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Vol 6 Nr 3 2011 – R49

New wind technologies launched

Country profile:

Selling CERs post-2012




Contents cover story According to a new report from the EU-funded UpWind project, ultra-large 20 MW wind turbines are feasible. The report, which was launched at the EWEA (European Wind Energy Association) 2011 Annual Event in Brussels, explored the design limitations of upscaling wind turbines to 20 MW and found that they would have rotor diameters of around 200 m, compared to some 120 m on today’s 5 MW turbines.



4 New gearless wind turbine

30 Want to sell CERs

6 Moving wind energy pictures

post 2012 32 CVA appointed for

Country profile

Cape Wind

8 An overview on Sudan

33 e-Atlas online tool

Climate change


15 Air travel tax could raise

35 Success with energy shifting

16 The door is closing

36 IRP 2010 39 Earth hour results

Oil and gas 18 Piped gas

Energy efficiency

19 DNV signs agreement

44 How insulation technologies can save energy


48 SA can learn from Israel

20 Nanotechnology

52 Reducing energy

21 All that glitters may be gold


22 Low emission microturbine technology

Instant update

24 Hydropower challenges

54 Over 28 tons of

26 Wind farm delayed again

waste recycled 55 COP 17 will be

Nuclear energy

held in Durban

28 What is a meltdown

55 Green Google 56 Botswana will have a


renewable feed-in tarrif in 2012

29 New SANS standards 29 Algal biofuels still at

Energy events

pre-commercial phase

57 Energy events


Media in Africa (Pty) Ltd • International Contact Information: Tel: +27 12 347 7530 • Fax: +27 12 347 7523 E-mail:

Exploring new turbine technologies This issue of 25° in Africa carries several articles on new turbine technologies available. We look at gearless wind turbines, the feasibility of ultra-large 20MW turbines as well as lightweight wind turbines for industrial and high-rise buildings. We also take a look at a low-emission micro-turbine system, which have been launched in South Africa to motivate sustainable energy usage in the agricultural sector, but applications range from mines to hotels, factories, hospitals and office blocks. With a micro-turbine, a business is capable of self-generation on site. Read more on this technology in this issue. Selling CERs post-2012: what you need to know There have been concerns in the CDM marketplace for a couple of months now surrounding the sale of CERs post-2012. CDM project constraints and restrictive time frames could influence the tradability of CERs into the European Union (EU) post-2012. This follows the European Parliament decision taken in April 2009 to promulgate certain laws around the trading of CERs into the European Union Emission Trading Scheme. The timing of project registration is crucial if you still want to register your project. However, this does open up certain opportunities for Africa. We garnered some industry expertise for an article on this. Read more on page 30. As always, we welcome any interaction with our readers. So mail us your projects, questions and comments to

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 Marlene van Rooyen Tel: +27 83 327 3746 E-mail: Founder Schalk Burger (1943 – 2006) assistant business unit manager Alida Edwards Tel: +27 82 325 6617 E-mail: Advertising sales professional Shannon Pringle Tel: +27 84 619 8023 E-mail: Journalist Adrienne Brookbanks Tel: +27 82 468 4566 E-mail:

I hope you enjoy this issue!

business unit coordinator Zuerita Gouws Tel: +27 12 347 7530 E-mail:

Marlene E van Rooyen

Imbewu Sustainability Andrew Gilder – Climate change and CDM legal specialist Publishing Manager Liezel van der Merwe

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.

Financial Manager Fanie Venter

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.

Design and Layout Ilze Janse van Rensburg

The focus of the publication is on energy, but it carries related information to provide a broad, unbiased and independent view of all the pertinent issues.

Accountant Gerda Bezuidenhout E-mail:

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 published bi-monthly as a print publication. 25º in Africa is also available as a free web download. For more information, please contact the editor or editor’s assistant on Tel: +27 347 7530 or visit us on

Proofreader Elizabeth Kruger Reproduction & Printing Business Print Centre


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Launch of new gearless wind turbine Siemens Energy has launched a new direct drive gearless wind turbine for low to moderate wind speeds. The core feature of the new SWT-2.3-113 wind turbine is an innovative drive concept with a compact permanent magnet generator.

The generator requires no excitation power, slip rings or excitation control system, which results in high efficiency, even at low loads. The wind turbine, which was launched at the EWEA 2011 wind power exhibition and conference in Brussels, also has a new generation rotor blade design from Siemens. The B55 Quantum Blade is 55m long and features a redesigned tip and root section. The blade tip has been redesigned to minimise loads and reduce noise levels and the root section uses flatback profiles to minimise root leakage. With a capacity of 2.3 MW and a rotor diameter of 113 m, the new wind turbine is designed to maximise power production at sites with low to moderate wind speeds. A prototype of the new machine was installed in the Netherlands in March.

Siemens has installed and commissioned a total of five gearless SWT-3.0-101 wind turbines in Denmark and Norway. Further projects with Siemens direct drive wind turbines are planned in the US, Denmark and Germany.

Last year, Siemens launched their first gearless wind turbine – the SWT-3.0-101 – which is a 3 MW direct drive wind turbine. The newly launched wind turbine features only half of the parts required for a conventional geared wind turbine and a significantly smaller number of moving parts.


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With a capacity of 2.3 MW and a rotor diameter of 113 m, the new wind turbine is designed to maximise power production at sites with low to moderate wind speeds.

“The first prototypes of our SWT-3.0-101 have been running for more than a year and are fulfilling all expectations in terms of reliability and performance,” said Henrik Stiesdal, CTO of the Siemens Wind Power Business Unit. “The design of the new SWT-2.3-113 is based on the same platform as the revolutionizing SWT-3.0-101 wind turbine we launched last year. The new SWT-2.3-113 benefits from experiences accumulated to date. With its proven lightweight design, it’s a secure and profitable investment. Because gearless technology is low-maintenance, it maximizes our customers’ returns,” added Stiesdal. Siemens has installed and commissioned a total of five gearless SWT-3.0101 wind turbines in Denmark and Norway. Further projects with Siemens direct drive wind turbines are planned in the US, Denmark and Germany. Apart from the two new wind turbines with ratings of 3 MW and 2.3 MW, further turbines are already at the planning stage. “This year we’ll launch our 6 MW direct drive wind turbine, which will be particularly suitable for large offshore wind power plants,” said Stiesdal. For more information, visit, to which full acknowledgement and thanks are given.


