Volume 6, Number 1 - Feb/March 2011

South Africa has the potential to create nearly 200 000 new jobs by 2020 through focusing its efforts on growing the concentrated solar power industry. However, current targets being set by the government are not yet enough to stimulate this new industry.
Scientists at the US Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory and Brookhaven National Laboratory have developed a material that could transform an ordinary-looking window into a solar panel.
Ernst & Young has released its Country Attractiveness Indices, which give a numerical ranking of 30 global renewable energy markets by scoring renewable energy investment incentives and resource availability. According to the report, Egypt is one of four new entrants to the list (the other three countries are South Korea, Romania and Mexico).
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf told a local newspaper that construction of the country’s Mount Coffee Hydropower Plant will begin in 2011. The country aims to increase power generation by 1 000 MW with this plant.
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf told a local newspaper that construction of the country’s Mount Coffee Hydropower Plant will begin in 2011. The country aims to increase power generation by 1 000 MW with this plant.
The QCRD Global Sustainability Index’s semi-annual report, which was issued towards the end of last year, ranked Sasol among the top 100 companies for sustainability.
Total has announced that it will sell its 75.8% stake in its upstream Cameroonian affiliate, Total E&P Cameroon, to private independent explorer Perenco. Other shareholders in the ex-Cameroonian company include the national oil company SNH (Société Nationale des Hydrocarbures – 20%) and Paris Orléans – Groupe Rotchshild (4.2%).
COSL Pioneer is China’s first deep-water semi-submersible drilling platform and according to DNV, it is one of the most advanced drilling platforms ever built.
Ernst & Young recently released the Oil and Gas Business Risk Report 2010: Top Ten Risks, highlighting some of the biggest challenges the industry is currently facing. One of the notable results of the report is that uncertain energy policy has replaced access to reserves as the top risk facing the industry across the globe in 2010.
Namibia will be developing a nuclear energy programme in order to make use of its uranium resources. Isak Katali, Namibia’s Minister of Mines and Energy, said this uranium and nuclear energy policy will be developed to cover the entire nuclear fuel cycle.
The acute need to secure reliable energy supplies and the urgent requirement to reduce carbon emissions has put nuclear energy firmly on the agenda as a viable choice to be pursued in order to achieve an acceptable energy mix for South Africa, Energy Minister Dipuo Peters told a media roundtable ahead of the draft IRP2010 hearings in December 2010.
The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) and its subsidiary, NTP Radioisotopes (Pty) Ltd, won a US$25-million US federal award to supply molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) produced from low-enriched uranium targets.
An international consortium has announced that it will build a wind power park near the Namibian coastal town of Luderitz. The wind park will initially add 44MW of generation capacity to the grid.
Niche energy publication, 25º in Africa, partnered with sustainability legal specialists IMBEWU, to host the first of many bi-monthly climate change debate forums. The first event, called the Climate Change Thinkers Forum, was held on 16 November at the IMBEWU head office in Rosebank.
Eskom’s chief executive, Brian Dames, has been appointed to the executive committee of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). The international WBCSD association has approximately 200 members and its main focus is sustainable development.
Tideland Signal Ltd., part of marine aids-to-navigation manufacturer Tideland Signal Corp, has supplied a solar-powered rotating beacon kit to the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority to automate the historic lighthouse at Jamestown, Accra. This installation marks Tideland’s fifth lighthouse conversion contract along Ghana's 335 mile (539 km) coastline.
Total has announced that its affiliate, Total E&P UK, has made a new gas and condensate discovery in the west of Shetland on the United Kingdom Continental Shelf, close to the currently under development Laggan and Tormore fields. The Edradour exploration well lies in block 206/4, 75 kilometres north-west of Shetland in a water depth of 300 metres.
Renowned energy enthusiast, Prof Nico Beute of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, was inducted into the Southern African Association for Energy Efficiency’s (SAEE’s) prestigious Dr Ian Ernest Lane Hall of Fame in November 2010.
According to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, South Africa has applied to join the three-member BRIC Countries. BRIC countries is the informal grouping of the world’s fast-growing emerging markets and currently consists of Brazil, India and China.
Marlene van Rooyen, editor of 25º in Africa, was nominated for the Business to Business Editor of the Year Award at the 2010 PICA Awards. This year marks PICA’s 41st award ceremony, which recognises and rewards publishing excellence in the consumer, customer and business to business sectors of the South African magazine publishing industry.
On 10 January 2011, Toyota USA unveiled the low-emissions Prius family of vehicles at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The new Prius v midsize hybrid-electric vehicle and the Prius c Concept vehicle, which are set to broaden the appeal of Prius to all ages and lifestyles, joined the hybrid brand.
Numatic International’s newly launched NuSave, ProSave and ProVac range may appear similar to the original products, but they differ in design, style and most importantly, take the environment into consideration.
Enermatics Energy is an Energy Efficiency Company that provides a comprehensive solution to utilities providers, residential, commercial and industrial customers that focuses on energy efficiency and demand side management.
Many countries that have energy-intensive mining industries, such as North America and Australia, force the mining sector to generate their own electricity and these mines don’t automatically get access to the national grids.
It has been demonstrated, time and time again, that energy-efficiency saves industrial firms money, increases the reliability of operations and has a positive effect on productivity and competitiveness.
Aurecon provides engineering, management and specialist technical services to government and private sector clients globally. Formed through the merger of three leading engineering consultancies – Africon, Connell Wagner and Ninham Shand – the group has provided world-class technical expertise and innovative solutions on projects in over 70 countries across Africa, Asia Pacific and the Middle East.
