Tag Archives: Renewable energy

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and renewable energy

Bishop Geoff Davies, in the Daily Maverick, 9 February, 2017.

So-called developed countries are doing their best to move away from both coal and nuclear energy, with huge investment in developing renewable energy. South Africa, we had hoped, would have become a manufacturing hub for renewable energy in Africa.

“We mustn’t listen to those who say we must only use renewable energy,” said aspiring president Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma at a church gathering this past weekend. No developed country uses only renewable energy, there must be a mix, she said.

It is highly unfortunate that our political leaders are so poorly informed about energy developments – or are they so well informed about the financial benefits to be gained through the procurement of nuclear energy that they support nuclear energy at all costs?

There are such dramatic developments taking place in electricity storage, and equally dramatic reduction in costs, that long before a nuclear power station could be built, renewable energy will be far cheaper, safer and more accessible to the people of South Africa than nuclear-generated electricity delivered through a centralised grid could ever be.


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Fossil Fuels Just Lost the Race Against Renewables

Bloomberg Business, Tom Randall, 14 April

The race for renewable energy has passed a turning point. The world is now adding more capacity for renewable power each year than coal, natural gas, and oil combined. And there’s no going back.

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South Africa ‘needs to broaden energy supply to include renewables’

19 Mar | BDay Live | Sue Blaine

THE “power crunch” South Africa was experiencing was evidence the country needed to both increase its energy supply, and broaden it to include more flexible energy sources such as renewables, the Word Wide Fund for Nature’s Living Planet Unit chief Saliem Fakir said on Monday.

South Africa, which has suffered a thin energy reserve for several years, is facing blackouts after software critical to Eskom’s Medupi power plant’s operating system failed three tests, especially as there is no clarity on whether the problem can be fixed.

“It is clear Medupi will not come online until 2014, or even later…. Our reserve is very thin and if we need to grow our economy, as we do, even if consumption stabilises, if a big power station goes down we’re in trouble,” said Mr Fakir in an interview with Business Day.

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Africa needs $40bn/y to meet future power demand-report

It is estimated that at least $40-billion a year is required to meet future demand in the African power sector, compared with current yearly investment of less than one-quarter this amount, New Partnership for Africa’s Development energy programme head Professor Mosad Elmissiry said on Monday.

Speaking at the launch of a policy handbook – ‘Powering Africa Through Feed-in Tariffs’, in Johannesburg, he added that energy demand in many parts of Africa markedly exceeded supply, resulting in loadshedding and the loss of productivity and countless jobs.

“Africa’s population is growing at an alarming rate, increasing the demand for energy and compounding the energy shortage problems. The challenges of securing the investment required to meet the need for increased access to clean energy and the rapidly growing demand, in a sustainable way, are formidable,” Elmissiry indicated.

He pointed out that, despite the abundant renewable-energy resources in Africa, its share of primary energy supply was less than 1%, biomass and hydro excluded. This called for a radical change in the approach followed in the development and use of renewable-energy resources. Continue reading

Solar power has record year despite bankruptcies


It was a record year for solar installations in the United States in 2012, boosting an industry still struggling with consolidation and bankruptcies.

Over 3.3 gigawatts of solar power were installed last year, according to a report Thursday from the Solar Energy Industries Association, a trade group. That’s enough to power about 500,000 homes, and it was a 76% increase from 2011.

The industry credited the jump to the declining price of solar panels, stable tax incentives and better financing options.

"We’ve brought more new solar online in 2012 than in the three prior years combined," SEIA head Rhone Resch said in a statement. "And every one of these panels was bolted down by a member of the U.S. workforce." Continue reading