Ultra-large, 20 MW wind turbines are feasible – report

According to a new report from the EU-funded UpWind project, ultra-large 20 MW wind turbines are feasible. The report, which was launched at the EWEA (European Wind Energy Association) 2011 Annual Event in Brussels, explored the design limitations of upscaling wind turbines to 20 MW and found that they would have rotor diameters of around 200 m, compared to some 120 m on today’s 5 MW turbines.

Despite their size and obvious weight issues, EWEA says that the 20 MW machines could be a cost-efficient way of reaching the forecasted wind energy targets of supplying 26-34% of Europe’s electricity demand power by 2030. However, the 20 MW turbine requires a new, innovative, tailored design to make it work, says the UpWind report. “UpWind found that making a 20 MW machine is not as simple as just upscaling today’s 5 MW turbines,” said Jos Beurskens of the Netherlands’ Energy Research Centre (ECN), who led the project along with the UpWind coordinator, Peter Hjuler Jensen from the Danish Technical University Risoe DTU. “We identified key innovations to the design, materials and way the turbine is operated,” said Beurskens. Huge wind turbines by 2020 While significant research is still needed, Beurskens believes that we could see 20 MW wind tubines in operation by 2020. “Intuitively, I believe we’ll see the 20 MW turbines used within 10 years. That is, providing they are the cheapest option,” said Beurskens.

The main innovations for 20 MW wind turbines include: Blades: • Using individual blade control – this could lower fatigue loads by 20-30%. • Fore-bending blades and using more flexible materials – this could lower fatigue loads by 10%. • Lowering fatigue loads on blades allows longer and lighter blades to be built. Loads can be lowered in the ways listed below: • Putting the blade in two sections (like an airplane wing), allowing each to be controlled separately – this could lower fatigue loads by 15%. It also

makes it easier to transport the blade. Adaptation • The future smart wind turbine would be able to adapt its position and the pitch of its blade to local wind conditions. Control and maintenance • Putting sensors on one wind turbine allows the fatigue loading on the other turbines to be estimated if the relationship of fatigue loading between the wind turbines is known. • Loads can be alleviated preventatively by evaluating the upcoming gust before it arrives at the turbine. A nacelle-mounted LIDAR is sufficiently accurate for wind energy applications. Wind farm layout • Higher overall wind farm efficiency can be achieved by lowering the power output of the first row of turbines. Christian Kjaer, CEO of the European Wind Energy Association, commented that 20 MW wind turbines could be an option only on paper if the EU does not invest more in wind energy research. “The findings of UpWind allow the industry to significantly advance its knowledge of how to develop more cost-efficient, larger turbines, expected mostly for the huge expansion of offshore wind energy. However, this knowledge will never become a reality if the EU does not make a clear commitment to wind energy research. The industry is committed to funding its share of the €6-billion European Wind Initiative. It is now time for the EU and its member states to finance their share to ensure the innovations of UpWind and other projects can be further developed and applied,” concludes Kjaer. For more information, visit and, to which full acknowledgement and thanks are given.

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New lightweight wind turbine for industrial and high rise buildings The first PIQO small wind turbine has been made with the aid of Luran® S KR 2858 G3, an ASA resin from BASF. Developed by the Dutch company EverkinetIQ International in close collaboration with Pekago, Albis and BASF, the new wind turbine is intended to provide locally generated energy on industrial facilities, high-rise buildings, hospitals and other municipal buildings as well as private homes. The lighter weight and lower diameter of the product distinguishes it from the well-known large wind turbines. The first prototypes of this micro wind turbine have been installed on buildings in the Netherlands, where they are undergoing field trials. EverkinetIQ has recently carried out optimisation steps after sufficient performance data had been collected. PIQO wind turbines are rugged, compact and they generate little noise. EverkinetIQ anticipates that, following the test phase, a relatively favourable price per kilowatt-hour will be achieved. The newly established BASF subsidiary Styrolution, together with its distribution partner Albis Benelux, is providing a 15% glass fiber-reinforced material from the family of ASA polymers (acrylic ester-styrene-acrylonitrile) for the turbine’s rotor. This material was chosen because it offers extremely

Moving wind energy pictures Fascinating close-up views and animated graphics, extraordinary perspectives and interesting information – these features distinguish two new BASF films on wind energy. They highlight the opportunities, benefits and challenges of wind power as one of the major climate-friendly sources of energy for the future. The role that specifically-developed BASF products play in making wind turbines even more efficient, is discussed in the films by means of specific examples. One of the two films, which last about eight minutes each, deals with the production of rotor blades from a novel-type of epoxy system, while the other examines innovative rotorblade coatings. In “Protection from wind and weather – Intelligent coatings for rotor blades of wind turbines, spectacular pictures show the development and testing of innovative coatings that BASF sells under its new Relest product brand. Pictures produced by a special high-speed camera visualise processes that are otherwise invisible to the human eye. Insights into real-life rotor-blade manufacturing and short expert interviews complement the presentation.


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good resistance to weathering, UV radiation and aging together with chemical resistance. The unfilled, and thus less rigid grade Luran® S 797 S, is suitable for the round frame, which has a diameter of about 1.5 m. “An especially strong and durable plastic is needed for these cost-effective, innovative and flexible PIQO wind turbines. Luran S from Styrolution meets the demanding requirements for resistance to weathering and rotational effects completely,” comments Richard Kleefman, director of turbine development at EverkinetIQ. BASF Holdings South Africa (Pty) Ltd Tel: +27 11 203 2422 Fax: +27 11 203 2430 E-mail: Website:

The movie on “Enhanced efficiency in rotor blade manufacturing – New epoxy systems” explains the role and application of these systems. Sold by BASF under the Baxxodur® brand, the two-component resin plus hardener systems can enhance the efficiency of rotor-blade manufacturing processes by as much as 30 percent. Animated film pictures draw viewers into the world of molecules and make them comprehend the chemical processes taking place. Customers and scientists then explain how the systems are used in manufacturing rotor blades. “We want these films to convey the fascination of having chemistry contribute to enhancing efficiency in the production of modern wind energy plants and making them more profitable to use,” said Dr Martin Jung, spokesman of BASF’s Wind Energy Industry Focus Group. “If you want to simplify current wind-rotor production processes and achieve equipment life cycles of more than twenty years, you need intelligent chemistry – such as BASF’s novel coating and epoxy systems,” he added. The company also supplies grouting solutions and concrete additives for the construction of high-strength foundations and towers for modern wind turbines. The wind energy films are available in German and English at For more information, visit the website


