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Storage News

Today’s well-supplied market for critical minerals ‘may not be a good guide for future’ 

By: Terence Creamer     17th May 2024 A new International Energy Agency (IEA) report describes the sharp decline in critical mineral prices over the past year as a double-edged sword, cautioning that, while it has been a boon for clean energy deployment and affordability, it is a bane for critical mineral investment and... 

Battery storage procurement faces some delays 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      10th May 2024 Engineering News editor Terence Creamer discusses South Africa's approach to procuring battery storage, the delays that some of the battery storage bid windows face and the likely market reaction to these delays. 

Photo of Terence Creamer
Battery storage procurement faces some delays

Blue Energy, wheel maker ink green power deal

By: Irma Venter     10th May 2024 Local developer and operator of clean energy infrastructure Blue Energy Africa has signed a 20-year deal with Borbet South Africa (SA) for the procurement of power from renewable-energy sources. Founded in 1962 by Peter Wilhelm Borbet, the family-owned company has five locations in Germany, as... 

Deadline for latest battery procurement also extended as IPPs adjust to Eskom’s new grid access rules 

By: Terence Creamer     9th May 2024 The deadline for South Africa’s recently launched third battery energy storage bidding round, or bid window three (BW3), has been extended by three months to October 31, following a recent deadline extension for the concurrent second battery bidding round from April 30 to June 6. Independent... 

Battery storage

South African company comes second in Milken-Motsepe Prize in Green Energy competition

By: Sabrina Jardim     7th May 2024 The Milken Institute and the Motsepe Foundation have announced Aftrak and Omnivat as winners of the Milken-Motsepe Prize in Green Energy – a $2-million innovation competition to reward entrepreneurs working to expand access to reliable, affordable and sustainable offgrid electricity in Africa.... 

Winners of the Milken-Motsepe Prize in Green Energy
Photo by The Milken-Motsepe Innovation Prize Program
Winners of the Milken-Motsepe Prize in Green Energy, Dr. Carl Telford and Dr. Jonathan Wilson from Aftrak, and Runner-Up Winners, Randy Kabuya and Deney van Rooyen from Omnivat, pictured with Dr. Patrice Motsepe (left), Mike Milken and Dr. Emily Musil Church (right) at the Milken Institute Global Conference

NamPower grid-strengthening and battery storage project secures $138.5m World Bank backing

By: Terence Creamer     7th May 2024 The World Bank has approved a $138.5-million finance package to support the integration of renewable energy into Namibia’s electricity system by strengthening its transmission grid and integrating a second utility scale battery storage system into the country’s network. The initiative, which is... 

Power line and substation

Climate commission model points to the growth potential of green industrialisation 

By: Terence Creamer     6th May 2024 The initial direct cost of placing South Africa on an energy transition pathway over the coming five years in line with its decarbonisation targets is calculated at a hefty R1.5-trillion in the Just Energy Transition Investment Plan (JET-IP). Less visible, however, are the socioeconomic costs... 

Wind and solar

New Mulilo CEO says South Africa’s renewables, storage markets poised for exponential growth

By: Terence Creamer     2nd May 2024 Independent power producer Mulilo reports that Jan Fourie has officially assumed the role of CEO, where he will oversee the company’s growth ambitions in South Africa’s public-procurement and private-offtake markets for both renewable energy and battery storage. Fourie, who is an electrical... 

Mulilo chairperson Jan Oberholzer with new CEO Jan Fourie
Mulilo chairperson Jan Oberholzer with new CEO Jan Fourie

City Power seeks funding, manufacturing partners for informal settlement ‘energy box’  

By: Terence Creamer     30th April 2024 Johannesburg’s City Power is seeking manufacturing and venture capital partners to further develop and pilot a rugged ‘energy box’ concept in one of the city’s 312 informal settlements as a possible greener and safer alternative to the illegal connections that currently predominate. Chief... 

Joburg has 312 informal settlements where illegal connections pose an electrocution risk
Photo by Bloomberg
Joburg has 312 informal settlements where illegal connections pose an electrocution risk

UK-Morocco renewable energy link plan gets $10.2m boost

By: Bloomberg     30th April 2024 GE Vernova invested $10.2-million in Xlinks First, the UK company planning a massive renewable power project in Morocco and a 4 000 km undersea cable to deliver the energy to Britain. The investment helped close the latest funding round for Xlinks First, capping $110-million raised to date,... 

EDF Renewables, partners building 1.2 GW of low-carbon power capacity

By: Darren Parker     26th April 2024 EDF Renewables is currently leading the construction of almost 1.2 GW of low-carbon power generation capacity in South Africa, comprised of 763 MW of wind power, 355 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) and 75 MW of battery storage. This new build programme comprises eight sites across the Northern and... 

Wind turbines being erected at one of Koruson 1 sites

Solar rental firm begins testing roll-out model for underserved communities 

By: Terence Creamer     25th April 2024 Local solar-as-a-subscription service provider Wetility is deploying a rooftop solar solution in a lower-income community as part of a proof-of-concept study to firm up the feasibility of extending the offering to other underserved areas. COO Franta Pour tells Engineering News that the company’s... 

A Wetility installer

Tumble in storage battery costs to boost shift to renewables, says IEA

By: Reuters     25th April 2024 An expected sharp fall in battery costs for energy storage in coming years will accelerate the shift to renewable energy from fossil fuels, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Thursday. While renewable energy by itself is already much cheaper than coal and gas-fired plants, weather can... 

IEA executive director Fatih Birol
IEA executive director Fatih Birol

Blue Energy signs 20-year green power deal with wheel manufacturer

By: Irma Venter     24th April 2024 Local developer and operator of clean energy infrastructure, Blue Energy Africa, has signed a 20-year deal with Borbet South Africa (SA) for the procurement of power from renewable-energy sources. Founded in 1962 by Peter Wilhelm Borbet, the family-owned company has five locations in Germany, as... 

Blue Energy signs 20-year green power deal with wheel manufacturer

Gauteng govt rolls out 6.3 MWh of solar power at 27 healthcare facilities 

By: Darren Parker     23rd April 2024 The Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) has installed and commissioned a combined equivalent of six independent microgrid power plants through the installation of rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) and battery storage at 27 prioritised health institutions across the province. The total combined... 

Battery and invertor at government clinic

IEA expects another record year for EVs in 2024, but sales remain concentrated

By: Terence Creamer     23rd April 2024 The International Energy Agency (IEA) expects electric vehicle (EV) sales to rise to a record 17-million in 2024, representing more than one in every five passenger cars sold, but with sales likely to remain highly concentrated in the Chinese, European and US markets. Sales rose by 35% last year... 

IEA expects another record year for EVs in 2024, but sales remain concentrated

Ramokgopa describes IPP surpluses as low-hanging fruit amid delay in finding contractual solution  

By: Terence Creamer     22nd April 2024 Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa describes surplus electricity arising from existing renewable energy facilities as “low hanging fruit” in improving the supply-demand balance and reports that discussions are under way to assess ways to make this energy available to the grid. Speaking... 

Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa
Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa

Efforts to boost local manufacture of renewable energy components  

By: Creamer Media Reporter      19th April 2024 Engineering News editor Terence Creamer discusses South Africa's plans to stimulate local manufacturing around solar, wind and batteries. 

Efforts to boost local manufacture of renewable energy components
Efforts to boost local manufacture of renewable energy components

Joburg Water showcases its reservoirs 

17th April 2024 Johannesburg Water has showcased some of the various reservoirs and systems that supply the City of Johannesburg with water. The water utility also outlined the challenges in operating the systems that feed the economic hub with the critical resource. Natasha Odendaal has the story. 

Joburg Water showcases its reservoirs
Joburg Water showcases its reservoirs

Electricity outlook for winter  

By: Creamer Media Reporter      12th April 2024 Engineering News editor Terence Creamer discusses the halt in loadshedding over recent weeks; what South Africans should expect for the higher-demand winter period; and the longer-term outlook for South Africa's electricity sector. 

Electricity outlook for winter
Electricity outlook for winter

Globeleq says R5.7bn Red Sands will be largest standalone battery storage project in Africa  

By: Terence Creamer     5th April 2024 Leading African independent power producer Globeleq says the 153 MW/612 MWh Red Sands project, which was recently awarded preferred bidder status under South Africa’s inaugural battery storage public procurement round, will be the largest standalone battery energy storage system (BESS) in Africa... 

Globeleq CEO Mike Scholey
Globeleq CEO Mike Scholey

Battery storage, renewables procurement make headlines  

By: Creamer Media Reporter      5th April 2024 Engineering News editor Terence Creamer discusses the latest developments with regard to the procurement of new electricity generation capacity and storage. 

Battery storage, renewables procurement make headlines
Battery storage, renewables procurement make headlines

Clean energy company implements renewable energy system for major agri business

By: Rebecca Campbell     2nd April 2024 South African clean energy infrastructure development and operation company Blue Energy Africa has highlighted its implementation of hybrid solar and battery energy systems for a major Western Cape agricultural company. The client was Robertson-based Smuts Brothers Agri (Smuts), which is a... 

Third battery storage programme seeks bids for five Free State sites  

By: Terence Creamer     2nd April 2024 The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has launched South Africa’s third public procurement round for utility-scale batteries, while also extending the bid submission deadline for Bid Window Two (BW2) of the Battery Energy Storage Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme... 

Eskom's Hex battery project, developed separately form the IPP procurement programmes currently under way
Eskom's Hex battery project, developed separately form the IPP procurement programmes currently under way

IRP 2023 comment deadline fast approaching  

By: Creamer Media Reporter      20th March 2024 Engineering News editor Terence Creamer discusses the fast-approaching deadline for public comment on the draft Integrated Resource Plan of 2023 and stakeholders' likely reaction. 

IRP 2023 comment deadline fast approaching
IRP 2023 comment deadline fast approaching

Conclusions in opaque IRP 2023 are ‘incorrect and economically damaging’ 

By: Terence Creamer     19th March 2024 In an excoriating assessment of the draft Integrated Resource Plan 2023 (IRP 2023), Meridian Economics points to serious problems with the modelling and cost assumptions used by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE), which the consultancy says has resulted in “incorrect and... 

Unconstrained IRP would have far more wind and solar PV, analysis shows
Unconstrained IRP would have far more wind and solar PV, analysis shows

Sungrow launches new three-phase battery/inverter system in South Africa

By: Darren Parker     15th March 2024 Solar power solutions company Sungrow has unveiled its three-phase inverter and battery energy solution in South Africa, featuring several new inverter models and battery options suited for both residential and commercial or industrial applications. For residential applications, the single phase... 

Sungrow's new three-phase inverters

Tharisa launches its Redox One energy storage business

By: Sabrina Jardim     12th March 2024 Integrated resource group Tharisa has launched its Redox One business, which develops long-term energy storage solutions that incorporate the raw materials produced by Tharisa. The company says its solutions use proprietary proven technology developed over decades, including by the National... 

Redox One CEO THOMAS GEBAUER
Redox One CEO THOMAS GEBAUER

Metair’s shares rise on expectation of higher earnings

By: Schalk Burger     11th March 2024 The share price of JSE-listed energy storage and automotive components company Metair rose by more than 26% on March 11, after the company announced that it expected to report earnings a share of 44c to 53c and headline earnings a share of 128c to 140c for the 2023 financial year. This compares... 

The Hesto Harnesses factory in South Africa

GDP figures cap decade of negative GDP per capita growth – BLSA

By: Schalk Burger     11th March 2024 While the gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the fourth quarter of 2023 was 0.1%, growth was negative in terms of GDP per capita, given that population growth is outpacing it. "We have been trending lower since 2013, and have now crowned a decade of negative per capita growth. South Africans... 

Locomotives used by Transnet Freight Rail

Move to formalise deal on injecting private skills into Eskom amid plan to add and recover 10.6 GW by end-2025  

By: Terence Creamer     6th March 2024 Government and business have set a goal of increasing South Africa’s electricity generation capacity by 10.6 GW by the end of 2025 as part of ongoing collaborative efforts to tackle growth-sapping power disruptions and reduce the intensity and almost daily frequency of loadshedding by year-end.... 

Kendal power station

Solar, battery, inverter imports surged to R70bn in 2023 as wind turbines recovered from two-year lull  

By: Terence Creamer     4th March 2024 South African imports of solar panels, lithium-ion batteries and inverters climbed to a record $3.8-billion last year, or about R70-billion, while imports of wind turbines began to recover following a two-year lull, analysis compiled by Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies senior economist Gaylor... 

Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies senior economist Gaylor Montmasson-Clair
Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies senior economist Gaylor Montmasson-Clair

Another 124 power plants registered with Nersa raising total to 1 087 since 2018 

By: Terence Creamer     23rd February 2024 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) reports that a further 124 generation facilities were registered during the third quarter of its financial year from October to December, increasing the number of facilities registered since 2018 to 1 087. The newly registered generators have... 

Solar panels

Milken-Motsepe finalists in South Africa to showcase their off-grid, green energy designs

By: Irma Venter     20th February 2024 Bold, scaleable and collaborative – these are the three characteristics of the project that will clinch the $1-million Milken–Motsepe Prize in Green Energy, says Milken Institute senior director Dr Emily Musil Church. The Milken Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank bringing together... 

Image of OMNIVAT's containerised energy solution
OMNIVAT's containerised energy solution

Energy Council of South Africa joins World Energy Council

By: Schalk Burger     19th February 2024 The Energy Council of South Africa has become a member of the United Nations-affiliated global body the World Energy Council (WEC), which will serve to strengthen the standing of the Energy Council of South Africa and provide access to a range of international resources and global networks, as... 

Innovative 128 MW solar-wind-battery project achieves financial close  

By: Terence Creamer     14th February 2024 The 128 MW Oya Energy hybrid project, which will combine variable renewables and batteries to produce dispatchable electricity daily between 5:00 and 21:30 for injection into South Africa’s loadshedding-prone grid, reached financial close on Tuesday, February 13. The project was named as a... 

Wind, solar, batteries

IEA to launch security programme for minerals critical to energy sector

By: Reuters     14th February 2024 The International Energy Agency (IEA) is launching a programme to secure the supply of minerals critical to energy security, as demand rises fast while manufacturing remains in the hands of a few key producers, its executive director said on Tuesday. Fatih Birol said the production of electric... 

IEA executive director Fatih Birol
Photo by Bloomberg
IEA executive director Fatih Birol
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