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Closing date for REIPPPP bid window three extended

Closing date for REIPPPP bid window three extended | Solar South Africa | Scoop.it

Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson announced the extension of the financial close for bid window three under South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), from July to November.

 

This was revealed in the minister’s inaugural Budget Vote at Parliament, in Cape Town, yesterday. The decision to extend the deadline was influenced by factors such as the volatility of the Rand and discussions with the National Treasury and the South African Reserve Bank.

The extra time “Allows Eskom to prepare adequately for the connection of these providers to the grid as planned,” she said.

 

The Minister reported that  projects  under the first two  bid windows are  95% on track and will provide  350 MW more clean power that will come “on line”  in this financial year adding to the current 600 MW.

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Soventix has commenced solar PV plant at Coca Cola

Soventix has commenced solar PV plant at Coca Cola | Solar South Africa | Scoop.it
Soventix South Africa (Pty) Ltd, the subsidiary of Soventix GmBH, has commenced the installation of a solar PV plant for Western Cape’s Coca Cola bottling plant, Peninsula Beverages. The plant is currently being installed on the forklift charging station, which will provide the required power for the forklifts from a renewable energy source. This installation will form what should be any company’s strategy ie. reducing carbon emissions as well as saving on their electricity costs. Soventix South Africa GM, Rowan Jacklin said that the decision taken for such a project was definitely a step in the right direction in terms of a reduced carbon economy and levelising the cost of electricity over the next 30 – 40 years. Soventix South Africa, is currently working in many sectors within sub-Saharan Africa and offer EPC, Project Development and innovative power purchase agreement solutions to their clients.
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SA's renewable energy IPP procurement programme: Success factors and lessons - EE Publishers

SA's renewable energy IPP procurement programme: Success factors and lessons - EE Publishers | Solar South Africa | Scoop.it

South Africa occupies a central position in the global debate regarding the most effective policy instruments to accelerate and sustain private investment in renewable energy. In 2009, the government began exploring feed-in tariffs (FITs) for renewable energy, but these were later rejected in favour of competitive tenders. The resulting programme, now known as the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), has successfully channelled substantial private sector expertise and investment into grid-connected renewable energy in South Africa at competitive prices.


To date, a total of 64 projects have been awarded to the private sector, and the first projects are already on line. Private sector investment totalling US$14-billion has been committed, and these projects will generate 3922 MW of renewable power. Prices have dropped over the three bidding phases with average solar photovoltaic (PV) tariffs decreasing by 68% and wind dropping by 42%, in nominal terms. Most impressively, these achievements all occurred over a two-and-a-half year period. Finally, there have been notable improvements in the economic development commitments, primarily benefiting rural communities. One investor characterised the REIPPPP as “the most successful public-private partnership in Africa in the last 20 years.” Important lessons can be learned for both South Africa and other emerging markets contemplating investments in renewables and other critical infrastructure investments

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SA moves on solar atlas as project momentum builds

SA moves on solar atlas as project momentum builds | Solar South Africa | Scoop.it
A South African solar energy atlas is in the process of being developed to further stimulate the deployment of the both solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal technology solutions in the sun-rich country.
Science and Technology Deputy Minister Michael Masutha reported this week that the South African Weather Services was in the process of establishing 12 solar radiation stations across the country, with six already operational.
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Learning from Cape Town’s largest PV rooftop installation: Black River Park | UrbanEarth

Learning from Cape Town’s largest PV rooftop installation: Black River Park | UrbanEarth | Solar South Africa | Scoop.it

In one of Cape Town’s oldest suburbs, Observatory, lies an uber-modern office park powered by cutting edge solar photovoltaic technology. The Black River Park (BRP) solar PV plant, which currently stands at a capacity of 700 kWp adds to a growing number of commercial solar PV installations popping up on roofs across the Mother City.  

 

The project is currently in Phase 2 which will increase its capacity by a further 500 kWp making it the largest Solar PV Plant in the country. The plant employs the use of polycrystalline solar PV, a mature technology chosen for its reliability and cost-effectiveness. The first phase saw 2,875 panels installed, with a further 2,050 panels being installed in Phase 2. The entire system will be larger in area than a rugby field, topping 8000 square metres and is predicted to generate 1.9 million GWh per annum, or enough power for 1000 average sized houses. 

