Nuclear not the solution for SA – faith leaders

Engineering News 26 March 2013.

The Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (Safcei) on Tuesday said the development of a nuclear industry in South Africa would not provide a boost for society, the economy, job creation or the environment.

Safcei executive director Bishop Geoff Davies said nuclear development could end up costing several times more than renewable energy – which was currently declining in cost – while producing fewer jobs than other energy sources…



Nuclear localisation memorandum between US and SA nuclear companies

Engineering News 12 March 2013.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between US nuclear company Westinghouse Electric and the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa), the American enterprise reported on Tuesday. The MoU covers the investigation of, and cooperation in, the development of nuclear-fuel-assembly component fabrication capabilities in South Africa.

“By signing this MoU with Necsa, we are showing our commitment to provide nuclear technologies and engineering support to the South African nuclear industry,” affirmed Westinghouse VP and MD: France, Benelux and South Africa François Harari. “We are proud of our proven Westinghouse technology and our global capabilities to deliver safe, reliable and clean baseload nuclear power.”

(Comment: Westinghouse’s enthusiasm is understandable as the nuclear industry in the US is stagnating under the cost pressures and competition from natural gas power plants. I hope we don’t fall into the nuclear black hole!)


TIA programme to assist in accelerating EV tech, infrastructure development

Engineering News 13 March 2013.

The Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) on Wednesday launched the multistakeholder Uyilo E-mobility programme, which would seek to accelerate the development of new technologies to create a commercially viable infrastructure for the use of electric vehicles (EVs) throughout South Africa.

The programme, which would be hosted by the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) and supported by several private vehicle manufacturers, as well as power utility Eskom and petrochemicals group Sasol, would involve research and development in the technology and infrastructure required to support electric and hybrid vehicles…


Transnet studies new coal terminal as part of R30bn Richards Bay investment plan

Engineering News 7 March 2013.

State-owned freight logistics group Transnet is working on two major expansion projects at the Port of Richards Bay, in KwaZulu-Natal, which could together result in investments of more than R30-billion between 2015 and 2020, including the development of a possible new open-access coal terminal…

(Comment: One the one hand we have Eskom saying that coal should be declared a strategic resource and that exports should be limited to ensure availability to Eskom and to keep the prices down and on the other hand we have Transnet (and the NDP?) wanting to increase exports. This is why we need an Integrated Energy Plan (IEP) urgently so that policies are integrated and coordinated.)

EGI South Africa strengthens the public voice at South African Tariff Hearings

The National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s (NERSA’s) held its first hearing in Cape Town on January 15th, 2013 to discuss a tariff proposal by Eskom (the South African electricity public utility) that would double electricity tariffs over the next five years.

EGI South Africa Highlights Governance Issues

Despite the severe time constraints leading up to the meeting, a number of EGI South Africa partners made submissions in November 2012 that highlighted a number of issues with the proposal, as well as participated in the hearings. NERSA will consider these views in order to make a decision, which is scheduled to be published in March. Continue reading

Minister Edna Molewa to launch Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA’s) Green Cars

South African Government Information 22 February 2013.

The Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Ms Edna Molewa, will launch the Department of Environmental Affairs’ Zero Emission Electric Vehicle (Ev) Programme, commonly known as DEA GREEN CARS at Gerotek Test Facilities, WF Nkomo Rd, Pretoria West on 26 February 2013.

The introduction of the DEA Zero Emission Electric vehicles, a ground breaking pioneering initiative for the South African automobile market, also referred to as the DEA Green cars, seeks to ensure that South Africa practically contributes to the reduction of environmentally harmful gases, by promoting the use of cleaner sources of fuel by the automotive industry. ..

(Contributor’s note: Too late for the Joule, sadly.)


SA, Germany agree to enhance energy sector cooperation

Engineering News 22 February 2013.

The South African and German governments this week signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to enhance bilateral dialogue and practical cooperation in the energy sector through the establishment of an energy partnership.

The main objective of the energy partnership would be to improve and develop sustainable energy infrastructure, in particular through the increased use of renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency…