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Renewable Energy News

Commission recommends approval of Engie's buyout of Xina CSP

By: Creamer Media Reporter      18th December 2020 The Competition Commission has recommended that the Competition Tribunal approve the proposed transaction whereby Engie intends to acquire Xina Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) and Xina CSP Operations & Maintenance (O&M), without conditions. In South Africa, the Engie Group supplies a mix of... 

120 MW Golden Valley Wind Energy Facility connected to the grid

By: Creamer Media Reporter      17th December 2020 The 120 MW Golden Valley Wind Energy Facility, in the Eastern Cape, is the latest wind farm to be connected to South Africa's national grid.  “We are pleased to announce the successful commissioning of all 48 wind turbine generators as the year draws to an end and we prepare to have our portfolio... 

120 MW Golden Valley Wind Energy Facility connected to the grid

Pan African appoints juwi South Africa as EPC contractor for R140m Evander solar PV plant 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     15th December 2020 Gold miner Pan African Resources has entered into an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) agreement with juwi South Africa to build a 9.975 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) plant at its Evander Mines. Construction on the R140-million solar PV plant will start in the first quarter of 2021,... 

Pan African appoints juwi South Africa as EPC contractor for R140m Evander solar PV plant
Pan Africa CEO Cobus Loots

Govt, IPPs a step closer to lowering electricity tariffs

By: News24Wire      14th December 2020 The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy has managed to complete its first refinancing agreement with an independent power producer (IPP), which is part of an initiative to lower electricity tariffs. The department issued a statement on Monday in which it announced that it had concluded a... 

Eskom outlines streamlined restructuring model to deliver independent grid company by end-2021  

By: Terence Creamer     14th December 2020 Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter outlined a streamlined approach on Monday to the vertical separation of the State-owned utility into three businesses of generation, distribution and transmission, which he said could accelerate the process of establishing an Eskom-owned independent transmission system... 

Eskom outlines streamlined restructuring model to deliver independent grid company by end-2021
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter

Global electricity demand to fall 2% this year, says IEA 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      14th December 2020 Global electricity demand is projected to fall by about 2% this year – the biggest yearly decline since the mid-twentieth century and far larger than what followed the global financial crisis in 2008/9, which resulted in a drop in electricity demand of 0.6% in 2009, the International Energy... 

Power4Less offers rent-to-own solar solutions

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     11th December 2020 Black-owned and women-led solar company Power4Less, which was launched earlier this year by Juliet Mwakutuya, Dineshree Naidu and Nafeesa Fareed, aims to supply rent-to-own solar solutions to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and larger company. "From our experience South African... 

South Africa’s renewables plan presents ‘remarkable’ industrialisation opportunity 

By: Terence Creamer     11th December 2020 The roll-out of renewable energy at the scale envisaged in South Africa’s official electricity plan to 2030 presents a “remarkable” industrialisation opportunity, the leader of the South African Renewable Energy Masterplan (SAREM) project team, Francis Jackson, argues. Jackson, who is also a... 

South Africa’s renewables plan presents ‘remarkable’ industrialisation opportunity
Completed tower sections manufactured by DCD Wind Towers, which subsequently closed down as a result of a protracted Eskom-induced procurement hiatus

Multinational power company launches microgrid solution

11th December 2020 Last month, multinational power solutions provider Cummins announced the launch of its new PowerCommand Microgrid Control product line for managing, coordinating and optimising distributed energy resources (DER) – such as the MGC300 and MGC900. 

Multinational power company launches microgrid solution
HIGHLY PREFERRABLE Renewables are taking up a greater share of investment in energy resources

REIPPPP requires more traction to address challenges

By: Mamaili Mamaila     11th December 2020 The Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) continues to take years to move through the various phases – from initiating tenders to delivering energy to the end-user – which, considering the challenges that South Africa is facing, is a luxury the country cannot... 

REIPPPP requires  more traction to  address challenges
PROCUREMENT ROAD MAP The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy will seek to procure 6 800 MW of solar photovoltaic and wind renewable energy from 2022 to 2024

Wind association lauds S Africa govt’s policy progress

11th December 2020 The South African Wind Energy Association (Sawea) has applauded the South African government for the progress made in policy over the last 12 months, beginning with the gazetting of the Integrated Resource Plan 2019 (IRP 2019) and all the hard work done, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, to ensure... 

Wind association lauds S Africa  govt’s policy progress
KANGAS WIND FARM The first bid window four wind farm, in the Northern Cape, to come on stream as part of government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme

South Africa’s biggest power shift in over a generation holds big promise, and some risk

By: Terence Creamer     11th December 2020 Next year, 2021, is poised to be a pivotal one for South Africa’s renewable-energy sector – for real this time! The industry will have an opportunity, finally, to participate in the fifth bid window of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), the bid... 

South Africa’s biggest power shift in over a generation holds big promise, and some risk

Flagship project set to demonstrate flexibility, convenience of procuring independent power

By: Simone Liedtke     10th December 2020 A flagship renewable energy project, commissioned by Amazon and to be rolled out by SOLA Group, is set to demonstrate the flexibility and convenience of procuring independent power through the electricity grid. The project will see 28 GWh of solar energy wheeled via State-owned power utility... 

Standard Bank publishes climate-change-mitigating fossil fuels financing policy 

By: Donna Slater     10th December 2020 Financial services company Standard Bank Group has published its Fossil Fuels Financing Policy (FFFP) as part of its efforts to improve its management of environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks and contribute to the sustainable development of Africa.   This follows the 2019 adoption of... 

Standard Bank publishes climate-change-mitigating fossil fuels financing policy

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... 

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

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... 

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