Page 1

Carbon Tax:

An overview

Green electricity



Firm on climate change agreement

Carbon Disclosure Project:

Report highlights

4 8

First sustainability index Energise Mozambique’s electricity


Overview of Ethiopia

16 20 22 24 27

Financial crisis calls for remedies Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index Climate action business advantage? Africa: climate change agreement Jatropha debate part 3

56 Cover stories

28 Biofuels markets in sub-Saharan Africa 30 Modern technology in agriculture 32

Solar mission to Africa

34 36

Sustainable advertising SA projects supported by Denmark


Low-carbon development costs


Nuclear power as energy source


44 Eskom dominates yearly results 46 Electric power from space 48 Perfect insulation solution 50 Shaping a better world 54 58

Carbon tax legislation Carbon Disclosure Report


1st World Green Building Day


Energy events

26 12

No 4 2009 2 5 o i n Af r i ca


Possible carbon tax legislation and the escalating electricity costs in South Africa is urging businesses to review their carbon emissions and the use of electricity in their businesses. This puts pressure on government to strongly revisit the REFIT and for corporate communities to come out in support of green electricity and to implement energy efficiency strategies. In this issue we discuss the carbon tax issue in depth. Read more from page 54.

25º in Africa: Africa’s Independent Energy Publication covers the whole gamut of energy sources, production needs, environmental impacts and the current issues surrounding them. 25º in Africa’s mission is to disseminate information on any and all energy-related issues, with an emphasis on developments in Africa and the impact on the environment. The focus of the publication is on energy generation, but it carries related information to provide a broad, unbiased and independent view of all the pertinent issues.

Copyright: The copyright for all content of this publication is strictly reserved. No part of this may be copied in part or fully without the express written permission of the editor. Disclaimer: Views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher, the editorial team or its agents. Although the utmost care is taken to ensure accuracy of the published content, the publisher, editor and journalists cannot be held liable for inaccurate information contributed, supplied or published. Contributions: The editor welcomes contributions and encourages items of interest to our readers in the energy sector. All advertisements and editorials are placed solely at the discretion of the editor and subject to prior approval. 25º in Africa reserves the right to edit, withhold or alter any editorial material to complement the style of the publication. Subscriptions: 25º in Africa is currently published quarterly as a print publication. 25º in Africa is also available as a web download. For subscription information, please contact the editor or editor’s assistant (contact details supplied above). Publisher: Media in Africa (Pty) Ltd • International Contact Information: Tel +27 12 347 7530 • Fax +27 12 347 7523 E-mail: Postal Address: PO Box 25260, Monument Park, 0105 Republic of South Africa Physical Address: First Floor, Unit G, Castle Walk Corporate Park Cnr Nossob & Swakop Streets, Erasmuskloof Ext. 3, Pretoria, Republic of South Africa The 25º In Africa team: Editor: Founder:

Marlene van Rooyen: +27 83 327 3746 E-mail: Schalk Burger (1943 – 2006)

Sales Consultant:

Andre de Wit: Tel +27 84 513 2580 E-mail:

Journalist: Editor’s Assistant:

Adriénne Brookbanks: Tel +27 82 468 4566 Zuerita Gouws: Tel +27 12 347 7530 E-mail: Lourens van Rensburg E-mail:

Industry Consultant: Imbewu Sustainability Legal Specialists: Publishing Manager: Financial Manager: Design and Layout: Accountant: Proofreader: Reproduction & Printing:

Andrew Gilder: climate change and CDM legal specialist Liezel van der Merwe Fanie Venter MIA Graphic Studio - Adrie le Roux Sietske Rossouw E-mail: Angus Reid Business Print Centre

An ambitious climate deal crucial As COP 15 looms closer the last round of talks have occurred and the world awaits with bated breath the outcome of the intense negotiations. The Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi, the leader of the African negotiating team to Copenhagen in December, has said that Africa will not blindly support any position that does not factor in the continent’s specific interests. Mr Zenawi strongly positioned Africa’s main interest not to claim compensation for historic damages, but to prevent damages in the first place. Africa has some of the world’s most fragile ecosystems and as such would bear the brunt of the negative effects of climate change in the world. To quote Mr Zenawi: “We will use our numbers to delegitimize any agreement that is not consistent with our minimal position.” This will be the first time in history that Africa will be represented by a united single entity, which has numerous benefits, but also poses potential risks. The negotiating team must be very wary to not let personal interests, managerial issues and administrative matters get in the way of achieving the desired result. Ultimately, South Africa is committed to reducing its GHG emissions, but for it to do so it would need financial and organisational support. I think Ed Milliband’s proposal of a “business plan” for donor funding is a viable option for control and correct distribution of donor funding for effective practices and implementation. 2010 will usher in a new era for the world in terms of energy and climate change. We will be even more present, growing from a quarterly to a bi-monthly. We look forward to brining you the latest developments in the new year. Have a wonderful festive season!

en erva t i on s

SA’s first media sustainability index South Africa’s first Media Sustainability Index (MSI) which aims to assess companies’ relative performance on sustainability-related media reportage was launched recently by sustainability consultancy and publisher Trialogue, and co-creator analysis specialist Media Tenor. The MSI provides companies operating in the South African market with a strategic communications benchmarking tool through its quantitative and qualitative analysis of companies and issues under the sustainability spotlight in the media.

Tracking performance

Increase in sustainability reporting

Schreiner adds, “Traditionally, financial journalism focused on financial reports presented by companies, from which the sustainability of the business was derived,” going on to say that journalists seem to realise that numbers are no longer the true value of a company.

The Index’s maiden findings are based on analysis of over 500 000 articles and broadcast news content over a three-year period (2006-2008), and conclude that an average of 20% of company coverage in mainstream media has addressed issues of sustainability. “South Africa has seen a marked increase in sustainability-focused reporting during this period, from 18% to 23% respectively. Comparatively, products and service-related reportage dropped from 9% to 7%,” explains Wadim Schreiner, Managing Director of Media Tenor.

The Index serves a mutually beneficial purpose for corporates and the media in that companies can track their communication performance, as well as identify challenges and opportunities provided by the media – for whom the Index makes sustainability reporting more transparent. It also allows for the identification of issues that offer new insights into a complex group of topics.

The framework of the Index comprises nine categories of sustainability, i.e. sustainability management, sustainability advocacy, external stakeholder relations, legislation compliance, human resource management, marketplace impact, Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE)/ transformation, community relations and biophysical environment. “In future, we anticipate that media reportage relating to issues of biophysical environment and community relations will attract a rising share of media interest and coverage,” says Schreiner. Sustainability is a strategic imperative for South African business, agrees NBI Chief Executive André Fourie, going on to say that the NBI believes that a more explicit focus is required on sustainability. “Business must, and can act confidently in this somewhat unfamiliar territory,” concludes Fourie. For further information, please visit

20% of company coverage in mainstream media has addressed issues of sustainability

Chocolate-powered racing car World-first fully sustainable Formula 3 racing car. Could the idea of ‘green motorsport’ actually work? Yes, believes researcher Kerry Kirwan, from the University of Warwick, who led the research team that designed and built the world-first fully sustainable Formula 3 racing car. The car is made from woven flax, recycled carbon fibre, recycled resin and carrot pulp for the steering wheel and runs on biofuel made from chocolate and animal fats, lubricated with plant oils.

Not just an environmentally friendly car, it’s fast too, with a top speed of 135 mph. What’s more, it can go from 0 to 60 in 2,5 seconds and is turbo charged to give it more torque. With the seal of approval from drivers such as Lewis Hamilton and Adam Carroll, as well as F1 team boss Ross Brawn (from Brawn GP), the car has made its first competitive debut in the Formula 3 Championship final at Brands Hatch on 17 October 2009. The team hopes to prove that high performance cars can be built from sustainable materials. Kirwan explains that the idea behind the project is to show that: “being sustainable and green can be incredibly sexy, fun and fast.” He goes on to say that even though people’s perception of motorsport is that it’s a wasteful pastime, this project is “aiming to show ways for the future, for people to race and be green.” For further information, visit to which full acknowledgement and thanks are given.


25 o i n A f r ic a No 4 2009

en erva t i on s

Wind turbines to power cellphone towers Although it’s an easy task to monitor home power consumption, few people think about the energy impact of talking on cellphones for hours on end. The reality is that cellphone towers have to be powered by ‘something’, and in many cases that something is coal or other expensive, on-the-grid sources. Helix Wind Corporation, a wind turbine company, is aiming to both cut down on cellphone tower operating costs and lower the CO2 impact of cellphone use with wind-powered cell towers. Both elegant and unobtrusive, Helix’s vertical turbines are ideal for powering cell towers. Not only are they quiet, but they also generate enough energy to pay for themselves in six months, meaning it isn’t too much of a stretch for telecom companies to invest in them. Trials of Helix’s wind-powered cell towers will begin in the US and Africa during November, with initial turbine shipments expected to arrive in Nigeria for local telecom company Eltek NSG by the end of October. If all goes well, Helix hopes to expand to other operators in the area and collaborate on hundreds of tower installations in the next few years. For further information, visit, to which full acknowledgement and thanks are given.

Innovative technology gets the moving Whether free-falling back to earth after being catapulted 70 metres into the air, or hurtling five times head-over-heels on the giant roller coaster, millions of visitors will soon be enjoying the numerous fairground rides – turned and controlled by Siemens technology – at the 176th Munich Oktoberfest. Requirements are tough at the world’s largest public festival, and systems have to be reliable, as, on sunny weekends, the rides are in continuous operation since every idle minute means losses for the operators. “On such days, operation simply has to be trouble-free,” explains Ewald Schneider, Manager of Power Tower 2. “I’m completely satisfied with Siemens’ products and service. That’s why I’m also using them in my new free-fall tower.” For 30 years, Siemens has been supplying products for fairground rides around the world. Environmental aspects have become increasingly important in recent years, with the latest Osram LEDs on fairground rides reducing the energy requirements of the lighting systems installed by up to 90 percent. In addition, the latest generation of Siemens drives saves so much energy that procurement costs are already amortized within about a year. Consequently, many of the products and solutions implemented are part of Siemens’ Environmental Portfolio, which generated sales of nearly €19 billion (ZAR215,84-billion)– or about one quarter of the company’s entire revenue – in fiscal 2008 to make Siemens the largest infrastructure supplier of environmental technology in the world. Siemens Southern Africa Tel: +27 11 652 2000 Website:


25 o i n A f r ic a No 4 2009

Siemens has successfully ‘greened’ many of the rides enjoyed by visitors at the 176th Munich Oktoberfest.

en ervati o n s

A completely new state of matter Oxford scientists have created a transparent form of aluminium by bombarding the metal with the world’s most powerful soft X-ray laser. ‘Transparent aluminium’ previously only existed in science fiction, as featured in the movie Star Trek IV, but the real material is an exotic new state of matter with exciting implications for planetary science and nuclear fusion. Led by Oxford University scientists, an international team has reported in Nature Physics that a short pulse from the FLASH laser ‘knocked out’ a core electron from every aluminium atom in a sample without disrupting the metal’s conventional crystalline structure. This turned the aluminium almost invisible to extreme ultraviolet radiation. ''What we have created is a completely new state of matter nobody has seen before,� claims Professor Justin Wark of Oxford University’s Department of Physics, one of the authors of the paper. “Transparent aluminium is just the start. The physical properties of the matter we are creating are relevant to the conditions inside large planets, and we also hope that by studying it we can gain a greater understanding of what is going on during the creation of 'miniature stars' created by high-power laser implosions, which may one day allow the power of nuclear fusion to be harnessed here on Earth.� Professor Wark adds, “What is particularly remarkable about our experiment is that we have turned ordinary aluminium into this exotic new material in a single step by using this very powerful laser. For a brief period the sample looks and behaves in every way like a new form of matter. In certain


respects, the way it reacts is as though we had changed every aluminium atom into silicon: it’s almost as surprising as finding that you can turn lead into gold with light!� The researchers say that the new approach is an ideal way to create and study such exotic states of matter and will lead to further work relevant to areas as diverse as planetary science, astrophysics and nuclear fusion power. For further information, visit, to which full acknowledgement and thanks are given.

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No 4 2009 2 5 o i n Af r i ca

en erva t i on s

Long-term heat management for

solar collectors International heating systems manufacturer Viessmann now uses Basotect® to insulate its solar collectors. The light, flame-retardant melamine resin foam produced by BASF is fitted to the side walls and the rear of flat-plate collectors which capture solar radiation and convert it into heat. For collectors to absorb as much sunlight as possible throughout their entire service life, durable and heat-retardant materials are necessary. Basotect® provides good insulation properties over a long period, even when exposed to high temperatures, and positively influences the air exchange in the collector in different climatic conditions. In contrast to conventional insulation materials, the BASF foam can be cut into different forms. Proven performance Basotect® releases practically no volatile substances that could obstruct solar radiation, e.g. fogging behind the glass panels of the collectors which could reduce the efficiency of the solar system. Because of its good thermal conductivity (<0,035 W/m*K) and the intelligent shaping of the insulating pieces, Basotect® is able to achieve the same insulating performance as mineral wool, but with less material usage. In addition, Basotect® makes

Award-winning properties A Viessmann solar combi-system with Basotect® flat-plate collector insulation was pronounced test winner by the German consumer organisation “Stiftung Warentest” in March 2009.


collector installation easier: It is flexible, fibre-free, and can easily be cut to the contours required. “With the BASF specialty foam, we have found a material that improves the quality of our flat-plate collectors and, at the same time, makes it easier for us to manufacture them,” says Sigurd von Wenzler, project leader for solar technology at Viessmann. “Compared to the previous standards, we have further increased the efficiency of our new generation of collectors, thanks to Basotect®. This means that we are able to offer our customers systems that are of greater interest from an economic point of view.” Additional information can be found at and www. BASF Holdings South Africa (Pty) Ltd Tel: +27 11 203 2422 Fax: +27 11 203 2430 E-mail: Website:

Economic growth to energise Mozambique’s electricity industry Due to poor planning, decades of under-investment and deteriorating infrastructure, the provision of electricity in Mozambique has, thus far, been deficient. Lately, however, outstanding economic growth and the government rural electrification programme are galvanising the electricity industry in the country. New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (visit, the growth partnership company, finds that the Mozambican electricity industry earned revenues of $202-million (ZAR1535,2-million) in 2008, a figure estimated to reach $455-million (ZAR3458-million) in 2015.

“Major investments in electricity projects in Mozambique have the potential to add 9 000 MW of electricity to the Southern African power pool,” notes Frost & Sullivan Energy Industry Analyst Jeannot Boussougouth. “Despite the global financial crisis, the demand for electricity is forecast to grow by 11% until 2015 as a result of a boom in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors, as well as a strong rural electrification programme.” Mozambique is rich in energy resources, but has lacked the financial and human resources to develop its electricity industry. New government policy, however, focuses on the development of the potential of the electricity industry in order to increase access to electricity, while enhancing the environmental sustainability of electricity generation. “Accordingly, the Mozambican electricity industry is expected to grow by 15 % by 2015,” notes Boussougouth. “The country’s outstanding economic growth has provided it with credibility, attracting more foreign direct investment.” If you are interested in a virtual brochure which provides a brief synopsis of the research, send an e-mail to Patrick Cairns at patrick.cairns@frost. com. Frost & Sullivan Tel: +27 21 680 3261 Fax: +27 21 680 3296 Website:


25 o i n A f r ic a No 4 2009

Ebony + Ivory 12930

The qualities that helped a new enterprise take root in the forestry industry.

The IDC provides finance for industrial and enterprise development. To discuss funding of R1 million or more, please call 086 069 3888 or visit

en erva t i on s

Climate change: solving the

Muna Lakhani

Muna Lakhani

root causes Amidst the doom and gloom of climate change, economic meltdown, wildly fluctuating oil prices and rocketing food prices, it is a relief to come across a glimmer in the dark. At a function in Cape Town during October, the Institute for Zero Waste in Africa (IZWA – “listen” in Nguni) unveiled a systems-based approach to these issues in order to demonstrate what really is possible. “Climate Change, probably better called Climate Chaos, is a symptom, and we will never solve the problem by focussing on the symptoms – going for the causes is what will work,” stated IZWA National Co-ordinator Muna Lakhani. He added that in the USA, 40% of greenhouse gases originate from products and packaging, confirming that tackling the world’s waste problem is critical to solving climate chaos and reconfirms the raison d’etre of IZWA. The breakfast presentation was full of fascinating information, including that of a 2000 year old agricultural system, called Chinampas, which allows one to be productive on really small pieces of land. The modern use of a part of the system, originally called ‘Chapines’, translate into ‘soil blocks’, a way in which much of the growing process can happen in compressed blocks of

soil, leaving the land free for use for the last part of the growing cycle. Soil blocks eliminate the need for toxic polystyrene seedling trays, or wasteful plastic pots, while improving the survival rate of seedlings, through greatly reduced root disturbance; availability of more nutrients; potential for earlier sowing; and reduced input costs, while maintaining an organic approach. Further information can be found on their website for free download –

Innovative products for the solar industry BASF will soon be presenting its range of innovative products for the solar industry at the European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (EU PVSEC) in Hamburg, Germany. Experts will inform industry professionals about the company’s comprehensive portfolio of products and services, including:

and a simplified process with high throughput. Beyond that, the new silver conductive pastes are also suitable for use in conventional wafer production (screen printing process).

SELURISTM – for greater efficiency

The new COLO-Fast® polyurethane casting system allows BASF’s subsidiary Elastogran to offer the quick, economical and secure framing of photovoltaic and solar panels. The UV-stable PU system is able to replace the aluminium frames normally used in the past and, because the PU casting system is poured directly onto the solar cells, opens up a variety of frame design opportunities for customers.

The SelurisTM range of products offers BASF customers an allround solution for cutting, etching, texturing and doping mono- and polycrystalline solar cells. Special etching and texturing chemicals eliminate the saw damage and the “patterning” created on the wafer surfaces. High-purity phosphorus oxychloride (POCl3) from a new production plant is used for subsequent doping of the wafers. Lead-free metallization pastes – for better conductivity BASF will also present the contactless digital laser transfer printing process, as well as the corresponding lead-free pastes for the metallisation of wafers/solar cells. This new process for crystalline solar cells reduces the breakage rate during metallisation and enables customers to handle even thinner solar cells (below 180 µm). Further advantages are the environment-friendly lead-free paste technology


25 o i n A f r ic a No 4 2009

COLO-FAST® - more design freedom

Production is by way of the process known as reaction injection moulding (RIM process). For this, the solar cells and solar panels are placed into a closed mould and COLO-FAST® is injected through a mixing head. After a reaction time of just 30 seconds, the framed panel can be removed and used immediately. BASF Holdings South Africa (Pty) Ltd Tel: +27 11 203 2422 Fax: +27 11 203 2430 E-mail: Website:

en ervati o n s


Designing sustainable buildings



just got easier

Graphisoft, a global leader in Virtual Building™ solutions, has announced that Graphisoft EcoDesigner™, a energy analysis estimation tool for ArchiCAD 13, is now available to South African architects who wish to make the design of their buildings more sustainable and their predicted performance easier to measure. Graphisoft EcoDesigner is an integrated, easy–to-use energy evaluation tool which enables users to control the energy consumption of their buildings, setting new standards in sustainable design. With EcoDesigner, architects will have easy access to much needed energy information concerning their project in the early design phase, as opposed to relying on outside professionals to analyse the buildings when the design is well advanced and many decisions are irreversible.




