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Renewable Energy News

Construction on Inga 3 hydropower project could start by year end, ambassador says

By: News24Wire      17th February 2021 Democratic Republic of Congo's ambassador to Ethiopia and the African Union, Jean Le'on Ngandu Ilunga has hinted that construction on the Inga 3 hydro-power project could start by the end of the year. "We believe in the coming month we will see concrete steps towards implementation. Towards the... 

Repowering and Repurposing  

17th February 2021 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about Eskom's plans for repowering and repurposing the Komati power station and others in its coal-fired fleet, as well as the power utility's focus on ensuring the transition to renewables is just. 

Repowering and Repurposing
Repowering and Repurposing

Eskom could launch bidding for repurposing and repowering of Komati within two months  

By: Terence Creamer     16th February 2021 State-owned power utility Eskom is preparing a pioneering request for proposals (RFP) for the repowering and repurposing of the Komati power station, in Mpumalanga, which is among the first four coal plants scheduled for decommissioning in the coming few years. Eskom just energy transition office... 

Eskom could launch bidding for repurposing and repowering of Komati within two months
The Komati power station

Lifting distributed-generation cap ‘one of the easier decisions’ facing government – De Ruyter   

By: Terence Creamer     15th February 2021 Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter has described the plan, announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his State of the Nation (SONA) address, to lift the licence-exemption threshold for distributed-generation plants as “one of the easier decisions” government could make in the near-term to alleviate stress... 

Lifting distributed-generation cap ‘one of the easier decisions’ facing government – De Ruyter
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter

Afsia publishes inaugural solar outlook report

By: Schalk Burger     15th February 2021 Industry body the Africa Solar Industry Association (Afsia) has published its first yearly 'Africa Solar Outlook' report, which provides clear and concise information about the solar dynamics in each country in Africa to help solar professionals make decisions, says Afsia CEO John van Zuylen. The... 

Ramaphosa’s SoNA holds bold promises, but lacks finer details, says BLSA

By: Donna Slater     15th February 2021 In his February 13 State of the Nation Address (SoNA), President Cyril Ramaphosa highlighted factors that will serve to lift the economy, tackle Covid-19 and boost ailing electricity infrastructure, says Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) CEO Busi Mavuso. Of particular interest, she says,... 

Defy launches solar hybrid product range in South Africa

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     11th February 2021 Domestic appliance manufacturer Defy on February 11 launched its latest innovation, the Solar Hybrid fridge and freezer products, during a virtual event. The product range includes a fridge and a chest freezer, both of which use solar and grid power. 

ESG is key to future resilience, says Mgojo 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th February 2021 In the recent past, environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria were predominantly focused on environmental impact and related governance issues, such as climate change. However, since the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the everyday lives of people across the world, more companies are... 

ESG is key to future resilience, says Mgojo
Exxaro Resources CEO Mxolisi Mgojo

Bank sees load-shedding, factionalism impeding strong fixed-investment recovery in 2021 

By: Terence Creamer     10th February 2021 A leading bank economist expects fixed investment in South Africa to remain muted in 2021, weighed down by ongoing power shortages, political uncertainty and the Covid-19 pandemic. Standard Bank chief economist Goolam Ballim forecasts that investment levels will pick up in 2022, however, spurred... 

Bank sees load-shedding, factionalism impeding strong fixed-investment recovery in 2021
Standard Bank chief economist Goolam Ballim

Solarise Africa adds Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia to renewable leasing solutions

By: Schalk Burger     10th February 2021 Renewable energy leasing solutions company Solarise Africa has announced its expansion into Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia after signing a partnership agreement with turnkey energy services company Centennial Generating. The partnership adds seven projects in Rwanda, spread across the education,... 

Green hydrogen and powerfuels could revive ailing PetroSA, unlock green steel and create €160bn export platform   

By: Terence Creamer     9th February 2021 The combination of South Africa’s world-class wind, solar and land resources, its platinum group metals reserves, as well as its historical experience in industrial-scale synthetic-fuel manufacture, position the country strongly for the production of green hydrogen and tradeable synthetic... 

Green hydrogen and powerfuels could revive ailing PetroSA, unlock green steel and create €160bn export platform
Higher Education, Science and Technology Minister Blade Nzimande on South Africa's comparative advantage when it came to the production of renewable hydrogen and green powerfuels.

Hyde Park Corner rolls out solar panel project

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     9th February 2021 Shopping centre Hyde Park Corner has installed a 384 kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system on its two office block roofs and carports on the North Eastern parking deck to lower its carbon footprint. The system, rolled out by specialist solar PV company Solareff, comprises 900 430 W half cut Mono... 

Hyde Park Corner rolls out solar panel project
Hyde Park Corner solar panel project

NamPower requests market information for 50 MW wind project

By: Marleny Arnoldi     9th February 2021 State-owned power utility Namibian Power Corporation (NamPower) has launched a request for information to developers or technology providers for the proposed development of the 50 MW Luderitz wind power project. This exercise is aimed at soliciting market information from interested parties,... 

