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Renewable Energy News

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

Zambia's mining investment arm ups stake in Copperbelt Energy

By: Reuters     28th January 2019 Zambia's State mining investment arm is increasing its shareholding in Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) by 4%, its CEO said on Monday. "We are increasing the shareholding in CEC by 4%and are also looking to buy more shares," Pius Kasolo, CE of ZCCM-IH said during a media briefing. 

Wind farms improve on foundation mix design to reduce carbon footprint

By: Simone Liedtke     28th January 2019 The 140 MW Kangnas wind farm, in the Northern Cape, and the 110 MW Perdekraal East wind farm, in the Western Cape, have announced the completion of a 28-day strength test of their first foundations, with a significant improvement in the mix design and savings in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.... 

SolarAfrica, Inspired Evolution establishes fund for solar PV solutions

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th January 2019 Solar financing specialist SolarAfrica, together with investment manager Inspired Evolution, have signed a R100-million equity investment facility that will contribute to a R500-million fund for financing solar photovoltaic (PV) solutions. The funding joint venture allows SolarAfrica to... 

SolarAfrica, Inspired Evolution establishes fund for solar PV solutions

Modules finalisation nearing completion

By: Halima Frost     25th January 2019 The South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre (Saretec) has taken on the custodian role as the national renewable-energy-sector educator and hopes to have finalised all five occupational certificates of the Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Qualification through its collaboration with Manufacturing,... 

Modules finalisation nearing  completion
HOME BASE Saretec is based at the Cape Peninsular University of Technology

Solar streetlights installed at mine

By: Halima Frost     25th January 2019 Lighting manufacturer BEKA Schréder’s LEDlume-midi 36/55W luminaire, used in solar lighting solutions has been used at four intersections leading to iron-ore and manganese mine Assmang’s Black Rock mine, in the Northern Cape. “The intersections leading to the different sections of the mine have... 

Solar streetlights installed at mine
ILLUMINATING The solar installation at the Black Rock mine has made the intersections leading to the mine more visible and safer

Investors will continue to invest in solar

By: Halima Frost     25th January 2019 Specialist banking company Investec Bank will continue to offer funding to viable projects in the renewables sector as solar photovoltaic (PV) technology becomes more cost effective. Southern Africa – more notably the Northern Cape province, in South Africa, and Namibia – is considered as one of... 

Investors will continue to invest in solar
ANDRE WEPENER Asserts that South Africa’s recent reinvestment of power-generation projects are capital intensive

Improved film helps extend solar panel lifetime

By: Halima Frost     25th January 2019 With a focus on continuous innovation, science multinational DuPont is developing a new and improved clear Tedlar film to increase efficiency and the life of a solar panel well beyond the industry standard of 30 years. The Tedlar film is made of polyvinyl fluoride polymer – which is a more... 

Improved film helps  extend solar panel lifetime
CRACKING UNDER PRESSURE Solar panels are showing signs of deterioration sooner than anticipated owing to harsher environments

Solar inverter available for water pumps

By: Halima Frost     25th January 2019 Obtaining water in rural and domestic environments from boreholes, ponds and dams is now easier, with technical solutions provider BMG’s Motoline P19000-S series of solar inverters for photovoltaic (PV) water pumps.   The solar inverters are used to power pumps for agricultural irrigation and... 

Solar inverter available for water pumps
EASY PEASY Solar inverters make rural irrigation systems easier to power

Major upgrades to start at six airports

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     25th January 2019 South African airport management company Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) announced that upgrades and improvements over the next three to eight years at six of the country’s airports will cost about R26-billion. The upgrades and improvements are primarily to improve passenger facilities... 

Major upgrades to  start at six airports
UPGRADES AND IMPROVEMENTS Realignment of the runway at Cape Town International Airport is expected to start this year

Unisa, Exxaro, Sanedi launch first institutional anaerobic digester  

24th January 2019 To promote renewable energy as a cost-effective technology amid climate change and global warming, the University of South Africa, Exxaro Resources and the South African National Energy Development Institution launched in November its first institutional anaerobic digester. Simone Liedtke reports. 

Unisa, Exxaro, Sanedi launch first institutional anaerobic digester
Unisa, Exxaro, Sanedi launch first institutional anaerobic digester

World Bank says Eskom debt restructuring should be coupled to power market reform  

By: Terence Creamer     23rd January 2019 World Bank country director Paul Noumba Um believes the South African government is moving in the “right direction” by pursuing discussions on possible debt relief for Eskom in conjunction with plans for restructuring the utility and overhauling the architecture of domestic power market. He also... 

