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…



PV plant set up in KwaZulu-Natal South Africa

SAAEA 21 February 2013.

he first photovoltaic (PV) solar panel manufacturing plant in KwaZulu-Natal has recently been established in New Germany, South Africa.

ART Solar, which is the only South African owned PV manufacturer, specialises in the manufacture of solar PV modules. The company is set to play a significant role in renewable energy, initially in South Africa, followed by the sub-Saharan market and the African continent…


Wind energy can solve problems

Business Features 17 February 2013.

Wind energy holds the promise of cheap, reliable power and an opportunity to address the poverty that bedevils South Africa’s farming communities.

Poverty and inequality are at the heart of the unrest that recently convulsed the winelands. Political shenanigans may have contributed to it, but there should be agreement across the political spectrum that rural poverty constitutes a national crisis and a grave injustice.

There’s no silver bullet for the desperate circumstances facing millions of the rural poor, but South Africa’s growing need for affordable energy is likely to contribute to much-needed socio-economic development…


CDC seeks contractors for R300m Coega IDZ wind tower factory

SAEEA | 25 January 2013.

The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) has requested interested contractors to bid for the construction of a 22 000 m2 wind tower manufacturing facility and associated infrastructure on behalf of renewable-energy company, DCD Wind Energy, in the Coega Industrial Development Zone, in Port Elizabeth.

The R300-million project would also include bulk earthworks; a 600 m2 office block; 400 m2 of change rooms and ablution facilities; concreted, paved and gravel hardstand areas; site works, services, paving to roads, parking area and walkways; and a perimeter fence and gatehouse…


SunEdison begins solar project in Limpopo

Business Day Live 31 January 2013.

SunEdison SA broke ground on its first South African project, a 28MW solar plant in Limpopo, on Tuesday. The R1.2bn Soutpan project, in Limpopo’s Blouberg municipal area, is to be followed by a 30MW, R1.4bn project — Witkop, situated near Polokwane.

“We are going to use South Africa as our headquarters for sub-Saharan Africa (and) we see South Africa as a beautiful market for commercial, industrial and mining customers,” Mr Gopalan said in an interview with Business Day…


Green economy opens opportunities for local manufacturing

Engineering News 27 November 2012.

Growing the green economy in South Africa would open a number of opportunities in the manufacturing sector, particularly for solar water heaters (SWHs), Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies said on Tuesday.

Under the Green Economy Accord, launched last year with an aim of creating 300 000 jobs by 2020, government committed to the installation of one-million SWHs by 2014.

At end September, the number of installations stood at 220 000.

Davies said that programmes such as the New Build Regulations (NBR), which the South African Bureau of Standards developed, would boost the uptake of solar water heating systems. “We haven’t yet had the impact of the NBR on the procurement numbers of solar water heaters, but this will have an effect on the demand,” he said…

More …

Open up the electricity industry says David Lipschitz

SAAEA 20 November 2012.

There are alternatives to the strikes, unemployment and massive problems afflicting South Africa.

The population of South Africa is being hampered by government legislation that prevents private people and businesses from selling electricity across the national grid. Yet the energy policy white paper of 2003 says that competition should be allowed.

South Africa is at a state of war with itself because of rapidly rising prices and growing unemployment, similar to what is happening in Greece and Italy. The National Planning Commission’s report shows exactly how the unemployment figures are massaged and it is not good reading.

However, there is an alternative. Safe, green, sustainable, electricity, with the price coming down every year or at the very least never going up again – ever.

However, the government sees electricity as a cash cow, instead of realising that electricity is there to grow the economy. If the economy grows there will be less unemployment and therefore people who feel better about themselves, who earn rather than receive grants and who therefore strike less and cause fewer problems. People who work and earn a living feel good about themselves. People who receive grants feel terrible, although our government believes this is the only way to get votes, because they see these people as dependent on them for handouts!

If government allows electricity, transport, water, fuel, etc, costs to stop increasing and even start decreasing, by leveling the playing fields, as is envisaged in our policy and strategy, South Africa will grow as fast as the 25 countries in the world which are growing at greater than 5% per annum.

We might even grow like Ghana and other countries and like China has grown, ie at 10%+ per annum. At this rate, unemployment will be gone within 10 years. South Africa will be the richest country in the world. We have resources and we have population growth. With electricity we can turn these resources into finished goods for export to the world and especially Africa which will be the world’s biggest market within the next 10 years.

There will be no need to export our raw materials and jobs to countries which are adding Gigawatts to their electricity grids weekly and making the finished goods that South Africa needs, whilst using South African raw materials! Hence making our balance of payments and exchange rate worse at exactly the time these factors should be improving.

Although South Africa’a problems seem complex, they have a simple cause. When will we wake up and realise this?


David Lipschitz