One of the biggest salepersons around moved into South Africa recently. In Solar PV Systems we call that person; "Sir Eskom Loadshedding!" "Phone and web site enquiries have escalated somewhat since the start of loadshedding," says Alan Straton from Straton Solar. "Everyone wants to be free of Eskom and loadshedding and most are of the impression that Solar Power is the magic bullet to do that," explained Alan. The price of Solar Panels has plummeted over the last 8 years and the electricity price per unit (Kw) manufactured from a pure grid tie solar installation is now less than 70c per unit amortised over the 20 year expected life of an installation. On the other hand the price of batteries still needs to reach that tipping point before beginning to plummet. "Batteries are the next frontier in terms of lower price and higher storage capacity," says Straton. Solar PV comes in 3 'flavours: Grid Tie only (here you will still be affected by loadshedding) Grid Tie with Battery Backup, referred to as a Hybrid System (load shedding will not affect you - depending on the size of your batteries) Off Grid - Here you are on your own with no connection to the grid at all. Taking the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality as an example Straton said: A Grid Tie system for a single phase installation may only be a maximum of 5 KW in size. This is good enough for an annual average of 960 units of electricity each month (more in summer, less in winter). The pay back on such a system is around 6 to 7 years. IF the system is installed in a business then the payback is from the time of switching on as Section 12B of the Income Tax allows an immediate 100% depreciation allowance on renewable energy installation. If you do not have mission critical items then Grid Tie only is the way to go. A Hybrid System also operates under the same constraints as the Pure Grid Tie system above. In addition the conversation around batteries is that one must remember . . .
The partnership between the University of South Africa (Unisa), mining company Exxaro Resources and the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) officially launched its first institutional anaerobic biogas digester at Earth Centre in Johannesburg on the 28th November 2018. The 10 cubic metre bio-digester uses a feedstock of horse manure diluted with a sustainable volume of water, including grey water, to produce biogas fuel for heating applications. In households, schools, early childhood development centres and community facilities, the fuel can be used for as a substitute for electricity or LPG. It can be used for cooking, water heating, space heating and lighting. The installation and utilisation of the biogas from the biogas digester will not only improve people’s standard of living but will also help the environment by minimising organic waste that is left to decompose uncontrolled. After the processing of horse manure, the resultant digestate is an organic fertiliser which can be used to support organic gardening and other farming processes. Due to the nature of the project, there are opportunities to create primary jobs in the implementation, operation and maintenance of the biogas systems. The project is also able to support secondary job creation in supporting food security initiatives and other farming activities. The biogas projects can also help to mitigate climate change-related challenges in capturing methane and combusting it into heat and carbon dioxide. It minimises bio-wastes sterilises them into digestate that can be valorised. This initiative adds to the skill development of the operators who ultimately can diversify their skills into renewable energy services and stimulate an interest in renewable energy and energy diversity. “This 10 cubic metre digester, has been inoculated for a period of three months to enable the bacteria to produce biogas. It is the first time in the works of SANEDI and UNISA that this kind of . . .
Mother City to welcome back 10 000+ energy and water professionals Photo: Spintelligent and U.S. Department of Commerce The 19th edition of the multi-award-winning African Utility Week conference and exhibition in Cape Town has obtained official U.S. Trade Fair Certification from the U.S. Department of Commerce, paving the way for a greater American participation at the event in Cape Town from 14-16 May next year. Along with the recently acquired, co-located event POWERGEN Africa, the event gathers the largest group of power, energy and water professionals in the African market. “We are delighted to announce that U.S. Trade Certification has been granted, with the United States officially endorsing the event. We are looking forward to working with the U.S. Commercial Service over the next few months to facilitate U.S. participation at the event” says Edgar Baron, International Sales and Business Development Manager for Spintelligent, the organisers of African Utility Week. He adds: “U.S. exhibitors will be able to connect with 10 000+ attendees from over 80 countries over the 3-day exhibition and conference and generate leads and qualified business enquiries showcasing their innovative solutions and build partnerships at the leading power, energy and water expo in Africa.” The U.S. Commercial Service/ITA team will be providing export assistance to U.S. exhibitors. B2B matchmaking meetings with utilities, energy providers and Government officials will be available to U.S. exhibitors. Apart from the official U.S. country pavilion at African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa showcasing specialised technology and services for the utility, metering, renewable and water industries, country pavilions from Germany, India, Denmark, France and Canada have already confirmed their presence at the 3-day event in May 2019 at the CTICC in Cape Town. At least four more country pavilions are expected on the exhibition floor. Industry support A multi-award-winning . . .