International sustainable insurance consultations launched in SA

The first of seven workshops on formulating principles and actions to keep insurance sustainable was held in Johannesburg on 16 March. The meeting, Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI), is a project of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) Finance Initiative (FI) and the meeting was hosted by Santam and the South African Insurance Association (SAIA). The other six workshops, which will be held in different regions across the world, will focus on consulting on the draft principles for sustainable insurance ahead of the United Nations Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development scheduled for June 2012. “The PSI, or principles for sustainable insurance, is of crucial importance to the industry,” says Vanessa Otto-Mentz, Santam’s head of strategy. “The world in which we live, and in which we do business and offer a service, is beset by rapid change. Among these are changes in climate and weather that profoundly impact risk and risk management. However, there are other changes too that the industry must contend with. It include changes in governance, in the regulatory environment, and in communities and society at large. The Johannesburg meeting considered the principles developed by the PSI workgroup and evaluated them to measure their soundness in addressing business sustainability in the insurance industry,” said Otto-Mentz. The principles, Otto-Mentz says, include examples of concrete actions for long-term success and sustainability of the industry value chain and is supported by case studies covering the full range of risks and opportunities environmental, social and governance risk factors present to the insurance industry at large. They include underwriting risk, product and service development matters, claims management, environmental, social and governance risks, and business strategies and operational issues. The principles are open for public comment for the rest of the year and the PSI workgroup is calling for more case studies. Interested parties can contact Vanessa Otto-Mentz for a copy of the draft principles or to submit additional case studies. Some of the participants included Peter Willis (director of the Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership in South Africa), Deon Nel (Ecosystems Research, Natural Resources and the Environment at the CSIR – since joined the WWF) and Ian Kirk (the CE of Santam).

Ian Kirk, the CE of Santam, said that growing systemic risk was a crucial issue for the insurance industry. He told sector analysts recently that it was his hope that Santam could, in partnership with SAIA and other players, improve the management of these risks. It was his specific objective to achieve better management of systemic risk during his term as Santam’s CE. The UNEP FI PSI initiative programme leader, Butch Bacani, highlighted that the global insurance industry has a crucial role to play in supporting sustainable economic development.

PSI consultation will lay solid foundations for the path ahead, said Viviene Pearson, the general manager at SAIA. “PSI consultation will lay solid foundations for the path ahead,” said Viviene Pearson, the general manager at SAIA. “They will bring greater sustainability to insurance. I look forward to the United Nations meeting – and especially to the difference that it and future meetings will make to the insurance industry at national and international level,” said Pearson. Further UNEP FI regional meetings will take place in Brazil in May, Canada in June, the Middle East and North Africa (in a venue yet to be confirmed) in July, New Zealand in August, Munich in October and Tokyo in November. For more information, visit and, to which full acknowledgement and thanks are given.

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country pro fil e: sudan


Sudan Since its independence from the UK in 1956, military regimes favouring Islamic-oriented governments have dominated national politics in Sudan. The country was embroiled in two prolonged civil wars during most of the remainder of the 20th century. These conflicts were rooted in northern economic, political and social domination of largely non-Muslim, non-Arab southern Sudanese. Sudan has been working with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to implement macroeconomic reforms since 1997. These reforms include a managed float of the exchange rate and a large reserve of foreign exchange. At the beginning of 2007, a new currency called the Sudanese Pound was introduced.


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c o u ntry pro fi le : s u d an

Sudan began exporting crude oil in the last quarter of 1999. The economy boomed on the back of increases in oil production, high oil prices and significant inflows of foreign direct investment until the second half of 2008. According to the CIA World Factbook, most of the population will remain at or below the poverty line for years due to the aftermath of two decades of civil war in the south, the Darfur conflict, the lack of basic infrastructure in large areas and reliance by most of the population on subsistence agriculture. While the oil sector continues to drive growth in Sudan, services and utilities play an increasingly important role in the economy with agriculture production remaining important as it employs 80% of the workforce and contributes a third of the gross domestic product (GDP). Location: Northern Africa, bordering the Red Sea, between Egypt and Eritrea. Climate: Tropical in the south, arid desert in north, rainy season varies by region (April to November). Terrain: generally flat, featureless plain, mountains in the far south, northease and west, desert dominates the north. Elevation extremes: Lowest point: Red Sea, 0m. Highest point: Kinyeti, 3 187 53m. Natural resources: petroleum, small reserves of iron ore, copper, chromium ore, zinc, tungsten, mica, silver, gold and hydropower. Land use: Arable land: 6.78% Permanent crops: 0.17% Other: 93.05% (2005) Natural hazards: dust storms and periodic persistent droughts. Current environmental issues: inadequate supplies of potable water, wildlife populations threatened by excessive hunting, soil erosion, desertification, periodic drought. GDP (purchasing power parity): US$98.79-billion (2010 est.) GDP (official exchange rate): US65.93-billion (2010 est.) GDP – real growth rate: 5.2 % (2010 est.) GDP – per capita (PPP): US$2,200 (2010 est.) GDP – composition by sector: Agriculture: 32.1% Industry: 29% Services: 38.9%% (2010 est.) Population below poverty line: 40% Industrial production growth rate: 3.5% (2010 est.) Electricity production: 4.341-billion kWh (2007 est.) Electricity consumption: 3.438-billion kWh (2007 est.) Electricity exports: 0 kWh (2008 est.) Electricity imports: 0 kWh (2008 est.) Oil production: 486 700 bbl/day (2009 est.) Oil consumption: 84 000 bbl/day (2009 est.) Oil exports: 303 800 bbl/day (2007 est.) Oil imports: 11 400 bbl/day (2007 est.) Oil – proved reserves: 6.8-billion bbl (1 January 2010 est.) Natural gas production: 0 cu m (2008 est.) Natural gas consumption: 0 cu m (2008 est.) Natural gas exports: 0 cu m (2008 est.) Natural gas imports: 0 cu m (2008 est.) Natural gas – proved reserves: 84.95-billion cu m (1 January 2010 est.) Current account balance: -US$2.595-billion (2010 est.) Exports: US$9.777-billion (2010 est.) Export commodities: oil and petroleum products, cotton, sesame, livestock, groundnuts, Arabic gum, sugar. Vol 6 NR 3 2011

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country pro fil e: sudan

of the country. Natural gas associated with oil production is mostly flared or re-injected. The development of Sudan’s oil resources has been controversial. The Sudanese government has been accused of financing human rights abuses with oil revenues, including the mass displacement of civilians near the oil fields. Renewables in Sudan