Outa, HSF speak out against proposed procurement of new nuclear power capacity

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th February 2021 The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) and the Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) have opposed Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe’s proposal to procure new nuclear power capacity. This follows after the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) issued a consultation paper... 

Nersa subcommittee recommends approval of 40 MW Gold Fields solar licence 

By: Terence Creamer     8th February 2021 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s (Nersa’s) electricity subcommittee has recommended that the Energy Regulator approves Gold Fields’ high-profile licence application for a 40 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) project to be developed at its South Deep mine, in Gauteng. Nersa has confirmed... 

Nersa subcommittee recommends approval of 40 MW Gold Fields solar licence
South Deep

Filling Ethiopia's Renaissance Dam in July threatens Sudan's security - Minister

By: Reuters     8th February 2021 Any unilateral step by Ethiopia to fill its hydropower project, called the Renaissance Dam, in July would directly threaten Sudan's national security, Sudanese Irrigation and Water Resources Minister Yasser Abbas said on Saturday. Sudan is also proposing a mediation role for the United States,... 

Eskom supports lifting licensing exemption threshold for electricity generation to 50MW  

5th February 2021 Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter has expressed support for a lifting of the licensing threshold on distributed generators from 1 MW to 50 MW. Engineering News editor Terence Creamer unpacks the significance of this statement.   

Eskom supports lifting licensing exemption threshold for electricity generation to 50MW
Eskom supports lifting licensing exemption threshold for electricity generation to 50MW

US-based scientists develop global extreme wind speed atlas to help wind energy sector

By: Rebecca Campbell     5th February 2021 Scientists at Cornell University’s Cornell Atkinson Centre for Sustainability, in Ithaca in New York state in the US, have developed a new, digital, global wind atlas. Entitled “A Global Assessment of Extreme Wind Speeds for Wind Energy Applications”, it was unveiled in a paper published in the... 

RWE leads Global Blockage Effect research initiative

By: Marleny Arnoldi     4th February 2021 Renewable energy company RWE Renewables has announced a new project to reduce the commercial uncertainty around the modelling of the Global Blockage Effect (GBE). The GBE in offshore wind is the latest joint industry initiative under the Offshore Wind Accelerator (Owa) programme and is designed... 

Top 10 GreenPitch Challenge 2021 entrepreneurs to showcase green innovations

By: Schalk Burger     3rd February 2021 The organisers of the Invest Cape Town and the Business Hub GreenPitch Challenge 2021 have identified ten innovators and entrepreneurs with economically viable green economy innovation business ideas to pitch those ideas to a panel of expert judges at a virtual event on February 10. "The... 

Exxaro no longer investing in thermal coal as it strives for 2050 carbon neutral goal

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd February 2021 Diversified miner Exxaro Resources will no longer invest in thermal coal assets, as this forms part of the company’s transition to becoming carbon neutral by 2050 in terms of Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions, CEO Mxolisi Mgojo said on February 2. Speaking during an environmental, social and... 

Exxaro no longer investing in thermal coal as it strives for 2050 carbon neutral goal
Exxaro CEO Mxolisi Mgojo

Busa supports De Ruyter's call for lifting licensing exemption threshold for distributed generators

By: Schalk Burger     3rd February 2021 Business organisation Business Unity South Africa (Busa) applauds the statement made by Eskom CEO André de Ruyter during a webinar on February 2, in favour of lifting the licencing exemption threshold for electricity generation. "Busa Energy structures have considered the analysis conducted by... 

De Ruyter backs call for lifting of licensing cap on distributed generators to 50 MW  

By: Terence Creamer     2nd February 2021 Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter says the State-owned utility is fully supportive of moves by large customers to develop distributed generation plants to power their operations, as well as growing calls to lift the licensing threshold from 1 MW to 50 MW so as to accelerate these investments. South... 

De Ruyter backs call for lifting of licensing cap on distributed generators to 50 MW
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter

Sacreee, Irena partner once again on decentralised renewables in Southern Africa

By: Marleny Arnoldi     2nd February 2021 The Southern African Development Community’s (SADC’s) Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (Sacreee) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) to accelerate decentralised renewable energy deployment in Southern Africa. The two... 

Embedded generation dynamics shifting from ‘buyer’s to seller’s market’  

By: Terence Creamer     2nd February 2021 Market dynamics for embedded generation projects in South Africa have shifted materially over the past 12 months as an increasing number of mines and power-heavy industrial firms moved to install renewable-energy facilities at a time when government is also starting to resume utility scale... 

