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Renewable Energy News

Etion Create selected as one of the preferred suppliers in the UK-based Sofia offshore wind farm project

By: Natasha Odendaal     26th August 2020 Advanced electronics equipment original design manufacturer Etion Create has secured a contract to supply its VF360 OpenVPX boards for the core computing units (CCUs) installed in the one of the world’s largest offshore wind farm projects. The Sofia offshore wind farm, 100% owned by German... 

Opinion: Changing one number, in one piece of legislation, can change South Africa’s destiny, in one day

26th August 2020 In this opinion piece, South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) Grid Access Working Group chairperson Daniel Goldstuck, writes about a possible solution to South Africa's energy crisis. What if I told you that our energy crisis could be alleviated with one simple change? 

Opinion: Changing one number, in one piece of legislation, can change South Africa’s destiny, in one day
SAPVIA Grid Access Working Group chairperson Daniel Goldstuck

Sudan and Ethiopia pledge to push for deal on Blue Nile dam

By: Reuters     26th August 2020 Ethiopia's prime minister and Sudan's leadership said on Tuesday they would make every effort to reach a deal on a giant hydropower dam on the Blue Nile that has caused a bitter dispute between Addis Ababa and Cairo over water supplies. Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan failed to strike an agreement on... 

Africa Prize selects 2020 finalists ahead of virtual event

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     25th August 2020 A more affordable, effective cervical cancer screening device, a digital platform to help farmers plan and distribute crops, a new way to secure banking through facial recognition, and a tool that monitors the condition of solar photovoltaic (PV) installations are the four innovations selected as... 

Stanlib acquires stake in Mulilo Group

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     25th August 2020 South African asset manager Stanlib’s Infrastructure Investments unit has acquired a 10% equity stake in Mulilo Energy Holdings, which is a R1.8-billion privately-owned renewable energy developer. This transaction is strategic and complementary to both companies, Mulilo says. 

Botswana, Namibia set to sign 5 GW solar energy plan

By: Bloomberg     24th August 2020 Botswana and Namibia are set to sign an agreement to develop solar projects of as much as 5 GW through installations built across their mostly flat, sunny landscapes. The southern African nations are working with US government initiative, Power Africa, to help structure the deal, Namibian Mines... 

Eskom Transmission head says policy, legislative and regulatory changes needed to facilitate unit’s full independence  

By: Terence Creamer     21st August 2020 The head of Eskom’s Transmission division has outlined some of the progress being made to establish an Independent Transmission System Operator (ITSO) but has also warned that full separation will take time and will also require major policy, legislative and regulatory changes. The creation of... 

Eskom Transmission head says policy, legislative and regulatory changes needed to facilitate unit’s full independence
Eskom Transmission CEO Segomoco Scheppers on the progress being made in setting up an Independent Transmission System Operator and the gaps that remain. Camera Work: Kutlwano Matala. Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Congo hydrogen plant being considered by European turbine maker

By: Bloomberg     21st August 2020 German turbine makers and natural gas companies are exploring producing green hydrogen in the Democratic Republic of Congo, home to what could become the world’s largest hydropower complex. Should the project go ahead Congo would join Morocco as a potential site for hydrogen production in Africa.... 

Global wind body urges South Africa to explore ‘excellent’ offshore wind potential 

By: Terence Creamer     21st August 2020 The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) says that, while South Africa has strong onshore wind potential, it would nevertheless encourage domestic policymakers to begin creating the framework for an offshore wind industry given the country’s “excellent” offshore wind-energy potential. The World Bank... 

 Global wind body urges South Africa to explore ‘excellent’ offshore wind potential
South Africa's offshore wind resource

Increased storage crucial to mix

By: Mamaili Mamaila     21st August 2020 With South Africa aiming to move towards more diversified energy generation systems as outlined in the Integrated Resource Plan 2019 (IRP 2019), it is crucial to increase the country’s energy-storage capacities, says solar industry supplier Valsa Trading. 

Increased storage crucial to mix
A DECADE IN Valsa Trading has been in the photovoltaic solar industry in South Africa for more than ten years

Noncarbon future epitomises ideal energy mix

By: Mamaili Mamaila     21st August 2020 In about 2060, the ideal energy mix would be one with only non-carbon sources, such as wind, solar, pumped hydro and hydrogen, says global energy advisory UL. 

Noncarbon future epitomises ideal  energy mix
JAMES TRUDEAU It is “very critical” that Eskom increases its energy storage capacities to support a more diversified energy portfolio

Clean coal can still play meaningful role in S Africa

By: Mamaili Mamaila     21st August 2020 Coal is relatively cheap and widely available; therefore, if it is used cleanly and efficiently, it can be a vital part of the economic development of South Africa, says the IEA Clean Coal Centre (IEACCC). 

Clean coal can still play meaningful role in S Africa
Photo by Creamer Media
GROWTH POINT About 18 000 jobs were created during the peak of construction at Eskom’s Medupi power plant

Microgrid solutions could combat load-shedding

By: Mamaili Mamaila     21st August 2020 Microgrid solutions with battery energy storage systems are ideal to ensure stable and sustainable power by harnessing solar and other renewable energy resources, says technology solutions provider Hitachi ABB Power Grids. 

