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Renewable Energy News

US government agency’s backing of Tetra4 takes project ‘to next level’ – Renergen CEO  

By: Simone Liedtke     27th February 2019 Integrated alternative and renewable energy business Renergen on Wednesday announced that the US government’s development finance institution, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), had approved a $40-million loan facility in favour of Tetra4’s Virginia gasfield project. Tetra4 is a... 

Cape Town to petition court to allow electricity purchases from independent producers 

By: African News Agency      26th February 2019 The city of Cape Town said on Tuesday it was asking the North Gauteng high court to treat a pending court matter between itself, the energy minister and the National Energy Regulator of South Africa regarding electricity procurement as urgent. Cape Town wants itself and other municipalities... 

SAIPPA welcomes Radebe’s statement on REIPPPP

By: Marleny Arnoldi     26th February 2019 The South African Independent Power Producer Association (SAIPPA) has welcomed Energy Minister Jeff Radebe’s statement regarding the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). During a briefing on Sunday, the Minister discussed the context and chronology of... 

KenGen gets contract with Ethiopian Electric Power for geothermal drilling

By: Reuters     25th February 2019 Kenya's KenGen on Monday said it secured a multimillion-shilling contract to provide geothermal drilling services to State-run Ethiopian Electric Power. The power producer's contract with East Africa's largest power producing company is being funded by the World Bank through a loan to the... 

Zambia, Zimbabwe cut Kariba Dam power generation 

By: Reuters     25th February 2019 Zambia and Zimbabwe reduced power generation to around half capacity at their power stations at the Kariba Dam as water levels in the reservoir fell, Zambia’s State-owned Zesco said on Monday. Zesco spokesperson Henry Kapata said power generation on both the Zambian and Zimbabwean sides had been... 

Radebe says South Africa has no intention of renegotiating renewables PPAs

By: Terence Creamer     24th February 2019 Energy Minister Jeff Radebe says government has no intention of renegotiating the power purchase agreements (PPAs) for renewable-energy projects procured in 2011 and 2012, but has left the door open for a “refinancing” of the projects in the interest of lowering the cost of the plants to the... 

Radebe says South Africa has no intention of renegotiating renewables PPAs
Photo by Creamer Media
Energy Minister Jeff Radebe

Zambia, Zimbabwe shortlist foreign firms to build hydro plant 

By: Reuters     21st February 2019 Zambia and Zimbabwe have shortlisted American, European and Chinese companies to build the Batoka Gorge hydro power plant, the ministry of finance said in statement on Wednesday. Preparatory studies, including engineering feasibility, for the 2 400 MW power station will be completed by end of the... 

Africa still slow to take up EVs, energy storage solutions

By: Marleny Arnoldi     20th February 2019 Globally, there is a rise in the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) and battery storage systems, especially in regions where there is a lack of constant, reliable energy supply or more economically feasible solutions, Electric Vehicle Industry Association representative Carel Snyman said during a... 

AfDB optimistic about Eskom’s turnaround prospects

By: Terence Creamer     19th February 2019 The African Development Bank (AfDB), which has extended billions of rands in loans to Eskom, says it is optimistic the actions being taken to turnaround the embattled South African power utility will bear fruit. Power, energy, climate and green growth complex VP Amadou Hott told Engineering News... 

AfDB optimistic about Eskom’s turnaround prospects
Photo by Creamer Media
AfDB power, energy, climate and green growth complex VP Amadou Hott

Sun Exchange signs fund agreement with Decentral Energy for solar projects

By: Schalk Burger     19th February 2019 Solar-generation microleasing platform Sun Exchange on Tuesday announced that it had signed an agreement with Johannesburg-based boutique clean energy fund manager Decentral Energy, said Sun Exchange founder and CEO Abe Cambridge. The agreement gives Decentral’s Grovest Energy, an Income Tax Act... 