Now an organic part of architecture!

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“Graphisoft EcoDesigner generated great interest among architects at the 2009 AIA convention in San Francisco, and continuously thereafter,” says Akos Pfemeter, Director of Graphisoft Global Marketing. “Designers welcome this integrated ‘one-click’ energy evaluation solution that helps them make informed design decisions even at early design phases.”

For Architects   Within ArchiCAD   “One-click” Evaluation

About Graphisoft For 25 years, Graphisoft has been empowering the broadest community of architects to deliver model based projects that are better designed, more predictable to construct and less expensive to operate. For more detailed information about the Graphisoft EcoDesigner product, please visit APIX Tel: +27 86 1234 888 E-mail: Website:

086 1234 888

No 4 2009 2 5 o i n Af r i ca


c o u n t ry p rof il e : E th io p ia

A jetty in Ethiopia.

An overview of


energy potential

Rock Hewn Church - Ethiopia.


Ethiopia has the potential to produce hydroelectric and geothermal power. As of mid-1991, however, no comprehensive assessment of this potential has been available, although some estimates indicated that the total potential could be as much as 143-billion kilowatts. The main sources of this potential are thought to be the Abay (Blue Nile; 79,9-billion kilowatts), the Shebele (21,6-billion kilowatts), and the Omo (16,1-billion kilowatts). The remaining 25.9-billion kilowatts could come from rivers such as the Tekezé, Awash, Baro, Genale, and Mereb. 25 o i n A f r ic a No 4 2009

co u n try p ro f i le: Ethi o p i a

Ethiopia's first large hydroelectric generating facilities were constructed in the Awash River basin. The three plants: Awash I (Koka) with 54 000-kilowatts capacity; Awash II with 32 000 kilowatts capacity; and Awash III with 32 000 kilowatts capacity, were finished between 1960 and 1972. In 1974, the Fincha River facility in central Welega opened with a generating capacity of 84 000 kilowatts. Other major power-generating facilities included those at Bahir Dar (7 680 kilo- watts) and Aba Samuel (6 560 kilowatts). The total installed capacity of thermal generating units totalled 210 084 kilowatts in 1985/86.

• In 1975 the government nationalised all private utility companies and placed them under ELPA (Ethiopian Electric Light and Power Authority). Since then, utility services have been reserved exclusively to the state. •

Ethiopia's second commercial energy resource is oil. Yet despite reports of natural gas reserves and traces of petroleum, Ethiopia still depends on imported crude oil. In late 1990, the government ann- ounced that geologists had discovered oil in western Ilubabor, with an expected deposit ranging from approximately 100-million to 120-million tons.

The primary energy sources for most Ethiopians are charcoal, animal manure, and firewood. Some estimates indicate that as much as 96% of the country's total energy consumption is based on these traditional sources.

Sources:; No 4 2009 2 5 o i n Af r i ca


c o u n t ry p rof il e : E th io p ia

Country profile: As opposed to many other African countries, the ancient Ethiopian monarchy continued to keep its freedom from colonial rule (except for a brief occupation by Mussolini’s Italy from 1036-1941). The Derg, a military junta in Ethiopia, deposed Emporer Haile Selassie in 1974. Selassie had ruled since 1930 and after he was dethroned, the Derg established a socialist state. The consequent regime, which was torn between uprisings, severe drought and extreme refugee problems, toppled in 1991. In 1994, a constitution was adopted and the country’s first multiparty election was held in 1995. During the late 1990s, a border war between Ethiopia and Eritrea took place. Although these two countries are of the poorest in the world, they both spent huge sums of money (and suffered thousands of casualties) during this battle. The Eritrea-Ethiopia Border Commission, which was founded by the UN, remotely demarcated the border according to geographical coordinates, which resulted in minor border changes. The final demarcation has currently come to a halt due to Ethiopia’s objections to the commission’s finding that requires it to surrender a territory that Ethiopia considers to be theirs. Location: Eastern Africa, west of Somalia. Climate: Tropical monsoon with wide topographic-induced variation. Terrain: High plateau with central mountain range divided by the Great Rift Valley. Elevation extremes: • Lowest point: Danakil Depression -125 m • Highest point: Ras Dejen - 4 533 m Natural resources: Small reserves of gold, platinum, copper, potash, natural gas, hydropower. Land use: • Arable land: 10,01% • Permanent crops: 0,65% • Other: 89,34% (2005) Natural hazards: Geologically active Great Rift Valley susceptible to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions; frequent droughts. Current environmental issues: Deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification; water shortages in some areas from water-intensive farming and poor management. General economic overview: Agriculture accounts for nearly half of Ethiopia’s GDP, 80% of its total employment and 60% of its exports. Agriculture is the base of this poverty stricken country’s economy and it suffers from poor cultivation practices and frequent drought.


25 o i n A f r ic a No 4 2009

The export of coffee, which is critical to the Ethiopian economy, amounted to $350-million in 2006. Although coffee is a major source of income to the country, historically low prices have caused many farmers to switch to qat to supplement their income. The recurring drought and border war with Eritrea has crippled the country’s economy and in November 2001, Ethiopia qualified for debt relief from the Highly Indebted Poor Countries initiative. In Ethiopia, the state is the owner of all land and it provides long-term leases to tenants. This severely hampers Ethiopia’s growth, seeing as entrepreneurs can’t use land as collateral for loans. GDP (purchasing power parity): $68,77-billion (ZAR 522,652-billion) (2008 est.) GDP (official exchange rate): $25,66-billion (ZAR 195,01-billion) (2008 est.) GDP – real growth rate: 11,6% (2008 est.) GDP – per capita (PPP): $800 (ZAR 6080) (2008 est.) GDP – composition by sector: • Agriculture: 44,9% • Industry: 12,8% • Services: 42,3% (2008 est.) Labour force: 37,9-million (2007) Population below poverty line: 38,7% (FY05/06 est.) Agriculture products: Cereals, pulses, coffee, oilseed, cotton, sugarcane, potatoes, qat, cut flowers; hides, cattle, sheep, goats; fish. Industrial production growth rate: 10,4% (2008 est.) Electricity production: 3,46-billion kWh (2007 est.) Electricity consumption: 3,13-billion kWh (2007 est.) Electricity exports: 0 kWh (2008 est.) Electricity imports: 0 kWh (2008 est.) Oil production: 0 bbl/day (2008 est.) Current account balance: $-2-billion (ZR 15,2-billion) (2008 est.) Exports: $1,55-billion ( ZAR 11,78-billion) (2008 est.) Export commodities: Coffee, qat, gold, leather products, live animals, oilseeds Export partners: US 10,1%, Germany 10%, Saudi Arabia 7,6%, the Netherlands 7,1%, Djibouti 6,5%, Italy 5,6%, China 4,9% (2008) Imports: $6,901-billion (2008 est.) Import partners: China 19,5%, Saudi Arabia 17,9%, India 7,2%, US 5%, Italy 4,4% (2008). Debt external: $3,161-billion (ZAR 24,023-billion) (31 December 2008 est.) Information courtesy of, to which full acknowledgement and thanks are given.

Voltex Lighting offers a complete range of latest technology Hubbell occupancy sensors – controlling movement, sound and daylight harvesting.


Key Issues • • • • •

Rising energy prices and penalties Energy capacity Economical growth Global warming Lighting consumes 14% of all electricity within SA (source Eskom)

with our occupancy sensors and range of energy saving luminaires.

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Results in • • • • •

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No-one present. Lights off.


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Person enters. Lights switch on.

Person present. Not enough daylight. Lights on.

Person present. Moderate daylight. Lights dim.

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Person present. Bright daylight. Lights dimmed to minimum.

c li m a t e ch a n g e

Global financial crisis calls for

range of remedies A regulatory overhaul to strengthen regional development banks, a scaling up of international aid tailored to Africa’s special needs, and debt relief are urgently needed to help buoy African economies weakened by the global financial and economic crisis, several speakers told the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) as it continued its consideration of macroeconomic policy questions.

The global economic crisis had affected the ‘drivers’ of Africa’s recent economic growth, he said, adding that it had threatened the ability of its Governments to protect critical core spending in poverty eradication, health, education, social-safety nets, and infrastructure. Growth across the continent was expected to fall to 3,2% in 2009, down from 5,75% in 2008 and 6% in 2007.

Swaziland’s representative, speaking for the Southern African Development Community (SADC), said the region was not well integrated into global markets, but nonetheless had suffered the negative impact of financial havoc. Countries already suffering from low reserves and fiscal deficits would be hard hit, especially as Governments were unable to cope with their populations’ growing needs. Moreover, the slowdown would likely exacerbate poverty, and making it even harder for SADC countries to maintain hard-won gains towards the Millennium Development Goals.

Ethiopia’s representative said that donors at the London G20 summit had proposed to give an additional $50 billion on top of official development assistance (ODA) to help Africa through the current crisis. While the International Monetary Fund (IMF) readily disbursed funds, monies sent from the World Bank and the African Development Bank were not yet available, and the slow pace of meeting pledges was worrisome. In addition, recent aid flows to Africa had shifted away from productive activities – vital for job creation and poverty reduction – to social sectors. Aid volatility and fragmentation, plus tied aid, continued to undermine effectiveness. Development partners, he said, must ensure full implementation of commitments and a debt-service moratorium should be considered for the heavily-indebted countries.

To address those woes, he called for a review of regulatory infrastructure and increased recognition of the importance of strengthening regional development banks. It was crucial for those banks to provide medium- and long-term assistance to meet their clients’ development needs. To do that, they needed stronger financial and lending capacity. Algeria’s representative, speaking for the African Group, agreed, and pointed to the Group of Twenty’s (G20) recent commitment to increase resources for developing countries through the World Bank and regional development banks, such as the African Development Bank. He underscored the urgent need to tackle key issues of immediate concern to Africa, such as providing more liquid funds, or helping countries from falling into a foreign debt crisis. In addition, the international community should respect its commitments to scale up action and money to implement programmes addressing Africa’s special needs.


Also commenting on external debt, Nigeria’s representative said it had an intrinsic hold on the development of human and material resources. Debt sustainability must be addressed comprehensively to free up resources otherwise used for debt servicing to fund strategies to achieve the millennium targets. He called on creditors and debtors to faithfully and sincerely verify debts owed by developing countries, with a view to granting relief and to extending outright cancellation to more countries, as a complement to other resource flows. For further information, visit, to which full acknowledgement and thanks are given.

ambitious deal is crucial

“The continuing growth of emissions from industrialised countries remains worrying” Data submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) show that the greenhouse gas emissions of the 40 industrialised countries that have reporting obligations under the convention rose by 1% from 2006 to 2007. The 2007 emissions of this group of countries are roughly 4% below 1990 levels. Overall, a 3% growth in emissions in the period from 2000 to 2007 was noted. For the smaller group of 37 industrialised countries that have targets under the Kyoto Protocol, emissions in 2007 were, impressively, almost the same as in 2006 (+0,1%). This figure is around 16% below the 1990 Kyoto baseline for industrialised countries with targets. Much of this reduction, however, comes from the economic decline of economies in


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transition (countries in eastern and central Europe) in the 1990s and since 2000, the emissions have been growing for this group (+3%). “The continuing growth of emissions from industrialised countries remains worrying, despite the expectation of a momentary dip brought about by the global recession,” said Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC. He highlighted the urgent need to seal a comprehensive, fair and effective climate change deal in Copenhagen in December. For further information, visit, to which full acknowledgement and thanks are given.

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World insurers unite to promote a

greener economy

Speaking at the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Global Roundtable Opening Plenary session in Cape Town, South African Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, stated that the cost of inaction towards sustainable development will far exceed the cost of moving towards a low carbon economy, adding that current economic crisis gives us the opportunity to assess the need for sustainable finance and sustainable practices. The G20 has made progress in reshaping the rules governing collective finance practices, and has begun to raise questions about the need for a post crisis economic model â&#x20AC;&#x201C; one that takes account of emerging countries. This is a sentiment the insurance industry has embraced with gusto. Sustainability in industry Recently, global insurers controlling assets worth trillions of US dollars have joined with the world's leading academics in a United Nations-backed survey which will put the industry's approach to sustainability and climate risks under forensic examination. Backed by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the report reveals that senior executives from this powerful sector are convinced that in order to sustain their industry's long-term economic health, they must systematically integrate key environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into insurance company underwriting guidelines and product development, and other core operations such as investment management, claims management, and sales and marketing. Entitled The Global State of Sustainable Insurance Understanding and integrating environmental, social and governance factors in insurance, the report summarises the key findings of the UNEP Finance Initiative global survey conducted this year, the nature and scope of which made it the first of its kind ever. Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director, commented that "The message is loud and clear. . . insurers are communicating strong risk signals stemming from a wide range of environmental, social and governance issues, from climate change, biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation and water scarcity, to poverty, emerging manmade health risks, ageing populations, child labour and corruption.â&#x20AC;?

The foreword by HRH The Prince of Wales reads: "Insurance companies play a pivotal role in identifying and assessing new and emerging risks. No other sector takes a longer term or more carefully calculated professional view of the future. Their approach to sustainability is therefore of fundamental importance, not only to the rest of the corporate sector, but to the whole of human society." The reports key findings and recommendations include: 1. ESG factors are relevant to both the insurance and investment opera tions of insurance companies. Therefore, the global, long-term and systemic risks posed by many ESG factors can undermine the solvency of an insurance company and the long-term economic health of the insurance industry, including insureds and entities financed by insurance capital. 2. Given their multiple roles as risk managers, risk carriers and institutional investors, insurance companies have immense capacity to manage ESG factors. However, in a highly competitive, fragmented and regulated industry, tackling ESG factors entails overcoming major challenges. 3. ESG factors influence insurance underwriting, and have varying degrees of impact across lines of insurance. 4. Proper management of ESG factors potentially enhances insurance company earnings and long-term company value via avoided loss and new product offerings. 5. Given their assessment of ESG risks, insurance underwriters judge the societal response for many ESG factors as underdeveloped. 6. The evolution of ESG factors in developing regions is different, but there are aspects common globally. 7. Active promotion and adoption of integrated ESG risk management and financing is needed. 8. Effective ESG risk management and financing entail the systematic inte gration of material ESG factors into company-wide policy and core insurance processes (e.g. underwriting, product development, invest- ment management, claims management, sales & marketing). 9. In order to effectively promote and adopt ESG risk management and financing at the industry and global levels, the insurance industry should develop and adopt "Principles for Sustainable Insurance", a best prac- tice framework focused on ESG factors, tailored to the insurance business, grounded on risks and opportunities, and in line with the goals of sustainable development. 10. Policymakers and regulators should ensure prudential regulatory or legal frameworks on ESG factors, where appropriate. 11. Civil society institutions should collectively bolster their understanding of the insurance industry such that they can play a full role in ensuring that the insurance industry is sustainable and providing products and serv- ices that duly take ESG factors into account. 12. The academic community should continue to advance research on ESG factors and the insurance industry.

For further information, visit, or greeneconomy, to which full acknowledgement and thanks are given. No 4 2009 2 5 o i n Af r i ca


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$2-trillion by 2020 Global revenues from climate-related businesses such as energy efficiency rose by 75% in 2008 to $530-billion (ZAR4028-billion), and could exceed $2-trillion (ZAR15,2-trillion) by 2020, estimates HSBC Global Research. In the 2006 Stern Review on the economics of climate change, climaterelated revenues were forecast to climb to $500-billion (ZAR3800-billion) by 2050. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This seemingly huge figure has already been surpassed well ahead of time as more and more businesses adapt their business model," explains Joaquim de Lima, Global Head of quant research for equities at HSBC.

Global revenues from climate-related businesses

Prerequisites for growth

such as energy efficiency rose by 75%

For revenues to rise to $2-trillion (ZAR15,2-trillion), the way energy is generated and used needs to change, with continued government support needed. The four core investment pillars will be low-carbon energy production, energy efficiency, control of water, waste and pollution and climate finance, the report stated. It was particularly interesting that energy efficiency recorded the highest investment returns in the year to date, at 30%, followed by carbon finance at 24%. "This is a very significant trend given the substantial share of climate stimulus funds that have been directed at energy efficiency and energy management by governments across the globe," HSBC analysts believe. For further information, visit, to which full acknowledgement and thanks are given.

SA committed to climate change â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Minister Sonjica Environmental Affairs Minister Buyelwa Sonjica has said South Africa is committed to reducing its emission of greenhouse gases (GHG), but for the country to achieve this, it would require extensive international, financial and technical support. This comment was made as Africa prepares to take part in the next round of negotiations on climate change, scheduled to take place in Copenhagen this December. "South Africa is committed in doing its fair share to ensure that the December climate change talks produce a deal that will be favourable to developed and developing countries,â&#x20AC;? she stated, adding that South Africa was aware of its contribution to the Global GHG, attributed to the country's heavy reliance on coal-powered electricity. "However, we are committed to taking responsible action to reduce our emissions. Over the long term, we will redefine our competitive advantage and structurally transform the economy from an energy-intensive to a climate-friendly one," said Sonjica. As African countries go to the conference, she cautioned that it should be remembered that the continent needs between $200 and $400-million to fund its adaptation and mitigation efforts. She then called on major economies such as the United States to make bold commitments in their efforts to reduce the emission of GHG.


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Minister Buyelwa Sonjica.

For further information, visit, to which full acknowledgement and thanks are given.

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UN must help poor nations meet

climate deadlines

The United Nations development system must quickly build the capacity of national partners to meet the multiple challenges facing them, from achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to fighting climate change, as a host of deadlines loom on these critical issues, a top UN official has said. “We are up against timelines – the MDG target dates are scarcely six years away,” UN Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark told a regional meeting of her agency’s representatives from Asia and the Pacific, referring to the targets adopted at the UN Millennium summit of 2000 to slash poverty, hunger, maternal and infant mortality and vastly expand access to health care and education, (all by 2015). She added that “The clock is ticking and the adverse effects are being felt most in developing countries. A person in a developing country is 79 times more likely to experience a climate disaster as a person in the developed world”. “UNDP, both as a leading development agency, and through our leadership and coordination of other agencies in the UN development system, must

work to galvanize support for the MDGs in every country,” said Clarke. Turning to climate change, she noted that the brunt of the burden is being borne by poor people in developing countries, whether the dry lands of Africa, the deltas of Asia, or the world’s small atoll nations. The Asian Development Bank puts the total cost of lost agricultural production and other negative effects at as high as around 6,7% of gross domestic product (GDP) in some South-East Asian countries by the end of the century. “There is no simple choice to be made between fostering growth and development or protecting our climate and ecosystems – both objectives are necessary, and compatible,” Clark stated. “We [UNDP] can assist countries to develop low carbon growth, energy access, and adaptation strategies – and to place them at the heart of their national development plans.” For further information, visit to which full acknowledgement and thanks are given.