Microgrid solutions could combat load-shedding
GREEN ENERGY SOLUTIONS Hitachi ABB’s intelligent solutions for a more dynamic grid will also contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 7 of affordable, reliable and clean energy

Eskom fully supports South Africa’s lower-carbon trajectory

By: Mamaili Mamaila     21st August 2020 The Integrated Resource Plan 2019 (IRP 2019) signals an important move to a range of fuel options for power generation in South Africa, which State-owned power utility Eskom supports. 

Eskom fully supports South Africa’s lower-carbon trajectory
PHASING IN THE GREEN Eskom proposes to continue adopting a phased and prioritised approach to achieve compliance to the Minimum Emission Standards regarding particulate matter

Govt extends date for comment on Renewable Energy Development Zones

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     18th August 2020 An extension to September 4 has been granted for public comment on the geographical areas identified as Renewable Energy Development Zones (REDZ) for wind and solar, as well as for the related environmental authorisation processes. In a series of government notices published in July, Environment,... 

Cronimet Mining Power Solutions merges with Namibia’s Ohlthaver group

By: Marleny Arnoldi     18th August 2020 German renewable energy project development company Cronimet Mining Power Solutions has merged with Namibia’s largest privately held group of companies Ohlthaver & List Group (O&L). O&L acquired a majority stake in Cronimet from exiting major shareholder Cronimet Mining Energy, which is based in... 

Madagascar solar roll-out to address access issues, reduce fossil fuel dependency

By: Donna Slater     18th August 2020 Renewable energy, real estate and free zone project developer Groupe Filatex is rolling out a series of renewable energy power projects in Madagascar in partnership with Canada-based energy development company Dera Energy as part of its efforts to address a dire electricity deficit, increase... 

Madagascar solar roll-out to address access issues, reduce fossil fuel dependency

Sasol’s new-look strategy will seek to ‘reset’ group for low-carbon world 

By: Terence Creamer     17th August 2020 Embattled chemicals and energy group Sasol aims to officially unveil its new-look strategy, dubbed Future Sasol, later this year. It has already indicated, however, that the plan will seek to reposition the 70-year-old company, built around a highly carbon-intensive technology that converts coal... 

Sasol’s new-look strategy will seek to ‘reset’ group for low-carbon world

SAPVIA shares solar installation tips

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th August 2020 While State-owned power utility Eskom and the National Energy Regulator of South Africa continue their legal battles and with another tariff hike looming in April 2021, households and businesses might well be asking what this means for them, says the South African Photovoltaic Industry... 

Report reveals minigrid benefits for Africa

By: Donna Slater     14th August 2020 Minigrid electricity developer industry association, the Africa Minigrids Developers Association (Amda), on August 13 launched its 'Benchmarking Africa’s Minigrids' report, which finds that minigrids outperform utilities in terms of affordability, with average installed costs of $733 a... 

Opinion: Unpacking pertinent questions related to municipalities procuring power from IPPs 

14th August 2020 In this opinion piece, South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) CEO Ntombifuthu Ntuli writes about questions that need to be addressed as the regulatory environment becomes more conducive for municipalities to procure power directly from independent power producers (IPPs). Draft amendments... 

Opinion: Unpacking pertinent questions related to municipalities procuring power from IPPs
SAWEA CEO Ntombifuthi Ntuli

The use of recycled plastic used to store electrical energy demonstrated in the US

By: Rebecca Campbell     13th August 2020 Researchers in the US have successfully used recycled plastic to create rapidly-charging energy storage devices. The research team is composed of engineering professors and students at the University of California Riverside (UCR), and they have been working on using sustainable resources –... 

The use of recycled plastic used to store electrical energy demonstrated in the US
Photo by University of California Riverside
Left to right: Professors Cengiz and Mihri Ozkan.

Despite Covid-induced demand slump, load-shedding surpasses 2019 levels and risk of more cuts rises  

By: Terence Creamer     12th August 2020 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) reported on Wednesday that load-shedding during 2020 had already surpassed that of 2019, which had hitherto been the country’s worst-ever year for load-shedding. In addition, it again warned that, absent urgent action, the risk of... 

Despite Covid-induced demand slump, load-shedding surpasses 2019 levels and risk of more cuts rises

Cape Town ordered to settle IPP dispute with Minister, but case can be re-enrolled if talks fail 

By: Terence Creamer     11th August 2020 The City of Cape Town, which approached the High Court in 2017 for an order allowing it to procure renewable energy from independent power producers (IPPs) without first securing the consent of the Energy Minister, has been directed by the court seek a settlement with the Minister and the... 

Cape Town ordered to settle IPP dispute with Minister, but case can be re-enrolled if talks fail

SANEDI says cool roofs could combat higher GHG emissions in South Africa

By: Simone Liedtke     7th August 2020 Much progress still needs to be made on the road to a more sustainable world, with South Africa facing hotter and drier summers, and continued high levels of greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions when compared with the rest of Africa, says South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI).... 