At the 2018 South African National Energy Association (SANEA) awards evening, held at the end of August 2018, the Renewable Energy Centre of Research and Development (RECORD) unit of the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) presented two awards in the RECORD Renewable Energy Research Excellence (RERE) categories. Both were won by women. Ms Gamuchirai Mutezo, a PHD candidate at the School of Chemical & Metallurgical Engineering at Wits University, won the Young Researcher award for her contribution to renewable energy research. She is an independent researcher, conducting academic and applied research in the field of waste-to-energy, primarily biogas development in Africa's peri-urban and rural areas and is the Chief Operations Officer at SEA Africa, a research firm that aims to ‘Link Business to African Markets’. Ms Kimenthrie Pillay, a director and principal consultant at Thrie Energy Collective, won the Commercial Application award for her novel and commercially viable renewable research. She is part of a young, innovative and passionate sustainable consulting agency. It works with businesses, organisations and local government to help improve the sustainability of energy practices, enhance understanding of the needs of communities and advance the potential for technology and development to thrive in Africa. “We applaud the efforts of all of the candidates for awards this year but are particularly pleased to be able to make these awards to women in science,” says Thembakazi Mali, interim CEO at SANEDI. “They serve as role models to encourage young girls to enter the world of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), which we need given the low percentage of enrolment in these subjects. We wish then every success, as they continue in their career of renewable energy.” The South African government established the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) to direct, monitor and conduct . . .
For the second year in succession, the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) received a clean audit. SANEDI, an agency of the Department of Energy (DoE), is mandated to direct, monitor and conduct energy research and development, promote applied energy research and technology innovation, as well as undertake measures to promote the uptake of green energy and energy efficiency throughout the economy. Its mission is to use applied and energy research and resource efficiency to develop innovative, integrated solutions that will catalyse growth and prosperity to meet its vision of sustainable living for growth and prosperity in Africa. “As an organisation, we are delighted that our sound governance and financial protocols have again led us to a clean audit,” says Dr Thembakazi Mali, interim CEO at SANEDI. “We thank Lethabo Manamela, our CFO, and Tuleka Mpotulo, our Corporate Planner, and their teams for all their hard work in achieving this triumph. We would also like to thank the Board, under the leadership of Nkululeko Buthelezi, which has enabled us to deliver on so many of our objectives.” “The success of SANEDI is not only predicated on the availability of human and financial resources but also on its effective policies and procedures, systems and relationships, which enable it to adhere to its governance requirements. The Board is proud of SANEDI’s achievements in securing another clean audit,” adds Nkululeko Buthelezi, interim chairperson of the SANEDI Board. “SANEDI’s activities contribute to all of society, across the entire energy landscape, through cleaner fossil fuels, Smart Grids, cleaner mobility, data and knowledge management and key projects in renewable energy and energy efficiency programmes and Working for Energy job creation programmes,” continues Mali. “In addition to our close cooperation with the DoE, we also have strengthened our ties with the Department of Science & Technology, the Department of . . .
“Reliable, cost-effective electricity is vital not only to improving people’s lives but to the economy’s ability to attract investment and create jobs. Our Integrated Resource Plan must be carefully calibrated to ensure that energy security is not compromised,” says Black Royalty Minerals CEO Ndavhe Mareda. “In particular, a rapid and aggressive transition away from coal will put the entire economy at risk. We need to strike the right balance.” Mareda argues that South Africa’s current draft Integrated Resource Plan is too ambitious and that attempts to meet the targets will have serious consequences. It is important to recognise that coal provides 76 percent of South Africa’s energy at present, and the country is still investing large amounts of money in new coal-generation. In addition, the country has large reserves of coal. It is thus important that the nation gets a proper return on its investment in this technology. At the same time, the coal industry employs some 82 000 people earning more than R22 billion, and it supports economic activity related to its value chain valued at R61 billion. “It is vital that we plan carefully to ensure that new jobs are created to counterbalance those that are lost, and that the economic contribution of the coal value chain is replaced. It is also very important to consider affordability - if electricity is too expensive, it will deter investment and will also impact the poor,” he points out. One also needs to recognise that South Africa currently lacks a significant domestic renewable technology sector, and thus its capacity to provide significant numbers of new jobs is non-existent. In addition, a high reliance on imported technology and skills will reduce the multiplier effect the industry will have on the economy as a whole. The truth is that while renewable energy is making huge strides, it is not yet ready to provide the all-important base power that any economy depends on. It is subject to the vagaries . . .
The Electrical Contractor's Association for South Africa (ECA SA) showcased Port Elizabeth based Building Automation firm, BA Systems, in their October 2018 Magazine, Electrical Contractor. BA Systems scooped the ECA SA Presidential Award as the Best Contributor to Energy Efficiency following their project at the Product Testing Institute in the Coega IDZ, Port Elizabeth. This R4 Million project saw Building Automation Systems facilitate the installation of the building management system, and help the facility attain a 5 Star Green Star compliance rating. Green Star is a voluntary rating system for building projects, and is used to encourage the implementation of new and emerging technology, and to encourage a more environmentally friendly approach to designing and developing buildings. The Design phase of the Product Testing Institute building attained a 6 Star rating. The Product Testing Institute has been fitted with a modern building management system, which allows for cost efficient, environmentally friendly, automated management of the lighting, air-conditioning and blinds within the facility. Through the clever use of C-Bus and StruxureWare systems, Building Automation Systems was able to reduce power consumption by ensuring that lights and air-conditioners are not left on needlessly when an area is unoccupied. With the use of sensors located throughout the building that provide feedback to the building management system, it is possible for the building management and maintenance employees to monitor and keep track of the water, electricity and gas consumption, along with the amount of Solar Power generated. This information provides valuable insight into the cost of running and maintaining the facility. A record of environmental conditions is also maintained, with the current and previous day’s weather conditions being shown on the system monitor. The environmental factors will over time reveal the peak periods for Solar PV production, . . .