Sun Exchange signs fund agreement with Decentral Energy for solar projects
473 kW Nioro Plastics solar project

Nampak marks 50 years on JSE amid moves to streamline and reduce environmental footprint 

By: Terence Creamer     19th February 2019 Packaging group Nampak, which celebrated 50 years on the JSE on February 19, is a markedly different business from the one that has its roots in a cardboard box-making factory established by John Herzberg in Waterkant Street, Cape Town, in 1918. Rising levels of automation across a portfolio of... 

Nampak marks 50 years on JSE amid moves to streamline and reduce environmental footprint

Motsepe rejects Eskom conspiracy claims as ‘ridiculous’, but admits to ‘serious’ perception problem 

By: Terence Creamer     18th February 2019 Black business luminary Patrice Motsepe has labelled as “ridiculous” a recurring allegation that African Rainbow Energy & Power (AREP) is part of an unscrupulous plan to collapse Eskom and supplant the State-owned power utility with independent power producers (IPPs), in which the business would... 

Motsepe rejects Eskom conspiracy claims as ‘ridiculous’, but admits to ‘serious’ perception problem
Photo by Creamer Media
AREP chairperson Patrice Motsepe

African market is opening up to corporate PPAs – Baker McKenzie

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th February 2019 At a time when electricity tariffs are increasing and the shift towards greener energy is gaining momentum, law firm Baker McKenzie says Africa is starting to see a surge in the signing of corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs).  

Gordhan’s IPP renegotiation proposal triggers ‘breach of contract’ warnings 

By: Terence Creamer     15th February 2019 A report indicating that the South African government may seek to renegotiate power purchase agreements (PPAs) concluded with independent power producers (IPPs) in 2011 and 2012 is raising alarm bells within the industry, which is still recovering from a protracted period of uncertainty created... 

Gordhan’s IPP renegotiation proposal triggers ‘breach of contract’ warnings

Tanzania hydropower dam to cost more than double government estimate – study

By: Reuters     15th February 2019 Tanzania's Stiegler's Gorge Dam, due to be built on a Unesco World Heritage site, will cost more than double the government's estimates, an independent study showed on Thursday. In December, Tanzania signed a deal with two Egyptian companies, El Sewedy Electric Co and Arab Contractors, to build... 

'South Africans must take climate change seriously' – Ramaphosa

By: News24Wire      15th February 2019 It is time for South Africans to take climate change seriously, said President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday in his response to the debate on his State of the Nation Address. He said if South Africa is a country that prioritises the interests of the poor and the vulnerable, then we need to act with... 

'South Africans must take climate change seriously' – Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Event set to dissect the future of African energy

By: Paige Müller     15th February 2019 The eleventh edition of the Africa Energy Indaba – which will take place at the Sandton Convention Centre, in Johannesburg, from February 19 to 20 this year – will focus on the future prospects and direction of energy on the African continent from an energy provision and investment point of view.... 

Event set to dissect the future of African energy
Photo by Duane Daws
AFRICA’S ENERGY FUTURE The Africa Energy Indaba will take place at the Sandton Convention Centre, in Johannesburg, from February 19 and 20 this year

Power utility business models set to change

15th February 2019 According to Africa Energy Indaba organiser Siyenza, African power utilities must respond appropriately to impending forces to prevent being surpassed by technological and market change. The organiser explains that several disruptive forces are set to threaten the traditional power utility... 

Power utility business models set to change
Photo by Duane Daws
A CHANGING FUTURE Several disruptive forces are set to threaten the traditional power utility business model

SA company receives multibillion-dollar contract

15th February 2019 Construction and engineering company Clough, a wholly owned subsidiary of South African engineering company Murray & Roberts - and part of the Clough Salini Impregilo Joint Venture (JV) - has been selected as the preferred tenderer for the multibillion Australian dollar civil works for the... 

