Rubbish can power Africa's cities

Energy generated from rubbish could power an estimated 40 million households across Africa by 2025, proposes a study.

"Our analysis shows that waste, and in particular municipal solid waste, is a renewable energy resource that could provide a meaningful share of both gross energy consumption and electricity on the African continent," says study author Fabio Monforti-Ferrario, from the European Commission's in-house science service, the Joint Research Centre.

All Africa, 10 November 2015

Brewing company produces region’s first "green beer"

Local Western Cape-based brewery, the Cape Brewing Company (CBC), has invested in solar power technology to power its production line. They have partnered with renewable energy firm E3 Energy Group of Companies, to produce South Africa’s first commercially available “green beer” through solar heated water.

Engineering News, 13 November 2015

Eskom update: Summer holidays seem bright, low chance of outages

The national power utility Eskom, has boasted that through teamwork and the public’s mindfulness of electricity consumption, the utility has achieved 99 consecutive days without power outages, apart from a two hour and twenty minute lapse in September.

Eskom Group Chief Executive, Brian Molefe, said that a big driver behind the reduction in load shedding was the newly implemented maintenance methodology, dubbed Tetris, which enables the utility to perform protective management of maintenance without load shedding.

ESI-Africa, 16 November 2015

Organic solar panels — a smarter way to a truly brighter future

These organic photovoltaics differ from silicon solar cells as they can be made entirely from synthesised organic materials, which are deposited on to cheap substrates such as PET, a form of polyester used in soft drink bottles and crisp packets. This material is lighter, more flexible and can be tuned to provide different colours — who said solar cells have to be black?

Critically, it takes just one day for organic photovoltaics to earn back the energy invested in their manufacture, known as "energy payback time", which compares to about one to two years for regular silicon solar cells.

Business Day, 17 November 2015

World Panel unveils sun-powered mobile charging solution

World Panel on Tuesday unveiled its latest robust technology, which "streams" solar-generated electricity into mobile devices, aimed at providing charging solutions for rural mobile phone owners.

In a first step to get SunStream, showcased at AfricaCom in Cape Town this week, onto the local market, World Panel inked a retail deal with telecommunications giant Vodacom to sell the products at selected outlets.

Engineering News, 17 November 2015

Joburg city to spend ZAR500m on power substations upgrade

The City of Johannesburg’s power utility City Power will spend more than ZAR500 million over the next three years to upgrade six power substations, adding 1000 MVA to the city’s capacity on completion of the upgrading, a senior official said on Wednesday.

Engineering News, 19 November 2015

Eskom must find way of becoming part of renewables "in a big way"

A senior Eskom official has made the case for the utility playing a more active role in deployment of large and small-scale renewable-energy solutions in South Africa, suggesting that previous arguments against its participation in the sector were becoming less relevant.

In fact, Barry MacColl, who is GM for Eskom’s research, testing and consulting business, said on Thursday that the state-owned utility’s very survival would depend on its ability to adapt to changes being brought about in the electricity sector as a result of the rapid growth of renewables, as well as by the increased integration of information and communication technologies, and changing customer preferences.

Engineering News, 19 November 2015