Renewable Energy
A new report by Frost & Sullivan titled Financing Clean Energy Projects in Sub-Saharan Africa shows that this region’s market for clean energy products has more than US$200-million in financing available from private investors. Clean power technologies covered in this study are wind energy, solar energy, biomass power and small hydropower projects.
A new, exceptionally cost-effective technology to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) is being jointly developed by the chemical company BASF and US research institute RTI International. This technology will capture CO2 from waste gasses emitted by coal-fired power plants and other industrial sources.
Researchers from BASF, Energie Baden-Württemberg AG (EnBW), Heidelberg University and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) are seeking to convert CO2 into fuel. The Verbund Solar2fuel programme plans to convert carbon dioxide into climate neutral fuels with the aid of sunlight.
Tuesday, 06 July 2010 10:53

Sun energy from Africa to Europe

Desertec, a €400-billion project, plans to generate electricity from the Sahara desert in North Africa and import it to Europe. On 20 June, European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said that Europe will import its first solar-generated electricity from the Sahara within the next five years (www.reuters.com).
Electrawinds Belgium has started construction of its first wind turbine in the Coega Industrial Development Zone in Port Elizabeth. The ZAR1.2-billion development marks the first commercial wind project in that area. The farm will consist of state-of-the-art equipment and will house 25 wind turbines.
A new supply chain of solar water heating (SWH) products has been established in South Africa. Solar Distributors Africa (SDA) has initiated and developed a large national network which will provide cutting-edge solar technology to the local industry.
Tuesday, 06 July 2010 10:49

Karoo town gets taste of sunpower

A multi-billion rand South African solar and wind energy initiative in a tiny Karoo town called Copperton will have major impacts for the local community. From May, solar energy was delivered free to their community hall and church courtesy of Mulilo Renewable Energy (MRE), who has also begun construction of a solar energy farm in the area. Technology is supplied by one of China’s top three vertically integrated photovoltaic manufacturers, Yingli Solar.
Solar power is a viable alternative to fossil fuels and some alternative energy sources, as it gives off no carbon dioxide waste and uses the natural energy from our sun to generate electricity. After the lifetime of the panel, the materials that were used to make it could be recycled as no material is used in the energy generating process. There is also a lot of room for solar power to be used in the development of 3rd world economies, as it is extremely cost-effective in the long run.
The validity of thermal mass, as a critical thermal performance factor for South Africa’s solar gain climate, where well defined average diurnal temperature swings characterise the six major climatic zones, is a well researched scientifically proven fact.
Investment opportunities in energy efficiencies and green technologies are the way to go in 2010, according to a report by the Deutsche Bank in the beginning of the year. The Deutsche Bank 2010 Investing in Climate Change report found that companies specialising in energy efficiency and renewable energy such as solar and wind outperformed their peers in 2009 and the gap is expected to widen in 2010.

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