Climate Justice: enforcing climate change law The Climate Justice Programme comprises a collaboration of lawyers and campaigners around the world who have committed to encouraging, supporting, and tracking enforcement of the law to combat climate change. On their site, you can find information and documents on many of the legal initiatives that have been brought under various legal theories in national and international forums. Over the last few years, many kinds of legal action have been taken around the world to enforce the law to combat climate change. A range of national and international legal theories have been invoked by dozens of

different organisations, communities and individuals, such as human rights law, constitutional law, emission control regulation, endangered species protection, freedom of information and international legal obligations. In addition, judgments and administrative decisions have begun to come through. Use their online form to contact them if you have any information about climate change cases you think they should know about. Visit for further information. No 4 2009 2 5 o i n Af r i ca


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Gracing the top flight of the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index The international investor group Carbon Disclosure Project has again included BASF in the prestigious Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI) as number one of all companies in the materials sector. Resultantly, in the area of climate protection, the chemical company is among the top performers in the CDLI, an index which includes corporations that excel in addressing the opportunities and risks presented by climate change and in the transparency of their reporting. In the fourth quarter, BASF will be publishing the updated version of its 'Corporate Carbon Footprint' Report giving full accountability of their greenhouse gas emissions. "We are proud to be included in this important index. Our excellent ranking confirms that we are on the right track with our climate protection strategy," says Dr. Ulrich von Deessen, Head of the Competence Center: Environment, Health and Safety and BASF's Climate Protection Officer, adding that BASF will continue reporting openly and traceably on progress in this area. The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) represents 475 institutional investors with $55-trillion (ZAR418-trillion) in assets under management, and provides an evaluation tool for investors. "Companies which control their risks today, manage their emissions and seize the opportunities to produce low-carbon goods and services, will be the best placed to prosper in a lowcarbon economy of the future,â&#x20AC;? said CDP Board Chairman Paul Dickinson. Sustainability has long been one of BASF's strategic corporate goals, with its climate protection strategy simultaneously focusing on reducing its own emissions and preventing carbon emissions resulting from the use of BASF's products by customers. Ambitious climate protection goals BASF has set itself ambitious goals in climate protection: By 2020, BASF


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intends to reduce its specific greenhouse gas emissions per metric ton of sales products by 25%, compared with 2002. (Between 1990 and 2002, BASF had already reduced absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 38%) A world first BASF was the world's first company to submit a corporate carbon footprint in February 2008. This balance contrasts the CO2 emission savings achieved with BASF products and processes with the emissions from raw material extraction, production and product disposal. The results of the study, which have also been confirmed by the Ă&#x2013;ko-Institut in Freiburg (Germany), show that BASF products can save about three times more greenhouse gas emissions than the entire amount caused by the production and disposal of all BASF products. At the beginning of September 2009, BASF was again included in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World). The company received special recognition for its climate strategy, its risk management and its practices in human capital development. BASF's shares are included in DJSI World for the ninth year in succession. Further information on the topics of climate protection at BASF and the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index are available on the Internet at:; BASF Holdings South Africa (Pty) Ltd Tel: +27 11 203 2422 Fax: +27 11 203 2430 E-mail: Website:

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Emission Standards for Industry significant detrimental effect on the environment. Once the section has been promulgated, a Schedule which lists all of the activities will establish minimum emission standards and may contain transitional arrangements. On the 24th July 2009 a proposed list of activities and associated emission standards was published for comment in terms of section 21. The envisaged date of 11th September 2009 for section 21 (as well as the remaining sections of the Air Quality Act) to come into operation was not achieved and it appears that this will now only take place at a later date. But what are the implications for industry once this section comes into effect? What are the implications for industry? Those that operate an activity which falls in the Schedule will have to ensure that their emissions, listed in the Schedule, comply with the emission standards within the set time frames. The associated costs may be substantial, and will include costs to test the levels of emissions, as well as costs to implement technology to reduce emissions to comply with the limits set out in the Schedule. Compliance and monitoring

South Africa is amongst the top twenty international per capita emitters of GHG, constituting 1,6% of the global total. As a signatory to both the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol, South Africa has embarked on a path to implement future measures to reduce GHG emissions and accelerate energy efficiency and conservation across all sectors. In addition, immediate steps are being taken to regulate emissions from industry in terms of the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act of 2004 (“Air Quality Act”). Minimum emission standards The Air Quality Act commenced on the 11th September 2005, with the exception of a number of sections, including section 21 which deals with listed activities and states that the Minister must publish a list of activities which result in atmospheric emissions and which have or may have a

Compliance and monitoring will occur at local government level, and it will be an offence to conduct a listed activity without a licence, or to emit air pollutants at concentrations above the emission limits. Industries such as printing works which were previously unregulated have now been included in the Schedule. Works using 25 tons or more of solvent per annum will have to limit their volatile organic compound levels to 90 mg/m³ within five years of the Schedule coming into effect, and to 75 mg/m³ within eight years. Armed with stipulated testing methods, municipalities will no longer be just talking about air pollution and, to prevent future adverse consequences for South Africa’s sustainable development, neither should we. Emitting industries must come to terms with a carbon constrained world and a much stricter future regulatory framework. Those that adapt their businesses, recognize the risks and seize opportunities will thrive. Information for this article was supplied by Tina Costas, Senior Associate at Garlicke & Bousfield Inc. For further information, contact

(Note: mg/m³ refers to the unit used to measure emission concentrations in terms of mass concentration at ‘normal’ conditions – temperature at 273K and pressure of 101,3kPa).

Siemens honoured on Dow Jones Siemens AG has once again been listed on the prestigious Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI), capturing the No. 1 spot in the sector Diversified Industrials, which also includes ITT, General Electric and Toshiba. This is the tenth time in a row that Siemens has been honoured by Dow Jones analysts for its sustainable activities, and is the best the company has ever achieved. Siemens has expanded the leading position it held last year in the two assessment categories Compliance and Risk Management, receiving the highest points possible in each category. The company has also considerably improved its rankings in the categories Environment and Society.

“Sustainability has always been a fundamental aspect of our company policies and is a key component of Siemens’ company strategy,” says Barbara Kux, the member of Siemens’ Managing Board responsible for Supply Chain Management and Sustainability. “That we’ve been ranked so highly in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index is a sign that our strategy is also gaining recognition outside the company.” Under her direction, Siemens has taken sustainability’s strategic significance into account through the extablishment of a dedicated sustainability office consisting of representatives from the entire company. Siemens Southern Africa Tel: +27 11 652 2000 Website: No 4 2009 2 5 o i n Af r i ca


c li m a t e ch a n g e

Could climate action offer a

business advantage?

First, the good news It’s not difficult to grasp the concept greenhouse gases (GHG), the key ingredient to climate change. Given that roughly two-thirds of global emissions are tied to energy in networks that are already regulated, finding your company’s GHG hotspots should pose no great challenge. Now for the hard part… This involves responding to the actual problem. Averting climate change requires the will to deal with a decade-plus lag between activity and reward. It also requires a coordinated global effort in order to avoid ‘leakage’, thereby ensuring that emissions really do disappear rather than migrate from one place to another.

Even with a growing number of experts, advocates, and citizens committed to addressing climate change, there remain conspicuous gaps in public knowledge, in action, and in results. This includes the fact that while scientists agree that global climate change is a genuine, systemic threat, many legislators in the U.S. are quibbling about short-term price hikes in their districts, which does not bode well as the rest of the world prepares to arrive at a global climate treaty. Potential opportunity These gaps represent serious potholes on the way to climate stability, but they are also gaping opportunities for smart companies willing to help bridge these divides. This gap gives companies a chance to improve the public’s environmental literacy, and develop goodwill, credibility, and loyalty through doing so.

So what’s a company to do?


Lack of credible information

Business opportunities

Most climate-related science is updated in scholarly journals, which are expensive, inaccessible, and not aimed at the man on the street. Misinformation, on the other hand, is cheap and easy to access.

Take a look at how your organisation might be causing misinformation and stop it at the source, especially in your media outreach and branding. A related opportunity is to find ways to share accurate science through better communication.

A lack of climate action

Business opportunities

The world has no shortage of technology or financial resources to solve climate change – why isn’t it being done? A popular McKinsey report, ‘A Cost Curve for Greenhouse Gas Reduction,’ reveals that many solutions to eliminate emissions result in a net-zero cost.

Companies can address challenges like these themselves and, in doing so, create value all around. E.g. launch a supplier energy-efficiency programme which creates a marketplace of energy-service companies with factory representatives, in turn making both shopping and selling easier.

Failure to account for the internal hurdles that can prevent action

Business opportunities

These tend to be situational and include obstacles related to timing, momentum, politics, unfamiliar cultural environments, human psychology and similar.

You can build early momentum by using qualitative and quantitative data to capture quick ‘wins’ that demonstrate the value of making further commitments.

Skewed focus

Business opportunities

According to conventional wisdom, companies concerned about climate change should focus on reducing emissions from internal operations, the management of which is closely tied to their control or ownership. If the goal is to stop climate change, however, we must make a collective effort to outpace emissions, which continue to grow despite reduction efforts to date. Unfortunately, very few companies view it as their job to solve this problem. The problem, says Chris Tuppen, chief sustainability officer at BT, is that we seem to be measuring the wrong thing. “While climate business metrics measure carbon dioxide emissions compared to the company’s past performance, the metric for the collective goal of solving climate change is carbon dioxide parts per million in the atmosphere with agreed-upon peak dates. That metric is measured by physical science,” he says.

Tuppen suggests we change our business metrics: rather than tracking individual reductions, we should measure what we, collectively, have left to achieve. This thinking led BT to pioneer the CSI Index, which associates the company’s emissions with those of the global economy, thereby linking company efforts with national targets, which are based on climate stability.

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Let’s not underestimate the problem

but rather look towards new creations and innovative thinking, he urged.

Woolworths recently hosted a National Business Initiative (NBI) membership lunch where Peter Willis, Southern African Director of the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainable Leadership, shared his views on sustainability.

In conclusion

He likened the current crisis the world is facing, including economic, social and environmental, to a civilisation of people who are not playing by the correct economic rules. Willis also stated, ‘Climate change’ is often underestimated by the business sector because it is seen as an environmental issue and not the socio-economic issue that it actually is.” Going forward, he believes that worst-case-scenario planning should become part of all organisations’ strategic planning. Business should not look back at what worked before,

When we start to think more ‘out of the box’ about business progress, it’s easy to see more options for action. It is natural when planning and reporting to follow the crowds, but there are also opportunities for climate leadership when you look for the gaps in public knowledge, action, and results. Taking them seriously will do wonders for your credibility, and potentially lead to all new kinds of business growth. For further information, visit, to which full acknowledgment and thanks are given.

Energising development in a

Development and climate change are the central problems of the 21st Century believes Sir Nicholas Stern.

“Development and climate change are the central problems of the 21st Century. If the world fails on either, it will fail on both. Climate change undermines development. No deal on climate change which stalls development will succeed,” believes Sir Nicholas Stern, economist and author of the Stern Review Report on the Economics of Climate Change. Emerging and developing countries will be the source of the majority of greenhouse gas emissions in the future, and while some people in many of these countries have experienced triple digit increases in income over the last ten years, many still live on meagre amounts a day. They rely on traditional means of lighting, heating and transport and have less capacity to adapt to the negative aspects of climate change. Energy, climate change and development are inextricably linked; if we don't tackle them simultaneously, we won't win the battle against either of them. Highlighting this, global energy demand is forecast to increase

40% by 2030, with the majority coming from developing countries, whose share of greenhouse gas emissions is expected to rise to 52% by 2030. Yet worldwide, some 1,6-billion people lack access to electricity, and about 2,4-billion people don’t have clean and safe cooking fuels. This, combined with the ambitions to reduce global carbon emissions, presents the world with the challenge of providing access to energy and its accompanying development opportunities while shifting to low-carbon energy sources to manage climate change. The WBCSD recognises the urgent need for companies to support development, while spurring a move toward a global low-carbon economy, dubbed the economy of the future. This latest edition of Sustain highlights the important links between energy, climate and development. To download this report visit, to which full acknowledgement and thanks are given. No 4 2009 2 5 o i n Af r i ca


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will not rubber-stamp a

new climate change agreement

Meles Zenawi, Leader of Africa’s Negotiators The Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi, tasked with leading the African team to the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen in December, has said that African countries will not blindly support any position that does not factor in the continent’s specific interests. Zenawi was recently appointed the coordinator of the Committee of African Heads of States and Governments on Climate Change.

“As we discuss Africa's specific expectations from the climate change negotiations, we need to highlight what is often taken for granted and is thus often missed. Our interest is not to claim compensation for climate change and its damages. Our interest is to prevent that from happening in the first instance. That is our primary interest precisely because Africa's eco-systems are amongst the most fragile in the world and hence highly vulnerable to catastrophic changes due to small changes in temperature. It makes no sense to us for someone to make large parts of our continent unliveable and then pay some compensation for doing so.

In a keynote address to the special session of the African Partnership Forum (APF), hosted by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the Prime Minister said while African negotiators would reason with everyone to achieve the continent’s objective, they would not rubberstamp any agreement by the powers that be as the best Africa could get for the moment.

“We will live with the damage caused by the unavoidable levels of global warming and seek compensation and assistance to limit the damage. What we are not prepared to live with is global warming above the minimum unavoidable level. We will therefore never accept any global deal that does not limit global warming to the minimum unavoidable level, no matter what levels of compensation and assistance are promised to us.

The Prime Minister said Africa’s main interest was not to claim compensation for climate change and its damages, but to prevent damages in the first place because Africa’s eco-systems are amongst the most fragile in the world and highly vulnerable to small changes in temperature. “We will use our numbers to delegitimise any agreement that is not consistent with our minimal position,” said Mr. Zenawi, adding: “If need be, we are prepared to walk out of any negotiation that threatens to be another rape of our continent”.

“By partnering with us on green development, the developed world could create a more robust market and overall environment for the mitigation efforts that it alone must shoulder. In other words Africa wants to be part of the solution even on matters of mitigation if it is enabled and assisted to do so.”

Lord Nicholas Stern, Chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, seemed to agree with this sentiment, stating that Africa is at its most powerful if it can speak with one voice. He added that Africa has a very strong position on the basis of (i) having least responsibility for the problem, (ii) being most affected and (iii) being poorest. Excerpts from Meles Zenawi opening address: “For the first time in its history, Africa will field a single negotiating team empowered to negotiate on behalf of all the member states of the African Union. This unprecedented move on the part of Africa is bound to pose a series of organizational and managerial issues precisely because we have no precedent to learn from. But I believe more important than the challenges will be the opportunities opened up by this decision. Over 50 countries, more than ¼ of the member states of the United Nations will be speaking with one voice. That should make the negotiations much more manageable than would have been the case in the absence of such a decision. Africa's interest and position will not be muffled as has usually been the case when each African country speaks for itself or tries to do so on behalf of Africa without the necessary mandate.


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Excerpts from Nicholas Stern’s presentation: Possibilities for Africa in Global Action on Climate Change.

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In conclusion, Sterns states: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The current economic crisis is not an excuse, on the contrary it is an opportunity to lay the foundations of low carbon growthâ&#x20AC;?. For further information, visit http, to which full acknowledgement and thanks are given. No 4 2009 2 5 o i n Af r i ca


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(Un) holy cow! Independent power producer (IPP) Lesedi Biogas Project (LBP) is planning to build one of the world’s largest open-air feedlot manure-to-power plants in Heidelberg, South Africa. The first large-scale biogas plant linked to a beef feedlot, it could make a sizably significant contribution to renewable energy in the country. Such plants use anaerobic fermentation (bacterial fermentation of organic waste, with little or no oxygen present) to produce a methane-rich gas which can be used to produce electricity. The plant will be situated on the Karan Beef feedlot, which will supply the manure, which will initially amount to 110 000 tons per year. This will allow the production of 3,8 MW of base-load power, reaching 6,2 MW of peak power. The project will cost roughly $15-million (ZAR114-million) to develop, and could be completed within 18 months of the finances being finalised, with operation likely by mid-2011. Nunda Naidoo, a spokesperson for LBP, says that the company intended to sell the power to government-owned electricity generator Eskom under the renewable energy feed-in tariff (Refit) agreement with the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA). NERSA is currently finalising the second set of feed-in tariffs, which will include a tariff for biogas and the necessary implementation systems. These will need to be in place before LBP can secure finances and construction can begin. The successful implementation of this first commercial-sized biogas plant in South Africa is predicted to increase the focus on and understanding of the opportunities of this technology, while establishing the Power Purchase Agreement mechanism necessary to allow producers to sell their energy.


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Explaining methane Methane, which is a byproduct of biological decomposition, is a very potent greenhouse gas which has an effect twenty times greater than that of CO2. Processes such as biogas from manure which collect and utilise the methane, which is inevitably released by anaerobic fermentation, have a very positive environmental impact. Potential opportunity Anaerobic digestion is essentially a waste-disposal process as well as a renewable energy producer, and forms part of many applications besides manure treatment, such as: • In rural areas without water and electricity, it can process human waste and produce gas for heating, providing an effective sanitation system while reducing methane emissions. • In the abattoir industry, this process can convert waste animal byprod ucts, reducing disposal costs and providing energy. • In the food industry, it reduces waste disposal costs, provides process heat and reduces methane emissions. • In municipalities, it is capable of generating methane in sewage treatment.

Source: GO Media. For further information, visit, to which full acknowledgement and thanks are given.

Jatropha cli mate chan g e

The Jatropha debate


Does Jatropha pose a threat to biodiversity? reports that in China, experts are warning that plans to produce biofuels in the southwest will threaten biodiversity in the last remaining section of the virgin forest in the country. At the International Workshop on Biodiversity and Climate Change in Beijing last year, the country was also warned against the planting of jatropha trees, which could threaten native grasses and a diverse range of animal species. But just how much of a threat does jatropha pose, and is there research to support these claims? 25°in Africa provides a roundup of the most popular veins of thinking and the evidence that supports these below: Jatropha is far from environmentally benign On, Harry Tournemille wrote about the problems and solutions of invasive bioenergy crops that could threaten plant biodiversity. In his article, Tournemille reported a biofuel crop case study from Hawaii that suggests biofuel productions from many plants are far from environmentally benign. Although the results from this study, which was based at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, aren’t groundbreaking, they do provide another cautionary example of the outcomes of biofuel production when it is placed in context of the European Union’s (EU) renewable energy goals, which include increasing the share of renewable in energy use to 20% by 2020. Bioenergy crops are two to four times more like to be invasive This specific study adapted the Weed Risk Assessment (WRA), a tool that mitigates the impacts of intentional plant introductions, for use in the Pacific and native regions. During this research, the risks of invasion of 40 bioenergy crops that have been proposed for Hawaii was compared to a random sample of 40 non-bioenerergy plants that were already introduced, and the results were far from comforting. The results showed that 70% of the bioenergy plants were high risk compared to 25% of the non-bioenergy species, which means that the bioenergy crops were two to four times more likely to establish wild populations and be invasive. Kudzu is a good example of an invasive plant that was introduced as a solution but evolved into a massive environmental problem. The kudzu vine was initially bought from the Japanese by the United States in 1876 with the goal of controlling soil erosion. By 1953, kudzu was labelled as a pest weed. Kudzu has naturalised into over 20 000 square kilometres of land in the US, costing approximately $500-million in control costs and lost cropland every year. Jatropha an obvious choice in drought risk areas The Biofuels Association of Zambia (BAZ), on the other hand, believes that Jatropha is an obvious choice that needs to be assessed carefully and comprehensively. ( BAZ refers to Jatropha as a “wonder plant” that is being campaigned against due to the various interests in the plant’s negative aspects, without realising what it can do for poor and developing countries.

