South Africa

South Africa’s load shedding nightmare may vanish with more renewables

As utility Eskom starts load shedding due to power plant failure, the 4 GW of wind and solar in the country are helping reduce energy shortages. Blue Horizon Energy Consulting Services’ Chris Ahlfeldt tells pv magazine renewables – rather than Eskom’s plans to expand conventional generation capacity – would provide a safer, cheaper solution to the power crisis.

South African renewables may be boosted by plan to privatize utility

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced a plan to rescue state-owned power company Eskom by separating it into three units. According to consultants Frost & Sullivan, although that may not be enough to completely address the utility’s financial crisis it may further encourage investment in renewables.

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GPTech plan to manufacture inverters in South Africa

The production line would mean the Spanish company would comply with local content requirements. GPTech says its order book exceeds 400 MW, including 200 MW of large-scale projects in South Africa.

Seraphim expands South African solar cell fab plans to 500 MW

Chinese solar manufacturer Seraphim has announced plans for a 500 MW cell factory in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The company also plans to expand an existing 300 MW module factory in South Africa’s Eastern Cape region by 200 MW.

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Some 42% of the world’s coal generators run at a loss

Carbon Tracker has released a report claiming it is cheaper, in many markets, to construct new renewable generation assets instead of running legacy coal-fired power plants. Billions could be saved for customers, while profits in the two-digit billion-dollar range look set to be lost by the coal industry.

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Scatec Solar raises the stakes in South African PV

Norwegian developer Scatec has upped its holding in three operational PV projects in South Africa. Each of the plants is operating under a 20-year PPA with utility Eskom. Scatec’s investments in the country are secured by guarantees from the World Bank Group.

Hanergy opens up with details of China’s new Great (Han)Wall

Thin-film manufacturer says its skyscraper product, which can be retrofitted, will open up a new BIPV marketplace – but spokesman sidesteps question of whether Trump’s solar duties will apply in the US.

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Decentralized solar-plus-storage would fire sub-Saharan Africa

According to a UC Berkeley study, the falling costs of storage technologies will make it possible for Sub-Saharan countries to rely on decentralized systems based mainly on solar-plus-storage, bringing access to electricity to more than 600 million people.

World Bank to devote $1 billion to storage in developing countries

The Accelerating Battery Storage for Development program is intended to leverage US$4 billion in new investments, and to support projects for utility-scale solar parks with battery storage, off-grid systems, including mini-grids, and stand-alone batteries.

Eni joins race for Africa’s clean energy market

Via an agreement with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Italian oil company aims to increase its presence in Africa’s renewable energy markets. It already invests more than half of its budget in the region.

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