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Renewable Energy News

UCT research unit shares considerations for REIPPPP going forward  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     26th October 2020 Power auctions are fast becoming the dominant procurement method for renewable energy globally, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, but it is not without its crucial requirements for success. University of Cape Town (UCT) specialist research unit Power Futures Lab research fellow Wikus Kruger... 

‘Great opportunity’ to tap Mpumalanga’s grid capacity for just transition – IPP Office   

By: Terence Creamer     26th October 2020 The extension of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Development Zones (REDZs) to areas where coal jobs are at risk, but where grid capacity is available, represents a “great opportunity” to connect new renewable-energy generators while also supporting a just transition for coal workers, a senior... 

‘Great opportunity’ to tap Mpumalanga’s grid capacity for just transition – IPP Office
IPPO head of technical Pervelan Govender told participants attending the virtual 2020 edition of Windaba that there was potential grid and just-transition virtue to be derived from locating new renewables projects in Mpumalanga. Video & Editing: Kutlwano Matala & Nicholas Boyd. 16.10.2020

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

By: Irma Venter     26th October 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. 

Cape Town’s largest bus company becomes a net exporter of green energy 
The solar farm at Golden Arrow

Ethiopia slams pressure after Trump remark on destroying dam

By: Bloomberg     26th October 2020 Ethiopia slammed international pressure regarding its long-running dispute with Egypt and Sudan over a hydropower dam on the Nile River, after US President Donald Trump suggested Cairo could destroy the dam. “Ethiopia will not cave in to aggressions of any kind,” the office of Ethiopian Prime... 

Eskom moves to appoint advisers to structure 'green' transaction 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd October 2020 South Africa’s coal-heavy power utility is moving to appoint financial advisers to assist it in structuring a potential transaction that could unlock discounted ‘green’ funding for the debt-laden State-owned entity in return for it meeting agreed decarbonisation targets. Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter... 

Eskom moves to appoint advisers to structure 'green' transaction

Procurement of 11.8 GW only the ‘first step’ in full elimination of load-shedding threat – De Ruyter 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd October 2020 State-owned power utility Eskom, which is ramping up the maintenance of its unreliable and unpredictable coal power stations, anticipates that there will be a ‘step change’ in the performance of the fleet from April 2021, but has also warned that the risk of load-shedding will persist until at... 

Procurement of 11.8 GW only the ‘first step’ in full elimination of load-shedding threat – De Ruyter
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
CEO Andre de Ruyter and COO Jan Oberholzer

Fund establishes collective investment scheme with an infrastructure focus

By: Simone Liedtke     22nd October 2020 South Africa’s first preference shares with an infrastructure focus were listed on October 22 on 4 Africa Exchange (4AX), Gaia Fund Managers and Kruger International Asset and Wealth Management confirmed. Gaia, together with Kruger, is listing Gaia Fund 1 (the Fund), which complies with... 

Mantashe reiterates energy sector efforts to complement economic recovery plan

By: Marleny Arnoldi     22nd October 2020 During a sitting of Parliament on the debate of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe has reiterated government’s targets to deliver 16 313 MW of additional electricity generation capacity from a mix of energy sources. Mantashe... 

Mantashe reiterates energy sector efforts to complement economic recovery plan
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

Ministerial Renewable Energy Sector Engagement Forum structure ratified 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     20th October 2020 The second meeting to establish a stakeholder-based Ministerial Renewable Energy Sector Engagement Forum (Resef) and associated Resef Working Group was held online on October 20, during which attendees voted overwhelmingly to ratify the structure of the forum and the names proposed by the... 

Massive grid investment needed to unlock IRP’s 30GW-by-2030 vision  

By: Terence Creamer     20th October 2020 State-owned electricity utility Eskom is warning that a significant and accelerated expansion of South Africa’s grid infrastructure, beyond that catered for by its current R118-billion investment plan to 2030, is required to integrate the 30 GW of mainly wind and solar generators that will have... 

 Massive grid investment needed to unlock IRP’s 30GW-by-2030 vision

Scatec Solar advances growth strategy through hydropower developer acquisition

By: Simone Liedtke     16th October 2020 European photovoltaic (PV) company Scatec Solar will be acquiring 100% of the shares in hydropower developer and independent power producer (IPP) SN Power from Norwegian investment fund Norfund for just over $1.17-billion. The acquisition forms an important part of Scatec’s broadened growth... 

Ramaphosa announces a renewables-led recovery plan 

16th October 2020 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Creamer Media Editor Terence Creamer about the unveiling of the Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, the role of electricity and renewable energy in that plan and whether South Africa will be able to solve its power crisis within the next two years.   

Ramaphosa announces a renewables-led recovery plan
Ramaphosa announces a renewables-led recovery plan

Natural gas to play important role in the energy future

By: Darren Parker     16th October 2020 Energy solutions company GE expects gas power to play an increasingly important role in the medium- to long-term future of the country’s energy mix as government continues to pursue decarbonisation through balancing the demands between a coal-fired past and a renewables future. GE Gas Power... 

