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Swiss clean energy provider Meeco Group has completed the installation of its first photovoltaic (PV) solar project using an innovative solar power mounting structure called the sun2rope.
This environment-friendly system comprises PV modules that are mounted on tailor-made rope structures, specifically designed for the project.
It’s the most nettlesome problem in the quest to ditch fossil fuels: how can you get thousand-degree heat used in factory furnaces without pumping billions of tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere? Heat-intensive processes like steelmaking and oil refineries are the starting point for production of everything from cars to life-saving medicines. But fueling their ultra-high temperatures requires burning coal, oil and natural gas. That makes industry responsible for about 20% of the carbon dioxide produced by humans and heating processes, and a bigger emitter than all cars and aircraft combined.
The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) on Wednesday announced the appointment of three new members – Mark Tanton, Dhesen Moodley and Toni Beukes – to its board of governance.
The existing members are Tobias Niemz, Katherine Persson, CEO Ntombifuthi Ntuli and Mercia Grimbeek.
This year's Africa Investment Forum (AIF) is focused on regional integration and accelerating investment accordingly, says African Development Bank (AfDB) president Akinwumi Adesina. Speaking on the first day of the forum, which is being held in Sandton, he noted that a lack of infrastructure, including power, roads, housing, water and sanitation and information and communication technology infrastructure, was the biggest concern for most African countries wanting to grow their economies.
Angola may buy as much as 5 000 MW from neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo’s proposed $14-billion hydropower plant. In its current design, the Inga III dam would be the biggest hydropower plant in Africa, generating 11 050 MW. The two partners developing the project – one Chinese, one Spanish – submitted a joint proposal to the Congolese government in November last year, but President Felix Tshisekedi, who assumed office in January, has yet to approve the bid.
Transmission and distribution services provider OptiPower Projects, which was recently acquired by Murray & Roberts (M&R), is progressing with its work on the Golden Valley Wind Farm, in the Eastern Cape. The 120 MW Golden Valley project is a BioTherm Energy development, comprising 48 2.5 MW Goldwind turbines, 6.7 km of 132 kV overhead lines and a substation.
Truck body manufacturer Serco Industries has invested R5-million in a solar rooftop plant for its Durban factory.
A total 1 029 solar panels have been installed on the roof of the truck and trailer building factory, allowing the premises to be off the grid during the day.
State budgets and development finance will not be sufficient to fund the investments required to meet Africa’s growing power demands to 2040, a new International Energy Agency (IEA) report warns. Titled ‘Africa Energy Outlook 2019’, the report states that cumulative investments of $2.6-trillion, or 2.4% of gross domestic product (GDP), will be needed between 2019 and 2040 to meet growing demand and improve access to modern energy services.
The South African Wind Energy Association says South Africa will need to produce about 640 wind turbines a year up to 2029 to meet the energy goals outlined in the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2019. Fortunately, the capacity already exists in the country to produce 150 steel wind towers and related components a year, says JSE-listed investment company Hulisani CEO Marubini Raphulu.
Solar energy equipment supplier Microcare plans to share its local story of innovation, job creation and skills development next year during its thirtieth year of manufacturing in South Africa and aims to celebrate with product releases and support for even higher standards of solar equipment installation, says Microcare sales and marketing manager Gareth Burley. This will take place alongside initiatives such as the solar photovoltaic (PV) GreenCard programme that was launched in May 2017, which focuses on education, skills development and training to build installer capacity for solar PV systems, and has been “spearheaded” by the Western Cape government.
Solar and wind resources can be used as bountiful energy sources for development, similar to how abundant coal resources in the late nineteenth- and throughout the twentieth- century powered industries and fuelled development, says energy solutions provider Energy Partners Solar CEO Manie de Waal. Not only are these energy sources sufficient to meet most of South Africa’s current needs and beyond, but the country also has the engineering skills and capital to develop the assets and infrastructure to generate power from them at half the cost of current coal-fired electricity prices, he says.
Capturing planet-warming carbon dioxide and turning it into useful products, from plastics to jet fuel, could make climate action cheaper and become a good business - but market obstacles need to be overcome first, researchers said on Thursday. Companies are already turning carbon dioxide captured at industrial plants into materials such as road aggregate and low-carbon cement, scientists said in a paper published in the journal Nature.
The foreign ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan agreed on Wednesday to work toward resolving their dispute over the filling and operation of a massive dam project in Ethiopia by Jan. 15, 2020, the US Treasury said. In a joint statement released after US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin hosted talks to work out differences over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, the ministers said they would attend further meetings in Washington on December 9 and January 13 to assess progress in their negotiations.