World Bank says Eskom debt restructuring should be coupled to power market reform
World Bank country director Paul Noumba Um on restructuring of Eskom and the need for power-market reform. Camera Work & Editing: Darlene Creamer

GETI provides insights into talent environment for energy sectors

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     22nd January 2019 The third annual Global Energy Talent Index (GETI), the world’s largest energy recruitment and employment trends report, was released on Tuesday, and offered insights into five industry subsectors – oil and gas, renewables, power, nuclear and petrochemicals. The report, compiled by Airswift and... 

To meet climate goals, world urged to reuse natural resources

By: Reuters     22nd January 2019 More of the billions of tonnes of materials the world uses each year must be recycled and reused to keep climate change in check, researchers said on Tuesday. Only about a tenth of the nearly 93 billion tonnes of materials utilised annually - including minerals, metals, fossil fuels and biomass -... 

South Africa may double power purchases from Congo hydro plant

By: Bloomberg     21st January 2019 South Africa is mulling committing to doubling the amount of electricity it will buy from a proposed multibillion-dollar hydro power plant in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Increasing the amount of electricity that South Africa will buy has become a linchpin for the companies seeking to build... 

South Africa may double power purchases from Congo hydro plant

Evolution II Fund closes $41m funding round

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     18th January 2019 Africa-focused investment advisory firm Inspired Evolution led a $41-million equity investment by its Evolution II Fund and other consortium partners into Africa-focused solar business d.light. Evolution II invested $18-million alongside $10.6-million from the Dutch Development Bank FMO,... 

Radebe insists IRP to be approved soon, amid Nedlac uncertainty 

By: Terence Creamer     18th January 2019 Energy Minister Jeff Radebe has reiterated that Cabinet could soon approve the long-awaited update to South Africa’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for electricity, despite persistent suggestions that National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) sign-off of the document is still... 

Radebe insists IRP to be approved soon, amid Nedlac uncertainty

Clough JV selected as preferred tenderer for civil works at Australian hydropower project 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      18th January 2019 The Clough Salini Joint Venture (JV) has been selected as the preferred tenderer for about A$4-billion worth of civil works packages for the Snowy 2.0 project – a multiyear infrastructure project. Clough is a wholly owned subsidiary of Murray & Roberts and has a 35% shareholding in the JV. 

Investec, UK Climate Investments kickstart renewable energy vehicle with R1bn

By: Marleny Arnoldi     17th January 2019 Investec Bank and UK Climate Investments have committed a combined R1-billion to a dedicated renewable energy investment vehicle Revego Africa Energy. Revego Fund Managers (RFM) – a newly incorporated black-owned and managed fund manager – will be responsible for managing Revego’s investments... 

South Africa aims to finalise long-term energy plan next month – Radebe 

By: Reuters     16th January 2019 South Africa is aiming to finalise a long-term plan for the country's energy mix next month, and once that is done it will launch another round of renewable energy deals, Energy Minister Jeff Radebe said on Wednesday. "We are aiming for February," Radebe told Reuters, when asked when the... 

South Africa aims to finalise long-term energy plan next month – Radebe
Photo by Dylan Slater
Energy Minister Jeff Radebe

Electricity increases will badly hurt the poor, say community leaders, residents  

By: Kim Cloete     15th January 2019 Community and faith leaders, as well as pensioners and residents, have called on the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to oppose Eskom’s request for a tariff hike, with a projected overall increase of 45% to 2021. “If granted, this price increase will severely impact on all... 

Electricity increases will badly hurt the poor, say community leaders, residents

Electric cars seen getting cleaner even where grids rely on coal

By: Bloomberg     15th January 2019 Electric cars are better for the environment than traditional gasoline models, and that benefit will grow as power generators shift away from coal. That’s the conclusion of research by BloombergNEF, which found carbon dioxide emissions from battery-powered vehicles were about 40% lower than for... 

China approves large new upstream dam project on the Yangtze river

By: Reuters     15th January 2019 China has approved construction of one of its tallest dams, a 239-metre (784-foot) hydroelectric structure on the upstream section of its longest river, the Yangtze, the state planning agency said on Tuesday. Hydropower is a clean and renewable source of energy but large-scale construction in... 