SANEDI says cool roofs could combat higher GHG emissions in South Africa
Aerial view of a 'cool roof'.

DBSA gears up to fill Covid-induced municipal funding gaps 

By: Terence Creamer     7th August 2020 Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), which recently disbursed loans worth R4.5-billion to two Gauteng metropolitan councils to support ongoing infrastructure delivery amid coronavirus-induced liquidity constraints, reports that it is gearing up to support several other municipalities to... 

DBSA gears up to fill Covid-induced municipal funding gaps
Mohan Vivekanandan

Minerals Council says new exploration strategy could help mining recover from Covid-19 hit 

By: Terence Creamer     6th August 2020 Minerals Council South Africa is calling for the urgent development of a comprehensive and competitive greenfield exploration strategy, arguing that a far higher level of exploration is required to help stimulate higher levels of mining investment and job creation and to support the country’s... 

Minerals Council says new exploration strategy could help mining recover from Covid-19 hit
Photo by Creamer Media
Minerals Council South Africa CEO Roger Baxter

Eskom, Sasol gear up for energy storage and renewables roll-outs  

6th August 2020 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Creamer Media Editor Terence Creamer about Eskom's battery energy storage plans and Sasol's renewables roll-out. 

Eskom, Sasol gear up for energy storage and renewables roll-outs
Eskom, Sasol gear up for energy storage and renewables roll-outs

Just Share labels Investec’s climate-risk disclosure report as new benchmark

By: Terence Creamer     5th August 2020 Shareholder activism organisation Just Share has described the ‘Climate Related Financial Disclosures’ report published by Investec in May as having set a new benchmark for South African banks in climate-risk disclosure. The Just Share analysis has been released ahead of Investec’s August 8... 

Just Share labels Investec’s climate-risk disclosure report as new benchmark

Sasol sets sights on large-scale renewables procurement as it pulls trigger on embedded generation projects  

By: Terence Creamer     4th August 2020 Chemicals and energy group Sasol intends issuing, during its current financial year, a request for proposals (RFP) for wind and solar projects with a combined capacity of between 200 MW and 300 MW having received a strong response to a market-testing request for information (RFI) issued in May.... 

Sasol sets sights on large-scale renewables procurement as it pulls trigger on embedded generation projects
Photo by Creamer Media
Sasol's Secunda complex stands in the background with power lines in the foreground

Eskom initiates procurement process for first large-scale battery energy storage system 

By: Terence Creamer     4th August 2020 Electricity utility Eskom has called for bids for the design and construction of a battery energy storage system (BESS) to be installed at the Skaapvlei substation at Vredendal, in the Western Cape, where the group’s 100 MW Sere wind farm is located. The system should have a minimum power... 

Eskom initiates procurement process for first large-scale battery energy storage system
The substation at the Sere wind farm in Vredendal

Nedbank inks partnership to enable homeowners to leverage loans to install solar PV

By: Donna Slater     3rd August 2020 Financial services provider Nedbank has partnered with the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) through its PV GreenCard accreditation in an effort to increase access to and the affordability of installing renewable energy solutions for homeowners. Through the partnership,... 

Bushveld Minerals advances plans to support VRFB development 

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd August 2020 Aim-listed Bushveld Minerals has advanced the acquisition of Austrian group Enerox by acquiring a further 65.1% of the investment vehicle’s share capital through Enerox Holdings Limited (EHL). EHL is a newly incorporated investment vehicle formed by a consortium of investors, including Bushveld... 

Renergen spuds first well as expected

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd August 2020 The drill rig at emerging natural gas and helium producer Renergen’s Virginia gas project production hub, in the Free State, is preparing to spud the first well in the programme. The upcoming programme of inclined wells target the gas productive fracture systems at the project. 

Sasol calls for bids for 10 MW solar plants at Mpumalanga, Free State operations

By: Terence Creamer     3rd August 2020 Chemicals and energy group Sasol has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the development of two embedded solar photovoltaic (PV) facilities of 10 MW apiece at its operations in Secunda, in Mpumalanga, and Sasolburg, in the Free State. The closing date for submissions is Friday, October 2. 

Sasol calls for bids for 10 MW solar plants at Mpumalanga, Free State operations
The Secunda complex

Increasing infrastructure investment would boost South Africa’s potential growth, OECD survey asserts 

By: Terence Creamer     31st July 2020 Higher levels of infrastructure investment are needed to increase South Africa’s potential growth, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD’s) latest survey of South Africa asserts. Released on July 31, the report warns that the South African economy could contract by as... 

Increasing infrastructure investment would boost South Africa’s potential growth, OECD survey asserts
OECD says tourism sector has big jobs potential, but will need support until the middle of 2021

Montego says solar plant investment yielding returns

By: Schalk Burger     31st July 2020 Pet food manufacturer Montego Pet Nutrition's R22-million investment in a dedicated solar energy plant last year is yielding returns. Marketing manager Wilfred Cawood says that, as a result, the company's carbon dioxide emissions have decreased by 300 t to date this year. 

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