Africa still does not realise the potential and opportunity that science and innovation hold for its development and the time has come for the continent to be serious about investing more in research, development and innovation, International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor said on Wednesday. “It is from this continent that we must develop the response to HIV/Aids and new drugs against tuberculosis. It is also on this continent that we are building the largest radio telescope in the world, so we should wake up to the opportunities of science and innovation,” she noted during the Science and Technology Showcase at the 2019 South Africa Investment Conference.
Multi-stakeholder power initiative Power Africa has so far enabled access to electricity for nearly 70-million people in sub-Saharan Africa through 14.8-million home and business connections.
As of July, 56 of Power Africa’s 124 financially closed projects were commissioned, delivering 3 486 MW of electricity generation capacity. The projects that have reached financial close total 10 384 MW of capacity.
President Cyril Ramaphosa outlined the “steady, but sure” progress being made to make South Africa a “more competitive investment destination” as he sought to consolidate an investment push designed to attract $100-billion (R1.2-trillion in 2018 exchange rates terms) of fixed investment over the five-year period to 2023. Addressing investors and potential investors from 22 countries at the second South Africa Investment Conference in Sandton on Wednesday, Ramaphosa said that government was in the process of implementing several reforms to improve the business climate and attract further job-supporting investment. The President made specific reference to the liberalisation of the country’s tourist and business visa systems, which had been held up as a major constraint to tourism growth, as well as to ensuring that foreign companies could bring in international managers and executives.
Natural gas distribution company Enel, through its renewable energy subsidiary Enel Green Power, has started construction on its Karusa and Soetwater wind farms, in the Northern Cape. The plants, each with an installed capacity of 140 MW, are expected to be completed by the end of 2021 at a cost of over €200-million each.
The World Energy Council (WEC) has appointed Dr Angela Wilkinson to succeed Dr Christoph Frei as CEO, effective November 1. The council stated on Monday that Wilkinson previously served as the WEC’s scenarios and business insights senior director, while being a leading global energy expert.
The World Bank could provide as much as $5-billion to Democratic Republic of Congo over the next five years if its new government commits to raising more revenue, fighting corruption and opening up its economy. The financing would be a welcome boost for Congo’s new President, Felix Tshisekedi, who has promised a bold series of costly social programs, including free primary-school education for more than 20-million children. Last month, the International Monetary Fund said it’s considering resuming lending to the country after a seven-year hiatus.
Integrated primary vanadium producer Bushveld Minerals has agreed to support the merger of vanadium redox flow battery manufacturer Avalon Battery Corporation and redT energy with interim funding of $5-million. The interim funding will give Bushveld an opportunity to acquire a strategic interest in the merged energy storage company and, on successful completion of the merger, the loan will convert into shares in the merged entity.
The Democratic Republic of Congo remains committed to building a $14-billion dam on the Congo River, even as the project is bogged down in disagreements between its developers, according to the government agency overseeing the project. Congo envisages an 11 050 MW facility that can export 5 000 MW to South Africa, the Agency for the Development and Promotion of the Grand Inga Project, which falls under the presidency, said in a statement. Mining companies in Congo would get about 3 000 MW, and the national electricity company the remaining 3 000 MW.
The flow at the Africa’s biggest waterfall is at its lowest since 1995, highlighting the threat posed by a drought to tourism and electricity generation in Zimbabwe and Zambia. Flow has slumped to 109 m3/s at Victoria Falls, a 1.7 km curtain of falling water at the peak of a normal wet season, according to the Zambezi River Authority. The falls on the Zambezi river straddle the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia and the flow of the watercourse fills the Kariba dam, the site of the two countries’ largest power plants.
UK-based battery solutions developer Aceleron and Total Access to Energy Solutions (Tates) have partnered to expand clean energy accessibility and tackle unsustainable battery waste in Kenya by repurposing old battery packs.
Aceleron will convert Tates and its partners’ waste lithium-ion battery cells into repairable, upgradable and affordable long-cycle reusable battery packs to bring cleaner power to more than 800 people in off-grid communities across Kenya and its neighbours – Benin, Rwanda and Libya.
The Trump administration has invited Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia to a meeting in Washington on Nov. 6 to try to break the deadlock in negotiations over a giant hydropower dam on Ethiopia's Blue Nile, Egypt's foreign minister said on Tuesday. Earlier this month, Cairo said it accepted a US invitation to a meeting of foreign ministers over the project that is the source of an escalating spat between the two African countries.