Petroleum giant’s Enterprise & Supplier Development fund provides an encouraging stimulus for a South Durban engineering firm. David Swartz grew up hard in the Durban township of Wentworth, where opportunities were scarce. His dreams of becoming an architect, thwarted by the modest financial position of his parents, saw him kick-off his working career as a semi-skilled artisan in local industry. Not one to accept mediocrity, David studied diligently to achieve diplomas in project management, auditing and contracts management. His hard work eventually earned him a contracts management role at packaging and paper giant, Mondi. In 2009, with a vision of owning his own engineering services company, David left Mondi to pursue his dream. Convincing his wife Melanie to join him, the duo setup a Level 1 B-BBEE accredited project management consultancy, with David’s technical focus complimenting Melanie’s ability to manage and streamline office processes. Operating out of their modest rented home, they soon landed a project management contract with Trotech Engineering to help manage a tank maintenance contract at the Engen refinery. When Trotech’s contract expired in 2014, David faced losing his own contract and essential income. However, a chance discussion with an Engen representative at the refinery ended up changing David Swartz’ future in a flash. It was suggested to David that he tender for the complete Engen refinery tank project solution contract. Undaunted, David Swartz Engineering Services (DSES) was born, adding its name to a tender list of 24 other companies. When Engen informed David and Melanie that DSES was on a shortlist of two companies, David sensed that Engen had been impressed with what they saw in him. Yet, when Engen actually awarded the contract to DSES, he found himself hopelessly unprepared for the challenges of owning and operating an engineering services company. “We started out with no money and a critical need to employ people . . .
MEC for Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane welcomed the release of the long-awaited draft of the national reviewed Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) earlier this week. “The policy is a game changer for the province and will help it to spearhead substantial job creation and investment. The effect is that it could ensure the province comes good on its aspiration to maximise its already-significant position in the renewable energy and gas sector,” he explains. The national policy, which provides clear and succinct certainty on how South Africa will generate the additional capacity it requires over the next decade, points to the influential role for renewable energy and gas which for the province would mean liquid natural gas (LNG). “What’s exciting about this new way forward is that this policy could open the floodgates for even greater growth for the province. We are open for business and ready – technically, institutionally and in terms of location processes,” he explains. Close on 75% of the additional capacity that is being planned will come from solar, wind and gas with the remaining going to hydro and coal, much like the trend globally where more renewable power capacity has been added than coal, nuclear and gas power over the past few years. Mabuyane explains that the proposed additional energy generation mix affirms Eastern Cape’s current energy footprint and the province’s sustainable energy strategy. “In the case of renewable energy, just over 50% of the additional capacity will come from wind and solar. In this respect, the Eastern Cape has significant resources as well as an impressive existing footprint with over 16 wind farms and one solar farm. In the case of gas energy – which is to contribute almost 23% of this new energy - the IRP points to the likelihood of a 1,000 MW gas-to-power project at Coega whose state of the readiness is well-known. “The province has been preparing for this . . .
Nairobi, Kenya (August 20, 2018) – The African Power Platform (APP) has been launched as a new initiative to connect Governmental and Private Stakeholders of the African power sector by creating a network where they can connect with ease. The APP is a channel of communication for the market and assists in circulating and propagating tenders, business opportunities and intelligence to Members for business expansion. “My love and commitment to Africa played a major role on the decision of launching the African Power Platform,” says Jorge Lascas, Founder and Managing Director of the APP. A firm believer in the social and economic growth of Africa, the APP, maintains that it is imperative to create one platform where Independent Power Producers, Developers, Financiers, Consultants, and other like-minded individuals, along with Ministries, Regulators and Utilities can share ideas and possible solutions concerning the lack of electricity in Africa. To further assist in the continent’s social and economic growth, APP Members have the ability to stay abreast on current events concerning the power sector by signing up for newsletters and press releases. The organisation has also created a means by which Members can share information regarding networking events. It is through this social and economic development, as well as the financial assistance of members, that the APP hopes to contribute to Africa's electrification. “Power is critical for every single country in Africa and we are here to support all of them equally,” says Lascas. According to the APP, there are more than 600 million people in Africa without electricity. “We will be in soft launching until the end of 2018 and expect to gather 50 members during this period. It will allow us to fine tune and optimize our strategy. In 2019 we expect to go full power and register 100 members.” says Lascas. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .