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Wind News

IPPs and distributed energy solutions drive innovation

5th April 2019 While the obligation to deliver safe, reliable power to customers through aging assets is paramount, utilities face a rapidly evolving market as independent power producers (IPPs) and distributed generation solutions drive innovation and investment, says engineering, procurement and construction... 

Demand for utility-scale battery solutions increasing

By: Thabi Madiba     5th April 2019 Advancements in energy storage technology are starting to reflect in the rise of utility-scale battery solutions, which could revolutionise the ability of intermittent renewables to have higher penetration into the grid, says solar energy company SOLA Future Energy CEO Dr Dom Wills. The company... 

Demand for utility-scale battery solutions increasing
ROBBEN ISLAND BATTERY ROOM SOLA stores excess solar power in lithium-ion batteries and deploys it as the sun sets, resulting in an overall reduction of the diesel used to operate generators

Opinion: If renewables are so cheap, why are we paying so much for them?

By: Tobias Bischof-Niemz     5th April 2019 Hardly a week passes without a statement being made about the high costs of renewable energy in South Africa. Typically, the argument is made on social media and is framed to suggest that Eskom is buying electricity at R2.22/kWh from renewable-energy independent power producers (REIPPs) and that... 

Opinion: If renewables are so cheap, why are we paying so much for them?

Energy storage a viable solution to load-shedding

By: Thabi Madiba     5th April 2019 Amid State-owned power utility Eskom’s announcement of there being a high risk of rotational load-shedding, which will be implemented only if absolutely necessary, power management company Eaton South Africa MD Seydou Kane says energy storage solutions can play an important role in creating more... 

Energy storage a viable solution to load-shedding
SEYDOU KANE Energy storage solutions provide not only flexibility but also cost savings, should they be integrated into a company’s power grid

Interest in hydrogen storage increasing

By: Thabi Madiba     5th April 2019 Interest in hydrogen energy storage continues to grow, owing to the very large storage capacity that liquid organic hydrogen carrier (LOHC) technology offers, compared with other technologies. Currently, most hydrogen is stored as a cryogenic liquid or is compressed under high pressure, which are... 

Strong renewable energy capacity growth continues

By: Simone Liedtke     4th April 2019 The decade-long trend of strong growth in renewable energy capacity continued in 2018 with global additions of 171 GW, according to data released by the International Renewable Energy Agency this week. The year-on-year increase of 7.9% was bolstered by new additions from solar and wind energy,... 

Strong renewable energy capacity growth continues

Improved policy, regulation needed to help Eskom power SA, Brics Bank meeting told

By: African News Agency      2nd April 2019 Without alternative power generation capacity, unemployment will remain rampant in South Africa, Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) chief executive Patrick Dlamini said on Tuesday. "The policy makers, they have a decision to make, to make sure that you can be able to enable and sustain... 

Improved policy, regulation needed to help Eskom power SA, Brics Bank meeting told

NDB, DBSA sign loan agreement for renewable energy projects in South Africa 

By: Simone Liedtke     1st April 2019 The New Development Bank (NDB) and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) have signed a $300-million loan agreement for the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction and Energy Sector Development project. The NDB will provide the loan to the DBSA without a sovereign guarantee. 

Opinion: If investment is the goal, what should SA’s electricity game plan be? 

By: Tobias Bischof-Niemz     22nd March 2019 South Africa has correctly identified the lack of investment as a serious constraint to economic growth and job creation. President Cyril Ramaphosa has moved to address the problem by reaching out to domestic and foreign investors both informally and through the inaugural Investment Conference,... 

Opinion: If investment is the  goal, what should SA’s electricity game plan be?
LEAST-COST ADVANTAGES: No environmental benefits in deviating from South Africa least-cost electricity scenario

Opinion: If there are more jobs in renewables, why are coal miners so unhappy?

By: Tobias Bischof-Niemz     8th March 2019 As outlined previously, an electricity system made up of solar photovoltaic (PV) plants, wind farms and flexible generators will employ at least 30% more people than a comparable energy-equivalent coal fleet (see the Transition Talk column in the February 22-28 edition of Engineering News). This... 

Opinion: If there are more jobs  in renewables, why are coal miners so unhappy?
Photo by ENERTRAG
The net benefits of a least-cost mix of solar PV, wind and flexibility should be directed towards policies that support coal workers

Atlantis wind turbine tower manufacturing signals renewables industry’s recovery

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     7th March 2019 Wind turbine tower sections for the 140 MW Kangnas Wind Farm, one of the Round 4 Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) projects, are being manufactured locally, at the Atlantis Special Economic Zone (SEZ), in the Western Cape. Kangnas Wind Farm said in a... 

Orion mulls solar, wind energy generation options for Prieska project

By: Marleny Arnoldi     5th March 2019 ASX-listed Orion Minerals on Tuesday announced that it had signed a renewable energy generation collaboration agreement with Juwi Renewable Energies South Africa to investigate the renewable energy generation potential at the Prieska zinc/copper project, in South Africa’s Northern Cape province.... 

Orion mulls solar, wind energy generation options for Prieska project
Photo by Creamer Media
Orion Minerals Errol Smart

Motsepe rejects Eskom conspiracy claims as ‘ridiculous’, but admits to ‘serious’ perception problem 

By: Terence Creamer     18th February 2019 Black business luminary Patrice Motsepe has labelled as “ridiculous” a recurring allegation that African Rainbow Energy & Power (AREP) is part of an unscrupulous plan to collapse Eskom and supplant the State-owned power utility with independent power producers (IPPs), in which the business would... 

Motsepe rejects Eskom conspiracy claims as ‘ridiculous’, but admits to ‘serious’ perception problem
Photo by Creamer Media
AREP chairperson Patrice Motsepe

Gordhan’s IPP renegotiation proposal triggers ‘breach of contract’ warnings 

By: Terence Creamer     15th February 2019 A report indicating that the South African government may seek to renegotiate power purchase agreements (PPAs) concluded with independent power producers (IPPs) in 2011 and 2012 is raising alarm bells within the industry, which is still recovering from a protracted period of uncertainty created... 

Gordhan’s IPP renegotiation proposal triggers ‘breach of contract’ warnings

Event set to dissect the future of African energy

By: Paige Müller     15th February 2019 The eleventh edition of the Africa Energy Indaba – which will take place at the Sandton Convention Centre, in Johannesburg, from February 19 to 20 this year – will focus on the future prospects and direction of energy on the African continent from an energy provision and investment point of view.... 

Event set to dissect the future of African energy
Photo by Duane Daws
AFRICA’S ENERGY FUTURE The Africa Energy Indaba will take place at the Sandton Convention Centre, in Johannesburg, from February 19 and 20 this year

Enel starts construction of 140 MW Eastern Cape wind farm

By: Simone Liedtke     12th February 2019 Italy’s Enel, through its renewable subsidiary Enel Green Power RSA (EGP RSA), has started construction of its 140 MW Nxuba wind farm in the Amatole district, making it the group’s third wind project in the Eastern Cape province. The construction of Nxuba, which is expected to be completed by... 

Opinion: Are there really more jobs in coal than in renewables? 

By: Tobias Bischof-Niemz     12th February 2019 There is considerable support in South Africa for the notion that a transition in the electricity system from coal to renewable energy will trigger a jobs bloodbath at both Eskom and the Mpumalanga coal mines. A detailed analysis of the job numbers, however, suggests quite the opposite. In fact,... 

Opinion: Are there really more jobs in coal than in renewables?
Dr Tobias Bischof-Niemz

Electrical equipment group aims to penetrate new markets with integrated offering 

By: Terence Creamer     12th February 2019 Electrical products manufacturer Zest WEG Group has added an integrated-solutions offering to its products-oriented sales strategy in a bid to penetrate market segments in which there is a growing appetite for all-encompassing solutions. The South African company is the fifth largest branch... 

Electrical equipment group aims to penetrate new markets with integrated offering
Zest WEG Group CEO Siegfried Kreutzfeld in conversation with Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer on the group's growth strategy. Camera Work & Editing: Darlene Creamer.

New statistics point to renewables playing a role in load-shedding mitigation  

By: Terence Creamer     11th February 2019 Newly released statistics on the performance of South Africa’s small, but expanding, renewable-energy fleet point to a positive contribution from the country’s wind and solar plants during those hours towards the end of 2018 when Eskom resorted to load-shedding. Compiled by the Council for... 

New statistics point to renewables playing a role in load-shedding mitigation
CSIR Energy Centre principal engineer Jarrad Wright

Africa, Middle East increase onshore wind power capacity to 5.7 GW

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th February 2019 The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) on Monday released data that found Africa and the Middle East had installed 962 MW of onshore wind power capacity in 2018 – a 300 MW increase compared with 2017. The GWEC’s global wind report forecasts that a further 6.5 GW of capacity will be added by... 

Africa, Middle East increase onshore wind power capacity to 5.7 GW

DBSA wins global award for renewable energy project financing 

By: Simone Liedtke     8th February 2019 The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) has won the African Renewable Energy Programme Award. The award was presented to the DBSA, in London, in the UK, by Project Finance International (PFI), an institution that organises the global awards. 

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

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.... 

South Africa should not be over-reliant on renewable energy for its future electricity needs 

By: Rebecca Campbell     6th December 2018 The proposal of the country’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2018 that wind, solar and gas generation account for a combined total of 42% of South Africa’s total installed electricity capacity by 2030 was most unwise, AFRA-NEST Regional Coordinator Dr Anthonie Cilliers has warned. (AFRA stands... 

South Africa should not be over-reliant on renewable energy for its future electricity needs
Photo by Duane Daws/Creamer Media
Jeffreys Bay wind farm

Big plans afoot for training more young people in renewable energy

By: Kim Cloete     20th November 2018 The South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre (Saretec), which provides training for wind turbine service technicians and which has recently expanded into training solar photovoltaic (PV) installers, has been officially launched in Cape Town. The sophisticated and state-of-the-art training... 

Upcoming protest not the first amid talks of transition away from coal – SAWEA

By: Simone Liedtke     16th November 2018 The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) has defended the industry’s job creation potential. This comes ahead of a peaceful march by the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), which is planned for November 17, to protest potential job losses in the coal-fired power generation sector as a... 

Flexibility to take on ‘unprecedented importance’ as renewables rise 

By: Terence Creamer     13th November 2018 The International Energy Agency (IEA) says that higher shares of variable renewable energy in electricity systems will require a “step change” in the requirement for flexibility, which is the capability to balance electricity supply and demand at all times so as to keep the lights burning. The... 

Flexibility to take on ‘unprecedented importance’ as renewables rise

Wind energy OEMs call to boost procurement gap; promise to boost localisation

By: Kim Cloete     9th November 2018 Major manufacturers and suppliers of wind energy turbines and equipment to South Africa are relieved that the wind industry is on a roll again, but have called on the government to close the procurement gap in the draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). The current draft IRP has a gap in the years... 

Lazard says ‘inflection point’ reached making new renewables cheaper than existing coal 

By: Terence Creamer     9th November 2018 A new US study comparing the costs of energy from various generation technologies indicates that an “inflection point” has been reached where, in some cases, it is more cost effective to build and operate new renewable-energy projects than to maintain existing conventional generation plants. The... 

Lazard says ‘inflection point’ reached making new renewables cheaper than existing coal

Nordex to install more turbines at four South African wind farms

By: Kim Cloete     9th November 2018 Wind turbine designer and manufacturer Nordex will double the number of local employees and install another 174 wind turbines on four wind farm sites in South Africa. Nordex South Africa MD Anne Henschel said the investment followed the signing of Round 4 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power... 

Wind energy industry commits to investing in South Africa

By: Kim Cloete     9th November 2018 South Africa’s wind energy industry has adopted a charter, which commits to long-term investment in the development of the country. A commitment statement drafted by members of the industry was adopted at an annual general meeting of the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) in Cape Town.... 

Wind energy set to play important role in diversifying the energy mix

By: Kim Cloete     8th November 2018 Energy Minister Jeff Radebe says wind power can play a pivotal role in driving South Africa’s transition to a low-carbon economy.  Its competitive prices are also a drawcard and should be capitalised on. 

Africa poised to be global renewable-energy leader – AfDB president  

By: Terence Creamer     8th November 2018 African Development Bank (AfDB) president Dr Akinwumi Adesina says Africa is poised to become the leading region for renewable-energy globally and has reaffirmed the bank’s support for the ambitious ‘Desert to Power’ programme in the Sahel region. Speaking in Johannesburg at the inaugural Africa... 

Africa poised to be global renewable-energy leader – AfDB president
Photo by Reuters
AfDB president Dr Akinwumi Adesina

Global body forecasts continued growth in wind energy generation capacity

By: Kim Cloete     8th November 2018 China, the US, Germany, India and Spain are the top five markets for wind energy in the world, with 19.6 GW of installed capacity in 2017, according to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). GWEC senior policy adviser Steve Sawyer said the figure was slightly down on the previous year, but was... 

Prices for renewable energy likely to drop further, suggests energy expert

By: Kim Cloete     7th November 2018 Prices for renewable energy are likely to continue to drop, while the next utility-scale renewable energy procurements will probably come sooner rather than later, suggests energy expert, Professor Anton Eberhard. “I have no doubt that we will see prices coming down further,” Eberhard told... 

Wind energy powers up in South Africa

By: Kim Cloete     7th November 2018 After two years of uncertainty, the wind energy industry is pumping again, with R50-billion of investment realised this year, says South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) chairperson Tebogo Movundlela. He told delegates at the opening of the 2018 Windaba, in Cape Town, on Wednesday, that... 

South African wind farm yield forecasts in line with global norms – study

By: Terence Creamer     5th November 2018 South African wind farm yield predictions, which represent key inputs for the calculation of a project’s revenue and for the valuation of a potential investment, are as accurate as those from other established wind markets in Europe and North America, a new study shows. Conducted by Lloyd’s... 

South African wind farm yield forecasts in line with global norms – study
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