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Renewable Energy News

Institutions call for more awareness on skills development in the solar sector 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     17th November 2020 The decommissioning of coal-fired power stations without repurposing of labour will considerably exacerbate the unemployment crisis in South Africa and, therefore, workforce relocation and the associated skills development it calls for, needs to be considered ahead of time. Energy & Water... 

Eskom moves to finalise just energy transition framework as shutdown of Grootvlei, Komati and Hendrina draws near 

By: Terence Creamer     17th November 2020 State-owned power utility Eskom expects to complete its socioeconomic impact studies by the end of March for the planned shutdown of the Grootvlei, Komati and Hendrina power stations, in Mpumalanga, which are the first of ten coal plants scheduled for decommissioning by 2040. The decommissioning... 

Eskom moves to finalise just energy transition framework as shutdown of Grootvlei, Komati and Hendrina draws near

Municipalities have integrated 282 MW of embedded power and see benefits in embracing transition 

By: Terence Creamer     16th November 2020 A total of 29 South African municipalities have already approved tariff frameworks for small-scale embedded generation (SSEG), with 282 MW of mostly rooftop solar capacity having be formally integrated into municipal networks, the South African Local Government Association (Salga) reports. The... 

Municipalities have integrated 282 MW of embedded power and see benefits in embracing transition

Kangnas Wind Farm starts commercial operations

By: Donna Slater     16th November 2020 The Kangnas Wind Farm on November 15 achieved its commercial operations date, making it the first Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) Bid Window 4 wind farm in the Northern Cape to come on stream. Construction started in June, 2018 but was halted by the... 

Kangnas Wind Farm starts commercial operations
The Northern Cape-based Kangnas Wind Farm

Sasol working to reset business for low-carbon world 

13th November 2020 Financially and environmentally beleaguered energy and chemicals group Sasol is working to reset its business for a low-carbon world. Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer unpacks the emerging strategy. 

Sasol working to reset business for low-carbon world
Sasol working to reset business for low-carbon world

Cape Town’s largest bus company now a net exporter of green energy 

By: Irma Venter     13th November 2020 Cape Town’s largest bus company, Golden Arrow Bus Services (GABS), has become a net exporter of electricity. This achievement is the culmination of a multiyear collaborative effort between Golden Arrow, New Southern Energy and the City of Cape Town. 

Vivo sees growth potential for hybrid fuel, solar energy solution in Africa's mining sector

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     13th November 2020 Vivo Energy, which sells and distributes Shell- and Engen-branded fuels and lubricants in Africa, believes it will be able to transform how energy is supplied to mines across the continent. It announced last month that it had reached an agreement to supply Canadian mining company Robex Resources'... 

Glencore tests market for self-generation solutions at chrome, vanadium operations  

By: Terence Creamer     12th November 2020 Mining group Glencore has issued a pre-qualifying tender for companies interested in supplying ‘alternative green’ electricity and storage solutions to its chrome and vanadium operations in South Africa. In the tender notice, Glencore Alloys states that the generation facilities should have a... 

Glencore tests market for self-generation solutions at chrome, vanadium operations

European firms say South Africa’s poor utilities deter investment

By: Bloomberg     12th November 2020 European businesses are delaying investment in South Africa because of poor power and water supply and the costs of complying with Black economic empowerment legislation, representatives of an industry body said. South Africa has suffered intermittent power outages since 2008 after the state... 

Bushveld nears construction of solar plant at Vametco mine  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th November 2020 Aim-listed Bushveld Minerals continues to progress with the hybrid minigrid project being developed at the Vametco vanadium mine, near Brits, on the Western Limb of the Bushveld Complex in South Africa. The project comprises 3.5 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) generation and 4 MWh of vanadium... 

Bushveld nears construction of solar plant at Vametco mine
Bushveld's Vametco mine will see built a 3.5 MW solar photovoltaic and storage plant

UP partners with Bambili, EWSeta, DSI to train graduates on fuel cell systems

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th November 2020 The University of Pretoria (UP) will, for the next month, provide training for technical and vocational education and training college graduates on hydrogen fuel cell systems. The training, which is provided in partnership with Bambili Energy, the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and... 

Sasol pins low-carbon ‘reset’ hopes on gas, renewables and green hydrogen  

By: Terence Creamer     11th November 2020 Energy and chemicals group Sasol, which is coming under increasing pressure to reduce its carbon emissions, reports that climate change is now “front and centre” in its unfolding ‘strategic reset’, which will involve a transition away from coal to gas, renewable energy and green hydrogen. In... 

Sasol pins low-carbon ‘reset’ hopes on gas, renewables and green hydrogen
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Sasol CEO Fleetwood Grobler

Covid-19 accelerates energy transitions - PwC 

By: Donna Slater     11th November 2020 Assurance, advisory and tax services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) reports – through its newly released Africa Oil & Gas Review, titled Energising a New Tomorrow – that the rampant spread of the Covid-19 pandemic globally has resulted in galvanising of commitments to a green energy... 

