While it has seen little fallout for its operating PV assets, the Norwegian solar developer says the coronavirus pandemic has started to affect construction, commissioning and testing of some of its new solar plants.
The country’s energy regulator published two papers this week to solicit public feedback on plans that Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe recently submitted for review. The first document relates to the tech-neutral procurement of 2 GW of short-term risk-mitigation capacity, which could see solar emerge as a winner due to its quick deployment times. The second paper is linked to the nation’s Integrated Resource Plan 2019, which aims for up to 6 GW of new large-scale solar by 2030, as well as an additional 6 GW of distributed-generation capacity.
The country’s top appeals court has dismissed the Coal Transporters Forum’s long-running effort to nullify 2.3 GW of power purchase agreements which financially troubled utility Eskom signed with solar and wind developers in the country’s fourth national tender round years ago.
Reports of module under-performance at the Mulilo Sonnedix Prieska solar project have prompted a response from South African company Artsolar, one of the module suppliers for the plant. The project is said to be experiencing serious problems due to premature module degradation. Divian Govendar, CEO of Johannesburg-based Artsolar, said the company has not been required to replace any modules at the site.
The South African project is reportedly experiencing serious problems due to premature module degradation. Claims of extensive backsheet failure have emerged and it is said widespread module replacement will be required. The modules used in the project were supplied by Chinese manufacturer BYD and South African producer Artsolar.
The South African utility is seeking offers for the supply of 1,383 320 W polycrystalline modules and mounting structures, to be used for the construction of four off-grid PV projects at its research center.
The Minerals Council South Africa has urged the government to solve the country’s energy crisis by adding more power generation capacity from both distributed and large-scale renewables. Meanwhile, several mining companies operating in South Africa are planning their own big solar parks, including two 200 MW facilities under development by Sibanye-Stillwater and Vedanta.
A list compiled by a British price comparison website draws upon data from German company Statista which shows clean energy – including hydro – made up 12.74% of the nation’s power mix at the end of September.
French thinktank the Institut Montaigne says Africa is absent from the global solar revolution for several reasons including a lack of suitable financing tools, the small size of projects and a systematic recourse to tendering. Removing artificial price signals set by ever more competitive tenders could be a step towards a more mature market, ready for large scale solar tenders.
Battery innovations started to come thick and fast this quarter as the hunt for alternatives to lithium-ion intensified and the latest slew of solar tenders indicated the relentless pressure on solar power generation costs was showing no sign of abating.
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