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Climate Change News

Commercial bamboo production may have biofuel potential  

By: Dylan Slater     16th September 2016 According to Africa-focused bamboo technology company Afribam, growing bamboo commercially could create biofuel possibilities for commercial power generation and serve to sequestrate a percentage of carbon emitted by the same power generation facilities.  

Water dept revisiting climate change, hydropower policies

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     15th September 2016 With ongoing water restrictions across the country, the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) is revisiting its policies on hydropower and the effect climate change has on the water sector. South Africa has been struck by drought conditions over the last two years, which has had a significant... 

Water dept revisiting climate change, hydropower policies

South Africa under pressue to ratify COP21 agreement . . . because of Trump

By: News24Wire      15th September 2016 South Africa is under pressure to ratify the COP21 climate change Paris agreement before the end of the year, as doing so could make it binding on a potential Donald Trump-led US. "If the Paris agreement is in force, legally the US can't get out of it," Environmental Affairs Deputy... 

Glass recycling and reuse of returnable bottles reduce glass at landfill

By: Sebastian Whyle     19th August 2016 Consumption of returnable glass-bottled products has increased, owing to the increased affordability of returnable packs, amid difficult economic times and lower levels of disposable income. South Africa’s returnable bottle system and glass recycling initiatives divert more than two-million... 

Glass recycling and reuse  of returnable bottles  reduce glass at landfill
RETURNABLE BOTTLE SYSTEM Returnable bottles can make up to 30 trips between customers and the retailer before reaching the end of useable life

Carbon offset regulations could have major financial implications for businesses

By: Dylan Slater     19th August 2016 Draft regulations on carbon offsets, which were published for comment by the National Treasury on June 20, under the Carbon Tax Bill, are due to come into effect in early 2017 and could have significant financial implications for businesses in South Africa, according to legal services firm Cliffe... 

SA farmers hope for enough rain after winter

By: Simon Sonnekus     5th August 2016 The next five months and the following planting season will be critical for farmers who have been affected by the devastating drought which crippled the agriculture sector recently. According to agricultural organisation AgriSA CEO Omri van Zyl, farmers need to see out the winter and hope for... 

Wastewater treatment necessary to grow the economy

By: Nadine James     29th July 2016 Consistent and sustainable water supply is necessary to ensure socioeconomic growth; therefore, wastewater treatment, as a comparatively cost-effective solution that reduces strain on available water supply, is vital to economic growth in water-stressed countries, says waste management company... 

Wastewater treatment necessary to grow  the economy
UNDERCOVER OPERATION The underground biological wastewater treatment plant should remain operational for up to 25 years

Paris Agreement consensus opens business opportunities  

By: Natasha Odendaal     19th July 2016 A significant opportunity has emerged as a result of the consensus reached in Paris at the twenty-first Conference of the Parties (COP 21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change at the end of last year and the world is now at an inflection point in the transition to cleaner... 

New policymaker booklet to be introduced next week

By: Creamer Media Reporter      30th June 2016 A new policymakers advisory booklet on climate change adaptation and resilience in Africa will be launched at an upcoming communication event in Mauritius next week. The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), the Mauritius Academy of Science and Technology and the German National Academy of... 

New policymaker booklet to be introduced next week

Unilever head urges South African firms to prioritise society not just shareholders

By: Terence Creamer     21st June 2016 The global head of consumer goods group Unilever has urged South African companies to eschew short-termism and begin integrating the United Nations’ 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) into their operating models, describing their attainment as not only achievable, but also a high-return... 

Unilever head urges South African firms to prioritise society not just shareholders
Unilever CEO Paul Polman

Megabus buys ten CNG buses to be fuelled using Free State gas 

By: Mia Breytenbach     17th June 2016 Unitrans’s subsidiary Megabus has procured ten Scania, 280 hp, 100% compressed natural gas (CNG) buses, which it will trial for the next five years at its Free State operations. The official handover of the buses, which comprise the first Euro 6 bus engines in South Africa, was concluded in... 

Megabus buys ten CNG buses to be fuelled using Free State gas
Photo by Duane Daws
ANTHONY KING Each bus has eight carbon fibre compressed natural gas tanks, which will allow for about 1 200 m3 of gas

Agri SA calls for a national disaster declaration 

By: African News Agency      10th June 2016 Agri SA on Friday welcomed the announcement by the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Des van Rooyen, to declare most of South Africa’s provinces as drought disaster areas. On Friday, Van Rooyen declared all but Gauteng as drought disaster areas because of the threat to... 

Agri SA calls for a national disaster declaration

ABB inaugurates its first South African microgrid at Longmeadow headquarters

By: Mia Breytenbach     8th June 2016 Automation technology group ABB has commissioned an integrated solar-diesel microgrid installation – the group’s first microgrid in South Africa – at its 96 000 m2 Longmeadow facility in Johannesburg. The Longmeadow site hosts ABB’s head offices and logistics and manufacturing centre. 

ABB inaugurates its first South African microgrid at Longmeadow headquarters
ABB Longmeadow Headquarters

New power generation system commissioned in Beppu, Japan

3rd June 2016 Distributed waste heat to power generation service provider ElectraTherm sales and marketing director Kazunori Ueda, in mid-April, announced the commissioning of the Power+ Generator 4400 in Beppu, Japan.  

New power generation system commissioned  in Beppu, Japan
FIRST OF ITS KIND The unit uses geothermal heat to generate fuel-free, emission-free electricity at the site

Global nuclear agency ready to help African countries adopt atomic power

By: Keith Campbell     27th May 2016 The Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano, has reaffirmed his organisation's readiness to help African countries adopt nuclear energy, if they wish to. "Your country [South Africa] is the only established user of nuclear power [in Africa]. Other countries... 

Report finds World Heritage sites threatened by climate change

By: David Oliveira     26th May 2016 Climate change is fast becoming one of the most significant risks for World Heritage sites, according to a report released by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), the United Nations Environment Programme and the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).... 

Water, energy sectors need to collaborate more – World Bank

By: Kim Cloete     18th May 2016 The interplay between water and energy is more critical than ever, with climate change forcing people to work together, according to World Bank energy and extractives global practive director Charles Feinstein. “You can’t tackle energy problems without being sensitive to water demands. Global... 

Water, energy sectors need to collaborate more – World Bank

Global companies start to influence consumers

By: Kim Cloete     16th May 2016 In the wake of mounting climate change, a global conference on sustainable brands has shown how some companies are starting to innovate and redesign manufacturing, products and services to be more in tune with sustainable practices. “Brands, large and small, are showing the way, with some... 

Global companies start to influence consumers

Power utility opts to use renewable energy source

By: Sascha Solomons     13th May 2016 Solar system specialists and engineering design company ZRW Mechanika completed the installation of a 50 kW hybrid solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant at Wilgers education and community centre near the Kusile power plant in Witbank, Mpumalanga, in January 2016. ZRW Mechanika was awarded the... 

Power utility opts to use renewable energy source
HYBRID SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAIC Renewable and cost efficient energy source

Innovation and research needed to bolster farming productivity

By: Mia Breytenbach     13th May 2016 As South Africa struggles with rising food prices, the effects of the worst drought in 20 years and water shortage, the Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD) highlighted how the country’s agricultural industry could address some of the challenges from an agricultural... 

Innovation and research needed to bolster farming productivity
Photo by Bloomberg
EMPHASISED DELIBERATION Considerations at the Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development included promoting the preference for sustainable, labour-intensive farming systems

Renewables programme showcases benefits of public–private collaboration

By: David Oliveira     29th April 2016 The success of the Department of Energy’s (DoE) Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) is a shining example of South Africa’s ability to undertake large infrastructure programmes to boost the local economy, despite the current period of slow growth... 

Decision ‘soon’ on seawater desalination plant for Durban 

By: Terence Creamer     25th April 2016 Amid new night-time water restrictions on eThekwini residents, Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane has confirmed that a medium-sized seawater desalination plant is being studied for development in an area south of the city. Writing in a response to a Parliamentary question posed by... 

Decision ‘soon’ on seawater desalination plant for Durban
Photo by Duane Daws
Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane

Probiotic composting system recognised in environmental awards

By: Dylan Slater     22nd April 2016 Manufacturer of sustainable probiotic-based products Probio’s Bokashi Composter system will receive recognition at the yearly Eco-Logic Awards for its ability to reduce greenhouse gases.  

AfDB pledges increased financial support for Mozambique

By: Mia Breytenbach     22nd April 2016 The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has affirmed its commitment to continue supporting the growing Mozambique economy, particularly regarding the country’s energy, agriculture and infrastructure sectors. Leading a team of senior staff to Maputo earlier this month, AfDB president Akinwumi... 

AfDB pledges increased financial support for Mozambique
Photo by Duane Daws
INVESTMENT NEED Mozambique is in the process of revitalising its economy, focusing on priority areas, such as agriculture, energy and infrastructure

Hulisani says it has R2.5bn project pipeline as it lists on JSE

By: David Oliveira     22nd April 2016 Newly established renewable energy special-purpose acquisition company (Spac) Hulisani listed on the main board of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), earlier this month, taking advantage of investor demand for energy assets in South Africa and Africa. Company CEO Mlungelo Zilimbola... 

17 solar PV plants now commercially operational in the Northern Cape

By: David Oliveira     15th April 2016 The inauguration last month of renewable-energy project developer Solar Capital’s 90 MW De Aar 3 solar photovoltaic (PV) plant, in the Northern Cape, marked the seventeenth solar PV plant to start commercial operation in the province. Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson, who attended the... 

17 solar PV plants now commercially operational in the Northern Cape
TINA JOEMAT-PETTERSSON The Northern Cape hosts 100% of the CSP and 65% of the solar PV capacity procured in the REIPPPP bid windows

Rules uncertainty curbing Cape Town’s embedded generation enthusiasm

By: Kim Cloete     15th April 2016 Despite hurdles, Cape Town has surged ahead with alternative ways of procuring energy, with more businesses and households generating excess electricity and then feeding it back into the grid. The City of Cape Town was given permission to be a pilot site for embedded generation, with its first... 

Rules uncertainty curbing Cape Town’s embedded generation enthusiasm

Most nuclear waste is not highly radioactive

By: Keith Campbell     15th April 2016 Only a tiny minority of nuclear waste contains the vast majority of radiation produced by such waste. “No less than 96% of the radioactivity comes from just 0.2% of the waste volume,” highlights Arint SA MD François Mellet. Nuclear waste is generally divided into low level waste, intermediate... 

Tesla secures 180 000 orders for new EV in 24 hrs, drives auto sector demand for lithium 

By: Henry Lazenby     1st April 2016 Twenty-four hours after launching, US electric vehicle (EV) maker Tesla Motors has secured more than 180 000 orders for its new Model 3 vehicle, making it the biggest driver of potential lithium demand from the auto sector to date. By Friday afternoon, that figure had risen to above 198 000... 

Tesla secures 180 000 orders for new EV in 24 hrs, drives auto sector demand for lithium
Photo by Reuters
Tesla Model 3

Africa to receive early-warning weather systems

By: Dylan Slater     1st April 2016 The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has, in a tender procedure, selected private weather service provider Ubimet to provide equipment and services for meteorological and hydrological early-warning systems that will be supplied to national weather services in developing countries, with... 

Nuclear essential in fight against global warming – World Nuclear Association

By: Keith Campbell     1st April 2016 If the world is to meet the target of restricting global warming to 2 ˚ C by 2100, then there will have to be a substantial increase in global nuclear power capacity. So affirmed incoming World Nuclear Association Chairman Dr Helmut Engelbrecht at the recent Nuclear Africa 2016 conference.  

Educated consultants, surveyors are key in green initiatives

By: Victor Moolman     1st April 2016 Cost consultants and quantity surveyors can play a pivotal role in helping new building projects and decision-makers to make green building decisions during construction, says University of Pretoria Department of Construction Economics quantity surveying programme leader Danie Hoffman. 

Educated consultants, surveyors are key in green initiatives
GREEN BUILDING Success of green technologies depends on all parties being well informed about their application and benefits

Green techniques, energy management reduce energy demand

By: Victor Moolman     1st April 2016 Correct energy management and using green building techniques can decrease the demand for energy by 30%, says the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA). 

Green techniques, energy management reduce energy demand
Photo by Reuters
RESIDENTIAL ENERGY SAVING Responsibility of saving energy should be shared by consumers and suppliers

Policy implementation yields green awareness

By: Victor Moolman     1st April 2016 Green building consulting company WSP ∣ Parsons Brinkerhoff, Africa (WSP) believes that green building awareness is likely to increase this year, owing to the implementation of Gauteng Vision 2055. 

Policy implementation yields green awareness
ALISON GROVES Using green building techniques can increase creativity and productivity

5.7% decline in half-year revenue for sugar producer

25th March 2016 Agriculture, agroprocessing and sugar producer Tongaat Hulett has noted a 5.7% decline in half-year revenue, generating an operating profit for the 2015/16 sugar season. The sugar season, which runs from April 1 to March 31 yearly has been beleaguered by drought during the current season which... 

5.7% decline in  half-year revenue  for sugar producer
Photo by Bloomberg
STRUGGLING MARKET Tongaat Hulett’s various sugar operations’ revenue totalled R5-billion up until September

Plan in motion to manage carbon tax uncertainties

By: Robyn Wilkinson     25th March 2016 Through education, lobbying and research, the paper industry will manage policy uncertainties regarding the inception of carbon tax, says Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (Pamsa) executive director Jane Molony. 

Plan in motion to manage carbon tax uncertainties

Coal baseload bidder expects IPP project evaluation to begin early April 

By: Terence Creamer     18th March 2016 One of the two bidders for the first round of South Africa’s Coal Baseload Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (CBIPPPP), Marubeni, of Japan, expects the evaluation of bids to begin in April, following an initial delay in the Independent Power Producer (IPP) Office receiving the... 

Coal baseload bidder expects IPP project evaluation to begin early April

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