Volume 6, Number 3 - June/July 2011

Organised by TAS, the one-day Water In South Africa (WISA) 2011 Conference on 15 September 2011, together with the Afriwater 2011 exhibition, will be held in conjunction with the International Pump User (IPUC) Conference at the MTN Expo Centre, Johannesburg from 13-15 September 2011. Professionals should note that these conferences are CPD accredited.
The deteriorating quality of South Africa’s raw water supplies, coupled with overloaded sewage works, acid mine drainage and power water catchment could have a devastating effect on the safety of local food, says Gareth Lloyd-Jones, Managing Director of hygiene and sanitation company in the food sector, Ecowize.
Ion exchange is the reversible interchange of ions between a solid (the ion exchange resin) and a liquid. Since they act as “chemical sponges”, ion exchange resins are ideally suited for the effective removal of contaminants from water and other liquids.
Rejoice Mabudafhasi, the Deputy-Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, officially launched the Environmental Assessment Practitioners Association of South Africa (EAPASA) during the first week of April.
There is no doubt that efficient pumping systems lead to lower production costs and increased profits for the operator, together with less pressure on both the electricity supply capacity and the environment – particularly relevant as escalating electricity costs seriously affect the profits and competitiveness of energy-intensive businesses, which are continuously being forced to reduce current and projected energy usage by legislation and escalating tariffs.
Dow Water & Process Solutions (DW&PS) is a business unit of the mammoth Dow Chemical Company, and is the only manufacturer currently offering a complete portfolio of ultrafiltration (UF) and reverse osmosis (RO) resin technologies, and Electrodeionisation (EDI) products – setting the industry benchmark for quality and reliability.
Africa appears to be a continent with large water resources, such as the Congo River, Nile River, Zambesi River and the Niger River. While the continent may appear to be blessed with an abundance of water, Africa is the second-driest continent in the world (after Australia). Additionally, three-quarters of the world’s severe droughts over the past 10 years have occurred in Africa.
By Bernard Talbot25º in Africa will be doing a series on reusing water to make beer. This is the first article, which focuses on alternative solutions for a safe water supply. The second article will focus on filtration methods and other technologies for water recycling in breweries.
Acid mine drainage (AMD) occurs when old mine shafts and tunnels fill up, leading to underground water oxidizing with the sulphide mineral iron pyrite, otherwise known as “fool’s gold”.
New legacies of the mining of acid-generating material appear in the media every day. How can mining companies avoid future acid rock drainage (ARD) liabilities and apply the best practice management of ARD?
Benoni Erskine, Director of Energy at the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, confirmed that Botswana will be introducing renewable energy feed-in tariffs for electricity generation by March next year.
Although the headcount at SRK Consulting has tripled since Peter Labrum joined the business in 1989, the professionalism that attracted him then remains at the core of his leadership mandate in his newly appointed role as managing director.
Google has furthered its investment in green energy resources by purchasing the largest solar power tower plant on the planet. Located in the Mojave Desert, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System is already under construction and is reportedly looking to produce 392 MW on completion in 2013 (1 MW would power approximately 650 homes).
Former Dutch Minister Maria van der Hoeven has been named the next executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA). Van der Hoeven will succeed Nobuo Tanaka of Japan, who will serve until 31 August 2011, completing four years of service.
One of the world’s largest conferences, the 17th Conference of Parties (COP 17) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), will take place from 28 November to 9 December 2011 at the International Convention Centre in Durban.
In April 2011, Extract Resources Ltd in Perth completed a definitive feasibility study demonstrating the technical and economic viability of its Husab project, potentially one of the world’s largest uranium mines.
On 6 April, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) announced that the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Phindile Nzimande as chief executive officer (CEO) and full-time regulator member primarily responsible for the administration of the Energy Regulator.
In just under a year, over 28 tons of waste has already gone into Goodyear’s unique waste recycling facilities in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa.
By Dr Gunnar HovstadiusIn our national and global dialogues about energy conservation we often overlook the role that new technologies – combined with systems analysis – can play in reducing energy intensity, as well as the significant role that the combination of government and industry can play.
In December 2010, the Nedbank Ridgeside building in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) achieved a four-star Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA), thereby becoming the second office development in South Africa to be fully certified, and the first in KZN.
By Jeroen Janssen, Philips Lighting general manager In February 2010, Philips, together with the energy company City Power, initiated the lighting of the Nelson Mandela Bridge as City Power wanted to create a legacy for the City of Johannesburg. The brief from City Power was that Philips should to provide them with a cost-effective, energy-saving lighting solution.
South Africa is on the verge of exploring and developing its renewable energy sector. While interest and growth of this market holds huge potential for the country, it is also very risky, says Sharon Kedmi, director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labour.
Africa Thermal Insulations (ATI) manufactures, sells, markets and distributes building insulation products throughout southern Africa. The company’s vested interest in green building materials has lead them to become a renowned manufacturer of radiant barrier reflective foil building insulation products.
