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Solar Water Heating & Enviromental News in South Africa

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Coega perfectly poised to participate in lithium-ion battery industry – CDC

The Coega Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is at an advanced stage of setting up factories that will supply gigawatt factories with manganese, a key ingredient in most lithium-ion batteries. Coega Development Corporation (CDC) business development metallurgic sector manager Sadick Davids says the SEZ is the “most ideal location in terms of readiness for the beneficiation of the base material for this industry”.

Desalination’s future is going solar – TWS

The first highly cost-effective solar-powered desalination plant in South Africa will be commissioned by the end of October at Witsand, in the Hessequa municipality, in the Western Cape. The plant will produce 100 kl/d of fresh water to meet the water requirement of the struggling Witsand village.

Researchers suggest 100% renewable energy system is plausible

A multinational group of researchers have co-authored a paper to demonstrate that there are no roadblocks to sourcing 100% of a country’s power supply from renewable sources. The researchers, from Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Finland’s Lappeenranta University of Technology, the Netherlands’ Delft University of Technology and Denmark’s Aalborg University, authored a response to the 2017 review paper by University of Adelaide researcher Benjamin Heard and his colleagues. 

Radebe officiates at launch of R9.4bn Xina Solar One plant

Xina Solar One, which is owned by a consortium between Abengoa, the Industrial Development Corporation, the Public Investment Corporation and the Xina Community Trust, was officially launched near Pofadder, in the Northern Cape, on Friday. The 300 ha solar thermal plant, which was built by Abengoa, became fully operational on August 1 last year and follows the successful launch of two other solar thermal plants in the Northern Cape, Kaxu Solar One and Khi Solar One.

New research group to bridge skills gap at Eskom

Applied Thermo Fluid Process Modelling Research Unit (ATProM), a new research group, is building on an existing collaboration between State-owned power utility Eskom and the University of Cape Town (UCT) to provide engineers with up-to-date research and students with real-world experience while providing solutions to some of the challenges facing ageing energy infrastructure in South Africa. “In South Africa, we have not only lost a lot of experience and knowledge but it is also a very tough time for capital intensive entities like Eskom to operate,” says ATProM head Wim Fuls.

Toshiba signs MoUs to support African hydropower, geothermal roll-out

Energy systems multinational Toshiba Energy Systems and Solutions signed four memoranda of understanding (MoUs) to cooperate with African countries to develop hydropower and geothermal energy systems. The MoUs were signed on the sidelines of the Japan-Africa Public-Private Economic Forum, in Sandton.

Cranes company upgrades equipment at power stations

Crane manufacturer Konecranes Southern Africa is currently working on systematically upgrading lifting equipment at State-owned power utility Eskom’s different power stations. The upgrading of the equipment includes repairing equipment that has been misused and replacing equipment that is obsolete.

Rope specialist introduces drones to NDT at Eskom

Rope access specialist Skyriders has introduced the collision-tolerant Elios drones to its nondestructive (NDT) testing offering, and has started using them at State-owned power utility Eskom. The drones are part of Skyriders’ turnkey solution offering that improves the efficiency of the NDT and quality management of the NDT done at Eskom.

Alternative energy continues to power Robben Island

A solar and lithium-ion microgrid installed on Robben Island last year has produced 650 000 kWh of solar energy so far. Since adopting a green system, the island has produced an average of 3 250 kWh/d of power, says SOLA Future Energy CEO Dominic Wills.

Nuclear, renewables must complement each other in South Africa – Cilliers

Nuclear and renewables are being pitted against each other in South Africa, which is not helpful in the energy solution space, says professional engineer Dr Anthonie Cilliers, arguing that the technologies should complement one another as part of the broader energy mix. Speaking to Engineering News Online on the sidelines of the AtomExpo 2018, in Sochi, Russia, this week, he noted that South Africa needed to adapt its financing, technology and especially communication to save its tainted nuclear reputation.

India keen to do business with Africa’s energy sector

Representatives from more than 45 Indian companies have been in Cape Town for the African Utility Week, with the hope of cracking deals in everything from the supply of galvanised wire to solar inverters and water generators.  Indian Chamber of Commerce director general and CEO Rajeev Singh commented on the sidelines of the event that African countries could benefit from India’s experiences in being the third-largest producer and consumer of power in the world.

R3bn Rosslyn Hub to create 160 000 jobs

The R3-billion mixed-use Rosslyn Hub development was launched at the African Smart Cities Summit, co-located with the African Construction and Totally Concrete Expo, at the Gallagher Convention Centre, in Johannesburg, on Wednesday. The Rosslyn Hub is a crucial step towards the creation of the Tshwane Auto City (TAC), a collaboration between government and the automotive industry to transform the area into the leading automotive investment destination in Africa.