Import commodities: foodstuffs, manufactured goods, refinery and transport equipment, medicines and chemicals, textiles, wheat. Imports: US$8.483-billion (2010 est.) Debt external: US$37.98-billion (31 December 2009 est.) Energy issues in Sudan Sudan faces critical environmental issues, including severe land degradation, deforestation, desertification and other impacts of climate change that threaten the prospects of lasting peace and sustainable development. According to the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) 2007 Sudan Post-Conflict Environmental Assessment Report, clear linkages exist between environmental problems and the ongoing conflict in Darfur, as well as other historical and current conflicts in Sudan. “Competition over oil and gas reserves, Nile waters and timber, as well as land usage issues related to agricultural land, are important causative factors in the instigation and perpetuation of conflict in Sudan. Confrontations over rangeland and rain-fed agricultural land in the drier parts of the country are a particularly striking manifestation of the connection between natural resource scarcity and violent conflict.” In an attempt to join the international community’s endeavours to address environmental issues, Sudan has ratified the Global Environmental Conventions in line with the global environmental objectives agreed upon at the UN Conference on Environment and Development, Rio de Janeiro, in 1992, and related international instruments. In doing so, the country became a party to the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity (UNCBD) in 1995, a party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992, and in November 1995, was the 16th Party to ratify the United Nations Convention on Combating Desertification (UNCCD). Oil in Sudan Oil plays a major role in the Sudanese economy. In 2009, oil represented over 90% of export earnings (according to the IMF). For South Sudan (Juba), oil represented 98% of total revenues for the year compared to Khartoum at 65%. In 2009, there were announcements of natural gas discoveries in Sudan, but these have yet to be determined commercially. According to the Oil and Gas Journal (OGJ), Sudan had five-billion barrels of proved oil reserves in January 2010, which is up from an estimated 563-million barrels in 2006. Some analysts and government reports put the volume of Sudan’s reserves above 6-billion. The majority of reserves are located in the south in the Muglad and Melut basins. Due to civil conflict, oil exploration has mostly been limited to the central and south-central regions


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According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), combustible renewable and waste accounted for 68% of Sudan’s total primary energy consumption in 2008, followed by petroleum (32%) with hydroelectric power accounting a small share. The large share of biomass in the energy mix represents a large population, located in rural areas with little or no access to the electricity grid, that rely heavily on biomass to meet heating and cooking needs. According to the IEA, approximately 27-million people in Sudan lack access to electricity. The country as a whole has a 31% electrification rate with urban areas reaching 48% electrification and rural areas only 19%. Sudan looking for Russian help with energy infrastructure In February 2011, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir met with Russian Special Envoy to Sudan, Mikhail Margelov, to discuss economic ties between the countries. “We discussed a whole range of economic issues, including Sudan’s readiness to sign a contract with Russia on the construction of a railway linking Port Sudan and West Darfur’s capital, El Geneina, as well as contracts to build power plants in the country,” Margelov was quoted saying by Russia’s state-run news agency RIA Novosti ( South Sudan becomes the world’s newest nation when it formally gains independence in July 2011. Nearly all of the voters voted in favour of the measure in the January referendum, but tough details concerning oil and border demarcations loom over the issue. South Sudan, which gets the bulk of its revenue from oil, takes control of approximately 75% of all the oil production in the country when it gains independence in July. Oil moves via pipeline from the south to Port Sudan on the Red Sea. China-Sudan bio-energy project launched In January 2011, Sudanese Vice-President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha inaugurated a bio-energy project. The project, which is part of a partnership between Sudan and China, has been established at the Al-Selait area, about 25 km east of the Sudanese capital, Khartoum. It consists of many units for producing biofuel and energy for lighting purposes using local sources of animal waste. There are 75 units of bioenergy in all parts of Sudan. Al-Wasila Hassan Monafaly, director of the Al-Selait bioenergy project, said: “This project is important and affirms the importance of the cooperation between Sudan and China.” He said the Al-Selait project units were models that would eventually be used in all forms of the project. Information courtesy of,,, and, to which full acknowledgement and thanks are given.

a d vertoria l

Energy and nanotechnology With the recent approval of the Integrated Resource Plan of 2010 (IRP2010) by Cabinet in March 2011, South Africa has committed to generating 42% of electricity from renewable energy sources over the next 20 years. The IRP2010, which is essentially a national electricity plan and a subset of the integrated energy plan, is aligned to long-term mitigation scenarios and commitments made to climate change imperatives. This includes the Copenhagen Accord – where in December 2009 at the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP 15) in Copenhagen, Denmark, South Africa voluntary committed to reducing emissions by 2.1 gigatons by 2020. This commitment has largely resulted from the pressing need to identify alternative energy sources due to dwindling supplies of fossil fuels and to mitigate their negative impacts, and an anticipated increase in the demand for energy of more than 50% by 2025. As a result, South Africa is exploring other energy options, both to meet the growing energy requirements and to provide cleaner, cheaper alternatives to fossil fuels. Under the approved IRP2010, coal is now expected to make up 15% of all new energy generation. Open cycle gas turbines (OCGT) should make up 9%, hydro 6%, imported gas 6% and nuclear will be 23%. One of the approaches being explored in parallel to these other energy options by many countries, including South Africa, to tackle the energy challenge is nanotechnology. What is nanotechnology? Nanotechnology is the study, use, manipulation and creation of materials, devices and systems at very tiny scales – essentially at the atomic and molecular size levels. At the nanoscale, the normal rules of physics and chemistry often do not apply and, as a result, many materials start to display unique and sometimes surprising properties. Nanotechnology is often called an “enabling” or “refining” technology as it allows the specificity of existing technologies to be improved. A large part of nanotechnology focuses on nanofabrication, which involves manufacturing or engineering materials at the nanoscale, capitalising on the novel properties seen at this scale. Changing the shape, structure and form of