In February 2011, 25º in Africa reported on the introduction of the Industrial Energy Efficiency (IEE) improvement project, a collaborative initiative between the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), the Department of Energy, UNIDO, the Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs and the UK Department of International Development.
Pointing to the “inherently unsustainable development path we are on”, World Bank Vice-President Inger Anderson called on governments, international aid agencies, and other development partners to join a new global knowledge platform aimed at fostering green growth. Anderson was speaking at the University of Copenhagen on the theme of green growth.
Enough electricity to power the city of Mangaung (Bloemfontein) was saved during Earth Hour on 26 March 2011, said the state-owned power utility Eskom. Eskom measured the reduction in electricity used from 20:30-21:30 against typical consumption for this time on an average Saturday evening. According to their measurements, South Africans saved 350 MW of electricity.
The medium voltage (MV) and high voltage (HV) switchgear market in South Africa holds high growth potential for manufacturers. Eskom will continue to implement its grid-strengthening projects, boosting growth in the HV segment. The MV segment has become increasingly competitive and is threatened by decreasing margins. The ongoing lack of maintenance in the distribution network by various municipalities will provide a longer-term opportunity.
By Paolo Gianadda, energy specialist at Golder AssociatesIn South Africa’s quest to ensure that electricity supply meets the growing electricity demand over the next 20 years, it is important to understand the role that co-generation can play.
After nationwide public comment sessions and months of planning, South Africa’s Department of Energy (DoE) finally gained approval from Cabinet and released the Policy Adjusted IRP (Integrated Resource Plan) in March 2011.
As part of a recent energy-load shifting project, SmartRipple geyser-ripple control receivers were installed in homes within the entire Nelson Mandela Bay Metro (NMBM) area. This is not new technology, as it has been used in homes in Europe and certain parts of South Africa for years.
Cullin Africa, a BEE-company that has been in operation since 1998, has been supplying high voltage overhead line gear to Telkom, Transnet and the local power-utility Eskom for a number of years.
On 4 April, the World Bank launched an e-Atlas of Global Development. This interactive tool maps and graphs over 175 indicators from the bank’s development database, such as energy usage, freshwater usage, population growth, international trade, climate change, foreign direct investment, CO2 emissions, forest areas, resource depletion and so forth.
The Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), the international tool that channels investment into clean energy and greenhouse gas reduction technology in the developing world, has registered its 3 000th project – a wind power project in Inner Mongolia, China.
As a global provider of services for managing risk, DNV has been appointed as the Certified Verification Agent (CVA) for the Cape Wind project, the first offshore wind farm to be built in the USA. The role of DNV as the CVA is to conduct third-party design reviews, inspections and other verification activities.
People in the CDM industry have heard a myriad of alternative options for CER sales into Europe after the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol expires at the end of 2012. According to Robbie Louw, a director at the climate change and carbon advisory firm Promethium Carbon, the EU has legislated for the different scenarios post-2012, but CDM project constraints and timeframes could influence the tradability of CERs into the EU after 2012.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited Nairobi in April to take a tour of Olkaria, the largest geothermal power station in Africa. Ban Ki-moon was joined by the Kenyan Energy Minister, Kiraitu Murungi, the managing director of the energy company Kengen, Eddy Njoroge and members of the UN Chief Executives Board, including UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner.
France and Tunisia signed an agreement for the development and rational use of renewable energy on 24 March 2011 in Tunis. The agreement will establish institutional and technical cooperation for renewable energy projects.
The €617-million Lake Turkana Wind Power Project (LTWP), which Kenya hopes will be the largest wind farm in Africa once it is up and running, has once again been delayed. The project had been scheduled to come online by the first quarter of 2013, but on 26 March investors behind the 300 MW project said this has now been pushed back to mid-2014.
The world’s fifth largest maker of wind turbines, China-based Xinjiang Goldwind Science and Technology, opened a shop in Cape Town on 14 March 2011. The company, which since the turn of the millennium achieved an average of over 100% growth per year, aims to supply equipment and project finance in Africa. Xinjiang Goldwind Science and Technology will use approximately US$900-million raised to help fund debt and equity projects in Africa, Australia and the Americas.
During 31 March to 1 April 2011, African hydropower experts, members of government, policy makers, regional planners and civil society representatives discussed the challenges for sustainable hydropower development at the Conference on Hydropower for Sustainable Development in Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The local organisation Trade Plus Aid (TPA), in collaboration with Swiss-based Acrona Systems, recently launched the Capstone range of microturbines. The technology produces very low carbon emissions, making microturbines a clean, green, reliable source of energy.
In order to make silicon for PV solar panels, silicon manufacturers use what is called the “Siemens process” (named after the 19th century German inventor, Ernst Werner von Siemens). The process involves purifying less pure forms of silicon and, in order to address costs, producers have been wondering how they could cut down the Siemens process in order to save money. An Australian quartz mining company may have found the answer.
