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Solar News

Concentrated sunlight used to produce hydrogen

By: Schalk Burger     21st June 2019 Researchers at the Swiss École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (Lausanne Federal Institute of Technology, or EPFL) created a device that uses a smaller amount of rare and costly materials required to produce hydrogen by concentrating sunlight to maintain a high solar-to-fuel efficiency.... 

SA urged to home in on green-hydrogen export niche

By: Schalk Burger     21st June 2019 The technology to produce green hydrogen, which is produced by electrolysing water using renewable energy, in South Africa is becoming cost-effective enough to develop the capacity to sell the product in local and international industrial markets, says technical advisory services firm Kambuku... 

The world will get half its power from wind, solar by 2050

By: Bloomberg     18th June 2019 Nearly half the world’s electricity will come from renewable energy by 2050 as costs of wind, solar and battery storage continue to plummet. That titanic shift over the next three decades will come as electricity demand increases 62% and investors pump $13.3-trillion into new projects, according... 

eSwatini calls for solar power bids to ease reliance on South Africa's Eskom

By: Reuters     11th June 2019 The kingdom of eSwatini has called for bids to build 40 MW of solar power capacity to reduce reliance on South Africa's troubled state power firm Eskom. The kingdom, formerly known as Swaziland, imports 80% of its electricity from South Africa, where the cash-strapped national supplier has... 

South Africa should go all out with platinum and manganese to be in best of two decarbonising worlds 

By: Martin Creamer     10th June 2019 South Africa, which has a wonderful platinum group metals (PGMs) endowment and an abundance of high-quality manganese ore, should go all out to be in the best of two new carbon-reducing technology worlds. On the one hand, it should do all it can to be in the world of hydrogen with the help of... 

South Africa should go all out with platinum and manganese to be in best of two decarbonising worlds
Photo by Toyota/Anglo American
A fuel cell electric vehicle requires platinum

Russia’s latest great game in Africa: energy

By: African News Agency      10th June 2019 Vladimir Putin has made no secret of his intention to return Russia to its previous glory as a world power by all means available to him, not least of which has been military aggression such as in Crimea. But on the African continent, where Russia has no colonial hangover like Europe or the... 

Globeleq kicks off solar PV project construction in Kenya

By: Marleny Arnoldi     3rd June 2019 Africa-focused independent power producer (IPP) Globeleq has started construction of its 40 MW Malindi solar photovoltaic (PV) project in Malindi, Kenya. The $69-million project, located about 120 km northeast of Mombasa, recently reached financial close.  

South African solar tracker receives international certification

By: Simone Liedtke     29th May 2019 Solar tracking system manufacturer PiA Solar is now the first, in both the southern hemisphere and in Africa, to qualify for the international design standard IEC 62817 certification. In order to qualify for the certification PiA Solar built a climate test chamber in Port Elizabeth, where... 

South African solar tracker receives international certification

Botswana cancels 100 MW solar power tender, plans to reissue

By: Reuters     27th May 2019 The Botswana Power Corporation (BPC), has cancelled a tender in which it was seeking private investor partners to build a 100 MW solar power plant, and plans to reissue the tender to make the project fully private owned, the state-owned utility said on Saturday. "The project which was initially... 

Pioneering system holds huge potential for microgrids

By: Kim Cloete     23rd May 2019 A sharper focus on renewable energy has led to increased opportunities for microgrids in rural areas, industrial and commercial parks and residential developments in African countries. “Technology is progressing very fast on alternative energies and systems. An increased focus on renewable energy... 

Company uses macadamia nut shells to purify water

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     17th May 2019 Kusini Water has developed a locally designed solar-powered water purification system that uses an activated carbon filter made from locally sourced macadamia nut shells and that is being used to meet the water needs of schools and communities in South Africa.   The system was developed by... 

Company uses macadamia nut shells to purify water
Photo by Creamer Media's Tasneem Bulbulia
The Heidelberg Kusini Water plant

Greenpeace welcomes move to license SSEG projects

By: Simone Liedtke     17th May 2019 Greenpeace Africa political adviser Happy Khambule says rooftop solar is a “no-brainer” and has welcomed the move by Energy Minister Jeff Radebe “to finally make sure that the country can go ahead with the installation of rooftop solar”. The Minister earlier this week instructed the National... 

Pioneers and projects that shone at African Power, Energy & Water Industry Awards

By: Kim Cloete     17th May 2019 A dynamic South African leader in renewable energy, a former influential government minister in Ethiopia, the Ghana Grid Company and a range of renewable energy projects were among the winners at the annual African Power, Energy & Water Industry Awards announced in Cape Town this week. The... 

Eskom unbundling will allow for efficient and effective management

By: Mamaili Mamaila     17th May 2019 The challenges facing State-owned power utility Eskom can be mitigated through proper, efficient and effective management, which is possible with the company’s unbundling, says Stellenbosch University Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES) director Professor Sampson Mamphweli. 