There are 4-billion cellphone users worldwide, leaving over 2.5-billion people in the developing world who still do not have access to a telephone service. Of 4-million cellphone towers, 400 000 are in regions without an electrical grid.
The intricate designs and innovative fixtures of the 2010 Eskom Energy Efficient Lighting Design Competition surpassed all expectations. This annual competition is open to both students and professionals in the fields of architecture, interior design, engineering, lighting specialists and anyone else with a passion for designing energy-efficient lighting.
The Southern African Association for Energy Efficiency has honoured Gauteng-based Kayema Energy Solutions with the organisation’s Energy Company of the Year Award.The SAEE annual banquet was held at Emperors Palace on 10 November, where the SAEE Convention and Exhibition for 2010 was formally opened.
GE will convert at least half of its 30 000 global fleet and will partner with fleet customers to deploy a total of 25 000 electric vehicles by 2015. The US conglomerate announced that it will purchase 12 000 GM vehicles made by General Motors (GM), beginning with the Chevrolet Volt, and will add other vehicles as manufacturers expand their vehicle portfolios.
“Aging infrastructure, increasingly stringent regulating, high energy costs and budgetary constraints are some of the challenges that South Africa’s wastewater plants deal with.
Besides the financial incentives of having energy-efficient buildings, energy-efficiency can also help to reduce the impacts of climate change. According to global strategy consulting firm McKinsey, energy-efficiency strategies are the most profitable, but also the biggest contributor to reducing harmful CO2 emissions.
The central scenario of the International Energy Agency’s annual World Energy Outlook (WEO) is the New Policies Scenario – which takes account of the broad policy commitments and plans that have been announced by countries around the world.
Eskom said it welcomed the government’s support for a proposed ZAR20-billion of equity into Eskom over the next three years. This comes after the government announced on 28 October that it would extend its guarantees for Eskom by ZAR174bn to a total of ZAR350bn.
The expansion of Namibia’s mining industry, particularly that of uranium, is expected to lead to a rapid growth in electricity demand in the country.
The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) will be supported Eskom’s expansion programme by approving a ZAR15-billion loan. The loan, which was approved at the end of 2010, won’t be using guarantees from the local government and it has been structured so that Eskom can draw this money over the course of five years.
Despite current power rationing realities and looming threats of blackouts in the country, Zimbabwe plans to have a power surplus by as soon as 2014.
South Africa’s largest high-voltage construction company, CONCO (Consolidated Power Projects), completed a ZAR115-million power project in Swaziland in 2008. The refurbishment project included 12 different substation sites all over Swaziland, of which three were “greenfield” sites (which refers to an undeveloped site that is earmarked for industrial projects) and nine “brownfield” sites (older substations that needed to be refurbished).
Swaziland imports more than half of its energy requirements to fulfil the domestic and commercial needs of the country. The majority of this energy is sourced from fossil fuels, e.g. coal and petroleum.
Subsistence agriculture occupies approximately 70% of the population in the small, landlocked economy of Swaziland. Sugar and wood pulp remain important foreign exchange earners.
This article was written by UN Under-Secretary general and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.
In 2010, Gold Fields became the world’s first gold mining company to sell Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs) in a carbon trade deal.
The availability of, and access to climate change information remains insufficient, according to many of the world's leading financial institutions. A pioneering study launched on 12 January 2011 confirms the increasing financial relevance of climate change and the fact that insurers and lenders need better information regarding the physical and economic impacts of the world's changing weather patterns.
The G20, which consists of twenty of the largest economies in the world, committed to phase out fossil fuel studies. In its September 2009 Communiqué from Pittsburgh, the G20 committed to phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies over the medium term because this would be a positive step in aligning fiscal, environmental and energy policies.
Managing climate change as a key sustainable development issue for business and commerce requires the development of an internationally recognised carbon footprint.
By Marie Parramon, Sustainability Legal Consultant at IMBEWU Sustainability Legal Specialists (Pty) Ltd
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is tasked with reviewing and assessing the most recent socio-economic, scientific and technical climate change information. “The IPCC is a huge and yet very tiny organisation,” reads a statement on the IPCC’s website.
“Although developing countries urgently need a global deal on climate change, they’re not waiting for it,” said Andrew Steer, the World Bank’s Special Envoy for Climate Change ahead of the UN Climate Conference in Cancun.
Businesses need to address regulatory, environmental and social, infrastructural, reputational and financial risks that relate to climate change. In order to effectively respond to these threats, strategic and operational requirements are needed.
During COP16 in Cancun, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) highlighted weather extremes in various parts of the world during 2010. According to the WMO, 2010 is likely to rank in the top 3 warmest years since the beginning of instrumental climate records in 1850.
Over 9 000 delegates from 190 countries gathered in Cancun, Mexico for the 16th United Nations Climate Change Conference from 29 November to 10 December 2010.
Under the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Initiative (a collaboration between the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the World Resources Institute), emissions attributable to a company are divided into three scopes.
The 2010 South African Carbon Disclosure Project report was launched on 11 November 2010 at the KPMG offices in Parktown, Johannesburg.
The South African carbon tax discussion paper was published on 13 December 2010 and will be available for public comment until 28 February 2011.
Cities occupy just 2% of the world’s land surface, yet they consume approximately 60-80% of the world’s energy production and, although experts differ in their analysis of the overall contribution of cities to greenhouse gas emissions, estimates show urban areas could be responsible for up to 80% of total emissions.
The first carbon neutral power station in Africa was unveilled on 23 November 2010 in Honeydew, Johannesburg.

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