Embedded generation dynamics shifting from ‘buyer’s to seller’s market’

ZRA clarifies stakeholder engagement process, confirms Batoka construction has not started

By: Marleny Arnoldi     2nd February 2021 Binational organisation the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) has reiterated and clarified its Covid-19-impacted stakeholder engagement process amid preparations to start building the multibillion-dollar 2 400 MW Batoka Gorge hydropower project on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. The... 

Scatec acquires SN Power

By: Schalk Burger     1st February 2021 Renewable power producer Scatec on February 1 confirmed that it had received all necessary approvals for its $1.16-billion buyout of SN Power from Norfund and that all suspensive conditions have been met. “This acquisition forms a very important part of our broadened growth strategy, with... 

Business relationship mutually beneficial

By: Theresa Bhowan     29th January 2021 The international partnership between sawmill technology supplier Newsaw and Italy-based biomass boilers and heating solutions provider Uniconfort has resulted in power solutions, power independence and cost-effective maintenance for boiler plants in Africa. “Since 2004, Newsaw has been watching... 

Business relationship  mutually beneficial
TEAM WORK Uniconfort has a turnkey solution that combines steam with biomass boilers and turbines

Plant energy produced from tomato waste

29th January 2021 Italian boiler producer and installation company Uniconfort designed, manufactured and installed two boilers at a food processing company in the Ivory Coast in Africa. Through its advanced technology, the food processing company is able to save about €1-millon each year as the two boilers are... 

Plant energy produced from tomato waste
MONEY SAVING The plant produces all the steam that is necessary for pasteurising the tomatoes at no cost

As miners gear up for virtual shindig, commodities offer hope amid pandemic gloom

By: Nadine James     29th January 2021 Despite the ongoing uncertainty caused by the global Covid-19 pandemic, the mining industry continues to play a crucial role in the global economy, proving how resilient and adaptable it is, says international exhibition organiser Hyve Group. The mining sector has fared reasonably well during the... 

As miners gear up for virtual shindig, commodities offer hope amid pandemic gloom

Stellenbosch municipality to consider alternate energy sources

By: Schalk Burger     28th January 2021 Western Cape Finance and Economic Opportunities Minister David Maynier and Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning Minister Anton Bredell have welcomed a decision by the Stellenbosch municipal council to consider generating and using alternate electricity energy supplies... 

CSIR, Nedbank join RES4Africa to further renewable energy development

By: Donna Slater     28th January 2021 Pretoria-based research organisation the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and financial services provider Nedbank have become members of renewable energy lobby organisation the Renewable Energy Solutions for Africa (RES4Africa) Foundation. Their membership was approved and... 

Motsepe's AREP acquires 40% stake in SOLA Group

By: Creamer Media Reporter      28th January 2021 African energy company African Rainbow Energy and Power (AREP), which was founded by Dr Patrice Motsepe, has expanded its investment in the renewables sector with the acquisition of a strategic stake in the SOLA Group. The companies joined forces at the end of 2020, with AREP acquiring a 40%... 

Global coalition formed to drive net-zero shift in hard-to-decarbonise transport and industrial sectors 

By: Terence Creamer     27th January 2021 A new global partnership has been formally launched in an effort to accelerate the decarbonisation of seven heavy industrial and transport sectors that together represent 30% of global greenhouse-gas emissions and where carbon-abatement pathways have yet to be defined. Known as the ‘Mission... 

Global coalition formed to drive net-zero shift in hard-to-decarbonise transport and industrial sectors

50 MW De Wildt Solar farm enters commercial operation 

By: Donna Slater     27th January 2021 De Wildt Solar's solar farm situated within the Madibeng local municipality, close to the town of Brits, in the North West province, on January 23 entered into commercial operations, having achieved facility completion. This 50 MW photovoltaic project is the fourth utility-scale plant that has... 

50 MW De Wildt Solar farm enters commercial operation

Transitioning fossil-fuel labour forces into new sectors critical for ‘clean, just energy transitions’ 

By: Terence Creamer     26th January 2021 The chair of a new global commission established to offer governments guidance on making their energy transitions more “people-centred” says that the creation of green jobs and the transitioning of existing fossil-fuel labour forces into new sectors will be “key factors for a clean, just energy... 

Transitioning fossil-fuel labour forces into new sectors critical for ‘clean, just energy transitions’
Danish Energy and Climate Minister Dan Jørgensen, who chairs the International Energy Agency’s new global commission on people-centred clean energy transitions, on the need to integrate social justice with the energy transition. Camera Work: Kutlwano Matala. Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

SA plans three renewable energy rounds over coming year  

By: Reuters     26th January 2021 South Africa plans to launch three procurement rounds for 6 800 MW of renewable energy over the next year, as well as a combined 5 000 MW of new coal, gas and storage, a presentation by the governing African National Congress (ANC) showed. The presentation, made at a three-day meeting of party... 

SA plans three renewable energy rounds over coming year
Wind turbines outside Caledon in the Western Cape.
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