Africa-focused independent power producer Globeleq has appointed current COO and CFO Mike Scholey as its new CEO, effective January 1.
He will succeed Paul Hanrahan.
The South African government has opted for an evolutionary approach to the restructuring of Eskom, the details of which are provided in a ‘special paper’ released by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan on Tuesday. Titled a ‘Roadmap for Eskom in a Reformed Electricity Supply Industry’, the paper outlines a multiyear process for the unbundling of the vertically integrated State-owned utility into separate generation, transmission and distribution entities. The paper highlights the unsustainability of Eskom’s debt, which stands at more than R450-billion currently, and reiterates the position that the utility remains the single-largest risk to the South African economy.
The Public Private Partnership Directorate General (PPP-DG) of the Ethiopian Ministry of Finance has awarded international developer and operator of power generation and water desalination projects ACWA Power two 125 MW solar photovoltaic projects. ACWA Power won the bid for the plants during the first round of Ethiopia’s solar programme organised under the new PPP law.
South Africa’s renewable energy sector has revealed that it is preparing a “just transition” roadmap that seeks to speed up and assist the mobilisation of wind and solar energy in regions where gold and coal mining are on the decline. By incorporating employment and industrialisation in the renewable energy industry, the roadmap intends to accelerate economic activity and produce job opportunities within the affected areas.
Serious disagreements between groups of Spanish and Chinese developers that want to build a 11 000 MW hydropower plant in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) may scuttle plans for the $14-billion project, according to a report. The Inga III dam would be the biggest hydroelectric power station on Africa’s second-longest river and provide much-needed electricity to Congo and other nations, including South Africa. After the Congolese government in 2017 asked two competing groups – one Chinese, one Spanish – to merge, the partners submitted a joint proposal in November last year.
The South African Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE) will host its inaugural National Conference, in Johannesburg, from November 27 to 29.
The conference will discuss how South Africa can “Engineer an Africa for the Future” by bringing together local and international thought leaders to brainstorm on critical issues that impact the continent, namely, building a sustainable energy future using a mix of technologies, including existing fossil fuelled plant, gas, renewable energy and storage, nuclear, all in conjunction with the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Metals producers, from miners to smelters, are grappling with increasingly tough and costly environmental demands imposed by banks seeking cleaner investments. While the transition may prove overwhelming for smaller producers, larger companies are playing a long game, casting ahead to a period where greener technology helps slash their costs.
Three projects financed by the African Development Bank for $121.4-million in 2010/11 are starting to provide Cameroon with more reliable electricity supply, the institution has said. With an estimated 23 000 MW hydroelectric production capacity, Cameroon has the second-largest hydroelectric potential in Africa and the eighteenth largest worldwide, but the West African country has faced power supply constraints for years.
Zimbabwe's State-owned electricity distributor, grappling with drought and ageing equipment, said on Thursday it will disconnect mines, farms and other users as it looks to recover $77-million in unpaid bills. The Southern African nation is experiencing daily power cuts lasting up to 18 hours after a severe drought reduced water levels at the country's biggest hydro plant.
Creamer Media’s Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about the country’s general acceptance of the IRP 2019, the short-term gap in electricity supply that needs to be filled and what the next steps will be for implementing the plan.
Ethiopian authorities are probing missing funds a military contractor already accused of graft was meant to spend on a showpiece dam on a Nile tributary that’s raised tensions with Egypt. Military-linked Metals & Engineering Corp, which was replaced as a contractor on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in August 2018, said it could only account for spending of nine-billion birr ($305-million) of the 16-billion birr it received from a State-owned power company for mechanical and structural works. Work on the project on the Blue Nile is running about five years late, with Ethiopia planning to finish it in 2023.
Egypt said on Tuesday it had accepted a US invitation to a meeting of foreign ministers over a project for a giant hydropower dam on Ethiopia's Blue Nile that is causing an escalating spat between the two African countries. The meeting of foreign ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan, the three nations directly affected by the project, will be held in Washington, Egypt's foreign ministry said, without stating a date or if the other nations had agreed.
Egypt-focused gold miner Centamin still expects to reach the lower end of its full-year production guidance, at 490 000 oz, despite having reported lower production for the third quarter. The LSE- and TSX-listed company's Sukari mine, in Egypt, produced 98 045 oz of gold in the quarter ended September 30, a 17% decrease on the 117 913 oz produced in the second quarter of the year, as well as a 17% decrease on the 117 720 oz produced in the third quarter of 2018.