Covid-19 accelerates energy transitions - PwC
PwC energy strategy and infrastructure director James Mackay discusses how Covid-19 has sped up developments in the green energy sector.

Absa considers a combined solar, EV finance package, should domestic market grow  

By: Irma Venter     11th November 2020 Absa is mulling the roll-out of a finance mechanism for electric vehicles (EVs) that will incorporate a solar home installation to charge that vehicle, says Absa Vehicle and Asset Finance (AVAF) business analytics and strategy head Henry Botha. However, before that can happen, South Africa’s EV... 

Absa considers a combined solar, EV finance package, should domestic market grow
Henry Botha

Sun Exchange launches first of three crowd sales for 1.9 MW solar project in Zim

By: Marleny Arnoldi     10th November 2020 Peer-to-peer solar leasing platform Sun Exchange has launched a crowd sale for Phase 1 of a multiphase 1.9 MW solar and storage project for fresh produce exporter Nhimbe Fresh, in Zimbabwe. This will be the largest Sun Exchange solar installation to date and the first outside of South Africa.  

Sun Exchange launches first of three crowd sales for 1.9 MW solar project in Zim
Nhimbe Fresh, in Zimbabwe

Renewables display Covid immunity with record 2020 and strong outlook 

By: Terence Creamer     10th November 2020 New additions of renewable-energy capacity worldwide will increase to a record level of almost 200 GW this year, shrugging off the demand slump that accompanied the Covid-19 crisis and which negatively affected the demand for fossil fuels. In addition, a new International Energy Agency (IEA)... 

Renewables display Covid immunity with record 2020 and strong outlook

Just transition away from coal lies in diversified municipal economies, says TIPS

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th November 2020 During a Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS) Development Dialogue webinar hosted recently, experts agreed that the brunt of a transition away from coal would be borne by vulnerable stakeholders and that it had to be mitigated. The webinar explored ground-level impacts associated with a... 

Shift in strategy to maximise offering

By: Halima Frost     6th November 2020 Bearings manufacturer and distributor SKF held a virtual webinar last month to discuss the company’s three-pronged strategy shift to better meet client requirements.  “The strategy has encouraged every part of the company to rethink the way it works, especially SKF’s core research and development... 

Shift in strategy to maximise offering
LEARNING CURVE The ability to re-look at the company's research and development strategy has been important to SKF during the Covid-19 pandemic

Wind power continues to show record growth, despite Covid-19 crisis

By: Simone Liedtke     5th November 2020 Wind power will continue to show record growth over the next five years, despite the impacts of the Covid-19 crisis, and will “make a crucial contribution to economic recovery”, says the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). 

SAPVIA launches solar platform for solar PV professionals

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     5th November 2020 Industry organisation the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) has launched a new platform, the PV Professionals (PVP) platform, in a move it hopes will improve the representation of professionals in the solar PV industry, as well as unify its players. The organisation... 

French firms set to make R14bn in fresh investment pledges to South Africa  

By: Terence Creamer     4th November 2020 French Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness Minister Franck Riester, who is leading a business delegation to South Africa this week, reports that French firms will follow-up their R20-billion in investment commitments made to South Africa in 2019 with new promises worth a further... 

French firms set to make R14bn in fresh investment pledges to South Africa

Acwa Power’s Bokpoort CSP plant achieves 312 hours of continuous operation

By: Simone Liedtke     2nd November 2020 Saudi Arabian power generation company Acwa Power’s Bokpoort concentrated solar power (CSP) plant, in the Northern Cape, has become the first renewable facility on the continent to complete a full week of continuous around-the-clock operation. The operation set the new African continent benchmark... 

Acwa Power’s Bokpoort CSP plant achieves 312 hours of continuous operation

Sasol unveils first carbon-offset deal as it seeks yet more projects 

By: Terence Creamer     2nd November 2020 Energy and chemicals group Sasol reports that it has secured more than 100 000 carbon credits in a transaction concluded under the South African Carbon Offset Administration System (COAS), set up to facilitate the listing, transfer and retirement of such credits to offset carbon tax liabilities.... 

Sasol unveils first carbon-offset deal as it seeks yet more projects
The 7 MW Bethlehem Hydro IPP

IPP Office extends bid deadline for R40bn risk-mitigation programme 

By: Terence Creamer     2nd November 2020 South Africa’s Independent Power Producer (IPP) Office has confirmed an extension to the bid submission deadline, to December 22, for the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP), under which government aims to procure some 2 000 MW of dispatchable generation... 

IPP Office extends bid deadline for R40bn risk-mitigation programme

Globeleq appoints new COO

By: Marleny Arnoldi     30th October 2020 African independent power producer Globeleq has appointed Gionata Visconti COO, effective early in January next year. He will be responsible for all aspects of the company’s operations and provide support for in-country governance work and asset management.  