According to BAZ, large areas in southern Africa (which aren’t usually attractive for agriculture due to the moderate to high risk of drought) is an obvious option for the growth of jatropha. Although the criteria to classify a plant as invasive has forced South Africa to label jatropha as an invasive plant, the country acknowledges that the benefits of jatropha outweigh the perceived harm. Jatropha will cause long term effects on biodiversity A position paper by KnowGenix titled Sustainable biodiesel feedstock; Jatropha: a strategic option, on states: “As the pressure on land for biofuels increase, there will be long term effects on biodiversity due to changes in or loss of habitats”. The drive to increase production of biofuels will lead to increased deforestation and soil degradation. Biodiversity loss is hastened by large scale monocropping, which is needed for energy plantations. With limited land, you have to resort to the dense cultivation of jatropha and densely planted jatropha prevents the grasses and shrubs growing, which is needed for livestock. The report concludes that converting land to energy crops (whether it was food or non food crops) can lead to food shortages and damage to biodiversity. Rising oil prices will continue to raise the price of biofuels and force agricultural commodity prices to increase. In the view of these trends, jatropha may be the best option if it can be cultivated and processed in a sustainable manner. We need to be careful

Guy Midgley, Chief Specialist Scientist of climate change at the South African National Bioinformatics Institute (SANBI), says that jatropha could threaten biodiversity if poorly managed. “Any human intervention relating to landuse changes, if poorly managed, could threaten biodiversity,” says Midgley. When asked if the benefits of jatropha in the South African context could outweigh the possible harm, Midgley says that South Africa still needs to see exactly what the benefits could offer the country. “I’m not sure if we really have a good handle of what the benefits might be, but we have plenty of experience of what the harmful species could do. Certain species affect biodiversity – there’s a plethora of science that shows what the downsides could be and it should serve as a precaution to us all. We need to be very careful when it comes to jatropha.” On the one hand, jatropha is viable in certain areas, but the potential damage of jatropha occupying large amounts of land is great in others. Selective planting is important and further research is needed to validate the results and promises that jatropha can potentially offer. As more research is done, more economic and technology questions arise . . . there is no conclusive finding and only theories, justifications and ongoing debates. For further information, visit, www.globalbioenergy. org and, to which full acknowledgement and thanks are given. No 4 2009 2 5 o i n Af r i ca


bi o fu e ls

Biofuels markets

in sub-Saharan Africa to experience rapid growth

and finite energy sources has led to heightened investment into alternative and renewable energy,” notes Frost & Sullivan Biofuels Analyst Kholofelo Maele, adding, “Biofuels have received increased support in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and for their role in helping countries to achieve energy independence.” Supporting rural development Biofuels have the potential to reduce countries’ fuel import bills significantly and make the funds available for much-needed poverty alleviation, and development. A large percentage of the population in Africa relies on agriculture for its livelihood. Growing energy crops could provide an income for subsistence and small-scale farmers and support rural development initiatives. Promisingly, many countries in sub-Saharan Africa have suitable climates and available land to grow feedstock. Delays in formulating and implementing the regulatory framework for biofuels production, however, have been a major restraint for the development of the market. In addition, limited infrastructure in many countries remains a challenge for potential biofuels manufacturers. Much-needed legislation “Legislating mandatory blending into a country’s fuel supply will create a secure market for biofuels,” states Maele, before cautioning, “The present uncertainty around policy has made investors hesitant about investing in this industry, which is still in its infancy.” Preliminary faith in industry Yet despite these uncertainties, many foreign organisations and local commercial farmers have invested in land or have made agreements with out-growers for growing energy crops and setting up pilot production facilities. This is to ensure that production can begin once the regulations are in place.

Biofuels have the potential to reduce countries’ fuel import bills significantly and make the funds available for much-needed poverty alleviation Despite serious challenges to its development, the sub-Saharan African biofuels market should experience rapid growth in the next five years. This is according to new findings from Frost & Sullivan. The high targets set by the European Union and the United States for the inclusion of biofuels in their fuel supply are a key driver for biofuels projects in the region. In addition, intensified government support for the market has helped attract increased investment into production.


In the absence of mandatory blending, manufacturers are looking to target other fuel end-users. These include commercial farmers, trucking and equipment companies, the export market and the local communities that have limited or no access to electricity. “For manufacturers targeting the export market, taking sustainability criteria into consideration will be critical to securing market access,” advises Maele. “African governments will need to take a proactive stance towards ensuring that the industry’s development is regulated to prevent the potential negative impact on food security and the environment.”

Exponential growth predicted

If you are interested in a virtual brochure which provides a brief synopsis of the complete research and a table of contents, contact Patrick Cairns at, with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, company e-mail address, company website and country.

It is estimated that the sub-Saharan African biofuels market will earn revenues of $26,9-million (ZAR204,44-million) in 2009, with Frost and Sullivan projecting that this amount will reach $229,9-million (ZAR1747,24million) in 2017. “Globally, growing awareness of environmental issues

Frost & Sullivan Tel: +27 21 680 3261 Fax: +27 21 680 3296 Website:

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Biofuel initiative

sparks rural job creation Started in 2008 by beneficiaries of Land Reform, 167 farmers have received training in the production of biofuel through the Sipulazi Biofuel Cooperative initiative, with the aim of creating alternative fuel for South Africa and employing 4 150 people when the project is in full production. With the aim of supplying 60 000 tons of soybeans, Sipulazi Biofuel Cooperative, based in Mpumalanga, has already achieved outstanding results in the first year of the projectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inception through its involvement of over one hundred farmers in the area.

The project also involves negotiating with the Department of Agriculture to look at ways of expanding to other parts of the Mpumalanga province, and has received ZAR 1 922 860 from the National Development Agency (NDA) to fund its start-up. "Initiatives like these encourage South Africans to move forward, not only to do something for themselves, but to ensure that a sustainable way of life is established for future generations through responsible production," says Nimrod Mbele, NDA Mpumalanga Provincial Manager.

Currently, 83 of these 167 farmers have benefited from the biofuel initiative, while the remaining 84 will be included by the end of 2009. Some of these farmers were involved in traditional farming producing crops such as maize and sugarcane before joining the biofuel initiative.

Growing involvement

Overwhelming evidence In a 2006 Renewable Energy Technology report by Eugene Visagie and Gisela Prasad, biodiesel is cited as having the potential to contribute to key areas of development in South Africa, namely, the reduction of greenhouse gases, job creation, economic development in disadvantaged rural communities and energy security, especially with regard to the continued rise in oil prices. Quality training To date, farmers have received training on the efficient use of land and the soya beans production chain: from planting to harvest, understanding the type of beans planted and the suitability of the soil. Far-reaching benefits Farmers will receive 10% shares from the diesel sold from this initiative, as well as profit made from the beans sold, providing an important avenue of economic growth for those involved. National Development Agency Tel: +27 11 018 5500 E-mail: Website: No 4 2009 2 5 o i n Af r i ca


bi o fu e ls

Modern technology in agriculture

offers new possibilities for the industry

In our current environment and with the anticipated growth in the world population, biotechnology offers an increase in food production, better use of available resources and alternative sources of energy. A closer look at the history of biotechnology shows that research developed in this area as far back as the fifties. Today, biotechnology is used not only in agriculture, but also in the medical, veterinary, forensic and pharmaceutical fields, environmental sciences, mining, processing and just about any industry that comes to mind.

Prior to application for registration, all Monsanto products are thoroughly tested in laboratories and thereafter in extensive field trials under controlled commercial conditions. No product is released commercially in any country without the consent of the relevant government organisation. In South Africa, proof is also required that the product being released is substantially equivalent to the same product not containing the gene.

In South Africa, planting of crops containing this technology has been done for over a decade. Since the release of the first Bt crops in 1998, the number of hectares under biotechnological crops has increased significantly.

Independent research found that GMO crops are safe for humans, animals and the environment. The Royal Society of London stated: “There is no consensus as to the seriousness, or even existence, of any potential harm from GM technology. It should be used to increase the production of main staple foods and reduce the environmental impact of agriculture. Biotech crops may even be safer than regular food.”

South Africa has maintained its eighth place on the world rankings of biotechnological crop countries, with the planting of more than 1.8 million ha of biotechnological crops. Nearly 62% of all maize grown in the country contains Yieldgard or Roundup Ready technology. More than 80% of all cotton planted in South Africa also contains one or both of the available genes. South African producers have access to the following technology: • • • •

Roundup Ready® soya beans, maize and cotton (weed control); Bollgard® cotton (insect control); YieldGard® maize (insect control); Stack gene products – maize and cotton containing insect and weed control technology.

One of the most recent milestones is the drought-tolerant gene which will be tested for the third time this year under South African conditions. Work is also being done regarding resistance to stripe disease in maize and farmers can look forward to crops utilising nitrogen more effectively. The aim is to offer cultivars that produce bigger yields with the available nitrogen usage, and to stabilise yields in poor conditions. Monsanto spends billions annually on research and uses a variety of laboratory techniques to support its breeding programmes. Consequently new hybrids and technology can reach the market sooner. Some of the techniques used are biotechnology, nanotechnology and markers or Marker Assisted Breeding (MAB). With markers, specific genes are identified to address a particular problem. This technique has many benefits, especially for drought- and disease-resistance. According to the United Nations, the world will have to double its food production by 2050 to feed an expected population of 9,3 billion people. Monsanto believes that biotechnology can have a positive impact on food production and on the improvement in product quality. Furthermore, biotechnology can result in a decrease in the use of chemicals, thereby making a positive contribution to the ecology of the environment. Monsanto has, therefore, committed itself to a new three-point plan to improve food production world-wide. This three-point plan comprises: • • •


the development of better seed; the preservation of resources through developing seed which will use a third less of natural resources by 2030; and supporting producers on their farms by making available products that increase productivity, reduce risks and require fewer inputs. 25 o i n A f r ic a No 4 2009

Is biotechnology safe?

In March 2005 the British Medical Association (BMA) stated the following: “There is very little potential for GM foods to cause harmful health effects. Many of the concerns expressed, apply with equal vigour to conventionally derived foods. We do not doubt that genetically modified foods have enormous potential to benefit both the developing and developed world in the long term.” American scientist, prof. CS Prakash, of the Tuskegee University said, after years of research: “GMO food is safer than water. GMO food is less dangerous than stairs, bicycles or medicine. More than two billion people have eaten genetically modified food in the first five years of it being produced commercially without becoming ill.” These views are supported by the South African scientist, prof. Jennifer Thomson, attached to the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Cape Town. In May this year, a study week for genetically modified organisms was held by the Pontifical Academy of Science where GMOs were strongly supported. The week was closed with the following: “praiseworthy for improving the lives of the poor,” and “ promising improved food safety and health benefits, better food security, and enhanced environmental performance in a sustainable manner.” For more information about Monsanto and the company’s commitments, please visit /

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o i l a nd ga s

A solar mission to Africa eSolar, a leading provider of modular, scalable solar thermal power technology, has partnered with Johannesburg-based Clean Energy Solutions (CES) to open eSolarSA in order to expand sales operations across SubSaharan Africa. Through the agreement, CES is granted the exclusive right to represent and distribute eSolar's concentrating solar power technology throughout a seven-country region, including the Republic of South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. “With local partners on three continents and a commercially proven technology, eSolar is ready to expand its global footprint and further its goal of making solar energy competitive with fossil fuels,” explained Bill Gross, CEO of eSolar. “Africa boasts one of the highest solar resources on the planet, and eSolar’s modular, scalable technology is well-positioned to establish the continent as a leader in the development of low-cost, nocarbon energy solutions.” Working closely with eSolar, CES will operate eSolarSA as a separate entity responsible for project support and client service in Southern Africa. Leading eSolarSA’s efforts will be renewable energy advocate Stuart Fredman, currently the Managing Director of CES, a South African developer of utilityscale renewable energy projects. “Sub-Saharan Africa’s tremendous solar resource has gone relatively untapped, but now, with eSolar’s technology, we can establish Southern Africa as a new hotspot for solar development,” said Fredman, adding that “eSolar’s CSP technology is the perfect fit for South Africa in its quest to generate affordable, clean energy and develop local jobs, particularly in rural areas”. This deal marks the continued global expansion of eSolar. In February, eSolar signed a development and licensing agreement with the ACME Group for the development of 1 000 MW of solar power plants in India over the next ten years with construction starting this year. In the United States, eSolar

eSolar's 5 MW plant in Southern California, the Sierra SunTower.

partnered with NRG Energy, Inc., to deploy up to 429 MW of solar electricity. By building its plants in small 46 MW units sited on 80 hectares (200 acres) and leveraging locally sourced, prefabricated components, eSolar’s plants overcome the key obstacles facing solar deployment – namely, price, speed of deployment and grid impact. For further information, please visit

Retrofit solutions that make

business sense

Founded in 2001, EcoDrive SA and EcoLight Distributors SA were started with the sole goal of looking at ways to reduce energy. In their quest for other energy efficient products, they uncovered a niche market in the retrofit arena whereby existing light fittings are reused, without the need for rewiring or replacing perfectly usable parts. The EcoLight retrofit offers • • • • •

Reduced downtime Disposal and waste greatly reduced Minimal disruption to working environment Instant electrical savings Economy and advanced modes

Proven success EcoLight have demonstrated their products to numerous companies over the last three years in order to prove their benefits and ease of fitment. They have also conducted extensive tests which show the quality and lifespan of the products as well as how the units fit in with South African and international standards. Some of their test lighting sites are now running in excess of four years and numerous orders have resulted from such tests.


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A holistic service • • • • • •

Evaluation and advice on how to reduce the electrical charge. Instant savings on your lighting bill. Evaluation of possible savings prior to investment. Guaranteed return on investment. With overseas back up, they are able to tailor make product for difficult and unique applications. They continue to re-invent the product and themselves in order to keep up with new developments and designs.

Customers that use EcoLight include such leaders as Anglo Coal, Scaw Metals, Development Bank, Ekurhuleni Municipality and Prismaflex. Call today for retrofit solutions that make business sense. EcoLight Distributors SA Tel: +27 82 854 5536 Fax: +27 86 672 3839 E-mail: Website:

o i l an d g as

majority stakes Reatile Gaz (Pty) Ltd (“Reatile”), a subsidiary of Reatile Resources (Pty) Ltd, has merged its operations with the South African LPG marketing interests of Engen Petroleum Ltd, in a transaction that gives Reatile an established footprint across the key centres within Southern Africa. The deal involves an issue of new shares in Reatile, with Reatile Resources now holding 55% and Engen 45% of the equity in Reatile. Reatile was established in 2006, and has to date relied on organic growth. The company has focused on the industrial customer market, and by offering bulk installations it has secured a gradual growth in long-term contracts. The merger will ensure continued supply of product to existing customers in these provinces, the momentum of which will ensure a platform for sustainable growth into the future For further information, please contact Simphiwe Mehlomakulu at Reatile Resources on +27 11 514 0587 or Tania Landsberg: Engen Group Communications Manager on +27 21 403 4911, or e-mail her at tania.

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No 4 2009 2 5 i n Af r i ca o


re new a ble s

More sustainable


Renewable energy in the form of wind turbines combined with advertising is the latest eco-friendly way to advertise outdoors. The turbines not only serve as permanent outdoor billboards but also generate electricity through harnessing the wind’s power. The product is a first of its kind in Africa, led by Overpass Outdoor Advertising which is driving the sales and distribution of these turbines in Africa. The perfect innovation for companies who are searching for ways to get involved in climate protection, these turbines, it is hoped, will make a difference in the way outdoor advertising is perceived and implemented. They will do much to perpetuate the view that outdoor advertising can also be sustainable, flying in the face of its being a conventional ‘in your face’ form of visual pollution. For further information, visit www.srsenerg

New solar power

roof tile

Converting to solar energy needn’t mean covering a roof in unsightly solar panels. SRS Energy, a Philadelphia company, has developed the Solé Power Tile, a roof tile designed to sustainably convert sunlight into electricity without compromising on aesthetics. These dark blue tiles, manufactured by SRS Energy, are jointly branded and distributed by US Tile, and have been specifically designed to be compatible with the clay roof tiles manufactured by US Tile. Customers who purchase clay tiles will be given the option to upgrade a section of their roof to Solé Power Tiles, a system that can offset a large proportion of a homeowner's energy costs, not to mention ease their carbon conscience. SRS Energy claim that the Solé tiles, made from a high-performance polymer often used in car bumpers, are lightweight, unbreakable and recyclable. Flexible solar technology by United Solar Ovonic is embedded inside each tile, allowing tiles to function completely independently of each other. Meanwhile, the performance of the system as a whole is monitored remotely by SRS Energy and US Tile.


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For further information, visit, or, to which full acknowledgement and thanks are given.

ren ew ab les

Wind turbines in China Siemens

Siemens is expanding its global manufacturing network for wind turbine plants by building a new production facility in Lingang New City, Shanghai. Through establishing this new rotor blade and nacelle plant, the company is further strengthening its already impressive environmental portfolio. Siemens is investing more than EUR60-million in setting up in this new location where operations are scheduled to commence in the second half of 2010. The wind turbine plants produced in Shanghai will be utilised both for the Chinese and export market. "China could soon become the largest wind energy market in the world,â&#x20AC;? believes Wolfgang Dehen, CEO of the Siemens Energy Sector and member of the Managing Board. He goes on to say that their new production facility in Shanghai will establish an excellent starting position for meeting the growing demand of this exciting market.

The new production site, which will enjoy a total space of 180 000 m2, will initially produce blades for 2,3 MW and 3,6 MW wind turbine plants. These blades will be produced using the IntegralBlade process, patented by Siemens, which negates any glued joints which are susceptible to damage. In addition, wind turbine plant nacelles will also be produced at this new plant. A nacelle is mounted on the top of the tower and supports the rotor as well as encloses a wind turbine plantâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s major components for electric power generation, including the gearbox, the drive train and the control electronics. Siemens Southern Africa Tel: +27 11 652 2000 Website:

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SA carbon off set projects SA carbon-of Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban.