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The Tanzanian REFIT

Tanzania’s renewables sector has taken a step forward with the news that the Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA), as part of its collaboration with the US “Power Africa” scheme, has commissioned a report by Nexant on the potential framework for a renewables feed-in tariff scheme (REFIT). The proposed REFIT framework will comprise terms covering published tariffs, applicable regulations and process, and power purchase agreements (PPAs). The draft REFIT report (the Report) is currently out for consultation, pending finalisation and submission to EWURA later this year

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IPPs may face funding hurdle in South African Renewables

IPPs may face funding hurdle in South African Renewables | Solar South Africa | Scoop.it

As independent power production in South Africa expands, project funding could become trickier because government rules demand that projects have to be rand-funded, experts say.


Energy Minister Ben Martins announced in April  the prelude to the expansion of South Africa’s independent energy-generation capacity in the form of 800MW of co-generation and 2,500MW of coal-fired energy, on the back of the renewable energy independent power producer (IPP) programme adding more than 3,700MW to South Africa’s 41,900MW grid. He also made other announcements on renewable and gas energy and radioactive waste disposal.

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Are bonds a viable source of funding for REIPPP deals in South Africa? - Robert Gecelter - Investec Specialist Bank

Are bonds a viable source of funding for REIPPP deals in South Africa? - Robert Gecelter - Investec Specialist Bank | Solar South Africa | Scoop.it

The above question would be of interest to developers of Renewable Energy IPP Programme ("REIPPP") projects. Investec has considered this question repeatedly over the years, in connection with various project finance transactions.

 

The debt capital markets have seemed for a long time to be a real possibility for project finance in South Africa, but we have yet to see much activity, except for one lonely addition in the form of a bond issued by Soitec for their concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) plant earlier on in 2013.

In April 2013, Soitec issued a R1 billion JSE-listed bond to South African institutional investors. In addition, one South African bank is currently publicly marketing a conduit structure where REIPPP bank loans will be repackaged into JSE listed securities. Other than Soitec, practically all the other 47 deals that have closed under Rounds 1 and 2 of REIPPP were financed through conventional project finance bank debt, with some deals using ECA finance. The value of these 47 deals is about R75bn (USD7.5bn)

 

 

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Martins extends renewables allocation- further round 3 projects to be added to preferred bidders

Martins extends renewables allocation- further round 3 projects to be added to preferred bidders | Solar South Africa | Scoop.it
Energy Minister Dikobe Ben Martins confirmed on Monday that the long awaited cogeneration and coal independent power producer (IPP) procurement programmes would be initiated in April and May respectively.
In addition, in something of a surprise move, the Minister announced that further renewable-energy projects would be added to the list of 17 preferred projects selected in November, following the third bid window under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).
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SOITEC : SOITEC ANNOUNCES FULL COMMISSIONING OF 22MWP ON TOUWSRIVIER SOLAR PLANT IN SOUTH AFRICA

Soitec (Euronext Paris), a world leader in generating and manufacturing revolutionary semiconductor materials for energy and electronics, today announced that its Touwsrivier solar power plant has successfully fulfilled milestones set for commissioning 50% of the total capacity. This event confirms that the power plant performs in accordance with contractual specifications and validates the power purchase agreements applied to the 44MWp solar plant.

 

As anticipated this milestone will trigger the refinancing of the project through the availability of the proceeds of the bond issued on the Johannesburg stock exchange in April last year.

 

Thanks to its local partners and suppliers, Soitec is confident to complete this largest solar power plant of 44 MWp capacity in South Africa in the coming months. Currently more than 60% of the power plant has been installed.

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Solar-powered schools: Let the sun shine on education

Solar-powered schools: Let the sun shine on education | Solar South Africa | Scoop.it

A little more than two years ago, technology giant Samsung unveiled its first solar-power internet classroom at Phomolong in the Tembisa township outside Johannesburg. 

 

Nothing had to be built: the classroom arrived ready-made, in a renovated shipping container. It starts with solar panels on the roof of a 12m container, which generate up to nine hours of electricity a day for the equipment inside the classroom. That makes it possible to power a 50-inch electronic screen, solar-powered notebooks, Samsung Galaxy tablet computers and wi-fi cameras, all linked to the internet through wireless broadband.

 

The classroom can accommodate 21 students at a time but, as important, it can store the entire school curriculum in a central computer, also powered by the solar panels.

 

Until the internet classroom arrived at Phomolong Secondary School, it had been achieving around a 66% matric pass rate. Within two years, at the end of last year, the rate had rocketed to 96.5%, with 102 out of 199 students qualifying for bachelor studies.

 

"Our achievement is a culmination of a number of sustained systemic interventions," said principal MK Thoka in a letter to Samsung. He noted that the interventions had been "aimed at strengthening and improving performance of our learners particularly in mathematics, physical sciences and accounting". Ambitious goals had been set, he said, and these had been achieved thanks to Samsung's intervention.

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SA keen on green tech manufacturing

SA keen on green tech manufacturing | Solar South Africa | Scoop.it

The government wants South Africa to become a manufacturer of "green technology" such as parts for renewable energy plants, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said at the Living Planet Conference on Friday.

South Africa’s Integrated Resource Plan seeks 17.8GW of energy from renewables by 2030.

Mr Davies said the New Growth Path had identified "the green economy" as one of six growth drivers for South Africa. The New Growth Path was adopted in 2010 as the country’s framework for economic policy and the driver of its jobs strategy.


South Africa has for more than two decades suffered an unemployment rate that hovers at about 25% of working-age people.

Mr Davies said renewable energy investment in South Africa was already the equivalent of "12%-15%" of the government’s ambition to spend R1-trillion on infrastructure. It was all private investment.

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Municipalities urged to fast-track incentives to control solar PV

Municipalities urged to fast-track incentives to control solar PV | Solar South Africa | Scoop.it

Connecting rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to the national grid and incentivising contributors could ease municipalities’ fears of a loss in revenue and challenges around unregulated connections of the carbon-friendly technology.

 

The take-up of net metering, where rooftop output is connected to the grid and suppliers receive credit for contributions made, would enable local municipalities to control connections and limit revenue loss as residential, commercial and industrial users shifted from carbon-intensive power generators to more environment-friendly options such as solar.

 

Municipalities derived up to 70% of their income from electricity sales and concerns had emerged that solar PV installations could both reduce demand and provide cheaper output in ways which would jeopardise their finances, a report by independent consultants Frost & Sullivan revealed.

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African Development Bank Climate Fund allocating $115 M towards geothermal & PV projects

African Development Bank Climate Fund allocating $115 M towards geothermal & PV projects | Solar South Africa | Scoop.it
In a recent statement sent by the African Development Bank, there will be a grand total of $115 million USD for geothermal and solar projects as part of the Climate Investment Funds for Africa.

 

At the semi-annual Climate Investment Funds (CIF) governing body meetings held June 25-28 in Montego Bay, Jamaica, nine African nations were chosen to receive new funding and operational support from the CIF’s Scaling Up Renewable Energy in Low Income Countries Program (SREP). The nine African countries are: Benin, Ghana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zambia. This increases the number of African countries piloting CIF climate-smart investment plans to 25, nearly half of all 55 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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‘Radical transformation of South Africa's energy sector’ on the cards

‘Radical transformation of South Africa's energy sector’ on the cards | Solar South Africa | Scoop.it
In state of the nation address, President Jacob Zuma said the government had to respond decisively to South Africa’s energy constraints in order to create a conducive environment for growth

 

Shale gas and nuclear are set to play key roles alongside renewable energy and the ISMO bill that was dropped last year also received a key mention.

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Priorities for our new minister of energy - Anton Eberhard

Priorities for our new minister of energy - Anton Eberhard | Solar South Africa | Scoop.it

Tina Joemat-Pettersson faces a daunting task as South Africa’s new energy minister. She will be the seventh energy minister since the advent of democracy in 1994 (on average, ministers have occupied the position for less than three years). None have truly put their stamp on the sector and the challenges the new minister faces are arguably the most serious in 20 years.