Uganda aims to impose penalties on distributor for power outages

By: Reuters     11th January 2019 Uganda aims to impose financial penalties from March on its sole power distributor Umeme for any frequent and prolonged supply outages, the regulator said. The public has long complained about high tariffs and long power cuts, while unreliable supplies add extra costs to businesses, which often... 

Fourways office park goes solar

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     14th December 2018 To convert Willow Wood Office Park, in Fourways, Gauteng, to using solar energy, Heartwood Properties has partnered with SolarSaver, which offers a rent-to-own model that does not require any capital outlay, to reduce the building’s footprint and save on electricity costs. All indications are... 

Off-grid rural home concept launched in Rwanda

By: Schalk Burger     14th December 2018 UK-based solar-power venture company Bboxx has launched its 2020 solar-powered off-grid home concept in Rwanda. The Bboxx Tomorrow’s Rural Home has a 50 W photovoltaic panel mounted on the roof and can be bought on a three-year payment plan. The home was created by Bboxx and partners using smart... 

Off-grid rural home concept launched in Rwanda
MODERN RURAL HOME The Bboxx rural home is designed to bring the on-grid experience in an off-grid location

Self-sustaining clean energy system developed

By: Paige Müller     14th December 2018 Sustainable energy specialist Hyson Sustainable Energy – situated in Krugersdorp – has developed and patented a fully self-sustaining, energy-producing tower, says Hyson Sustainable Energy MD Sally Hall. “The Hyson Sustainable Energy ‘Power Tower’, which was provisionally patented just seven... 

Self-sustaining clean  energy system developed
Photo by Bloomberg
ZERO EMISSIONS The Hyson Sustainable Energy ‘Power Tower’ allows for the recycling of liquefied carbon dioxide and water used in the energy generation process, resulting in zero harmful emissions

Solar PV uptake expected to double

By: Paige Müller     14th December 2018 Energy supply from solar photovoltaic (PV) technology is increasing at a rapid rate in South Africa, with PV grid installation expected to double in the 2018/19 period, says renewable-energy solutions supplier Genesis Eco-Energy director and solar energy association South African Photovoltaic... 

Solar PV uptake expected to double
Photo by Creamer Media
NO THREAT POSED The adoption of renewable-energy systems neither poses an immediate nor a significant threat to workers in the local coal industry

LHWP Phase II ensures employment opportunities in January 2019

By: Cameron Mackay     14th December 2018 The start next month of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) Phase II advance infrastructure construction at Polihali, where the Phase II dam will be built, and Katse village, which was constructed in Phase I as housing for consultants and contractors, will bring eagerly anticipated... 

LHWP Phase II ensures employment opportunities in January 2019
LESOTHO HIGHLANDS WATER PROJECT The road infrastructure works will help improve access to basic services and facilities, as well as reduce travelling time and stimulate local business ventures

LHDA workshop places contractors in better bidding position

By: Cameron Mackay     14th December 2018 The Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) held successful workshops for South Africa- and Lesotho-based small and medium-sized registered contractors to place them in a better position to bid for construction projects on the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP). Held in several towns... 

LHDA workshop places  contractors in better  bidding position
WATER PROVIDES CONTRACTS Workshops were successfully held to ensure that small businesses can bid for construction projects on the Lesotho Highlands Water Project

Prequalification for construction of Phase 2 works on LHWP to launch in January

By: Marleny Arnoldi     13th December 2018 The Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) will kick 2019 into gear with the launch in January of the prequalification for construction of the Phase 2 main works of the Polihali dam and Polihali transfer tunnel. “The call for expressions of interest for the construction of the 165-m-high... 

Tanzania to sign deal this week for $3bn power plant – President

By: Reuters     12th December 2018 Tanzania will sign a deal this week for the construction of a $3-billion hydroelectric power plant, the president said in remarks broadcast on state television on Tuesday. President John Magufuli did not name the company awarded the contract for the power plant and dam to be built in the Selous... 

15 on Orange’s PVT energy system now fully operational

By: Simone Liedtke     11th December 2018 The newly installed Solarus energy system on the roof of the 15 on Orange Hotel, in Cape Town, is now fully operational. According to a statement issued on Tuesday, the hybrid photovoltaic and thermal (PVT) project is currently the largest in Cape Town and is a system that provides the luxury... 

15 on Orange’s PVT energy system now fully operational
The newly installed Solarus energy system on the roof of the 15 on Orange Hotel, in Cape Town

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