materials at this scale greatly impacts on the characteristics of the final product, and thus the use. This is enabling materials to be engineered that are lighter, stronger, more durable and heat-, water- or fire-repellent. Although nanoscale materials have always existed, they could not be seen or handled until relatively recently. The concept of nanotechnology was first documented in 1959 at a talk given by physicist Richard Feynman at an American Physical Society meeting. Almost twenty years later, the term “nanotechnology” was defined in a scientific paper by Norio Taniguchi at Tokyo Science University. However, it remained largely theoretical until the early 1980s, when the required technology was developed in the form of the scanning tunnelling microscope (STM) and the atomic force microscope (AFM) a few years later. This equipment made it possible for nanoscale materials to be seen, characterised, manipulated and even manufactured. “It’s a tantalizing idea: creating a material with ideal properties by customizing its atomic structure”. Jennifer Kahn, 2006, National Geographic Nanotechnology and energy research Nanotechnology, in particular nanofabrication, offers a variety of tools to contribute to solving the energy crisis, since creating materials and devices smaller than 100 nanometres (nm) offers new ways to capture, store and transfer energy. The level of control that nanofabrication provides could help to solve many of the problems that the world is facing related to the current generation of energy technologies, including the array of alternative, renewable energy approaches. The sun is the primary source of energy on earth, and the solar energy it provides to the earth via irradiation every year is more than 10 000 times more than the annual global energy consumption. However, technology cannot currently access the full potential that solar power offers, and nanotechnology-based applications are being developed to better harness this energy in various ways. Nanotechnology can be applied at every stage of the energy value chain, including: • Production and conversion: The conversion of primary energy sources (i.e. the sun) into electricity, heat and kinetic energy can be

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Hydrogen and fuel cell technologies

The hydrogen economy is undergoing serious consideration in South Africa in an effort to develop safe, clean and reliable alternative energy sources to fossil fuels. Hydrogen is an energy carrier and is used to store and distribute energy and can be combined with the use of fuel cell technologies to produce electricity. Invented about 150 years ago, fuel cells directly convert chemical energy into electrical energy in a clean, environmentally-friendly way, with no harmful carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at the point of use. Electricity (and water) can be made by the reaction of hydrogen and oxygen in a fuel cell. Hydrogen can be produced from any hydrocarbon compounds, including fossil fuels, but the emphasis in South Africa is on developing hydrogen from renewable energy sources in the long term. Fuel cell technology is more efficient, reliable, quieter and compact, and if the hydrogen used is from a renewable source, this technology is also cleaner and better for the environment. The nanotechnology component of fuel cells is contained within the membranes, which allow hydrogen ions to pass through the cell while blocking the flow of other atoms or ions, such as oxygen. The nanofabrication of these membranes is enabling more efficient membranes to be manufactured, making them lighter and longer lasting. This in turn makes the resulting fuel cell smaller, lighter, more durable and less expensive to produce. Another driving force behind this technology is the prevalence of platinum reserves found in South Africa. Platinum group metals (PGMs) are the key catalytic materials used in most fuel cells, and with more than 75% of the world’s known platinum reserves found within South Africa’s borders, there is great potential for socioeconomic benefits to be obtained from these natural resources. In South Africa, the interest in hydrogen fuel cells falls within the Department of Science and Technology’s grand challenge on energy security, under the National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Research, Development and Innovation Strategy, branded as Hydrogen South Africa (HySA) in 2008. HySA aims to position the country to drive and optimise local benefits from supplying high value-added products (i.e. PGMs) to the potentially increasing international markets. Three Centres of Competence (CoCs) have been established by the DST to implement the HySA strategy. Potential products being championed by the CoCs include a portable power source for use as a back-up power source as a quieter and cleaner alternative to generators, a combined heat and power (CHP) source based on fuel cells to supply decentralised power and heating for buildings and industries; and a fuel-cell powered vehicle that could provide another alternative to hybrid and pure electric vehicles.


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made more efficient and environmentally-friendly using nanotechnology. Producing electricity through the conversion of sunlight, using solar photovoltaics (solar cells), is a field where nanostructured materials and nanotechnology are contributing greatly. Solar research efforts could result in a significant reduction in the manufacturing cost of these solar cells, and also improve their efficiency. Cell types being investigated include thin-layer solar cells, dye solar cells or polymer solar cells. The use of a layer of quantum dots – tiny blobs of one semiconductor grown on the surface of another – added behind the conventional multi-layer compound are also being investigated. It is anticipated that nanotechnology will help to develop the ideal solar cell, incorporating optimum structure and design. The nanofabrication of materials is also being used in other energy conversion processes where specific, extreme conditions need to be withstood, such as heat-resistant turbine materials. Coal-fired power stations can also be made more environmentally-friendly using nanooptimised membranes, which separate out and store the carbon dioxide. Thermoelectric energy conversion using nanostructured semiconductors promises increases in efficiency that could pave the way for a broad application in the utilisation of waste heat, e.g. from car or human body heat for portable electronics in textiles. Other renewable energy sources that can benefit from nanotechnology include wind energy using lighter, more durable nano-based materials for rotor blades, geothermal energy using nano-coatings and composites for wear-resistant drilling equipment, hydro/tidal power using nano-coatings for corrosion protection, and biomass energy (“biofuels”) using nanobased precision farming to optimise yields. • Energy storage: Energy storage devices can be significantly enhanced by the application of nanotechnology – batteries and super-capacitors in particular. Batteries are needed to supply electrical energy when not connected to the electricity grid, such as with mobile phones. Materials can be engineered using nanotechnology to make the relevant components of lithium-ion batteries. Thermal energy storage could also be better exploited using nano-porous materials like zeolites, which could be used as heat stores in both residential and industry grids. • Energy distribution: Nanotechnology can help to reduce the extreme losses experienced during power distribution. The extraordinary electric conductivity of nano-particles, such as carbon nano-tubes, can be applied in the manufacturing of electricity cables and power lines. Nanotechnology also has application in the development of wireless energy transport (e.g. laser or microwaves). • Energy usage: Increased efficiency in energy usage and a reduction in unnecessary consumption could also be enabled by nanotechnology, and contribute to a sustainable energy supply. Nanofabrication can ensure that materials are optimally suited to their task, whether they are wear-resistant, lightweight, anti-corrosive etc, impacting everything from building and construction technology, insulation and lighting to optimised fuel combustion. Benefits of nano-energy Reduced energy consumption – By optimising/increasing efficiency in energy storage, generation and conservation, energy consumption will decrease through nanotechnology applications. Environmentally friendly – Nanotechnology can contribute to “cleaning” up and reducing the environmental impact throughout the value chain of the energy sector. Cheaper – The use of nanotechnology can reduce the cost of energy