 

Gone are the years of cheap and reliable electricity. Today it seems inconceivable that Eskom was once voted a leading brand. Now the minister has to provide leadership in resolving one of South Africa’s core economic challenges: providing enough electricity to power growth and employment. She will have to take a position on funding for Eskom, electricity prices, securing coal supplies, procurement of Independent Power Producers, investment in gas for power, cross-border hydro-electricity deals, more renewable energy and whether the country can afford to contract nuclear 

Laura Dinnewell's insight:

Anton Eberhard is one of the steering committee of the Solar Power Generation Indaba, 22-24 October www.solarindaba,com 

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Swiss IPP hopes SA rooftop installation will unlock private solar potential

Swiss IPP hopes SA rooftop installation will unlock private solar potential | Solar South Africa | Scoop.it

Dawn Group and Avelar Energy South Africa are delighted to announce the successful commissioning of a 166kWp solar PV plant at Dawn’s headquarters in Germiston. South Africa has seen a step change in PV penetration in the last two years with the governments REIPPPP program as well as ten or twenty commercial plants commissioned across the country and even by Eskom.


The cost of PV has reduced dramatically in recent years and offers socket-parity for many commercial users now (costs the same or less than Eskom). What makes this particular plant different is that it is funded entirely by Avelar Energy that has negotiated a Power Purchase Agreement with the Dawn Group. Avelar, part of the Renova Group, is increasingly positioning itself as the leading Independent Power Producer in Sub Saharan Africa, building off established momentum in Western Europe and Russia

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South Africa Is Primed for Major Solar Development

South Africa Is Primed for Major Solar Development | Solar South Africa | Scoop.it

South Africa enjoys some of the best sunshine in the world all year round and its electricity is among the most expensive on the planet. The country’s lofty solar ambitions therefore come as little surprise: Forty-two percent of South Africa’s newly-installed energy capacity should be renewable by 2030. Its solar power generation is expected to reach 1,050 MW by 2015 in contrast with just 25 MW in 2012. The country is also expected to have installed over four million solar panels and have the capacity to set up 1.6 million more by the same date. South Africa’s solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity should also reach 8.4 GW by 2030.


As a result South Africa is the most attractive emerging country for solar energy, according to a report released in January by intelligence firm IHS. It achieved a score of 66 out of 100 in IHS’s Emerging Markets Attractiveness Index for the final quarter in 2013, blazing ahead of its rivals by 17 points.

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UK investors & Zimbabwean govt meet over $5,2b solar project

UK investors & Zimbabwean govt meet over $5,2b solar project | Solar South Africa | Scoop.it

UK investors from clean energy company Green Rhino Energy recently met government officials to discuss the prospects of their solar power investment. They partnered with a local company called De Opper Trading to form De Green Rhino Energy and held marathon meetings with various ministries and government departments, according to chief executive Francis Gogwe.

 

De Green Rhino is expected to roll out solar power stations around the country with a capacity to generate up to 2,500 megawatts at a cost of $5,2 billion over the next 15 years. The company will build a 50MW solar station in Marondera. This will then be upgraded to 150MW at the cost of $400m. Construction is expected to start in June.

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Mail & Guardian: You will pay to bail out Eskom

Mail & Guardian: You will pay to bail out Eskom | Solar South Africa | Scoop.it

Eskom is in trouble – with seemingly nowhere to turn. The utility is in a funding crisis but government will no longer foot the bill.

 

Financially embattled Eskom has run to the government for additional funding to pay its spiralling bills. But the treasury has refused and said it will not fund the utility from its strained coffers, and the energy regulator couldn't help even if it wanted to.

 

Faced with a shortfall of hundreds of billions of rands, significant delays in bringing new power stations on line, the recent bout of load shedding, escalating costs and now serious talk of a requested bailout, Eskom is in trouble – with seemingly nowhere to turn.

The treasury has made it clear that its cupboard is bare: it does not have the funds to bail out the power utility. Its view is that the state-owned enterprise must fund its additional costs itself or turn to electricity users.

But the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa), an independent body meant to represent consumers in a tariff determination, is standing firm on its decision to grant a far lower electricity tariff increase than what Eskom applied for. In any event, its hands are tied for another year.

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Interview with Anthony Corin & Juwi

Interview with Anthony Corin & Juwi | Solar South Africa | Scoop.it

A newly installed solar field with 5 MW of power output will supply at least 7,000 homes in South Africa with energy, Deutsche Welle (DW) reported. However, according to one farmer who is leading a 2,000 MW project, the country’s solar energy potential extends far beyond this reach.