Natural gas to play important role in the energy future
GAS FOR GROWTH The industrialisation ambitions of African nations depend on cleaner energy sources such as renewables and gas

Gap analysis needed to guide gas-to-power industry growth

By: Darren Parker     16th October 2020 With the potential of gas as an alternative energy source in South Africa an encouraging prospect, South African Oil and Gas Alliance (Saoga) CEO Adrian Strydom says the gas-to-power industry needs to conduct an accurate gap analysis, and engage in upskilling and capacity building to ensure that... 

Gap analysis needed to guide  gas-to-power industry growth
Photo by Adobe
FLOATING GAS South Africa will need to import liquid natural gas for the short-term future, which will serve to stimulate the market

Gas-powered solutions offer lower upfront cost

By: Darren Parker     16th October 2020 In a capital-constrained Covid-19-affected market, gas-fired generators offer the advantage of a relatively low upfront capital cost, compared with coal- or diesel-fired alternatives, says energy solutions company GE Gas Power Sub-Saharan Africa  executive Nosizwe Dlengezele. She adds that it is... 

Gas-powered solutions offer lower upfront cost
NOSIZWE DLENGEZELE Gas plays an important role in bridging the energy gap to help create a lower-carbon energy future

Recognition of LPG benefits in energy mix growing

16th October 2020 For many years, the benefits of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for South Africa “have been largely, frustratingly, moot”, according to a statement from industry association LPG South Africa (LPGSA). The doubt surrounding LPG’s benefits stems from an historically inconsistent and unreliable supply... 

Recognition of LPG benefits in energy mix growing
BIG BOY Bidvest Tank Terminal’s large-scale mounded LPG storage facility in Richards Bay was scheduled for completion this year

Independent grid and market operator ‘required’ to attract much-needed generation investment – De Ruyter  

By: Terence Creamer     15th October 2020 Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter has drawn a direct link between securing the investment required to address South Africa’s growth-sapping electricity supply gaps – including some R100-billion to further develop the grid in ways to unlock what will be mostly private generation investment ­– and the... 

Independent grid and market operator ‘required’ to attract much-needed generation investment – De Ruyter
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter

Ramaphosa promises rapid power roll-out, but two-year timeframe for solving crisis ambitious 

By: Terence Creamer     15th October 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa listed the rapid expansion of South Africa’s electricity generation, primarily through the building of additional renewable-energy capacity, as a key priority in government’s long-waited ‘Reconstruction and Recovery Plan’, which he unveiled in Parliament on Thursday. The... 

Ramaphosa promises rapid power roll-out, but two-year timeframe for solving crisis ambitious
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Standard Bank continues to increase exposure to renewables, move away from coal

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th October 2020 Standard Bank has released its interim Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures report, highlighting that environmental, social and governance aspects remain at the centre of the bank’s agenda of driving sustainable and inclusive growth in Africa. Sustainability head Wendy Dobson... 

Standard Bank continues to increase exposure to renewables, move away from coal

SAPVIA joins forces with European solar association to realise opportunities

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th October 2020 The South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) and the European association for solar SolarPower Europe has joined forces to unlock the potential of solar power and ensure that South Africa reaps the economic and societal benefits of renewable energy. Both associations have been... 

78 MW Bokamoso solar park begins commercial operations

By: Terence Creamer     14th October 2020 Another large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) project procured under the fourth bid window of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) has entered into commercial operation. The fourth bid window eventually closed in 2018, following a four-year... 

78 MW Bokamoso solar park begins commercial operations
The 78 MW Bokamoso Solar Park

Renewable energy tool to assist household applications

By: Donna Slater     13th October 2020 Energy company Total and cloud computing company Google Cloud have pooled their expertise to jointly develop an innovative tool – Solar Mapper – which aims to accelerate the deployment of solar panels for individuals. The business-to-consumer tool works by providing an accurate and rapid... 

Renewable energy tool to assist household applications

Solar ‘new king’ of electricity, but shift to net zero will require ‘unwavering efforts from all’ 

By: Terence Creamer     13th October 2020 The International Energy Agency (IEA) has declared solar the “new king” of electricity, arguing that, while renewables technologies as a whole are poised for rapid growth over the coming several decades, solar will be “at the centre of this new constellation of electricity generation... 

Solar ‘new king’ of electricity, but shift to net zero will require ‘unwavering efforts from all’

Opinion: Black-blade mitigation – a new and exciting mitigation for wind turbines to reduce impacts to birds of prey

9th October 2020 In this opinion piece, ecologist, environmental consultant and conservation biologist Dr Rob Simmons writes about black blade mitigation can help wind farms to prevent thousands of bird deaths each year. The renewable energy industry promises green energy that comes with numerous benefits to the... 

Opinion: Black-blade mitigation – a new and exciting mitigation for wind turbines to reduce impacts to birds of prey
Photo by Bjorn Iuell
The black-blade set up on a cloudy day in Norway. The black-blade (far turbine) is little different to the shadow cast by the all-white blades in the foreground.

Energy expert calls for RMIPPPP overhaul to facilitate cheaper, cleaner emergency power 

By: Terence Creamer     8th October 2020 Energy expert Clyde Mallinson is calling on government to urgently overhaul its Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP), which he says not only fails to address the country’s immediate electricity needs, but will also lock in dirty and expensive energy for the... 