“The annual global world energy consumption is approximately +/-500 exajoule (500 x 1018 joule) – 80% of this energy is provided from non-renewable fossil fuel, 10% from biomass, 5% from hydro electricity power plants, 5% from nuclear power and less than 1% is from other renewable sources such as wind and solar power,” explained Dr Anton Vosloo, portfolio executive of alternative energy at Sasol.
Algal biofuels have been suggested as possibly playing an increasing role in future alternative energy/transportation fuel scenarios because of their apparently inexpensive and basic requirements of sunlight, CO2 and low grade water. However, there continues to be considerable debate about the technical and engineering challenges that have yet to be resolved, the overall economics of any of the various algal biofuel options and the overall sustainability of any of the proposed processes.
The South African government’s current biofuels strategy envisions 2% of national petrol and diesel usage coming from biofuels such as bioethanol and biodiesel by 2013. While bioethanol can be produced most economically from large sugar cane plantations, there is considerable scope for producing biodiesel from small producers – if the quality of this biodiesel can be assured.
With the disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-tichi nuclear plant caused by the tsunami still not finalised, experts are worried about the possibility of a meltdown – but what is a nuclear meltdown?
The Swedish Transmission Research Institute (STRI) and DNV has signed an agreement in an effort to meet the increasing market demand for advanced solutions for power transmission in the offshore and wind energy sectors.
Spring Lights Gas, a company that markets gas to the energy sector, has successfully supplied piped gas in the KwaZulu-Natal area to a variety of industrial customers. The company recently entered into a new gas supply agreement with Newcastle Cogeneration LTD, a wholly-owned subsidiary of IPSA PLC, a UK independent power producer.
Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa says that this year’s Climate Change Conference, which will be held on 28 November to 9 December in Durban, should lead to a successful international agreement if the government and civil society work as a team. Molewa was speaking at the national climate change stakeholder workshop, which was held at Gallagher Estate on 1 April.
The UNFCCC Secretariat has launched a common portal where submissions from parties can be viewed. The portal was developed as a result of requests from parties and is in line with the practice already used for the Ad-Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) and Ad Hoc Working Group for Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA).
Two internationally renowned economists – the chief economist of the International Energy Agency (IEA), Fatih Birol, and the chairperson of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change at the London School of Economics, Lord Nicholas Stern, published an Op-Ed titled “Urgent Steps to Stop the Climate Door Closing” in the Financial Times.
It has been estimated that climate change adaptation will cost billions each year. While the UN climate negotiations gave dedicated funds for the task, domestic politics have resulted in unreliable contributions from governments. An innovative adaptation levy on international air travel could help to fill the gap, says a new policy briefing by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).
The availability of affordable and reliable electricity is an essential component of economic growth and vital for businesses and households alike. One issue in meeting this challenge is the ability to store energy for when it is needed. This is particularly relevant for renewable energy power generation, using intermittent supply technologies such as solar and wind power, where the availability of energy is often out of sync with demand.
With the recent approval of the Integrated Resource Plan of 2010 (IRP2010) by Cabinet in March 2011, South Africa has committed to generating 42% of electricity from renewable energy sources over the next 20 years.
Since its independence from the UK in 1956, military regimes favouring Islamic-oriented governments have dominated national politics in Sudan. The country was embroiled in two prolonged civil wars during most of the remainder of the 20th century. These conflicts were rooted in northern economic, political and social domination of largely non-Muslim, non-Arab southern Sudanese.
The first of seven workshops on formulating principles and actions to keep insurance sustainable was held in Johannesburg on 16 March. The meeting, Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI), is a project of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) Finance Initiative (FI) and the meeting was hosted by Santam and the South African Insurance Association (SAIA).
Fascinating close-up views and animated graphics, extraordinary perspectives and interesting information – these features distinguish two new BASF films on wind energy. They highlight the opportunities, benefits and challenges of wind power as one of the major climate-friendly sources of energy for the future.
The first PIQO small wind turbine has been made with the aid of Luran® S KR 2858 G3, an ASA resin from BASF. Developed by the Dutch company EverkinetIQ International in close collaboration with Pekago, Albis and BASF, the new wind turbine is intended to provide locally generated energy on industrial facilities, high-rise buildings, hospitals and other municipal buildings as well as private homes.
According to a new report from the EU-funded UpWind project, ultra-large 20 MW wind turbines are feasible. The report, which was launched at the EWEA (European Wind Energy Association) 2011 Annual Event in Brussels, explored the design limitations of upscaling wind turbines to 20 MW and found that they would have rotor diameters of around 200 m, compared to some 120 m on today’s 5 MW turbines.
Siemens Energy has launched a new direct drive gearless wind turbine for low to moderate wind speeds. The core feature of the new SWT-2.3-113 wind turbine is an innovative drive concept with a compact permanent magnet generator.

GIL Africa 2017