The Royal Danish Embassy has provided funding for the Urban Environmental Management (UEM) programme to implement a massive carbon off-set project in cooperation with the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs (DWEA). Funding to the tune of approximately ZAR 18 million has been set aside to support carbon off-set projects for the 2010 Soccer World Cup tournament, in cooperation with four UEM partners, namely: the DWEA, Western Cape, Cape Town and Durban municipalities. DWEA has undertaken a study which calculated the carbon footprint that will result from South Africa hosting the tournament. The findings estimate that total emissions will be 2,601,920 tons of CO2 equivalent, of which 67% can be attributed to international travel. Under the carbon off-set project, DWEA will develop a system whereby revenue will be generated from international travel and associated carbon emissions, and then implement an awareness and communications campaign on climate change and carbon offsetting. In addition, they will develop a national legacy report entitled “Greening 2010”.

Climate action • Western Cape The Western Cape provincial government plans to utilise its carbon offset budget by constructing and installing energy efficient floodlights and sub meters which will monitor the actual electricity consumption in kWh (and thus relate it to the amount of carbon mitigated) at the Philippi Soccer Stadium, which will be used as a training venue for the 2010 World Cup. The remaining budget will be used for solar water heating in low cost housing in select vulnerable communities in the province. • Cape Town Cape Town municipality will implement green technologies at the host venue (Green point stadium) as well as the monitoring and evaluation of carbon savings from 2010 carbon mitigation / offset projects.

supported by 36

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www wspgroup com

ren ew ab les

Green Point Stadium, Cape Town.

Green Point Stadium, Cape Town.

supportedprojects by Denmark ff-set Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban.

Green Point Stadium, Cape Town.

â&#x20AC;˘ Durban

Hosting the event responsibly

Durban municipality will implement green technologies at the three 2010 training venues and host stadium (Moses Mabhida stadium), as well as commission a Greening Baseline Assessments Report which will look at environmental management plans and environmental management strategies for 2010 host venues.

The ministry´s role in the overall hosting of the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup tournament is to ensure that the event is a green event. This entails hosting the event in a responsible way by making environmentally, socially and economically responsible decisions when organising, managing or participating in the tournament. These decisions then will be channeled into long term actions for environmental sustainability.

Taking initiative Furthermore, DWEA has utilised the UEM programme to undertake a review of the greening status of the FIFA Soccer World Cup stadia (Green Point in Cape Town, Moses Mabhida in Durban, Athlone in Cape Town, Royal Bafokeng in Rustenburg and Peter Mokaba in Polokwane). This exercise has not only established how green the stadium designs were, but has also afforded the design teams an opportunity to enhance green aspects of their designs.

Royal Danish Embassy Carsten H Laugesen Tel: +27 12 430 9349 E-mail:

Sandiswa Tshaka Tel: +27 12 430 9350 E-mail: Website:

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pe rspec t i ve s

Carbon offsets:

a disaster for averting climate change?

International carbon offsets are financial instruments that allow companies and governments to mitigate their GHG (greehouse gas) emissions through funding renewable energy projects in developing countries. Friends of the Earth contends that international offsets allow developed countries to go on polluting, delaying the development of a global low-carbon economy. According to a report published by the organisation, offsets are unlikely to contribute to a timely response to climate change, and in fact, are “having a disastrous impact on the prospects for averting catastrophic climate change”. The report, entitled A Dangerous Distraction: Why Offsets Are a Mistake that the US Cannot Afford to Make, contends by saying: “offsetting must not be included in US climate legislation or expanded at Copenhagen. New proposed offsetting schemes must be dropped from negotiations, and existing offsetting mechanisms need to be scrapped.” The report lists several arguments against offsetting: • International offsetting leads to lower GHG reductions globally, by count- ing actions in developing countries as part of efforts in developed count- ries as well. • In the absence of guarantees that offset projects would not have occurred without such offset finance mechanisms as the World Bank’s Carbon Finance Unit (CFU), which purchases project-based GHG

• •

emissions reductions in developing countries on behalf of contributors from developed countries, GHG emissions are likely to increase, because the developed country is permitted to continue polluting in return for purchasing offsets. International offsetting weakens incentives in the US and other devel- oped countries to transition to a low-carbon economy in a timely manner. Offsetting does not help developing countries support low-carbon devel- opment. In fact, according to the report, “Offsetting deepens inequality in per capita carbon consumption between developed and developing countries”.

The report concludes with recommendations that the US government should commit to reducing US-based GHG emissions by 40% below 1990 levels by 2020, reject proposals for new offset programs such as forest offsets, and help provide developing countries with funds to support their transition to low-carbon economies, without reliance on offsets. The implications of such recommendations for companies that have used carbon offsets to mitigate their GHG emissions could be considerable, as it is likely that reducing emissions from actual operations instead will require significant re-tooling of business operations. The cost of doing so could prove to be far more expensive than mitigation through the purchase of offsets. For further information, see, to which full acknowledgement and thanks are given.

Sharing low-carbon development costs Following a strict global carbon budget is the only way to ride out climate change – a precept that is as much the responsibility of developing countries as it is of developed ones. "Climate change is happening now," said Senior Energy Analyst Stephan Singer from the World Wide Fund (WWF) in an interview with IPS News. "The storms that have devastated the Philippines and are now wreaking havoc in the rest of South-East Asia are a further wake-up call. Inaction is not an option if we are to save jobs, lives and nature," he said. Globally, all countries need to have reduced their total greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050 to below 1990 levels for the world to stay below 2°C warming of the earth’s surface. There is growing international consensus that this target is essential to avoid the most dangerous effects of global warming, but action as the only option must be based on a fair distribution of the costs of low-carbon developments between rich and poor nations, said the environmental lobby group during the launch of its latest report, ‘Sharing the Effort Under a Global Carbon Budget’. Only the total carbon budget approach – the amount of tolerable global emissions over a period of time, set at 1 600 gross tonnes carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2eq) between 1990 and 2050 – will make sure that the devastating effects of global warming are avoided, the organisation said. As the world has already emitted a considerable part of this target, the budget from today until 2050 has been reduced to 970 Gt CO2eq, excluding land use changes, stated the WWF. "In order to avoid the worst and most dramatic consequences of climate change, governments need to apply the strictest measures to stay within a tight and total long-term


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global carbon budget," said Singer. "Ultimately, a global carbon budget is equal to a full global cap on emissions." The WWF report, which was based on the research and analysis of leading energy consultancy group ECOFYS, presents different pathways to reduce emissions in line with a global carbon budget, specifically describing different methodologies that could be applied toward a fair and equitable distribution of the costs and the benefits of the budget. WWF, along with other members of the Climate Action Network (an international network of non-government organisations), has urged the adoption of a legally binding mid-term emissions reduction of at least 40% by 2020, below the 1990 levels, for developed countries, but has also stated that these rich nations, with ‘high’ emissions per person, must also ‘pay back’ their ‘atmospheric debt’. Reducing greenhouse emissions is, however, equally the responsibility of developing nations: "We need to make investments in low-carbon development throughout the developing world," Keya Chatterjee of the WWF in the United States told IPS. "We can prosper without using fossil fuels – we have the technology – all we need now is the political will," she urged, adding, "It’s a bad idea to build economic development on bad foundations." But while the WWF’s campaign seems to have convinced many that this is the way forward, only time will tell whether a firm agreement and deal on an equitable carbon budget will be forthcoming. For further information, visit to which full acknowledgement and thanks are given.

p er s p ecti ves

Is the demand for timber and biofuels Large-scale tree planting on agricultural land may save those primary forests, agroforestry experts argue, but the new plantations are detrimental to biodiversity and indigenous people, critics respond. Professor P K Nair, Director of the Centre of Subtropical Agroforestry at the University of Florida, believes that planting trees on farmland is the way to conserve what's left of the world's rainforests, saying "What is lost now is lost forever. It's an illusion to think you can recreate a rainforest that took thousands of years to develop.” Nair and his colleagues at the Second World Agroforestry Congress held in Nairobi in August argue that an added advantage of tree-farming includes that it constitutes a significant potential carbon sink. For African countries who are heavily burdened by deforestation and struggling with adaptation to climate change, this could strengthen their demand for the inclusion of agroforestry in a deal on reduction of emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) in Copenhagen later this year. Others, however, say the argument that plantations can take pressure off rainforests is weak. "The plantations that we see popping up mostly cater for the production of fast wood products," argues Wally Menne of South African Timber Watch, a coalition of 15 NGOs united by worries over the negative impacts of industrial tree plantations. "This wood is used for paper, cardboard or toilet tissue, disposable items that wind up as waste. The solution is not in planting trees but in recycling and cutting back on a highly wasteful consumer lifestyle," believes Menne. Timber Watch is affiliated with the World Rainforest Movement (WRM) who organise the annual International Day against Tree Monocultures. The WRM states, "Throughout the world, millions of hectares of productive land are rapidly being converted into green deserts presented under the guise

of 'forests'. Local communities are displaced to give way to endless rows of identical trees – eucalyptus, pine, oil palm, rubber, jatropha and other species – that displace most other forms of life from the area. Farmland, which is crucial for the food sovereignty of local communities, is converted to monoculture tree plantations producing raw materials for export. Water resources become depleted and polluted by the plantations while soils become degraded." Menne explains that many of these plantations replace grasslands which function as catchment areas during the rains. "In countries like South Africa, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania or Uganda, this grassland releases water during the dry season, allowing for the perennial flow of rivers. Trees use much more water than traditional agriculture, forcing communities downstream to invest in expensive boreholes or dams." Menne also foresees problems in trying to achieve a transition from farmland to plantations: "They require a lot of labour in the initial stage but in the next 10 to 30 years there’s very little to be done while the trees grow. This results in rural-urban migration and unemployment. And there is loss of biodiversity as animals and plants are driven out, making people turn to protected areas to harvest their natural resources." Jay Samek, Researcher with the Global Observatory for Ecosystem Services of Michigan State University, suggests that the market could reward afforestation projects that preserved biodiversity with a better price on carbon credits than monoculture plantations. "We have been sold to monocultures," cautioned Nobel Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai at the U.N. in Nairobi. "Monoculture plantations look like dead forests; you don't see butterflies, or birds, or animals." For further information, visit, to which full acknowledgement and thanks are given. No 4 2009 2 5 o i n Af r i ca


pe rspec t i ve s

What’s your perception of

green design? The Cape Homemakers Expo is an annual exhibition which has its roots firmly planted in a history of nearly 15 years of speaking to the every need of homemakers and home-owners. The Expo is a renowned ‘showcase’ event held in the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) each year, and attracts around 30 000 visitors to each event, be it their need for décor, electronics, safety, relaxation, maintenance or, more recently, ‘greening’ their homes. In recent years, a growing concern for the environmental has seen the expo launch a sub-division entitled ‘Green Living’. This year, at the second showing of Green Living, it was an interactive stand which invited public participation that stole the show. Inviting public participation Erika Raubenheimer, a Master’s Degree student at the Inchbald School of Design in London, posed a question that had expo goers’ green juices flowing: What’s your perception of green design? The stand invited passers-by to ‘Create a drawing, diagram or give a description that illustrates your perception of green design’. ‘Know green’ More than 400 trade professionals and public viewers visiting the expo created post-its detailing some of their impressions, adding their opinion to Raubenheimer’s poll. As part of her course, she’s researching the future and sustainability of green design and believes that in order for people to ‘go green’ they need to ‘know green’. Her idea of getting the public’s perception on green design was birthed by a similar study done by Jonathan Chapman and Nick Gant at the 100% Design Expo in London in 2006.

Varied perceptions Erika’s experiment uncovered that nature – in water and on land – is to be conserved, loved and respected. Many believed that it is the only logical approach towards a brighter future…or any future at all. Some joked about the poll, while others held a more sceptical opinion, describing it to be a marketing sham. Certain topics were more popular than others, such as recycling, solar power and insulation. Others, such as ‘high cost’ or ‘lack of resources’, were seemingly unimportant to participants. Many expressed ‘green’ to be ‘a way of living’ and a ‘responsibility’, while a large number of participants pointed out that re-using deserves favour over recycling. Raubenheimer’s stand, constructed entirely of repurposed material, aligns with a phrase by Ken Yeang, Award-winning Architect: “Start with people themselves that should be re-educated. Industry has to become green, and then others will follow…”, and goes to show that, sometimes, it’s the simplest ideas that hold the seeds for future success.

Repurposed materials for a stand with a purpose Cardboard ‘tree’ structures: Sidewalk ‘pick-up’ cardboards repurposed as base plates for throwaway cardboard tubes. Seats: Tree logs recovered from local disposal topped with hand-made coffee bag cushions. Flooring: Combination of discarded coffee bags and 100% recyclable synthetic turf sponsored by The Synthetic Turf Company ( Décor: Glass condiment bottles repurposed as ‘hanging gardens’ for indigenous plants. Light: Fridge-copper coiled, threaded and fitted with an energy-saving light bulb (Made by Erika Raubenheimer).


25 o i n A f r ic a No 4 2009

p er s p ecti ves

Climate change –

combating potential of ecosystems Investing in the restoration and maintenance of the Earth's multi-trillion dollar ecosystems – from forests and mangroves to wetlands and river basins – could play a key role in countering climate change and climateproofing vulnerable economies. This was according to central findings of a new climate issues update by The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB), a project launched by Germany and the European Commission in response to a proposal by the G8+5 Environment Ministers (Potsdam, Germany 2007) to develop a global study on the economics of biodiversity loss. The study, part of a stream of work towards a final study in 2010, is being hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme, and was recently launched by TEEB study leader Pavan Sukhdev, with German Federal Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel, Director-General for Environment, European Commission, Karl Falkenberg and UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UNEP, Achim Steiner. The study claims that the planet's biological diversity and 'ecological infrastructure' are increasingly being put at risk from the impact of increasing greenhouse gases, yet these systems represent one of the biggest untapped allies against the greatest challenge of this generation. Exploiting nature's mitigation engine The update underlines that an agreement on funding for forests is a key priority for governments attending the crucial United Nations climate convention meeting in Copenhagen in December. An estimated 5 gigatonnes or 15% of worldwide carbon dioxide emissions are being absorbed or 'sequestrated' by forests every year, making them the ‘mitigation engine’ of the natural world. This could also be described as 'green carbon'. Investing in ecosystem-based measures such as financing Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) could thus not only assist in combating climate change but could also be a key anti-poverty and adaptation measure. Forests also provide services such as freshwaters, soil stabilization, nutrients for agriculture, eco-tourism opportunities and food, fuel and fibre – all of which will be key to buffering vulnerable communities against the climate change already underway. TEEB is urging governments to factor these wider benefits into a forest carbon finance package in order to maximise the return of an agreement in Copenhagen into the future. This might pave the way for a new Green Economy in the 21st century where natural or nature-based assets become part of mainstream economic and policy planning.

Coral reef emergency The update also highlights some of the consequences to be faced if governments fail to rise to the climate change challenge and seal an ambitious deal in Copenhagen. It underlines a 'coral reef emergency' that is already here as a result of the current build-up of greenhouse gases. Scientists contributing to the TEEB process indicate that irreversible damage to coral reefs can occur at atmospheric CO2 concentrations of over 350 parts per million (ppm). This is linked with rising temperatures, but also ocean acidification. It raises concerns that stabilizing CO2 levels at 450 ppm, or some 16% above the current levels, may condemn this critical, multi-billion dollar ecosystem to extinction and take with it the livelihoods of 500 million people within a matter of decades. Pavan Sukhdev, TEEB's study leader who is on secondment from Deutsche Bank, believes the loss of the world's coral reefs would undermine one of nature's most productive assets and one that has a key role to play in coastal defence against a predicted rise in storm surges and other extreme weather events due to global warming. "The climate stabilisation goals of many governments may prove sufficient for some ecosystems and some biodiversity but there is now a real question mark against the survival of coral reefs world-wide and their natural treasure troves," he states. "The economic consequences are significant, but so are the social and humanitarian ones. It underlines that a simple cost-benefit analysis alone will fail to capture the ethical dimensions of international climate policy decisions now and in the coming years and decades - especially in respect to an ecosystem at a climatic tipping point," said Mr Sukhdev, who also heads up the Green Economy initiative of the UN Environment Programme. Worthwhile investment "It is clearly emerging that investments in the planet's ecosystem infrastructure can deliver the twin, Green Economy gains of curbing and cutting emissions while assisting vulnerable communities to adapt," concluded Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UNEP, adding that “Perhaps it is time to subject this to a full cost benefit analysis to see whether the technological option matches nature's ability to capture and store carbon - a natural system that has been perfected over millions of years and with the multiple additional benefits for water supplies up to reversing the rate of biodiversity loss.” For further information please contact Georgina Langdale, TEEB Media and Communications, on email No 4 2009 2 5 o i n Af r i ca


nu c lea r e n e rg y


nuclear power as energy source

Uranium mining, the beneficiation of uranium ore within South Africa, nuclear power and its associated environmental issues are currently attracting considerable attention locally. Over the past three years, SRK Consulting, a South African-founded global group of consulting engineers and scientists, has involved itself in major national initiatives and projects covering many of these issues for several major clients.

In addition, SRK is also assisting the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) Company with its work at the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station site, roughly 30 km north of Cape Town. This assignment involves a six-year groundwater monitoring project and an Integrated Storm Water Management project at the site of the proposed PBMR Demonstration Power Plant.

Experts in their field

A changing sentiment

In terms of mining, SRK Consulting in the Western Cape has worked with SRK in North America, and the Gauteng-based mining team, on a definitive feasibility study for Areva, investigating the Ryst Kuil uranium prospect near Beaufort West. This is a low-grade uranium deposit extending over a strike length of roughly 120 km, hosted by sandstones of the Karoo Sequence. It is anticipated that this mine will consist mainly of underground workings. For this particular project, SRK has been looking at groundwater supply, impacts of mining on groundwater levels and quality, potential inflows into mine workings and the control of inflows. They have also installed a groundwater monitoring network to assess groundwater levels and responses to environmental factors.

Global sentiment towards nuclear power generation has changed over the past few years because of its lesser impact on greenhouse gas emissions compared to certain other technologies. “Several countries, such as the UK, France and the USA, are re-visiting nuclear power as the way forward,” Rosewarne says “there are a number of nuclear power stations currently being built and many on order around the world.” Reflecting this trend, South Africa is hosting an international conference under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency and National Nuclear Regulator in Cape Town in December 2009. The conference will focus on Effective Nuclear Regulatory Systems.

