Seychelles kickstarts Africa’s first floating solar pv project

Implementation of Africa’s first independent power producer floating solar photovoltaic (FPV) project is continuing in the Seychelles. The project, launched by the Seychelles Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change and the Seychelles Energy Commission, will be the first utility-scale, private-sector funded floating solar project in Africa, and aims to support the country’s transition to renewable energy. The project is being implemented by the Government of Seychelles and the Public Utilities Corporation with the support of the African Legal Support Facility and the Clinton Foundation, with Trinity International LLP and Multiconsult Norge…

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De-risking South Africa’s transition to a new energy future

CAPE TOWN – On the African continent, there is appetite for major infrastructure developments that are only hampered by challenges of capacity, whereas the picture is almost inverse in South Africa at present. “We are sitting on a gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 1.5 percent at present that affects infrastructure investment, which is further exacerbated by an investment freeze as businesses adopt a wait-and-see approach ahead of the elections in May,” says Tshepo Mofubetsoana, Broker Centre Manager – Construction & Engineering Division at Aon South Africa. “While there…

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Financing energy projects in Africa: “the traditional business model needs to change”

JOHANNESBURG – “Honestly, I think the business model for energy investment needs to change” says Penny Herbst, Director Strategy for Africa GreenCo. “There are far too many players that are comfortable with the same structures for investment, selling to an SOE (state-owned enterprise) with a government guarantee. What we really need at present is for investors to have a stake where their influence contributes to improving the Electricity Supply Industry (ESI) as a whole.  Both current investors familiar with the South African environment and those that wish to enter the…

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Agri SA concerned by NERSA’s reluctance to register small-scale generator projects

JOHANNESBURG  – Agricultural industry association Agri SA said on Monday it was concerned about what it called the National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s (NERSA) reluctance to register small-scale embedded generator (SSEG) projects. In a statement, Agri SA said its members had the potential to supply the electricity needed to prevent future rolling blackouts, known as load shedding,  through small-scale solar photovoltaic installations. “It is unacceptable that farmers who want to do their part to relieve strain on the grid are not allowed to do so,” the chairman of Agri SA’s…

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Feathers fly over Watson wind farm plan

The Department of Environmental Affairs has given the go-ahead to a wind farm project that the Watson family wants to build in the Eastern Cape, before assessing strong differences of opinion from scientists worried about the threat to bird life. The topic came up at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture when evidence leader Advocate Paul Pretorius SC was questioning Angelo Agrizzi. Agrizzi is the former chief operating officer of the Bosasa group of companies controlled by Gavin Watson, eldest of the four Watson brothers. The Watsons’ Inyanda-Roodeplaat wind farm…

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Call to update plan for green energy in SA

JOHANNESBURG – FTI Consulting’s Future of South Africa report released yesterday called on the government to update and reinvigorate the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) to plan and support the transition to renewables, while ensuring that supporting Eskom’s debt did not divert funds from other areas of the economy. The report said South Africa’s leadership must have the courage to stay the course to solve Eskom’s issues and build buy-in from those who are defensive to change. The government is in the process of breaking Eskom into three separate entities, which…

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Rand-Air’s TwinPower generators do mines a ‘power’ of good!

Fundamental to Rand-Air is the ethos of ultimate customer convenience. To this end, Rand-Air has purchased four Atlas Copco TwinPower generators, the benefit of this arrangement being that there are two 550 kVA generators in each container. This containerised generator solution gives a very compact footprint, unrivalled versatility, optimised performance and excellent fuel economy in demanding modular power plant (MPP) applications. In addition, the two modules inside the container can be synchronised so that it is possible to supply either 1100 kVA or 550 kVA – a versatile and portable…

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Closing the gap in Africa’s energy challenges

JOHANNESBURG – Africa is a continent blessed with an abundance of natural resources – water, wind, thermal coal, natural gas, and of course plenty of sunshine – but the electrification rate across the continent remains extremely poor. Of the 1.2 billion people who live in Africa, it’s estimated that more than 650 million have no access to energy, relying instead on fossil fuels like diesel for electricity generation and harmful cooking fuels such as wood, charcoal, and kerosene. This sets our continent back in meeting energy access goals, restricts industry…

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OPINION Wind & Solar Are Always Ruinously Expensive

  A very similar plan was actually implemented in South Australia and shows us what to expect in the real world. Driven by green ideology, South Australia shut down coal stations, which had been providing cheap, reliable electricity, and built a lot of wind turbines and some solar power. Australia, unlike us, has an abundance of cheap gas. The result was soaring electricity prices to final customers and two total state black-outs. At one point in July 2016, the price of electricity reached $14/kWh. This is R140/kWh. Their IRP’s “least…

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SA’s energy map should consider all role players

South Africa should consider all energy sources available in its future energy plans, says Energy Minister Jeff Radebe. “During the energy planning process, we therefore cannot discriminate against or favour any particular energy carriers,” said Radebe. Addressing the BBQ Awards held at Emperor’s Palace on Friday, Radebe said the country cannot ignore the fact that South Africa is endowed with abundant coal reserves that come at a cheap price. “However this is counter-balanced by the high carbon content that coal has, and this cost has been internalised when we analysed…

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