Renewable energy, plus gas, can meet South Africa's future energy needs – Greenpeace

The current and any future investment in coal-fired power stations violates the people's right to a clean environment, affirmed Greenpeace (South Africa) Senior Climate and Energy Campaign Manager Melita Steele on Wednesday. She was addressing the National Nuclear Regulator's second Nuclear Regulatory Information Conference. "Climate change is something we have to take seriously," she cautioned. The country simply could not afford expensive, dirty and dangerous electricity generation as part of its energy mix.

Radebe sees energy contributing $25bn to South Africa’s $100bn investment target

Energy Minister Jeff Radebe says one-quarter, or $25-billion, of South Africa's newly announced five-year investment target of $100-billion could be met through investments in new energy projects, including a possible new greenfield crude oil refinery and a gas pipeline linking South Africa to the Rovuma basin, in northern Mozambique. He stressed that government foresaw gas-related investments, including domestic shale-gas projects, contributing materially to the investment target, along with further renewable-energy and conventional power projects.

Uganda power distributor Umeme to spend $1.2bn to expand grid

Ugandan power distributor Umeme plans to spend $1.2-billion in the next seven years to revamp and expand the grid and has hired an adviser to explore options for raising the money, the company's chief executive said on Wednesday. The investments will be used to prepare for an expected rise in power expected to come online by 2020, CEO Selestino Babungi told Reuters in an interview.

Radebe affirms South Africa’s commitment to renewable energy

Energy Minister Jeff Radebe has affirmed his commitment to renewable energy in South Africa, saying it will help to reduce pollution and create thousands of jobs. He told delegates at the African Utility Week, in Cape Town, that he was pleased the long-awaited renewable energy power purchase agreements had been signed in April and that the R58-billion investment in 27 projects over the next three to five years could go ahead.

Eskom says it intends to play a bigger role in Africa

Eskom interim CEO Phakamani Hadebe says the utility is keen to expand its services into other African countries.  “We have made a decision that our ambition is to play a bigger role on the continent,” he told the opening plenary of African Utility Week, in Cape Town, on Tuesday.

Nuclear to shape future energy solutions

Nuclear Energy is globally recognised as a valuable source of safe, clean, reliable and affordable energy, and when harmonised with Africa’s abundant thermal, renewable and hydro resources, a balanced and sustainable energy portfolio for Africa can be achieved, says independent clean energy company NuEnergy Developments director Des Muller.

Egypt signs MoU with China's GCL for $2bn solar panel factory

China's GCL Group has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Egypt's ministry of military production to build a solar panel facility at a cost of up to $2-billion, State-run newspaper Al-Ahram reported on Thursday. Under the MoU, which was signed on Wednesday, the facility will manufacture panels capable of producing 5 GWh a year, it said, without mentioning the location or timeframe of the project.

Radebe links IRP certainty to Ramaphosa’s $100bn investment drive

The long awaited update to South Africa’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) will be presented to Cabinet for its approval on August 15, Energy Minister Jeff Radebe confirmed on Thursday, adding that the document would provide much-needed certainty for investors in the electricity sector. The Minister also confirmed that the document, which is undergoing some final technical revisions, will be released for public comment and would also be subjected to stakeholder consultations within the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac).

Coca-Cola Beverages to tap into solar energy

Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) is installing rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) units, with a combined installed capacity of 10.4 MW, at 11 of its sites. 10 sites will be completed by the end of the year, with the 11th expected to be completed by the end of February 2019.

Zambia to complete 50 MW World Bank solar project in September

Zambia will complete its first large-scale 50 MW solar power generation plant in September this year as the nation battles a power deficit which threatens industrial output, a state-owned agency said on Tuesday. The electricity shortfall has forced Africa's second-largest copper producer to ration power supply to the mines, the biggest consumers.

Renewable energy jobs reached 10.3m globally in 2017

The renewable energy industry created more than 500 000 jobs globally last year – a 5.3% year-on-year increase, says the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena).

Toshiba, RentCo form geothermal power generation partnership

Energy systems multinational Toshiba Energy Systems and Solutions and lease financing company RentCo East Africa on Monday signed a general cooperation agreement to expand sales channels and orders of wellhead geothermal power generation systems in Kenya and the wider sub-Saharan Africa. In a continuation of its flurry of African-focused deals signed by Toshiba during the past week, RentCo will expand its new energy leasing business through the supply of Toshiba’s Geoportable geothermal product, a wellhead geothermal power generation system with 1 MW to 10 MW output capacities.

South Africa urged to consider CSP-PV blend to lower cost of dispatchable solar generation

International technology and infrastructure group Abengoa, which has developed a portfolio of three concentrated solar power (CSP) projects in South Africa, believes blending CSP with solar photovoltaic (PV) technology is the logical next step for lowering CSP costs, while also producing dispatchable solar power. The Spanish group recently completed construction of the 100 MW XiNa Solar One parabolic-trough CSP power station in the Northern Cape town of Pofadder, following a 29-month construction period.