a d vertoria l

production, distribution and storage, since it has the advantage of reducing the amount of materials used without compromising the expected power outputs. Through miniaturisation, nanotechnology also provides an opportunity to tailor-make solutions. Independent power sources – The application of nanotechnology in the energy sector could contribute to providing alternative sources of energy to the national grid. Facilitate transition to renewables – The application of nanotechnology in the energy sector could facilitate the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. South Africa and nanotechnology Nanotechnology has been embedded in the South African strategy and policy since the publication of the White Paper on Science and Technology in 1996, culminating in the National Nanotechnology Strategy (NNS) launched in 2007. This was followed by a ten–year research plan on nanoscience and nanotechnology published in 2010 as a road map to support the successful implementation of the NNS. In addition to the commitment to long-term nanoscience research, the strategy focuses significantly on developing the human capacity and infrastructure required to develop the sector and stimulate links between research and industry. Energy is one of six focus areas highlighted in the NNS where nanotechnology can offer the most significant benefits for South Africa. To date, through the DST, the government has invested over ZAR170million in different aspects of nanotechnology research and development. Two Nanotechnology Innovation Centres, at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and at Mintek, have been commissioned and have formed collaborative partnerships with the industry, universities and other bodies to conduct cutting-edge research. Risks of nanotechnology Nanotechnology risk assessment research for establishing the potential impacts of nanoparticles on human health and the environment is crucial to aid in balancing the technology’s benefits and potential unintended consequences. Scientific authorities acknowledge this as a massive challenge, since monitoring the huge volume of diverse nanoparticles being produced and used and their consequent impact is very difficult to track.

nanotechnology. Other initiatives include the establishment of the Ethics Committee constituted by the government, made up of representative stakeholders to ensure that the technology adheres to the ethical issues. Regulation of nanotechnology Although nanotechnology must adhere to general standards such as those set out by the South African Bureau of Standards for materials and the Medicines Control Council for medicines, nanotechnology regulations in South Africa are currently still being developed. This delay is mainly due to the relative infancy of this emerging technology, and the lack of evidence and scientific data to demonstrate the impact of products already in use. This also accounts for the relatively “loose” regulations that have been developed around the world (Canada, the USA, Japan and the European Union). It is likely that these regulations will be modified and “tightened” accordingly as new data becomes available. It is important that nanotechnology is developed in a safe, responsible, acceptable and sustainable manner. For this to happen, the entire life cycle of nanoparticles from production to disposal needs to be carefully considered to allow an informed assessment of the potential human health and environmental impacts. Risk assessment of nanotechnology is currently starting at several universities and science councils in South Africa – and is expected to become an integral part of the nanotechnology research undertaken in this country. The Nanotechnology Public Engagement Programme is an initiative funded by the DST and implemented by the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement, a business unit of the National Research Foundation. Launched in early 2008, the NPEP aims to promote credible, fact-based understanding of nanotechnology through awareness, dialogue and education to enable informed decision-making on nanotechnology innovations to improve the quality of life. For more information, visit

In South Africa, a research platform is currently being established by the DST to investigate the environmental, safety and health-related aspects of

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renewable energy storage innovation The availability of affordable and reliable electricity is an essential component of economic growth and vital for businesses and households alike. One issue in meeting this challenge is the ability to store energy for when it is needed. This is particularly relevant for renewable energy power generation, using intermittent supply technologies such as solar and wind power, where the availability of energy is often out of sync with demand. To date, there has been limited development in large-scale energy storage system technologies, excluding supply options such as gas turbines or pumped storage hydro. “For many smaller applications, conventional lead-acid batteries are used, but these are an expensive and inefficient option due to performance limitations and the need for frequent replacement,” says Jonathan Curren, the managing director of Camco South Africa.

The main potential markets for energy storage have an estimated global value of US$20-billion Camco has been carrying out research in renewable energy storage for a number of years and has led a consortium in the UK, in a collaborative project that has successfully designed, developed, constructed and tested a prototype 5 kW renewable energy storage system based on Vanadium Redox Flow Battery (VRFB) technology. The project was co-funded by the UK’s Technology Strategy Board (TSB), a business-led public body that promotes and supports research into, and the development and exploitation of technology and innovation. “The principal advantage of VRFB is that, unlike conventional batteries, it separates the power delivery module – known as the stack – from the energy storage medium (electrolyte) and can be charged as quickly as it was discharged,” explains Curren. The VRFB is capable of storing energy in multi-megawatt ranges and for the duration of hours or days from any available input source and returned to the grid when required. Curren explains that the maintenance costs on the VRFB are low – minimal if any degradation occurs and electrolyte contamination is reduced to zero. As a “green” technology, the VRFB is characterised by the lowest ecological


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impact of all energy-storage technologies and is unlike, most other conventional energy storage systems, which rely on toxic substances such as lead, zinc or cadmium. Project challenges The challenge for this project was to develop a unit with a production cost of approximately ZAR7 700/kW for 2-hour storage and an 80% efficiency. Conventional soluble lead-acid battery technology has a cost of about ZAR13 200/kW. Innovative aspects of the prototype VRFB include injection-moulded frames and shunt current reduction techniques, low impedance cells and high energy density electrolytes. The next stage of the project is to develop methods of connecting individual units together to make commercially attractive units capable of storing several hundred kW of renewable energy. The VRFB also has a pivotal position in terms of the development of the “smart grid” as it enables simultaneous management of multiple generation sources. Commercial development and mass production of the prototype system, while maintaining its cutting-edge design and functionality, will be a key route to market for the system. The global value of energy storage “The main potential markets for energy storage have an estimated global value of US$20-billion, including distributed conventional generation, renewable power generation and grid support. Increasing energy demand and consumption, the growing usage of renewable energy and the rising cost of fuel mean that these markets are growing rapidly,” says Curren. Through its subsidiary, RE-fuel Technology Ltd., Camco financed and managed the co-funded TSB project for the first five years from 2005 until the end of 2009. At this stage, Alchemy Projects Limited (an Irish minority investor) invested in the venture to create a new entity, Renewable Energy Dynamics Technology (REDT) Ltd., in which Camco remains a majority shareholder. REDT assumed control of the project until successful completion at the end of 2010. REDT will further develop and focus on the commercialisation of the VRFB system, which will be utilised as a largescale energy storage device for all forms of renewable energy generation. Camco South Africa Tel: +27 11 253 3400 E-mail: Website: Renewable Energy Dynamics Technology (REDT) Ltd. Tel: +44 (0)118 973 7769 E-mail: Website:

c limate c h ang e

Air travel tax could raise US$10-billion a year It has been estimated that climate change adaptation will cost billions each year. While the UN climate negotiations gave dedicated funds for the task, domestic politics have resulted in unreliable contributions from governments. An innovative adaptation levy on international air travel could help to fill the gap, says a new policy briefing by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).

