the stronghold of insufficient access to sustainable and competitive power generation, advisory Pan-African Investment and Research Services... 

De Ruyter calls for upscaling of power procurement plans as he questions whether coal IPP will proceed 

By: Terence Creamer     24th November 2020 Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter has again called on government to open the way for the procurement of more new electricity capacity in addition to the 11 800 MW outlined in a recently gazetted Ministerial determination, cautioning that the 1 500 MW of new coal included in the determination is unlikely... 

De Ruyter calls for upscaling of power procurement plans as he questions whether coal IPP will proceed
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter

Capetonian prepares for 7 000 km solo transatlantic row

By: Donna Slater     23rd November 2020 Capetonian Zirk Botha – a former naval combat officer and adventure racer – is preparing final arrangements to depart from Cape Town on a 7 000-km-long solo rowing trip on his boat Ratel across the Atlantic ocean, to Rio de Janeiro. Sponsored by the company he works for – juwi Renewable Energies... 

Capetonian prepares for 7 000 km solo transatlantic row
Zirk Botha practicing on his boat - Ratel

Enel, Novartis sign ten-year renewable energy deal

By: Donna Slater     20th November 2020 Enel Group renewable energy subsidiary Enel Green Power and medicines company Novartis have signed a ten-year, 100% renewable virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) for 78 MW of renewable power. This pan-European VPPA will start in January 2022 and will help Novartis achieve its goals for 100%... 

Emira continues investment in renewable energy

By: Donna Slater     20th November 2020 JSE-listed real estate investment trust (Reit) Emira Property Fund has been increasing its use of renewable energy since the 2015 installation of a 271 kW solar plant on the roof of its Epsom Downs Shopping Centre, in Bryanston. Since then the company has been continuing the rollout of solutions... 

Emira continues investment in renewable energy
Emira's Boskruin photovoltaic installation

Joint agenda for energy events

20th November 2020 Private sector participation in the energy sector, small-scale hydro and minigrid opportunities, desalination as an option to secure water security and helping sustainable small and medium-sized enterprises with a toolkit are just some of the highlights of the digital African Utility Week and... 

Joint agenda for energy events
POWER AGENDA Amid the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the energy sector in Africa, the organisers of the Digital Energy Festival seek to address critical issues

Africa’s ‘staggering’ hydropower potential discussed at event

20th November 2020 Hydropower plays a key role in all of the African Development Bank's (AfDB’s) High Five priority areas that are intended to support the continent's achievement of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. This is according to AfDB power systems development director Batchi Baldeh, who... 

Africa’s ‘staggering’ hydropower potential discussed at event
ENERGY EVENT The potential for hydropower in Africa is staggering

Wind turbine prototype gives impressive results

20th November 2020 Energy solutions company GE Renewable Energy – which will be exhibiting at African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa 2020 – announced last month that its Haliade-X prototype, the world’s most powerful wind turbine operating to date, has been optimised and is now operating at a 13 MW power output.... 

World Bank says ‘flagship’ Eskom battery scheme to open way for private investment in the technology 

By: Terence Creamer     19th November 2020 The World Bank reports that Eskom’s large-scale battery energy storage initiative, which will involve the installation of  battery energy storage systems (BESS) across up to eight sites, is being treated as a “flagship” initiative by the global development finance institution, which has committed... 

World Bank says ‘flagship’ Eskom battery scheme to open way for private investment in the technology
The Skaapvlei site, with the Sere wind farm in the background

Green economy faces challenge to replace carbon energy sources

By: Bloomberg     19th November 2020 The march toward a greener global economy is headed into a more difficult second phase that will aim to replace carbon as an energy source, said panelists during the Bloomberg New Economy Forum. Companies including Honeywell International and Schneider Electricare offering solutions to reduce... 

Climate Transparency questions South Africa’s commitment to phasing out coal

By: Marleny Arnoldi     18th November 2020 A report by Climate Transparency has cautioned the Group of Twenty (G20) countries against quick-fix Covid-19 stimulus packages that favour fossil fuel industries. The global partnership has a shared mission to stimulate a “race to the top” in climate action in the G20 countries through enhanced... 

Ramaphosa stresses South Africa’s gateway-to-Africa role as he seeks to reignite investment amid Covid  

By: Terence Creamer     18th November 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa used the platform of the third South Africa Investment Conference to underline the country’s potential to act a gateway to the African market, as he sought to reignite investor interest in an economy that has been underperforming for more than a decade and has been... 

Ramaphosa stresses South Africa’s gateway-to-Africa role as he seeks to reignite investment amid Covid
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Green hydrogen, exploration offer best opportunities for South Africa’s mining sector 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     18th November 2020 There are a myriad of opportunities that the mining industry can capitalise on, and the Covid-19 pandemic has provided a major catalyst for the collaboration required to unlock it, speakers said during a mining-focused session at the South African Investment Conference on November 17. Hydrogen... 

Solar power industry has opportunity to build recycling value chain from scratch  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     18th November 2020 Solar photovoltaic (PV) power users, both utility-scale and rooftop users alike, will have to start thinking about, and develop, ways in which the waste of solar power generation facilities will be managed at the end of their lives. In terms of the industry’s regulatory requirements, the solar... 

Solar power industry has opportunity to build recycling value chain from scratch
DEFF hazardous waste management and licensing chief director Mishelle Govender shares insight on solar PV recycling

More than 60 power firms signal intention to bid into ‘emergency’ scheme – IPP Office 

By: Terence Creamer     17th November 2020 South Africa’s Independent Power Producer (IPP) Office reported on Tuesday that more than 60 respondents had signalled their intention, by the October 31 deadline for doing so, to participate in the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP), through which... 

More than 60 power firms signal intention to bid into ‘emergency’ scheme – IPP Office
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
IPP Office CEO Tshifhiwa Bernard Magoro
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