Black-owned energy group disputes notion that renewables programme is anti-transformation

Black-owned and managed independent power producer (IPP) Pele Green Energy (PGE), which is an active owner and partner in wind and solar projects with a combined capacity of 900 MW, does not agree with prevailing arguments that South Africa’s IPP programmes are failing to deliver on South Africa’s transformation objectives. MD Gqi Raoleka tells Engineering News Online that, while more can always be done to further transformation, the procurement programmes overseen by the Department of Energy and the IPP Office are already structured to ensure that “capable, determined and ambitious black IPPs can exist and thrive”.

Initiative brings more German companies to AUW

The German Energy Solutions Initiative which is coordinated and financed by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy will be bringing seven German companies to African Utility Week (AUW) for the German pavilion. According to the German Energy Solutions Initiative head of division Christina Wittek following discussions with African experts and companies from the clean energy sector German companies identified South Africa as the gateway into neighbouring countries.

Firm sees taxis and mine trucks as logical hydrogen transport pioneers

Hydrogen transportation technology can serve the local taxi industry and be used in large opencast mines where several haul trucks operate in a limited radius. One hydrogen fuelling station could serve an entire fleet. Such applications would eliminate the need for a dispersed suburban and urban filling station network, says hydrogen engineering company RTS Africa MD Ian Fraser.

New funding triggers open call for project proposals

Multi-donor fund, the Energy and Environment Partnership covering Southern and East Africa (EEP Africa) will launch an open call for proposals on innovative clean energy projects, technologies, and business models that require funding during the African Utility Week (AUW) to be held in Cape Town in May 2018. The fund has been the recipient of a €15-million financial commitment from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland. The financial commitment was officially signed on March 15, 2018 at Nordic Development Fund (NDF) in Finland. The NDF had already approved €10-million bringing the combined commitment to €25-million.

Toshiba signs African energy development MoUs

Energy sytems multinational Toshiba Energy Systems and Solutions on Thursday signed four memoranda of understanding (MoUs) to cooperate with African countries to develop hydropower and geothermal energy systems. The MoUs were signed on the sidelines of the Japan-Africa Public-Private Economic Forum, in Sandton.

Revised IRP needs better energy choices to secure South Africa’s future – SAWEA

Calls for the release of an updated Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) are mounting, as it provides a clear technology roadmap that is essential to confirming investor certainty to 2050, says the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA). Such certainty, SAWEA added, is particularly important for growing job-creation prospects in South Africa’s renewable-energy manufacturing sector.

SA falling behind on renewable energy

South Africa is falling behind on renewable energy project implementation, even as other nations accelerate their plans for green energy. According to data from Greenbyte, a renewable energy management systems manufacturer, SA lags far behind fellow BRICS country China which has 188 232 MW (megawatts) of wind power capacity and 106 921 MW of solar energy capacity. SA has just 2 094 MW of wind and 1 450 MW of solar capacity. Environmental activist organisation Greenpeace said the problem lay ...

Tanzania asks bank to finance hydropower project in heritage site

Tanzania has approached the African Development Bank (AfDB) to finance a 2 100 MW hydroelectric plant in a World Heritage site renowned for its animal population, despite concerns from conservationists. The East African nation considers the project at Stiegler’s Gorge in the UNESCO-designated Selous Game Reserve to be vital in its bid to diversify its energy mix and end chronic electricity shortages.

World Bank approves $180m loan guarantee for Kenya's energy sector

The World Bank approved a $180-million loan guarantee on Monday for Kenya Electricity Generation Company to help strengthen the financial position of the state-run company, which produces more than 70% of the country's electricity. The guarantee will help in long-term commercial financing of up to $300-million to refinance part of KenGen’s existing commercial loans, enhance its credit quality and promote further development of renewable energy in Kenya, the World Bank said.

Power storage tech development on the rise

With there being a rise in the development of technology for power distribution, storage and generation, power equipment manufacturer Himoinsa Europe, Middle East and Africa director Guillermo Elum says the company is also assessing ways in which technology will change the way electricity is stored and generated. Himoinsa produces power generation equipment – from diesel and gas generator sets, lighting towers and control panels to hybrid generators and generator sets – ready for incorporation into solar power systems.

Site survey recommended before installing power backup system

With the winter months approaching, systems integration specialist Jasco Intelligent Technologies (Jasco) explains that before companies invest in alternative power solutions it is important to select the right solution for their needs. Jasco renewable energy consulting solutions architect Kevin Norris says that selecting the best uninterruptible power supply (UPS) system to meet the set-out requirements is not as simple as choosing one from a catalogue or going with the solution that works best for another company. He explains that each business has unique requirements and there are a lot of factors that go into planning the right solution. 

Senegal integrating more renewables with 130 MW Wärtsilä Flexicycle power plant

Technology group Wärtsilä has signed a contract to engineer, manufacture and deliver a 130 MW Flexicycle plant in Senegal, which will be an integral part of the country’s energy future.