Energy expert calls for RMIPPPP overhaul to facilitate cheaper, cleaner emergency power
Clyde Mallinson

World Bank forecasts ‘weak’ recovery for South Africa from Covid-19 

By: Terence Creamer     8th October 2020 The World Bank expects South Africa’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic to be weak relative to most other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, forecasting an economic expansion of only 2.6% in 2021 on the back of a massive 7.2% contraction this year. In its latest ‘Africa’s Pulse’ publication, the... 

World Bank forecasts ‘weak’ recovery for South Africa from Covid-19
Photo by Creamer Media
World Bank highlights power reforms in South Africa to reduce dependence on Eskom

Solar, renewable energy conference to be held virtually next month

By: Simone Liedtke     8th October 2020 Solar power capacity and energy generation is rapidly increasing and has, over the last decade, become one of the fastest growing sources of renewable energy in the world. As a result of technological advances, sharp declines in costs, improved policies and growing concerns over climate change,... 

Perdekraal East Wind Farm achieves commercial operations

By: Simone Liedtke     8th October 2020 The Perdekraal East Wind Farm project has completed its grid code tests – the final milestone before achieving its commercial operations date (COD). This comes almost two years after construction began at the site. 

Perdekraal East Wind Farm achieves commercial operations

Matla A Bokone Solar plant now wholly South African-owned

By: Simone Liedtke     6th October 2020 Northern Cape-based Matla A Bokone Solar, near Kimberley, is now wholly South African-owned by Old Mutual Ideas Managed Fund, African Rainbow Energy and Power, Reatile Group, Phakwe Solar and the Cicada Community Trust. The 75 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) plant spans 200 ha and has over 260 000... 

Matla A Bokone Solar plant now wholly South African-owned

Imperial Wanderers Stadium adds solar as an energy source

By: Simone Liedtke     6th October 2020 The Imperial Wanderers Stadium, in Johannesburg, is one of the first stadiums in South Africa to "go green" through a partnership with Imperial and the SolarSaver Group to bring solar power to the multipurpose entertainment and lifestyle venue through the installation of a customised 250 kW solar... 

Imperial Wanderers Stadium adds solar as an energy source

Ethiopia says GERD dam will begin generating power in next 12 months

By: Reuters     5th October 2020 Ethiopia's giant new hydropower dam on the Blue Nile will begin generating power in the next 12 months, the country's president said on Monday. “This year will be a year where the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will start generating power with the two turbines," Sahle-Work Zewde said in a speech... 

BlueNova undertakes 1 MWh battery export to Namibia

By: Marleny Arnoldi     5th October 2020 Energy storage solution company BlueNova Energy has undertaken its first international export of an intelligent Energy Storage System (iESS). The iESS is a containerised energy unit, which will be installed at the Timbila Nature Reserve in Namibia, as the heart of an offgrid solar-powered... 

BlueNova undertakes 1 MWh battery export to Namibia
BlueNova getting ready to load an iESS containerised energy storage solution

DBSA appoints Rakgate to head Infrastructure Fund

By: Terence Creamer     5th October 2020 The State-owned Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) has, from October 1, appointed Mohale Rakgate as its new group executive for the Infrastructure Fund, which has been established by government to support an accelerated roll-out of economic and social infrastructure. Infrastructure is... 

DBSA appoints Rakgate to head Infrastructure Fund
Mohale Rakgate

Ethiopia bans flights over dam for security reasons - aviation chief

By: Reuters     5th October 2020 Ethiopia has banned all flights over its giant new hydropower dam on the Blue Nile for security reasons, the head of its civil aviation authority said on Monday. Ethiopia is locked in a dispute with Egypt and Sudan over its $4-billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which Cairo has said could... 

Spanish solar tracking group establishes formal presence in South Africa 

By: Terence Creamer     5th October 2020 Spanish solar tracker and structures specialist STI Norland has, since the start of October, established an active presence in South Africa, which it views as an attractive market for utility scale solar photovoltaic (PV) projects. An office and warehouse facility is being established in Port... 

Spanish solar tracking group establishes formal presence in South Africa
The 94.3 MWp Sishen PV Plant in the Northern Cape

City of Cape Town drafting ‘mini IRP’ as it prepares way for IPP procurement 

By: Terence Creamer     2nd October 2020 The City of Cape Town, which has been pushing for the right of municipalities to procure electricity directly from independent power producers for several years, is currently compiling what it describes as a “mini” integrated resource plan to guide its future procurement decisions and actions.... 

City of Cape Town drafting ‘mini IRP’ as it prepares way for IPP procurement

Renewed hope for industrialisation and transformation ahead of wind procurement

By: Terence Creamer     2nd October 2020 The failure of the R536-million DCD Wind Towers facility, established in the Coega Special Economic Zone in 2013, has become the poster child for the damage inflicted when South Africa’s political infighting and intrigue gives way to policy uncertainty and stalled implementation. The investment... 

Renewed hope for industrialisation and transformation ahead of wind procurement
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