Eskom unbundling will allow for efficient and effective management
SAMPSON MAMPHWELI There is a greater need for a balanced energy mix between coal, gas and renewable energy

Nuclear is a solution to Eskom’s woes 

By: Mamaili Mamaila     17th May 2019 The success of all the countries that have undertaken large nuclear programmes shows that nuclear energy is a credible solution to State-owned power utility Eskom’s power challenges, says retired Eskom chief nuclear officer David Nicholls. 

Nuclear is a solution to Eskom’s woes
Retired Eskom Chief Nuclear Officer David Nicholls discusses the power utility, scan the barcode with your phones QR reader, or go to ‘Video Reports’ on www.engineeringnews.co.za/ Camerawork: Christo Greyling. Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 24.04.2019

Eaton acquires controlling interest in Turkish company

By: Kim Cloete     16th May 2019 Power management company Eaton has acquired a controlling interest in Ulusoy Elektrik, a manufacturer of medium-voltage electrical equipment based in Ankara, Turkey. The acquisition will help Eaton develop innovative power solutions for the African market. “The acquisition of Ulusoy Elektrik... 

Power Africa moves towards its goal of bringing more energy to the continent

By: Kim Cloete     16th May 2019 Power Africa, which was launched by former US President Barack Obama six years ago, is working towards its target of providing energy access to an additional 60-million new homes and businesses and adding 30 000 MW of cleaner, more efficient electricity generation capacity on the African... 

Mozambique power utility begins the long process of recovery following cyclones

By: Kim Cloete     15th May 2019 Mozambique’s energy sector is trying to get back on track following the devastation wreaked on its power system by Cyclone Idai in March and cyclone Kenneth in April.   Electricity Company of Mozambique chairperson and CEO Aly Impija told delegates attending the African Utility Week, in Cape... 

Sanedi launches two solar heating system projects

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th May 2019 South African National Energy Development Institute (Sanedi) on Wednesday launched the first solar district heating system in South Africa at the University of the Witwatersrand’s (Wits’) Junction Campus, as well as the largest solar process heat system in sub-Saharan Africa at the Klein Karoo... 

Sanedi launches two solar heating system projects

Zimbabwe platinum mines to ride out power cuts, gold output less secure 

By: Reuters     15th May 2019 Power imports are cushioning platinum mining companies against Zimbabwe's worst blackouts in three years, but gold mines could face production cuts as they continue to rely on an unstable national grid, industry officials said. State utility ZETDC this week started indefinite rolling power cuts... 

Release of updated IRP imminent, says Radebe, as he allays coal producers' fears  

By: Kim Cloete     14th May 2019 Energy Minister Jeff Radebe has promised that the update of the Integrated Resource Plan, which reflects the government’s policy blueprint for the power sector, will be concluded "very shortly". He told delegates attending the African Utility Week and PowerGEN Africa forum, in Cape Town, on... 

Release of updated IRP imminent, says Radebe, as he allays coal producers' fears
Photo by Bloomberg
Energy Minister Jeff Radebe

Eberhard calls for renewables to play a far greater role in South Africa 

By: Kim Cloete     7th May 2019 Energy expert Anton Eberhard has called for renewable energy to play a far greater role in South Africa, adding that solar and wind energy had saved the country from what could have been a far darker place during the recent spate of load-shedding. “Independent power producers have mitigated... 

Eberhard calls for renewables to play a far greater role in South Africa
Photo by Creamer Media
Anton Eberhard

Jeka Energy completes solar PV power plant for Air Products

By: Simone Liedtke     7th May 2019 Jeka Energy has completed the installation of a solar photovoltaic (PV) roof-mounted power plant for Air Products’ Kempton Park facility.   

IEA says world cannot ‘press pause’ on renewables, as capacity growth stalls  

By: Terence Creamer     6th May 2019 The International Energy Agency has expressed concern over the “unexpected flattening” of renewable-energy capacity additions in 2018, which, at 180 GW, remained in line with additions recorded in 2017. It was the first time since 2001 that year-on-year additions of renewable energy failed to... 

IEA says world cannot ‘press pause’ on renewables, as capacity growth stalls

Egypt expects giant solar park to be fully operational in 2019

By: Reuters     6th May 2019 Egypt expects the 1.6 GW solar park it is building in the south of the country to be operating at full capacity in 2019, the investment ministry said in a statement on Sunday. The $2-billion project, set to be the world's largest solar installation, has been partly funded by the World Bank, which... 

Nedbank reports ‘overwhelmingly positive’ response to pioneering renewable-energy bond 

By: Terence Creamer     30th April 2019 Financial services group Nedbank reported an “overwhelmingly positive” market response on Tuesday to its pioneering listing of a renewable-energy bond on the Green Bond Segment of the JSE. Nedbank became the first South African bank to list such an instrument on the bourse’s platform, which was... 