Why the IAPAL is a good climate finance mechanism In 2008, Benito Müller published a book entitled “International Adaption Finance: The Need for an Innovative and Strategic Approach”. According to his findings, climate finance mechanisms should be:

• Predictable: Tackling climate change requires long-term action. Financing flows should be reliable and should not vary significantly year after year with economic and political cycles. To a large extent, air travel is predictable because volumes of air travel do not vary significantly from year to year. The financial crisis in 2009 caused the sharpest annual drop in passenger numbers in aviation history, and even that amounted to a less than 10% reduction. • Appropriate: How much individuals and countries contribute to addressing climate change should be aligned with both the extent to which their actions have caused climate change and the extent to which they have benefited from historical and ongoing greenhouse gas emissions. • Equitable: An IAPAL would raise money from people who, being wealthy enough to travel by aeroplane, are also wealthy enough to help support the poor adapting to climate change. • Adequate: The money raised must be enough to do the job. The US$10-billion that can be raised from an IAPAL would be able to make an impact on climate change adaptation.

• New and additional: It raises money from those who contribute to climate change (through aviation emissions).

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

According to the IIED, a small charge to individual travellers would raise up to US$10-billion a year. “The levy, which follows the ‘polluter pays’ principle, could be implemented very quickly and at a minimal cost. It would go a long way to raise sums that could make a significant difference,” says the IIED. The proposal for the International Air Passenger Adaptation Levy (IAPAL) to support the Adaptation Fund was put forward in 2008 at the 14th COP by the Maldives on behalf of the least developed countries group. According to the proposal, each international air passenger travelling in the economy class should be charged a levy of US$6, and each passenger travelling in business or first class should pay a levy of US$62.

A 20-year track record in providing world-class climate change, energy and sustainable development solutions across Africa and internationally.

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For further information: t +27 (0)11 253 3400 • f +27 (0)11 804 1038 • Building 18, Woodlands Office Park, Western Service Road, Woodmead, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2080 o Vol 6 NR 3 2011 i n A fr i c a 2 5 15

climate change

“A less ambitious target is not good enough: global temperatures have not been 3°C higher than today for about 3-million years. Such warming would likely lead to mass migrations away from the worst affected regions, with the risk of severe and prolonged conflict,” wrote the economists.

The climate change door is closing – Stern & Birol Two internationally renowned economists – the chief economist of the International Energy Agency (IEA), Fatih Birol, and the chairperson of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change at the London School of Economics, Lord Nicholas Stern, published an Op-Ed titled “Urgent Steps to Stop the Climate Door Closing” in the Financial Times. Birol and Stern said there were worrying signs at the recent World Economic Forum of lacklustre concern from policymakers about the scale of the climate change challenge. They also pointed out that with current political unrest, economic uncertainty and soaring oil prices dominating the headlines, there is a risk of further distraction from tackling this global threat. “We must not delude ourselves. Existing commitments for emissions reductions by 2020 do represent major action. But even if implemented fully, they are collectively not enough to put the world on a path that would give us even a 50-50 chance of avoiding a warming of 2°C above 19th century temperatures,” writes Birol and Stern. Less than 2°C isn’t good enough Recent research concludes that without full implementation of existing commitments, there is a real risk that the 2°C goal will be pushed out of reach altogether.

Decarbonising the power sector “We must decarbonise the power sector too, which today accounts for 40 percent of energy-related emissions. The problem is that, as the IEA has shown, 80 percent of the projected emissions in 2020 are already “locked-in”, as a result of power plants that already exist or are under construction. This limits room for manoeuvre and underlines the sense of urgency for action,” writes Birol and Stern. Intensify efforts for Durban Birol and Stern added that policymakers must intensify efforts to address the climate change challenge with the next UN climate change summit in Durban, South Africa. While actions from countries will vary, all countries should include three common elements: • First, benchmarking tools should be used to bring energy-efficiency to best-practice levels,” they write. • They stress the need for strong disincentives (such as carbon pricing) and incentives that will usher in new low-emission technologies. • From both an environmental and an energy security standpoint, the economists also said countries should prioritise measures to improve “fuel economy, expand sustainable biofuels and promote the uptake of new vehicle technologies”. Stern and Birol concluded by saying that tackling climate change is not a target that can be discarded when the going gets tough. “For the moment our climate goals remain attainable, but the door is closing.” For more information, visit and, to which full acknowledgement and thanks are given.

UNFCCC establishes portal for parties’ submissions The UNFCCC Secretariat has launched a common portal where submissions from parties can be viewed. The portal was developed as a result of requests from parties and is in line with the practice already used for the Ad-Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) and Ad Hoc Working Group for Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA).


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The common portal will house submissions from parties in 2011 to the Conference of the Parties (COP), the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol (CMP), the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI), the AWG-KP and the AWG-LCA. To view the UNFCCC parties’ submissions, visit documentation/submissions_from_parties_in_2011/items/5900.php.

c limate c h ang e

“Team South Africa”

needed for COP17 success Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa says that this year’s Climate Change Conference, which will be held on 28 November to 9 December in Durban, should lead to a successful international agreement if the government and civil society work as a team. Molewa was speaking at the national climate change stakeholder workshop, which was held at Gallagher Estate on 1 April.

Cancun to Durban On the final day of negotiations at COP16 in Cancun, Molewa and her lead negotiators convened the South African stakeholders under the banner of the National Climate Change Committee to present South Africa’s proposed position that would be taken to the table at the negotiations.

“It is important to recognise that in order for the Durban Conference to be successful, we need to coordinate our activities closely between government and all stakeholders’ work in the spirit of Team South Africa,” said Molewa.

“We believe that ours was a principled position, pronouncing on both the architecture and content of a global climate change regime. The inputs were also accepted by the Cabinet of South Africa as a mandate for our country,” said Molewa.

Molewa told delegates that South Africa, as a country in Africa, is characterised by extreme poverty and underdevelopment, with high carbon emissions in comparison to other developing countries. “The people in villages, our women, other vulnerable groups in rural and peri-urban areas contribute the least to climate change, but depend on the healthy state of the environment for their survival. Their experiences must find expression in this Conference of Parties (COP) – an African COP. The youth of this country is the future beneficiaries of whatever state we would leave this planet in,” continued Molewa.