In terms of nuclear power, Peter Rosewarne, Principal Hydrogeologist and Partner of SRK Consulting in the Western Cape, and Derry Holmes, SRK project manager, have been managing the Site Safety Report Project for Eskom, which will support their licence application

The Digitisation of

SRK Consulting Tel: +27 21 659 3060 Fax: +27 21 685 7105 E-mail: Website:

Nuclear Energy Research

A collaborate effort between the DOE and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is now making it possible for students, scientists, researchers and the general public to access decades of nuclear research online. IAEA’s International Nuclear Information System (INIS) is digitising historic nuclear energy research documents from over 29 countries, dating from 1970, as part of its knowledge preservation mandate. Over 180 000 documents from the DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) have been added to the DOE project, which is one of the larger programmes in the INIS project. The goal of this program is to make research on the safe and peaceful uses of nuclear energy freely and quickly available to scientists and engineers. This partnership, which highlights the benefits of DOE’s participation in INIS, had made it possible for many people to use this type of data would otherwise be inaccessible. IAEA, which was established in 1957 as an autonomous organization under the United Nations, carries out programmes to maximize the useful contribution of nuclear technology to society. Today, IAEA is the world’s


for greenfield and brownfield sites for the development of new nuclear power plants. This multi-million-rand project involves a large team of technical specialists, which includes those from other SRK offices and other independent consulting companies. Apart from project management, SRK is responsible for investigating technical site aspects and producing specialist geotechnics, geohydrology, hydrology and water supply study reports. A separate environmental impact assessment (EIA) process is running in parallel to ascertain the environmental suitability of sites for the establishment of new nuclear power plants.

25 o i n A f r ic a No 4 2009

leading intergovernmental platform for scientific and technical collaboration in the peaceful use of nuclear technology. According to OSTI Director, Walt Warnick, there is a misperception that all science documents are easily accessible and readily available on the internet. “They are not. Much science remains hard to find and retrieve as it is recorded only in paper format. But thanks to the partnership between the DOE and the IAEA, this situation is changing, and the research for peaceful uses of nuclear energy is becoming more accessible online. This tremendous body of knowledge is thus enjoying a renaissance of use and interest, and science progress will accelerate," says Warnick. The results of billions of dollars of research and development, which amounts to over 50 000 technical reports, have been digitised and added to the DOE Information Bridge website ( For further information, visit, to which full acknowledgement and thanks are given.

ele c t ri c i t y

Cost of Eskom capex dominates yearly results The year under review has been primarily about keeping the lights on and recovering the power system.“The extraordinary measures have come at a cost to Eskom’s bottom line. This, however, has resulted in an improvement in the health of the country’s power system and an increased resilience on the part of Eskom,” comments Eskom’s Chief Executive, Jacob Maroga. The operating loss for the year for the Eskom group, before the impact of embedded derivatives and net finance costs, is ZAR3 195-million (2008: profit of ZAR3 215-million). The impact of the embedded derivatives on the balance sheet and sensitivity to the assumptions has been significant. As of 31 March 2009, the net embedded derivative asset amounted to ZAR1 266-million (2008: ZAR7 696-million) and the embedded derivatives liability amounted to ZAR8 260-million (2008: ZAR5 084-million). The net impact of the changes in the fair value of the embedded derivatives in the income statement for the group is ZAR9 514-million (2008: ZAR1 680-million). The fair value loss is mainly due to the sharp decrease in the aluminium price as at March 2009, compared to 31 March 2008, the annual electricity price increase used to value the derivatives and the lower South African interest rate curve as of 31 March 2009 compared to 31 March 2008. The sales of electricity decreased by 4,2% (2008: increase of 2,9%), while Eskom saw a 2% drop in demand from the start of 2008 until September 2008 – mainly in response to the call made to industrial and residential users to reduce their energy consumption. Later, and as a result of the international economic and financial developments, the steel industry followed by the ferro-alloys sector started reducing production mainly due to a reduction in the global demand. At the start of the year, coal stock levels were well below the required minimum of 20 days. The target coal stock levels were increased to an average of 42 days. While Eskom purchased 132, 66 M tons (2008: 119, 63 M tons), the total coal burn for the year under review was 121,16 M tons (2008: 125,30 M tons). Given that the long-term contracted coal suppliers could not respond to the short-term increase in our coal requirements, additional coal was purchased mainly through more expensive short-term coal contracts which included coal transportation costs. The amount spent on primary energy costs (mainly the cost of coal) increased from ZAR18 314-million in 2008 to ZAR25 351-million in 2009. During the year, Eskom grew its employee complement not only to execute the expansion of generation and network capacity, but also to operate and maintain both existing and new plants. Eskom recruited 4 261 employees, whilst the net increase in employees was 2 453. In the skills climate that prevailed during 2008/09, Eskom was forced to review its remuneration strategy in order to attract and retain managerial and professional staff. Employee costs increased from ZAR11 353-million in 2008 to ZAR15 166-million in 2009. Maintenance costs increased from ZAR4 526-million in 2008 to ZAR5 891-million in 2009. Eskom also made significant progress in aligning the maintenance and refurbishment practices to fully reflect the current


25 o i n A f r ic a No 4 2009

operational environment where the power system is vulnerable due to inadequate spare capacity. The year under review has also been dominated by the accelerated implementation of Eskom’s build programme. “Additional power stations, major power lines and substations are being built to meet the rising electricity demand in South Africa,” says Maroga. For the year under review, a total of ZAR30 460-million (2008: ZAR12 783-million) of capital expenditure was reported. Since the inception of the programme in 2005, capital expenditure has amounted to a total of ZAR54 304-million. As of 30 April 2009, 4 454 MW were commissioned since the programme began in 2005. A further 6 184 MW will come on stream within the next five years. All eight units at Camden Power Station are now fully operational. Two units at Grootvlei Power Station and one unit of Komati Power Station have been successfully synchronised to the national electricity grid. Five more open-cycle gas turbine units at Ankerlig Power Station and two more at Gourikwa Power Station were commissioned during the past year. Some 1 962 km of high voltage transmission lines have been built in the past four years, as well as numerous new transmission substations and transmission networks. The construction of the 765kV line to Cape Town is progressing well, with 430 km already strung. The Apollo substation refurbishment was completed in May 2008, increasing the availability and maintainability of the Cahora Bassa/Apollo interconnection. For further information, visit, to which full acknowledgement and thanks are given.

electr i ci ty

Power compensation system produces

enhanced voltage quality The Siemens Energy Sector is expanding its product spectrum of Flexible AC Transmission Systems (FACTS) with its new reactive power compensation system: SVC Plus (Static Var Compensator). This system operates on the basis of innovative Voltage-Sourced Converter (VSC) technology with continuously variable control through high-power transistors (IGBT). The result is enhanced voltage quality and stability in the power system which allows grid access of fluctuating energy sources, such as offshore wind farms. Siemens is supplying the SVC Plus system in space-saving, standardised and modular units. These pre-tested units of ±25, ±35 or ±50 MVAR can be operated individually or in parallel. The core of SVC Plus, an advanced Statcom (static synchronous compensator), is made up of a modular

multilevel converter technology. In contrast to other self-commutated converter topologies, the voltage wave shape generated by SVC Plus is nearly sinusoidal, thanks to the multilevel technology used. This renders the low-frequency harmonic filters used in solutions up to now superfluous, and it substantially reduces the space requirements for the overall unit. Energy-efficient grid access solutions for offshore wind farms are part of the Siemens environmental portfolio, which earned the company revenues of nearly EUR 19-billion in fiscal 2008, roughly a quarter of Siemens total revenues. Siemens Southern Africa Tel: +27 11 652 2000 Website:

South Africans used 2,1% less electricity in July this year in comparison with the same month in 2008, revealed Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) recently. The estimated seasonally adjusted electricity consumption was 5,3% lower in the first seven months of 2009, when compared with the first seven months of 2008. In its report entitled Electricity generated and available for distribution, Stats SA reported that electricity consumption (after seasonal adjustment) for July 2009 increased by 2,1% compared with June 2009 and by 2,9% for the three months ended July 2009 compared with the three months ended April 2009.The report also stated that the seasonally adjusted production of electricity for the three months ended July 2009 increased by 3,1% compared with the previous three months. The actual production of electricity in July 2009, about 23 023 Gigawatthours, represents a decline of 2% compared with the July 2008 figure, the smallest annual decrease for 2009 thus far. On electricity distributed to the provinces for the first seven months of 2009, the report indicated a 4,9% drop (-6 319 Gigawatt-hours) compared with the first seven months of 2008. "Lower figures were reported for eight provinces during this period ranging from -11,4% for Mpumalanga to -1,8% for Northern Cape," revealed the report. According to the report, KwaZulu-Natal was the only province with an increase (1,6%) during this period. For further information, visit, to which full acknowledgement and thanks are given. No 4 2009 2 5 o i n Af r i ca


ele c t ri c i t y

Laser-beaming electric power from


Beaming electric power from space as a viable solar energy option may not be as far-fetched as it sounds! The practical application of this concept could be markedly accelerated by experiments ― some employing the International Space Station and including orbital mirrors and microwave and laser-beaming in space, says engineer and researcher Martin Hoffert. Economies of scale from commercialisation would also help to make solar electricity from orbit a feasible addition to the mix of renewable energy alternatives. Hoffert, a professor emeritus and former chair of the department of applied science at New York University, conducts research in alternate energy conversion encompassing wind-tunnel and full-scale experimentation with wind turbines and photovoltaic generation of hydrogen, as well as wireless power transmission applicable to solar-power satellites. Source: scientific computing

What is Space Based Solar Power (SBSP)? A concept called Space Based Solar Power (SBSP) was first invented in the United States almost 40 years ago. The basic idea is very straightforward: place very large solar arrays into continuously and intensely sunlit Earth orbit (1,366 watts/m2), collect gigawatts of electrical energy, electromagnetically beam it to Earth, and receive it on the surface for use either as baseload power via direct connection to the existing electrical grid, conversion into manufactured synthetic hydrocarbon fuels, or as low-intensity broadcast power beamed directly to consumers. A single kilometer-wide band of geosynchronous earth orbit experiences enough solar flux in a single year to almost equal the amount of energy contained within all known recoverable conventional oil reserves on Earth today. This amount of energy indicates that there is enormous potential for energy security, economic development, improved environmental stewardship, advancement of general space faring, and overall national security for those nations who construct and possess SBSP capability.

Public power:


Whether your business is in the private or public sector, the growing need for ‘power security’ places an increasing emphasis on standby solutions. Rod Warnes, Senior Manager of Barloworld Power’s Turnkey Power division explains that this emphasis has rippled across all industries who need to achieve uninterrupted operation, come rain or shine. A case in point “The 2010 Soccer World Cup is case in point,” says Warnes. “The regulating authority, FIFA, has laid down strict compliance standards that are non-negotiable and aren’t restricted purely to the stadiums. They apply to the overall backup infrastructure which will support the event, such as medical care facilities, police stations and public transport networks that need to operate 24/7.” In Cape Town, the newly constructed Green Point Stadium will draw its standby electricity from one of two Cat 3516 generator sets, while the


25 o i n A f r ic a No 4 2009

other will serve as a reserve. These were installed by Barloworld Power, the exclusive Southern African distributor of Cat diesel and gas engines and generators in southern Africa. And as fans await 2010, medical care facilities are receiving the very best treatment, with government hospitals being progressively upgraded across the country. Within Gauteng, Barloworld Power has been responsible for revamping emergency standby power systems at numerous facilities. Ongoing and recently completed projects include, amongst others, Johannesburg General, Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital (the world’s largest hospital, with over 3 200 beds), and Leratong Hospital. Typical installations comprise Cat Gensets in the 800 to 1 000 kVA band. Rod Warnes BARLOWORLD POWER Tel: +27 11 898 0240 E-mail:

electr i ci ty

Results of the Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Strategies Conference

As global warming and climate change take centre stage in international discussions for the industrialised and developing countries, South African companies are being forced to prepare themselves for compulsory carbon emission reduction requirements. The Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Strategies Conference, which took place in October and was organised by Marcus Evans, attracted a diverse range of industry professionals such as Environmental Managers, Safety, Health and Environmental Managers, Sustainable Development Managers, Corporate Affairs and Climate Change Managers. Our government is preparing its own legislations that South African companies will have to abide with to be in compliance with global specifications, making it the ideal time for companies to engage and educate themselves in practical and cost effective emission reduction strategies. The central theme of the conference was addressing new carbon emission reduction strategies and regulatory requirements to enable businesses remain compliant and enhance sustainability. Not only will this enable companies to sustain productivity in a low carbon economy, but also avoid hefty penalties and fines. The most current and innovative emission reduction strategies in the industry were highlighted and multination companies such as the University of Witwatersrand, Mondi Paper, the Canadian Standards Association and the South African Association of Energy Efficiency participated in the conference. About the organiser Marcus Evans is an international business events and information company with four main principle areas of business activity: Business Events, Business Training, Corporate Hospitality, Business Information & Market Research and Sports Franchise. The knowledge of our producers and the experience of our operational teams allow us to effectively provide all of our clients with the information and insights which they need to sustain a valuable competitive advantage. For more information, visit, to which full acknowledgement and thanks are given. Marcus Evans Tel: +603 2723 6748 Fax: +603 2723 6699 E-mail: No 4 2009 2 5 o i n Af r i ca


en ergy ef f ic ie n c y

Rigifoam provides a wide variety of quality insulation solutions. Lambdaboard, in particular, can be used in ceilings as a polyisocyanurate insulated board with an extremely low coefficient of thermal conductivity. What is PIR? Polyisocyanurate (or polyiso) is a thermosetting-plastic, closed-cell foam that contains a low-conductivity gas in its cells. The high thermal resistance of this gas gives polyisocyanurate insulation materials an R-value suitable for effective insulation.

Spray polyurethane foam • • • • •

Inhibits mould and mildew growth Provides favourable accoustics Prevents water vapour Prevents air leakage Improves indoor air quality by reducing dust and pollen

Gaining ground Lambdaboard is a product renowned for its insulating qualities, and one which is gaining in popularity due to its performance abilities and affordable pricing. Facing:

VACR white/VN:Glass-fibre tissue with mineral coating, matt white underside finish


35 kg/m3 foam core only

Thermal conductivity:

0,024(W/m.oC) @ 22°C mean Temperature, aged


20 mm to 150 mm thick 1 200 mm wide Length cut to size (max 13 500 mm)

Fire Properties:

SANS 428, B1

Manufacturing In the presence of specific activators and in an environment of excess MDI (high index), the NCO groups in MDI react to form cyclic macromolecules with isocyanurate structures. This is commonly known as trimerisation. The resultant cell framework has better flame retardancy than polyurethane structures. Lasting values Over time, the R-value of polyisocyanurate insulation may drop as some of the low-conductivity gas escapes and is replaced by air. This phenomenon is known as thermal drift. Experimental data shows that most thermal drift occurs within the first two years after the insulation material is manufactured, after which the R-value then slowly decreases. Foil and plastic facings on rigid, polyisocyanurate foam panels, like Lambdaboard, help stabilise the R-value. Testing suggests that the stabilised R-value of rigid foam with metal foil facings remains unchanged, even after 10 years. A case in point: Distel, Cape Town Lambdaboard with a white finish and foil backing was used at Distel warehouses in Wellington and Stellenbosch recently when the roofs were replaced. Mark Hutchinson of De Villiers & Hume, the designated project engineers, explains, “The PIR board was specified as a board that generally replaces old structabord. It’s a more modern product, and we found its performance satisfactory. Its fire rating is also of such a calibre that it suited the specification.” Duncan Goldsmith, CEO of Rigifoam, says “It was an obvious choice for this project for its aesthetic and functional qualities – providing a winning mix of practicality and good looks.”

Lambdaboard, installed by Skye Roofing, was used at Distel warehouse in Wellington and Stellenbosch recently to produce a neat, insulated ceiling.


25 o i n A f r ic a No 4 2009

Rigifoam Tel: +27 11 421 0313 Fax: +27 11 421 0410 E-mail: Website:

Make yours a

green street! In the early 1990s, Pierlite recognised the need for a low energy consuming street light, the features of which were simple: it would have to dramatically reduce the energy consumption of a minor street light, without compromising the light output. Product success

HID counterparts, and unlike the HID’s characteristic light spots when in operation, Green Street spreads light 360°. This gives an even spread on the road, supplying light onto the pedestrian footpaths on both sides of the road.

Pierlite’s design team then set about designing just such a fitting, and some five years later, with many thousands of man hours invested, the product, Green Street, was born. This fitting is available in two sizes, utilising T5 engineering, state of the art reflective materials and diffuser design.

Perhaps even more exciting is the savings that are made in maintenance due to a lack thereof. Green Street technology offers maintenance free periods of up to five years, and even longer on registered projects. Savings over this period amass a huge gain in municipal man hours that could be better used servicing the community in other more obvious ways.

Smart replacements GS214 – 2 x 14W – replaces HID 70HPS - 80MV GS224 – 2 x 24W – replaces 100HPs – 125MV Definite benefits

For demonstration sites and further information, contact your nearest Pierlite Company by visiting

Pierlite’s combination of T5 technology and high quality self protecting electronic ballasts means that Green Street consumes approximately 30% of the energy HID versions do (a 60% saving!). The light output (LUMINS), in most cases, is not only equal to, but actually, exceeds its

Pierlite Tel: +27 83 509 3326 E-mail: Website:

Pierlite GreenStreet ; you can see the signs ™

The Pierlite GreenStreet utilises energy efficient T5 lamp technology. Wrapped in a stylish and durable IP65 die-cast aluminium body, with precise optical performance housing up to an amazing 2 x 24W package; why look any further? For more information contact;; P 083 5093326;

en ergy ef f ic ie n c y

Shaping a better world by getting

out of the box “We must not be too quick to rely on standard engineering principles,” comments Arup Mechanical Engineer Graham Peters, and adds: “We need to continually investigate alternative methods. In today's climate, it's inexcusable not to think outside the box”. Peters favours a forward thinking approach which entails designing the most highly efficient engineering solution which involves looking at passive or low-energy systems first – and then employing systems of a traditional nature if this is absolutely unavoidable. Peters, and indeed Arup, doesn’t see engineering as just engineering anymore, viewing it as an opportunity to create a holistic solution to the pressing issues of climate change and depleted resources.

Pictured above is the inside of the Terminal 5 building at Heathrow airport. The arrow points to the displacement diffusers.

Expert HVAC Peters, who specialises in highly efficient and passive airconditioning design for buildings, is an expert on the treatment of the indoor environment. “My job entails analysing new building designs to assess heat flow between inside and outside and developing an energy strategy to efficiently meet the needs of the occupants. Once this strategy has been finalised, I carry out thermal modelling of the building to test the strategy and create a concept for the engineering design, within a given budget. I then perform the engineering required, creating drawings and a specification for the mechanical engineering services on the building. The design would then go through a tender process and after that I would oversee the installation and commissioning of the design to realise the concept”. Peters believes that low-energy, passive airconditioning requires looking at the building as a whole and utilising its structure and architecture to work with the engineering solution. An international perspective Based in London for the past nine years, Peters designed Heathrow’s Terminal 5 satellite building’s airconditioning systems. Peters and his team selected displacement ventilation in the building because this system is highly energy-efficient, cost-effective, and provides for superior air quality. The air is not recycled, which also means innumerable health benefits. How displacement ventilation works The cold air is introduced at floor level at around 19°C, as opposed to the usual 13°C, meaning the machinery doesn’t work nearly as hard to cool the air. The cool air, which is cooler than ambient air, forms a pond of cool air at floor level. When this cool air encounters a warm object such as warm people or even a warm computer – it ‘picks up’ this heat, as hot air rises, forming a plume of warm air which collects at high level. This warm air is then extracted, ensuring the building remains cool.

In today's climate, it's inexcusable not to think outside the box 50

25 o i n A f r ic a No 4 2009

But will it work in South Africa? According to Peters, this type of system can definitely work in South Africa and he is introducing this concept into building designs in the country. The system is heavily disguised in that it lies either below the floor or behind false columns, and there’s no imposition on the aesthetics of building. Differential pressure control valves were also used to enhance the energy efficiency of the buildings, which constantly adjusts the chilled water flow rate to exactly the right amount, thereby minimising energy wastage at the pumps. Acknowledgement and thanks are given to Arup Mechanical Engineer Graham Peters for the insights and information contained in this article. The importance of indoor air quality Sick Building syndrome (a condition that causes occupants of a poorly ventilated building to experience symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, fatigue and nausea) and building disease are more likely in large commercial spaces because of the complexity of the HVAC systems. In 1990, the Environmental Protection Agency ranked indoor air pollution as the greatest risk to human health among all types of environmental problems and indoor air has been found up to 70 times more polluted than outdoor air. Autumn Star is a group of indoor air quality specialists who install and service HVAC systems to provide a better working and living environment in hospitals, universities, schools, museums and many other buildings. Autumn Star’s service, which is integrated with their F10 product (a division of indoor air quality which is directed to the HVAC disinfectant), forms a complete package when it comes to indoor air quality and they ensure that buildings comply to the OHS act 85 of 1993 so that it can issue compliant and occupancy certificates with all the necessary accreditations. Autumn Star’s aim is to make all buildings safe and healthy so that they can be labeled as green buildings relating to HVAC-systems. For more information, visit, to which full credit is given.

ele c t ri c i t y

Design of

wind farms and their integration into a local grid In the future, wind farms are going to become a more important part in the generation of electricity on account of the worldwide need to reduce carbon emissions and contain climate change. Over the past decade, the technology has matured and wind farms are now a common sight in Europe, the USA and China. In certain instances, they can also provide the generation of electricity to customers, thereby reducing the load on the local grid, freeing up capacity on the transmission and distribution electricity networks and reducing transmission losses. A wind farm typically has multiple generating units which are connected to each other via MV rings. The MV ring is designed to optimise network reliability and minimise network losses and all MV rings are connected to a common MV busbar and then via a step-up transformer(s) to a voltage level suitable for connecting into the local grid. The characteristics of wind farms pose a number of challenges, such as the output of a wind turbine-generator, which varies with wind speed can go from full output to nothing in a short period of time. There are also different types of generators ranging from the simple induction generator to the more complicated variable speed double wound induction generator that has electronic control for voltage control, amongst other things. The wind turbine can also have a variable pitch propeller to make the best use of the available wind and reduce its tendency to overspeed under fault conditions. Neither the variable speed generator nor the variable speed propeller characteristics can provide the frequency regulation that the governor on a conventional turbo-generator can provide. This, along with various other characteristics of the wind turbine-generator, are so vastly different to those of a conventional fossil fired or hydro power station that the effect of a wind farm on local customers and the grid needs to be carefully modelled and considered. The EON Engineering team, with its skills, expertise and knowledge has made numerous proposals for designing the layout and the integration of wind farms in various parts of South Africa. EON Engineering can perform the complex transient and steady state computer studies needs to assess the various types of wind turbines and their generators under normal and transient conditions and they also have the expertise to advise the application of the various types of wind turbines and generators for particular situations. EON Engineering also has the experience to develop the interconnection and protection systems to protect the wind farm, enhance its operation, and safely connect to the local grid and other nearby electricity users. EON Engineering Ron Coney Tel: +27 11 564 2300 E-mail: Website:


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electr i ci ty


TWP Projects In the last edition of 25° in Africa, errors were made in the article about TWP Projects (Power company offers full service solutions, p 46). The editorial staff of 25° in Africa would like to apologise for any and all incorrect information that was published. TWP Projects provide Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Management (EPCM) services to the renewable energy and power generation industry as well as the mining and minerals industry in Africa. With solutions for the entire spectrum of mining, mineral processing and energy projects including environmental and financing solutions, TWP’s project management and professional consulting services are in demand throughout southern Africa and beyond. The company takes pride in its relationships with other key stakeholders in the energy sector, including the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA), Department of Minerals and the Department of Energy, in addition to Eskom. Its projects could contribute towards South Africa’s renewable energy objectives. With close to 1 500 employees, TWP has developed multi billion rand projects for many of the continents premier mining companies. TWP is independent of all technology suppliers ensuring optimal technological solutions are formulated and can advise and guide investors in terms of building and operating power generation facilities, from conception to operation.

TWP provides economically sound and sustainable energy solutions. Timber companies, independent power producers planning wind farms, CSP Plants and other alternate energy projects as well as some of the larger mining companies make up the list of those that TWP has helped to solve their medium and long term energy challenges. TWP’s energy project pipeline potential is close to ZAR2,3-billion over the next five years, and includes extensive collaboration with regulatory and government bodies.


Carbon tax legislation:

what SA businesses need to know

Carbon tax legislation has become a burning issue of late in the global community. While more and more nations are passing legislation aimed at reducing their carbon footprint, South Africa has yet to formally commit to such a system – a state that is likely to change within the near future. With SA’s high emission rate, coupled with pressure from our international counterparts, the South African government is widely expected to commit to a carbon emission reduction roadmap at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, to be held in Copenhagen later this year. A commitment like this will mean the establishment of legislation that will impact the corporate community and affect all spheres of the economy. The only uncertainty that remains is in which shape or form this will be realised. One of the biggest challenges in formulating such legislation is the fact that we rely heavily on coal for our energy needs. A fine balance would need to be obtained between whatever reduction system will be used and economic growth which is so reliant on energy consumption. Graham Terry, Head of the Office of the Executive President at the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), believes that government is essentially faced with two options: a carbon tax or a capand-trade system. “Both are methods of carbon pricing, which is based on the principle that the external costs associated with emissions should be included in market costs and prices. While carbon taxes affect the price and let the market determine the quantity of emissions, cap-and-trade systems set the quantity of emissions and let the market determine the price through trading or auctions. Either way, the business community needs to familiarise itself with the risks and opportunities that these systems will bring about. Which ever route government decides to take, there will be a significant impact on business,” he explains. Izak Swart, Associate Director of Tax Management Consulting at Deloitte, reports that the debate over which system is more suited has become a worldwide quandary. “Depending on who you are talking to, either one will work. At the moment, there is no simple answer. Ultimately, it is dependent on the country and its economic situation,” says Swart. He does, however, suggest that a cap-and-trade system would be best in the South African environment as it provides an incentive to reduce carbon emissions. “In the current business environment, an incentive-based approach would be more successful, especially given our energy situation in the country. Providing an incentive to reduce carbon emission would be more appropriate for business and also allow for an incentive to change technologies. A tax can be introduced at a later stage for those who did not take up the incentive approach,” says Swart.

Terry’s book, Green, is a key resource in learning more about carbon trading, sustainability reporting and a host of other sustainability issues. Complemented by the recently launched, dedicated sustainability website (, it enables business leaders and Chartered Accountants to stay up to date with the latest relevant sustainability news. Green can be ordered through the online shopping section of the SAICA website (


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He goes on to say that the current thinking in government is to opt for a carbon tax. The main reason for this is that the South African Revenue Service is seen to be the most efficient department in government, and a tax in this instance would be relatively easy to introduce and administer. A lot of thought, however, would need to go into a carbon tax. Questions such as: ‘Who will pay the tax? the end-consumer or the emitter?; and at what level should the tax be set, given our reliance on coal to produce electricity and our current economic situation?’ would need to be solved. Chaya Lakhani, at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Tax Services, argues that carbon tax is indeed the right option for government to pursue. “In the current context of South Africa, it is my opinion that carbon tax will be the most efficient. It would avoid significant year-to-year fluctuations in costs, it can motivate change, the benefit will exceed the cost of implementation, it will not require monitoring emissions by regulatory bodies and will be relatively easy to implement, as it could be built on administrative infrastructure for existing taxes,” says Lakhani. SAICA’s National Tax Committee has established a carbon tax task team to explore which of the models (cap-and-trade or carbon tax) is best suited for SA, yet regardless of which system government decides to implement, experts agree that businesses that want to be competitive and indeed remain in business will need to start adapting their business models for the carbon-constrained world sooner rather than later. And this, says Terry, is where the importance of sustainability reporting becomes apparent. “Relevant, clear reporting will become an increasingly invaluable business tool,” he states. “The possible implementation of either a carbon tax or cap-and-trade system means that the business community and chartered accountants must get their thoughts around carbon reduction strategies and reporting,” he concludes. SAICA Thando Pato Tel: +27 11 621 6898 E-mail:


CDM in SA: where are we?

The Clean Development Mechanism is the international marketplace for high quality carbon reduction credits. Under strict regulation, Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) are generated through a set of project procedures, as set out in the CDM protocol. CERs command a higher price than VERs, as buyers are guaranteed a credible emissions reduction established through internationally accepted standards. (See 25° in Africa, Journal 3 2009) How many CDM projects are there in SA? To date, there have been 131 projects submitted to the DNA, consisting of 102 Project Idea Notes (PINs) and 29 Project Design Documents (PDDs). Of the 29 PDDs, 17 have been registered by the CDM Executive Board as CDM Projects, four of which have been issued with CER’s. The remaining 12 are currently at the different stages of the project cycle. The projects submitted to the DNA for initial review and approval include bio-fuels, energy efficiency, waste management, cogeneration, fuel switching and hydro-power projects, and cover sectors such as manufacturing, mining, agriculture, energy, waste management, housing, transport and residential. For more information, please find the link below: What are the barriers to the CDM in South Africa In order to improve CDM project uptake, Irbaris, in collaboration with South Africa’s DNA, interviewed a wide range of stakeholders and market participants both in South Africa and in Europe. Throughout these discussions, the following barriers to the development of CDM projects were consistently reported: 1: Limited pressure on business to reduce emissions Whilst the activities of those such as the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) will increase pressure on business in the country, few businesses have recognised the long term risks relating to climate change. 2: Businesses in South Africa are typically quite conservative Unfortunately, the easy decision for most South African businesses is still to do nothing on climate change. 3: Continued uncertainty and key gaps in South Africa energy, renewables and climate change policy The early stage of Renewable Energy regulation and the low energy prices in the country make renewable energy CDM projects particularly unattractive.

4: Awareness of the CDM and the opportunity is low Lack of awareness of the CDM was a common thread raised in discussions with market participants. 5: Perception that the CDM is too much effort for too little reward In the current economic climate, many businesses are focused on short term cost reduction. 6: Number of stakeholders need to be involved for CDM projects to be successful Asset owners must partner with financiers, technology providers, project developers and others to achieve a successful outcome and this adds to the perceived complexity and difficulty of the CDM. 7: Proven methodologies are not necessarily applicable in South Africa Our country has different industrial characteristics to other developing countries and approved methodologies are not always applicable in all geographical areas. 8: Monitoring and verification of projects in South Africa is difficult The availability and robustness of data (e.g. for baselines) has been a problem for project developers. Coupled with this is the lack of DOE capacity both within the CDM generally and particularly within South Africa. 9: The current regulations and structure within the electricity market Many CDM projects in South Africa require Power Purchasing Agreements (PPAs) and an overwhelming number of project developers cited the terms of PPAs available as being key stumbling blocks for many potentially successful projects. Some of these barriers are not unique to South Africa, but are common to the CDM as a whole. To address the barriers identified above, DNA acknowledges that the support from other CDM stakeholders in South Africa is essential. Project developers, other government departments, and asset owners must all work together with the DNA to ensure that the South African CDM market develops to its full potential.

CDM Annual / Status Review Report The DNA commissioned this report to review the development of the CDM in South Africa and to provide insights into the successes and challenges of the CDM in the country. The final report will soon be available on the departmental website:

Department of Energy Tel: +27 12 317 8253 Fax: +27 12 317 8511 E-mail: Website: No 4 2009 2 5 o i n Af r i ca




Carbon Tax

Marie Parramon and Andrew Gilder, IMBEWU Sustainability Legal Specialists (Pty) Ltd.

The notion of a ‘carbon tax’ or taxation imposed on the emissions of greenhouse gases with the objective of reducing such emissions, has become a ‘hot’ policy topic internationally. Various countries around the world have introduced or are seeking to introduce carbon taxes. These initiatives are occurring against the narrower context of domestic, legislated measures aimed at greenhouse gases emissions mitigation; and, the broader context of the impact of greenhouse gas emissions on the global climate and ongoing negotiations on the future of the international climate change legal regime. One of the most contentious issues for the negotiations is the level of domestic greenhouse gas mitigation that can be expected to be undertaken in future, and one means for domestic jurisdictions to achieve such mitigation is through the implementation of a carbon tax. The South African government has made reference to the potential future introduction of a carbon tax in this country and this article explores the theoretical foundations related to the notion of carbon taxation, and its proposed practical implementation, both overseas and in South Africa. Carbon tax is one of two key market-based instruments, typically legislated at the national level, regarded as most efficient in contributing to greenhouse gas emissions reductions. The other instrument is the imposition of national ‘cap-and-trade schemes’. It is important to understand that carbon taxes and ‘cap-and-trade schemes’ are different, but not incompatible mechanisms and, with sufficient foresight, can be implemented concurrently in a single country. Carbon tax is a form of indirect pollution tax and is based on the economic principle of ‘negative externalities’. ‘Externalities’ are regarded as costs and/ or benefits generated by the production of goods and services and ‘negative externalities’ are costs that are not, typically, accounted for in production processes. In relation to a carbon tax the term ‘negative externalities’ refers primarily to greenhouse gases emissions, e.g. in the production of power from the combustion of fossil fuels, and the recognition that such emissions have a negative impact on the atmosphere. It should be noted that the generation of power by combustion of fossil fuels is also responsible for a number of other noxious emissions.


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While these latter emissions are usually controlled in terms of national legislation and might, in due time, also become the subject of taxation as a further means of control, they would not be subject to a notional carbon tax, which seeks to deal with the phenomenon of greenhouse gas emissions. The carbon tax, then, aims to attribute a ‘cost’ to such ‘externalities’ and ensure that they are economically accounted for. Carbon tax is directly related to the general theory of ‘economic externalities’ developed by the economist Arthur Pigou which deals more broadly with environmental externalities. Consequently, carbon tax is also commonly referred to as a Pigovian tax. It is generally argued that the main objective of carbon tax should be to achieve the reduction of greenhouse gases emissions, most commonly by reducing the combustion of fossil fuels, and that a carbon tax should indirectly promote the uptake of renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal. One of the main challenges related to the development and implementation of a carbon tax is the determination of the scope and scale/rate of the carbon tax to ensure that it is effective in achieving its main objective. The scope of a carbon tax relates to the various sectors/entities/individuals which will be subjected to the tax. In this context, the challenge is to ensure that all the ‘priority’ sectors are subjected to the tax while maintaining the competitiveness of such sectors. The end-cost to the final, individual consumer is also an important factor to consider. In terms of the scale/rate of carbon tax, the main question is to determine what will be the appropriate scale/rate of the tax to ensure its efficacy. There is, currently, no common position on this issue. The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, 2006, came up with a general, global rate of $314 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e), while other studies put the figure closer to $50/tCO2e. From a French perspective, the carbon tax, announced on 10 September 2009 by President Sarkozy, will be levied at a rate of €17/tCO2e (US$25). Preliminary discussions on the French tax became polemiscised around the relative effectiveness of the tax, considering that the original rate was envisaged at €32 per tonne, while expert economists considered that €40


was the minimum for the tax to be effective in changing consumer behaviour. In general theory, to be effective a Pigovian tax should equal the marginal cost of negative externalities. It is also generally accepted that a carbon tax should be adopted in a phased-in manner, to enable economic entities subjected to the tax to adapt to such a fiscal change. Another concern raised by the potential imposition of a carbon tax is what is commonly referred as ‘carbon leakage’, a term which (in the specific context of carbon taxation) describes the migration of energy-intensive industries and large emitters from countries with a carbon tax to those nations without a carbon tax. France and other European countries have indicated that an effective instrument to avoid ‘carbon leakage’ could be to levy carbonequivalent fees/tax on imports from non-taxing nations or from countries with no climate change mitigation policies. Finally, a further challenge related to the development of a carbon tax is the determination of how the revenue from the carbon tax will be used. The main question is to assess if the revenue should be ‘earmarked’ for climate change related expenditures or should it be ‘neutral’ and applied to a range of issued not, necessarily, related to climate change. Since the early 1990s, there have been several attempts to introduce a unitary carbon tax in the European Union (EU) but this has never been achieved. One reason for this is that EU member countries have been unwilling to surrender national competence on taxation. As a consequence, various European countries have created individual carbon taxes thus resulting in regulatory and fiscal disparities within the Union. For example, on January 1, 1991, Sweden enacted a carbon tax, placing a tax of 0,25 SEK/kg CO2e ($100/ tCO2e) which was subsequently increased, on the use of oil, coal, natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, petrol, and aviation fuel used in domestic travel. Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, Italy and Norway also introduced carbon taxes in the 1990s, each with a different scope and rate/scale. As abovementioned, France has recently given notification of its introduction of a carbon tax by 2010.

escalating tax level, from ZAR100/tCO2e in 2008 rising to ZAR750/tCO2e by 2050. However, some experts are not convinced that a carbon tax is the most effective market based instrument to ensure greenhouse gas mitigation at the national level. Some support the position that a global carbon market, which would see carbon credits each representing 1tCO2e traded on a global commodities market, would be more effective than a carbon tax. Again, the debate tends towards polemic with certain entities in the private sector favouring the certainty brought by a carbon tax. As indicated by the Exxon Mobil Corporation: “A carbon tax is more transparent to consumers, it will achieve greater environmental benefits and is more difficult to manipulate than a cap-and-trade program”. On the other side of the debate, supporters of a global carbon market argue for the economic efficiencies of a market and point out that costs of mitigation are likely to be cheaper, and the means of achieving such mitigation more flexible, within a market context. Government has promised that the proposed architecture for South Africa’s future legislative, regulatory and fiscal package will be revealed over the next few months. Questions of carbon taxation and national emissions trading might be included in this architecture and knowledge of their operation and implications is essential for emitting industries in this country. IMBEWU Sustainability Legal Specialists ( is a specialist sustainability legal consultancy providing professional legal consultancy services in the area of environmental, health & safety and climate change law. IMBEWU runs a Climate Change and CDM Specialist Consultancy Unit with the greatest depth of expertise and experience in the South African carbon market. IMBEWU collaborates with Warburton Attorneys ( in providing CDM project development and contract advice to clients. This article should not be regarded a comprehensive discussion of the topics addressed, and should not be taken as legal advice or relied upon. Those seeking to participate in climate change-related activities are advised to seek specific legal advice. Contact:;

The South African Government has been very clear about its intention to implement a carbon tax. In terms of the rate/level of the proposed tax, the Long Term Mitigation Scenario (LTMS), 2008, makes reference to an No 4 2009 2 5 o i n Af r i ca



Carbon Disclosure Report: is SA up to the challenge?