 

“There are two big advantages, especially to solar PV technology,” farmer Anthony Corin said. “The one is the accuracy of the simulations; the yield over an extended period. And second, the tariffs guaranteed through the power purchase agreement.”

 

DW also reported that by 2030, the South African government will have supported the construction of solar power plants that will collectively provide 8 GW of solar power. While there are 64 major renewable projects in the works across South Africa, the country first has to expand the capacity to support the projected 2030 goals.

 

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Electricity problems converge as the outgoing Eskom CEO departs - EE Publishers

Electricity problems converge as the outgoing Eskom CEO departs - EE Publishers | Solar South Africa | Scoop.it

We bid farewell to Brian Dames, the outgoing CEO of Eskom, after his last day at the utility yesterday. With the earlier departure of former Eskom financial director, Paul O’Flaherty, and head of communications, Hilary Joffe, this signals the end of an era – short though it was, at about four years.


Minister of Public Enterprises, Hon. Malusi Gigaba

While Dames’ departure may be understandable – the burdens of office of the Eskom CEO are particularly onerous these days, and he indicates that he needs to get a life again – it surely cannot be said that Dames has achieved success. In fact, by leaving before the end of his term at a critical stage in the construction of the new-build programme – which is running three years late and which he and O’Flaherty led – Dames has surely failed in the mission and goals that he would have set himself upon taking office.

The reality is that the utility is facing enormous problems which are converging at a time when Eskom has been left with an acting CEO with no direct experience of running a major state-owned enterprise and business the size of Eskom, or managing projects of the size and technical complexity of Medupi and Kusile.

The longstanding generation capacity crisis has led to the invoking of emergency protocols on at least three occasions since November 2013 in order to stave off a national power blackout. This has forced regular mandatory load curtailments by Eskom’s largest industrial customers – 32 of whom consume some 45% of the electricity generated by the utility – as well mandatory rotating load-shedding of industrial, commercial, agricultural and domestic customers country-wide for one day in February 2014.

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$100m renewables fund for sub-Saharan Africa

$100m renewables fund for sub-Saharan Africa | Solar South Africa | Scoop.it

The Nairobi-based African Renewable Energy Fund (AREF) yesterday announced its initial closing with US$100 million available to spur investment in grid-connected renewable energy projects in sub-Saharan Africa.

 

Solar projects of 5-50 MW in scale will be able to secure $10-$30 million of financial backing for development, along with projects in small hydro, wind, geothermal, biomass and waste gas, with the fund indicating further project funding may be available for larger projects.

 

The African Development Bank is the largest sponsor of the fund in the initial round, committing $65 million from its reserves as well as money from the Sustainable Energy for Africa fund and the Global Environment Facility.


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Scatec Solar to build East Africa's first utility-scale PV plant in Rwanda - PV-Tech

Scatec Solar to build East Africa's first utility-scale PV plant in Rwanda - PV-Tech | Solar South Africa | Scoop.it

Norway-based Scatec Solar is to build the first utility-scale PV plant in Rwanda, also said to be the first of its size in East Africa.

 

The company has closed on a US$23.7 million deal to finance the 8.5MW project with Norway’s international development fund, Norfund, and developer Gigawatt Global Coöperatief.

 

Construction is expected to start work immediately, with completion scheduled for this summer.

 

When complete, the plant is expected to increase Rwanda’s total electricity generation capacity by 8% and contribute towards the country’s stated aim of increasing its renewable energy capacity fivefold

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Solar Boom Boosts South African Salaries With 25% Jobless

Solar Boom Boosts South African Salaries With 25% Jobless | Solar South Africa | Scoop.it

Ramone van Wyk’s wage more than quadrupled when he gave up working on sheep farms in SouthAfrica’s arid Northern Cape province and got a job assembling a solar-thermal power plant forAbengoa SA. (ABG)

 

“I’ve never earned this kind of salary,” Van Wyk, 35, said in the lounge of a small two-bedroom home he shares with his parents, wife, two siblings and daughter in Pofadder, a one-hotel town near the Namibia border.

Van Wyk’s monthly wage jumped to 6,500 rand ($620) as South Africa’s largest province is transformed by President Jacob Zuma’s government energy policies. The initiative touched off the continent’s biggest boom in renewable power and is creating jobs in a country where unemployment has remained near 25 percent for the past four years.

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