Nersa permitted to grant above 1 MW licences without Ministerial approval  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     30th October 2020 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has been granted permission to process licence applications for self-generation facilities of above 1 MW, even if they are not in compliance with the Integrated Resource Plan 2019 (IRP 2019). This approval, which was granted by Mineral... 

Norway's Nel, Statkraft agree to produce green hydrogen for steelworks

By: Reuters     30th October 2020 Norwegian hydrogen producer Nel and utility Statkraft have agreed to build a plant to deliver green hydrogen to a steelworks in northern Norway, replacing fossil fuel, the companies said on Friday. A letter of intent signed by the two firms covers the delivery of an alkaline electrolyser plant... 

Global renewables group expanding into South Africa

By: Schalk Burger     30th October 2020 International renewable energy development company GreenYellow is expanding its presence into South Africa, and provides not only proven renewable energy systems, but also technical advice and financing to catalyse the adoption of these energy sources by commercial and industrial companies, says... 

Global renewables group expanding into South Africa
MICHAEL ILLIAS GreenYellow will build and own the assets, or lease to purchase, allowing companies to deploy renewable energy without affecting their debt levels or balance sheets

Royal Bafokeng puts muscle behind Distributed Power Africa’s energy agenda

By: Marleny Arnoldi     28th October 2020 Renewable energy company Distributed Power Africa (DPA) has announced that Royal Bafokeng Holdings (RBH) will invest $20-million in a newly formed asset company to expand on DPA’s solar energy portfolio in four key markets. RBH is a long-term African community investment holding company with a... 

Boland Cellar commissions 473 kW crowdfunded solar installation

By: Donna Slater     28th October 2020 Paarl-based wine cellars Boland Cellar and peer-to-peer solar leasing platform Sun Exchange received crowd funding from 1 204 individuals from 85 countries to finance a 473 kW solar project to provide clean electricity for the wine cellar, while also reducing its electricity costs and emissions.... 

Vivo Energy, Robex to set up a solar plant at Mali mine

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     28th October 2020 Canadian mining company Robex Resources and Vivo Energy, which sells and distributes Shell- and Engen-branded fuels and lubricants in Africa, have reached an agreement for Vivo Energy to supply solar energy to the Nampala gold mine, in Mali, for a period of five to fifteen years. The project will... 

Municipal power procurement trickier than just getting the go-ahead from Minister

By: Marleny Arnoldi     27th October 2020 Although national government has opened the door for municipalities to procure electricity from independent power producers (IPPs), a lot of "regulatory ironing out" still needs to happen before power purchase agreements (PPAs) can be signed. In May last year, the Energy Minister gave... 

Industrial investment will flow if South Africa ‘consistently’ builds 1.6 GW of wind yearly 

By: Terence Creamer     27th October 2020 Leading wind-energy project developers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are convinced that South Africa’s plan to install 1.6 GW of new wind capacity yearly until 2030 is more than sufficient to attract large-scale industrial investment. These captains of industry warn, however, that... 

Industrial investment will flow if South Africa ‘consistently’ builds 1.6 GW of wind yearly

Lower renewables costs driving up demand – Windaba panel

By: Marleny Arnoldi     27th October 2020 Renewables remain the lowest-cost source of new power generation in most parts of the world, with prices continuing to decline and making it a promising sector for development in most countries. The price of onshore wind, for example, declined from $86/MWh in 2009 to $53/MWh in 2019, representing... 

Lower renewables costs driving up demand – Windaba panel

South Africa’s cities to switch to solar as power monopoly ends

By: Bloomberg     27th October 2020 South Africa’s biggest cities are preparing to source their own power after the energy ministry this month approved letting them wean themselves off the state utility that’s subjected cities to outages for the past 13 years. 

South Africa’s cities to switch to solar as power monopoly ends

IDC aims to ‘catalyse’ recovery plan, but won’t go it alone as impairments bite 

By: Terence Creamer     26th October 2020 The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) – which reported a R3.8-billion loss for the 2019/20 financial year, driven by a surge in impairments from R4.8-billion to R9.6-billion – has revised its investment strategy with the aim of “catalysing” government’s Reconstruction and Recovery Plan... 

IDC aims to ‘catalyse’ recovery plan, but won’t go it alone as impairments bite
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
IDC CEO TP Nchocho

Nxuba Wind Farm starts generation, delivery of energy 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     26th October 2020 With the commissioning of the final wind turbine at the 140 MW Nxuba Wind Farm in the Eastern Cape, Enel Green Power (EGP) has started with the generation and delivery of energy. The company says this is despite challenges attributed to Covid-19 containment measures and national lockdown. 

Nxuba Wind Farm starts generation, delivery of energy
Nxuba Wind Farm
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