As we approach the last round of international climate change negotiations prior to Copenhagen in December this year, it is critical to assess whether business in South Africa is significantly prepared to respond to international and national calls to action and strategic responses to climate change. Furthermore, as the negotiating blocs lobby for a new deal in Copenhagen, it is clear that climate change is increasingly presenting a threat not only to the environment but to business as well. The National Business Initiative championed the launch of the 2009 South African Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) report where the results and analysis of the third South African CDP report were presented. The Carbon Disclosure Project, founded in 2000, represents some 475 global institutional investors, with a combined asset base of more than $55-trillion (ZAR418-trillion). As an independent charity, CDP collects key climate change data from more than 2000 major corporations across 66 countries globally and has assembled the largest corporate greenhouse gas emissions database in the world. CDP challenges companies to measure and disclose their carbon footprint or emissions and how they integrate climate change into their business strategies, thereby contributing to mitigating climate change. CDP also works with multinational organisations to facilitate the collection of climate change relevant data from their suppliers. Commending South African respondents, Minister of Environmental Affairs, Buyelwa Sonjica, noted in her foreword to the report: “It must be emphasised that as a high carbon emitter, South Africa has the responsibility to demonstrate leadership on the continent. Such leadership must be accompanied by target setting, measurement and verification of performance. Industries that have taken the lead in the Carbon Disclosure report are congratulated and those that have not responded are encouraged to demonstrate leadership in the future. Greenhouse gas emission reporting by industries will soon be mandatory in South Africa and non compliance shall be met by penalties. It is therefore to the benefit of industry to take the lead in reporting greenhouse gas emissions to avoid such penalties and litigation risks.” Report highlights: • • • • •

An improved response rate of 68% (as compared with last year’s 59%), ranking South Africa as the 5th highest CDP response rate internationally. An improved level of disclosure with 87% of responding companies disclosing their GHG emissions (versus 77% last year). An increase in the number of companies with GHG emissions and/or energy reduction targets; focus on energy efficiency measures; some evidence of climate adaptation strategies. A growing awareness of the risks and opportunities of climate change. 54 companies (86% of respondents) report having a board committee

The CDP questionnaire The CDP questionnaire focuses on the following issues that the CDP has developed in conjunction with many signatory investors, recipient corporations and other experts: • • • • •

Identify the commercial risks and opportunities Describe the company’s objectives and strategy to manage these risks and seize the opportunities Provide data on company wide greenhouse gas emissions and targets Identify the steps being taken to manage and reduce emissions Outline climate change governance practices or executive body who take responsibility for climate change, while 19 companies (30%) provide incentives to management on achievement of climate change goals.

A few large emitters The report notes that: “A few carbon-intensive companies continue to dominate South Africa’s direct GHG emissions. South Africa’s estimated total emissions from all sources is approximately 440-million metric tonnes of CO2-e. For the 55 JSE companies that reported their emissions – including from those companies whose emissions have not been made public – total Scope 1 emissions (i.e. excluding emissions associated with electricity usage) for the South African operations is 101-million metric tonnes of CO2-e. In terms of direct local emissions, the data highlights the predominant contribution of Sasol (with reported annual emissions of 61 million metric tonnes of CO2-e), followed by ArcelorMittal SA (12,4-million metric tonnes), BHP Billiton (4,5-million metric tonnes), and Anglo American (3,4-million metric tonnes). Eskom’s reported emissions are 220-million metric tonnes. We need to move faster National Business Initiative Chief Executive André Fourie commented: “While this year’s report has clearly demonstrated the progress made by leading companies in acknowledging the significance of climate change in terms of its environmental, economic and social impacts, there is still evidence that companies are at different levels of awareness and engagement with what climate change means for their business. Inevitably, the question must be addressed as to whether the South African private sector is moving far enough and fast enough in identifying the significance of climate change to their business.” For further information on the global CDP project, including all global and regional reports, please consult the CDP website on

Winners’ podium The Nedbank Group was declared the overall leader in disclosing carbon footprint of the 2009 South Africa Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) Report Leadership Index, with the Bidvest Group and Woolworths Holdings in joint 2nd place, followed by BHP Billiton, Goldfields and Sappi in 5th position. Also featured in the top 16 companies were: Anglogold Ashanti; Santam; Dimension Data Holdings, Old Mutual, Sanlam, Anglo Platinum, Exxaro Resources, Northam Platinum, Netcare Holdings and Sasol.


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An international

look at carbon management

Based on responses by more than 300 global companies, The Carbon Management and Offsetting Trends Survey Results 2009 from EcoSecurities, offers a snapshot of global corporate attitudes toward the voluntary carbon market and the role carbon offsets play within larger carbon management strategies. This year, responses were encouragingly high, with over 300 corporations taking the time to fill in the original questionnaire. The survey provides an authentic insight into the thoughts and opinions of multinational and regional organisations with regards to carbon management strategies and offsetting, and examines the critical factors which drive end-users to purchase carbon offsets as well as the buyers’ desires in terms of project type, location and standard.

Some of the report’s key findings include: • • • • •

Over three quarters of companies have implemented or have started developing a carbon management strategy. Two thirds of respondents have already offset their carbon emissions or will consider offsetting in the future. Environmental benefits (91%) were highlighted as one of the main mo- tivations for interest in carbon offsets, closely followed by carbon neutrality and marketing (89%). 72% of participants nominated the US as the most desirable geographic region for purchasing offsets; this may reflect the desire for domestic projects as 56% of the respondents came from North America. Africa and South America were also rated as highly desirable locations for emission reduction projects. Respondents prefer renewable energy projects above any other project type with solar scoring 92% and wind 86%.

The Carbon Management and Offsetting Trends Survey Results 2009 from EcoSecurities.

The survey provides an authentic insight into the thoughts and opinions of multinational and regional organisations

The free report can be downloaded from, or for further information, visit, to which full acknowledgement are given. No 4 2009 2 5 o i n Af r i ca


i n st a n t u p d a te

First annual

World Green Building Day

SANEA Chairman appointed as World Energy Council Chair

The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) participated in the first annual World Green Building Day during September. The event saw green building councils worldwide hosting events to highlight the importance of green building. Lobbying for change To mark the event, the GBCSA joined other green building councils internationally in lobbying the negotiating teams for the forthcoming United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change COP15 negotiations in Copenhagen in December, where the world’s leaders will meet to negotiate an international climate change deal to supersede the targets agreed to at Kyoto. Overwhelming evidence, ample opportunity Under an initiative set up by the World Green Building Council, the GBCSA is urging the South African negotiating team to recognise the significant role of buildings in generating carbon emissions and contributing to climate change. Worldwide, buildings consume approximately 40% of total energy requirements, both in their construction and ongoing operation, as well as in the embodied energy of the building materials. Buildings also represent some of the best, most practical and cost-effective emission reduction opportunities. Green Building Council of South Africa Tel: +27 21 659 5990 Fax: +27 21 689 3737

At its annual meeting held in Reykjavik, Iceland, the Executive Assembly of the World Energy Council (WEC) unanimously appointed Brian A. Statham, Chairman of the South African National Energy Association (SANEA), as Chair-Elect of the WEC Studies Committee and a Member of the Officers’ Council. This announcement was made by Alison von Ketelhodt, Secretary-General of SANEA: “The handover from the current Chair of Studies will take one year and Brian will assume office in September 2010,” she explained. “The WEC studies play an integral role in shaping thinking in the global energy community, and the Chair of this Committee is a very important and influential position. The Executive Assembly further agreed that the WEC Global Scenarios Study (that Brian led from 2004 to 2007 – Energy Policy Scenarios to 2050) should be defined as one of only two ‘Flagship’ studies to be carried forward as the foundation for the future work of the WEC,” she announced. Brian has some 33 years of experience in the power industry in South Africa. Working for Eskom for most of his career, he has been involved in construction, operations, research, production planning, investment planning and strategic planning, predominantly in the area of power generation. SANEA Tel: +27 83 325 6716 Fax: +27 86 611 5942 E-mail: Website:

Chemicals company: sales and earnings increased BASF has announced first figures for the third quarter of 2009. Sales were €12,8-billion (ZAR145,40-billion), i.e. 19% less than in the same period of 2008, and 2,4% more than in the second quarter of 2009. The preliminary figure for third-quarter income from operations (EBIT) before special items was €1,25-billion (ZAR14,2-billion), 20% less than in the same period of 2008 and 9,5% more than in the second quarter of 2009.

These figures exceed the consensus analysts’ estimates available to BASF, doing much to reflect BASF’s operational strength. “We have the right strategy. We are seeing the effects of the extensive measures we implemented in good time to adjust capacity utilisation rates and to reduce costs. The BASF team worldwide has performed extremely well,” commented Dr. Jürgen Hambrecht, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE. For the full results, visit


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i n s tan t u p date

Running dry? Climate change in drylands and how to cope with it This informative book provides the first comprehensive overview of the state of research on the complex issues surrounding ‘climate change and drylands’. It reveals, systematically, the various interrelations and feedback mechanisms, with detailed information about the contribution of drylands to climate change, recent and projected climatic changes and their impacts on drylands. The authors also discuss how sustainable land management can be made part of the response to climate change, enriched by experiences of the German development cooperation. The book compiles facts and figures, charts the way forward, and highlights knowledge gaps, uncertainties and research questions. For further information, visit neuebuecher/buch/running-dry.html.

Empowering students with on the job training

As part of a programme aimed at assisting government to meet the goals of the Accelerated Shared Growth Initiative of South Africa (ASGI-SA), as well as fulfilling the requirements of tenders issued by Eskom, Siemens Southern Africa hosted an ASGISA Awareness Event on the 2nd of October at Siemens Park in Midrand, Johannesburg to introduce the students recruited for training to Eskom, where they will be working on several projects during their practical training phase for South Africa’s power producer. Dion Govender, CEO at Siemens Energy Sector, explains that as part of the company’s further activities in the area of skills development, the Siemens Energy Sector has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with a BEE company that has a decade of experience in similar projects to recruit and employ the students on our behalf from FET and technical training colleges and act as the Programme Manager to coordinate and facilitate the skills development programme on their behalf. This agreement will also see Siemens making a further contribution to developing a local black enterprise. “We take these students during their practical training to work on the

various contracts on site at the various power stations, and at the end of their training, they walk out with degrees, diplomas or having passed the trade tests,” says Govender. 55 students in a number of disciplines ranging from technical and commercial through to career orientation and work preparation have been employed for several contracts, including the Ingula Pump Storage Scheme, the Kriel Fire Detection project and several other projects in the generation and transmission environment. Govender says that Siemens South Africa has reinforced its commitment to skills development, spending more than ZAR25-million on employees, trainees and bursars each financial year. “Siemens has developed 498 trainees over the past three years, of which 396 were black and 132 were women, and there are about 200 delegates on Siemens training programmes at any given time,” he concludes. Siemens Southern Africa Tel: +27 11 652 2000 Website: No 4 2009 2 5 o i n Af r i ca



en ergy eve n ts

GCX Certified Carbon Footprint Analyst (Level 1) Course Location: Cape Town, South Africa Date: 16 – 18 November 2009 Tel: +27 21 6805146 E-mail: Website:

Hout Bay Green Faire Location: Hout Bay, South Africa Tel: +27 72 797 0904 E-mail: Website:

SAEEC 2009 Location: Johannesburg, South Africa Contact: Erika Kruger Tel: +27 (0) 18 290 5130 Fax: +27 (0) 86 512 7122 E-mail: Website:

NIA (Nuclear Industry Association) ―Energy Choices Location: London, United Kingdom Date: 4 – 5 December 2009 Contact: NIA and the BNES (British Nuclear Energy Society)

Date: 12 – 13 November 2009

ANS (American Nuclear Society annual meeting) Location: Washington DC, United States Date: 15 – 19 November 2009 E-mail: The NEPAD Transport Summit & Africa Expo 2009 Location: Johannesburg, South Africa Date: 25 – 26 November 2009 Contact: Tanitha Jolly Tel: +27 (0) 21 681 7000 E-mail:

Oil & Gas Maintenance Technology Conference and Exhibition Location: Kingdom of Bahrain Date: 18 – 20 January 2010 Contact: Simon Kears Tel: +44 1992 656 647 Fax: +44 1992 656 700 E-mail: Website:


25 o i n A f r ic a No 4 2009

Basic Renewable & Solar Energy Course Location: Johannesburg, South Africa Tel: +27 83 565 7384 E-mail: Website:

Date: 28 November 2009

Date: 5 December 2009

Energy Caribbean 2009 Date: 7 – 9 December 2009

World Future Energy Exhibition 2010 Location: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Date: 18 – 21 January 2010 Contact: Prince Agboola Olugbenga Tel: +234 08036267828 E-mail:

en erg y even ts

miss out!

ELECRAMA-2010 Location: Mumbai, India Contact: M.G. Date Tel: +91 22 2493 0532 / 6528 / 6529 Fax: +91 22 2493 2705 E-mail: Website: 11th Southern Africa Energy Week Location: Johannesburg, South Africa Website:

Oil & Gas Africa 2010 Location: Cape Town, South Africa Contact: Mark Burridge Website:

Date: 20 – 24 January 2010

Date: 8 – 10 February 2010

Date: 16 – 18 March 2010

SPE Intelligent Energy Conference & Exhibition Location: Jaarbeurs, Utrecht, United Kingdom Date: 23 – 25 March 2010 Contact: SPE International Tel: +44 207 299 3300 16th Latin Oil Week 2010 Location: Rio de Janeiro Contact: Sonika Greyvenstein Tel: +27 11 880 7052 E-mail: 5th Annual African Biofuels Location: Johannesburg, South Africa Contact: Jason Chadwick Tel: +27 11 771 7135 Fax: +27 11 880 6789 E-mail:

Eastern Africa Energy Week Location: Nairobi, Kenya Website:

Date: 24 – 27 March 2010

For a full list of up-coming events in the energy industry, visit, our brand new energy portal. With a full listing of event information, including venues, costs and contact people, the site is a valuable resource in terms of planning which events you shouldn’t miss.

NEPAD ICT Africa Summit 2010 Location: Cape Town South Africa Contact: Brian NEMBAWARE Tel: +27 21 802 1191 E-mail: Website: ENERGY2010 Location: Johannesburg, South Africa Contact: Siyenza Management Tel: +27 11 463 9285 Website:

Date: 9 – 11 February 2010

Date: 24 – 26 February 2010

The Water Institute of Southern Africa Biennial Conference and Exhibition Location: Durban, South Africa Date: 18 – 22 Apr 2010 Tel: +27 31 303 9852 E-mail: Website: Alternative & Bio-Energy Forum Location: Johannesburg, South Africa Contact: Jason Chadwick Tel: +27 11 771 7135 Fax: +27 11 880 6789 E-mail: Website:

Date: 12 – 15 April 2010

Date: March – April 2010

Date: 10 – 12 May 2010

No 4 2009 2 5 o i n Af r i ca


i n st a n t u p d a te

ISES The ISES Solar World Congress 2009, hosted by the Sustainable Energy Society of Southern Africa in Johannesburg, was attended by participants from all over the world from Sunday, 11 October to Wednesday, 14 October. One of the conclusions was that the global target of 100% renewable energies is both attainable and necessary by the middle of the current century.

(REFIT). Some concerns that the congress has requested government to urgently address include transparency, certainty, removal of contradictions between legislation and regulations governing the REFIT and providing a roadmap with clear commitments and timelines to its implementation.

Third world countries have an unacceptable backlog in energy supply which can only be covered cost effectively and in time by the use of renewable energies. All countries, and especially the industrialised countries, must increase their efforts in transitioning to renewable energies.

It was also strongly recommended that a Green Energy Act be introduced, which is crucial to providing a comprehensive framework for renewable energy uptake so that the necessary steps will be taken to attract local as well as international investors.

The world’s governments are called upon to immediately implement policies that have been proven to be effective and efficient in the rapid transition to a renewable energy world and refraining from any kind of gaps that may slow down renewable energy deployment. Governments were urged to support and encourage community power projects and get people actively involved in these projects so that more jobs are created and people can benefit directly from renewable energies.

On a global level, the introduction of an international feed-in tariff system was recommended. This system is a primary instrument to foster international technology transfer and finance scaling up of renewables, especially in the third world. A global feed-in tariff could potentially help countries to overcome the blockage in the current climate change negotiations.

ISES The congress has applauded the first steps that the South African Government has taken in introducing the Renewable Energy Feed-In Tariff

Education, research and development need to be given priority in all aspects of capacity building for renewable energy in order to create awareness and knowledge of the full potential of renewable energies as well as the true threats of fossil and nuclear energies. The Congress also expressed its enthusiasm about the recent establishment of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Renewable energy proponents from around the world, along with all governments, have been encouraged to give their full support to the establishment process in order to make sure that IRENA can realise its leadership role on our way to a renewable energy world. For more information, visit, to which full acknowledgement and thanks are given.

ZAR100-million hydro power plant for SA opened

Bethlehem Hydro power plant, the first new hydro power project in South Africa since the 1980’s, was officially opened by the Deputy Minister of Economic Development, Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde, on the 30th of October 2009.

managed to benefit the people of South Africa. Throughout the two and a half years of construction, over 90 jobs were created and HydroWSA, a broad based black women’s group has taken up a significant shareholding in the project.

This ZAR100-million power plant is connected to the national electricity grid and it will sell its power to the Dihlabeng (Bethlehem) municipality. It’s estimated that the output of this power station is sufficient to provide 10%15% of the town’s power needs.

“Bethlehem Hydro is one of the first opportunities for BEE groups such as ours to meaningfully participate in this sector,” says Shirley Mabusela, chairperson of HydroWSA.

According to the Managing Director of Bethlehem Hydro, Anton-Louis Olivier, this power plant shows that private and renewable energy projects is viable and can definitely work in the South African power sector. “Bethlehem Hydro will not only be producing and selling electricity, it is also one of the first projects in South Africa to sell ‘carbon credits’,” says Olivier. “Over the next 20 years the project will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by some 800 000 tons, thus helping reduce global warming.” Besides the environmental benefits, the Bethlehem Hydro has also


25 o i n A f r ic a No 4 2009

This 7 MW project is widely seen as the first of a new generation of privately owned, independent power plants which is set to transform the South African power sector. Nu Planet Anton-Louis Olivier Tel: +27 12 349 2735 Fax: +27 88 012 349 2944 E-mail: Website:


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