SA company receives  multibillion-dollar contract
SO MUCH DAM WATER The Snowy 2.0 project with reuse water through a pumping system to keep the grid running

Energy capacity shortfalls stunting Africa’s industrialisation efforts

By: Paige Müller     15th February 2019 Insurance company the Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa (ECIC) says there are significant shortfalls and backlogs in Africa’s installed energy capacity, which is stunting the continent’s efforts to industrialise and expand its local economies. ECIC COO Mandisi Nkuhlu stresses... 

Energy capacity shortfalls stunting Africa’s industrialisation efforts
UPDATING INFRASTRUCTURE The ECIC is aiding Mozambique State utility Electricidade de Mocambique in a project to finance the rehabilitation of the country’s electricity infrastructure in northern Mozambique and in Maputo

Renewables ensure cleaner national energy

By: Paige Müller     15th February 2019 The wide-scale adoption of renewable energy projects throughout South Africa will result in a more cost-effective and cleaner national energy supply, says renewable-energy development and management company G7 Renewable Energies. “About 20 years ago, the renewables debate was about environmental... 

Renewables ensure cleaner national energy
Photo by Duane Daws
AFFORDABLE ENERGY For the first time, South Africa is seeing a real opportunity to buck the trend of ever-increasing electricity tariffs

Renewable grids present investment opportunity

By: Paige Müller     15th February 2019 The recent trend towards the development of renewable energy, including those based on smart grids and microgrids in Africa, has encouraged the establishment of a new renewable energy equity fund. With the Africa Energy Indaba set to take place from February 19 to 20 at the Sandton Convention... 

Renewable grids present investment opportunity
Photo by Bloomberg
GAS ON THE RISE There has been and increase in the development of gas-fired power stations throughout Africa

As renewables soar, BP sees China hitting brakes on energy growth

By: Reuters     14th February 2019 Global demand for renewable power will soar at an unprecedented pace over the coming decades, BP said in a benchmark report on Thursday, while China’s energy growth is seen sharply decelerating as its economic expansion slows. Still, China is set to remain the largest energy consumer by a long... 

KenGen to raise funds from the market this year, eyes green bond

By: Reuters     14th February 2019 The Kenya Electricity Generating Company plans to raise funds from the market later this year and it may opt to issue the country's first green bond, its chief executive said. KenGen has a 1 631 MW annual capacity and it supplies 70% of the East African nation's electricity. Private investors... 

Enel starts construction of 140 MW Eastern Cape wind farm

By: Simone Liedtke     12th February 2019 Italy’s Enel, through its renewable subsidiary Enel Green Power RSA (EGP RSA), has started construction of its 140 MW Nxuba wind farm in the Amatole district, making it the group’s third wind project in the Eastern Cape province. The construction of Nxuba, which is expected to be completed by... 

Battle lines drawn as opposition parties contest Ramaphosa’s Eskom unbundling plan  

By: Terence Creamer     12th February 2019 The future structure of South Africa’s debt-laden electricity producer Eskom emerged as the central topic during the debate on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s February 7 State of the Nation Address (SONA), in which he announced that the utility would be split, under Eskom Holdings, into three... 

Battle lines drawn as opposition parties contest Ramaphosa’s Eskom unbundling plan

Opinion: Are there really more jobs in coal than in renewables? 

By: Tobias Bischof-Niemz     12th February 2019 There is considerable support in South Africa for the notion that a transition in the electricity system from coal to renewable energy will trigger a jobs bloodbath at both Eskom and the Mpumalanga coal mines. A detailed analysis of the job numbers, however, suggests quite the opposite. In fact,... 

Opinion: Are there really more jobs in coal than in renewables?
Dr Tobias Bischof-Niemz

Electrical equipment group aims to penetrate new markets with integrated offering 

By: Terence Creamer     12th February 2019 Electrical products manufacturer Zest WEG Group has added an integrated-solutions offering to its products-oriented sales strategy in a bid to penetrate market segments in which there is a growing appetite for all-encompassing solutions. The South African company is the fifth largest branch... 

Electrical equipment group aims to penetrate new markets with integrated offering
Zest WEG Group CEO Siegfried Kreutzfeld in conversation with Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer on the group's growth strategy. Camera Work & Editing: Darlene Creamer.

New statistics point to renewables playing a role in load-shedding mitigation  

By: Terence Creamer     11th February 2019 Newly released statistics on the performance of South Africa’s small, but expanding, renewable-energy fleet point to a positive contribution from the country’s wind and solar plants during those hours towards the end of 2018 when Eskom resorted to load-shedding. Compiled by the Council for... 

New statistics point to renewables playing a role in load-shedding mitigation
CSIR Energy Centre principal engineer Jarrad Wright

Africa, Middle East increase onshore wind power capacity to 5.7 GW

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th February 2019 The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) on Monday released data that found Africa and the Middle East had installed 962 MW of onshore wind power capacity in 2018 – a 300 MW increase compared with 2017. The GWEC’s global wind report forecasts that a further 6.5 GW of capacity will be added by... 

Africa, Middle East increase onshore wind power capacity to 5.7 GW

DBSA wins global award for renewable energy project financing 

By: Simone Liedtke     8th February 2019 The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) has won the African Renewable Energy Programme Award. The award was presented to the DBSA, in London, in the UK, by Project Finance International (PFI), an institution that organises the global awards. 

Working together can deliver mining’s massive benefits – Friedland 

By: Martin Creamer     6th February 2019 Mining can and will deliver massive benefits if all stakeholders work together, Ivanhoe Mines executive co-chairperson and founder Robert Friedland said on Wednesday Speaking on the third day of the Investing in African Mining Indaba, he outlined the huge potential of collaborative government,... 

Working together can deliver mining’s massive benefits – Friedland
Ivanhoe Mines executive co-chairperson and founder Robert Friedland speaks about the winds of change blowing in South Africa and the DRC and the benefits mining companies, African governments and communities can reap if all parties work together. Video and editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Energy megaprojects on South Africa's radar as utility falters

By: Bloomberg     5th February 2019 South Africa is looking to spend-billions of rand to secure energy from megaprojects on the continent at a time when state power utility Eskom is broke and struggling to supply enough electricity. The government has signaled a willingness to buy 5 000 MW of power from a planned $18-billion... 

Global demand for coal rises despite uncertainty

By: Kim Cloete     4th February 2019 Despite a move to renewable energy, particularly in Europe, demand for coal globally soared in 2018, led by low calorific value (CV) coal demand. The strongest import markets were China and India, while Indonesia performed extremely strongly on the supply side. China’s demand for coal... 

Biogas flowmeter introduced for variable compositions

1st February 2019 Industrial process instrumentation supplier Krohne announced the introduction of the new Optisonic 7300 Biogas ultrasonic flowmeter to the Southern African market in the last quarter of last year. The Optisonic 7300 Biogas is an ultrasonic flowmeter for low pressure biogas, landfill and sewage... 

Biogas flowmeter introduced for  variable compositions
GOING WITH THE FLOW The flowmeter is suited to biogas as well as landfill and sewage gas applications

Disruptive forces set to change power utility business models

1st February 2019 It appears that several disruptive forces are set to threaten the traditional power utility business model. Distributed power generation, technological advances and changing customer perspectives are among some of the major influencers responsible for this transformative change. This volatile... 

Disruptive forces set to change power utility  business models
Photo by Creamer Media
ENERGY FUTURE The theme of this year’s Africa Energy Indaba is Africa’s Energy Future

Opinion: Will unbundling Eskom ensure a sustainable electricity system?  

By: Tobias Bischof-Niemz     30th January 2019 That Eskom needs to be restructured is no longer in question. In its current form, the organisation poses a systemic risk to the South African economy and is ‘too big to fail’. The real question is what form this restructuring should take. For sure, the generation assets need to be separated from... 

Opinion: Will unbundling Eskom ensure a sustainable electricity system?
Photo by Creamer Media
Dr Tobias Bischof-Niemz

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