Nedbank reports ‘overwhelmingly positive’ response to pioneering renewable-energy bond
Bruce Stewart (holding Vuvuzela) at the listing on April 30 of the Nedbank Renewable Energy Bond

EDF puts energy-challenged Africa at the centre of its 2030 development strategy

By: Simone Liedtke     29th April 2019 Africa is at the heart of French energy solutions provider EDF’s ambition to triple its activity outside of Europe, as well as to double its renewable energy capacity globally, by 2030; however, there are various challenges facing the continent, and the company aims to help address these through... 

EDF puts energy-challenged Africa at the centre of its 2030 development strategy
EDF senior VP for Africa Valérie Levkov

Zambia sets sights on yet more solar as another 34 MW is connected to grid 

By: Terence Creamer     29th April 2019 The 34 MW Ngonye solar photovoltaic plant, in Zambia, has been connected to the country’s grid and has started operations. Once fully up and running, the facility is expected to produce about 70 GWh of electricity yearly and help the Southern African country diversify its power mix away from its... 

Zambia sets sights on yet more solar as another 34 MW is connected to grid

BBOXX launches community solar power concept in Togo

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th April 2019 Next-generation utility BBOXX on Thursday launched its Tomorrow’s Connected Community concept, in Togo. The concept is aimed at unlocking the economic potential of entire communities in developing countries through access to energy.  

BBOXX launches community solar power concept in Togo

CSIR analysis highlights positive contribution of renewables during 2019 load-shedding periods  

By: Terence Creamer     24th April 2019 South Africa’s fleet of utility-scale variable renewable energy plants contributed to limiting the extent of load-shedding instituted by Eskom during the first quarter of 2019 by 46%, new analysis by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research research shows. The report adds that, absent... 

CSIR analysis highlights positive contribution of renewables during 2019 load-shedding periods

Businesses must seek finance to develop renewable energy, energy efficiency projects – Sanedi

By: African News Agency      23rd April 2019 The time is ripe for local businesses to seek finance in order to develop renewable energy and efficiency projects in the face of recent rotational blackouts and rising prices, the South African National Energy Development Institute (Sanedi) said on Tuesday. Sanedi urged businesses to consider... 

Tanzania eyes 10 000 MW power generation capacity by 2025

By: Reuters     23rd April 2019 Tanzania aims to have six times its current power generation capacity by 2025 through investment in thermal and renewable energy, deputy energy minister Subira Mgalu told Parliament on Tuesday. The East African country boasts reserves of over 57-trillion cubic feet of natural gas, but faces... 

Sanedi signs contract with SolarTurtle to develop next-gen solar kiosks

By: Schalk Burger     19th April 2019 The South African National Energy Development Institute (Sanedi), the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and community empowerment solar photovoltaic (PV) product developer SolarTurtle have signed a contract to develop the next-generation SolarTurtle solar energy kiosk, called the... 

Sanedi signs contract with SolarTurtle  to develop next-gen solar kiosks
BABYTURTLE The BabyTurtles can be moved to events, taxi ranks, schools or other high foot-traffic areas where people have phones to recharge

Partnership ensures reliable power transmission

By: Mamaili Mamaila     19th April 2019 To ensure reliable power transmission, solar industry supplier Valsa is partnering with solar energy equipment suppliers A+Sun, SAT Control, Jinko Solar, Seraphim, Viasolis and electronics company Schweizer, as well as funding institutions, to provide funding for solar photovoltaic (PV) projects. 

Partnership ensures  reliable power transmission
TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT Valsa brings the latest technology in panels and tracking systems to the market while localising some of the production

Western Cape schools to become solar-powered using solar-leasing funding

By: Schalk Burger     10th April 2019 Solar microleasing marketplace Sun Exchange announced on Wednesday that it would be a key partner in providing solar power for several Western Cape Education Department schools, starting with Protea Heights Academy, in Cape Town. Sun Exchange enables schools and businesses to have solar power... 

Globeleq, Aurora Power Solutions to build PV projects in Zambia

By: Simone Liedtke     8th April 2019 Independent power producer Globeleq and renewable energy company Sola Group’s Aurora Power Solutions have been awarded two 20 MW solar photovoltaic projects, in Zambia. These projects form part of the Get Fit Zambia programme, through which the government aims to procure 200 MW of renewable... 

Globeleq, Aurora Power Solutions to build PV projects in Zambia

Get Fit Zambia successfully awards six solar PV projects

By: Simone Liedtke     5th April 2019 Get Fit Zambia, which was designed to assist the Zambian government in the implementation of its Refit Strategy, on Friday announced that six solar photovoltaic independent power producer projects, totalling 120 MW, have been awarded. Get Fit Zambia aims to procure 200 MW of renewable energy... 

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