“We called for a comprehensive, fair, legally binding agreement along the agreements reached in Bali in 2007. Secondly we called for a balance in climate imperatives of ensuring that temperature rises do not reach dangerous levels, taking into cogniscance relative to developmental imperatives which are a priority for developing countries. Thirdly, we called for equal prioritisation of adaptation and mitigation as climate impacts are already upon us,” continued Molewa.

“Our journey to Durban must facilitate a route that provides platforms for the voice of humanity to be heard at COP 17, where our negotiating mandate must strive for the world they want to live in,” said Molewa.

Since Cancun, South Africa has made headway on its prioritization of adaption (an agreement on an adaptation framework and a committee dealing with adaptation was established). The Green Climate Fund and a Technology Mechanism, which is intended to facilitate support for developing countries, has also been established.

Molewa upbeat about SA’s ability to handle logistics Molewa told delegates that the same efforts that were put into other international events that South Africa has hosted must now be put to use to combat climate change. “We successfully coordinated the hosting of the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002, and the recent FIFA Soccer World Cup in 2010. This is another opportunity to kick-start a national programme of Team South Africa as we host COP17/CMP7 from 28 November to 9 December in Durban,” said Molewa, before adding that stakeholders must now engage and share a workplan by the department on climate change.

What progress has been made since Cancun?

What needs to be resolved in Durban? According to Molewa, issues that still need to be resolved include the low level of ambition by developed countries, the fact that parties opted for operational decisions and incremental progress (but did not address the issue of the legal form), the economic impacts of climate policy on countries and the second commitment period and future of the Kyoto Protocol. For more information, visit, to which full acknowledgement and thanks are given. Vol 6 NR 3 2011

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KZN industries are switching to piped gas Spring Lights Gas, a company that markets gas to the energy sector, has successfully supplied piped gas in the KwaZulu-Natal area to a variety of industrial customers. The company recently entered into a new gas supply agreement with Newcastle Cogeneration LTD, a wholly-owned subsidiary of IPSA PLC, a UK independent power producer.

“We are thrilled at this opportunity of working with a world-class leading company such as IPSA and we are committed to ensuring that IPSA derives value from the recently cemented business relationship,” said Spring Light Gas CEO, Motsamai Koapeng. Koapeng says the range of additional services that Spring Light Gas offers has contributed to the success of the company in the area. “We offer a range of additional services at no cost to our customers in order to position ourselves as a full-spectrum energy solutions supplier in the industry,” explains Koapeng. Some of these services include free safety training, safety assessments, energy management and optimisation, which is conducted by the team’s experienced technical consultant. The main driving force why the customers are switching to piped gas include availability, reduced maintenance costs and efficient combustion. All our customers, which include Engen, Mondi, Sapref and Toyota, have benefited from on-tap, clean burning and uninterrupted energy supply provided by pipeline gas for years and counting,” says Koapeng. Advantages of gas • Availability – A sufficient supply of fuel is instantly available from the pipeline system to meet your immediate and future requirements without interruption. • Saving on administrative costs – Storage and ordering costs of fuel are eliminated. • Reduced maintenance costs – Pipeline gas is virtually sulphur free, which means that corrosion resulting from sulphur dioxide is nonexistent and your equipment will therefore require less maintenance and will have a longer working life. (Spring Lights Gas advise that sulphur is added to the pipeline gas for this reasons as an odorant). • Efficient combustion – Pipeline gas is supplied as a constant quality in a gaseous form and doesn’t need to be atomised to obtain a combustible


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• •

• • •

mixture. It is easily mixed with the correct volume of air required for complete combustion, which means that all energy in the pipeline gas is utilised in the heating process, while exhaust heat losses (normally caused by excess air) are kept to a minimum. Lighter than air – Gas dissipates quickly in well-ventilated areas, unless it becomes trapped in an enclosed space. Odourless – Other than the odorant that smells like sulphur or rotten eggs to make the detection of small leaks easy, gas on its own is odourless. Colourless – Due to the fact that the main component is methane (about 88% by volume), the gas is colourless. The other 12% is a mixture of ethane, propane and other heavier hydrocarbons. Clean-burning – It produces the least fine particles and greenhouse gasses of any conventional fuel during combustion. Close to sulphur and nitrogen-free – It produces the least amount of pollution of any fossil fuel. Hard to ignite – It is very safe to use and only flammable when the gasto-air mixture is between 5 and 17%. More than 17% of the mixture is “too rich”, and less than 5% of the mixture “too lean”. Methane-rich gas also has a very high ignition of 650 C° (nearly twice as high as that of some other fuels).

“Spring Lights Gas aims to ensure the lowest risk of supply interruption, eliminate the non-core stock burden, ensure just-in-time, on-tap capability, enable environmental compliance and provide product consistency and reliability,” concludes Koapeng. Spring Light Gas Tel: +27 31 266 3865 Fax: +27 31 266 4688 E-mail: Website:


DNV signs cooperation agreement with STRI The Swedish Transmission Research Institute (STRI) and DNV has signed an agreement in an effort to meet the increasing market demand for advanced solutions for power transmission in the offshore and wind energy sectors. Kjell Eriksson, Director of the Energy Programme in DNV Research and Innovation, says there are two fundamental drivers behind the decision to collaborate – the electrification of both conventional and subsea oil and gas installations, and the growth in offshore wind energy. “Both drivers will require new solutions in relation to offshore power transmission,” says Eriksson. Eriksson explains that the two organisations have highly complementary skills. STRI is a leading, independent power system consulting company with an accredited high voltage laboratory in Ludvika, Sweden, and DNV has over 40 years of experience in risk management from the offshore oil and gas sector and 30 years of offshore wind experience.

test halls there is also a large climate hall for testing of pollution, snow, ice, fog and rain as well as several chambers for multiple stress, salt fog and extreme temperatures. In addition, STRI has unique knowledge and experience in system studies for wind power integration and High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) applications, including multi terminal HVDC – VSC technology. In September last year, DNV acquired BEW Engineering, a US-based specialist consulting firm focusing on integration of wind and solar energy, and transmission and distribution of electrical power. “Collaborating now with STRI forms a natural next step in our drive to support both the oil and gas sector, as well as the renewable energy and power transmission industries,” says Mr. Eriksson. “Providing megawatts of power to subsea installations, as well as building future offshore DC-grids, will require new ways of combining electrical engineering with offshore engineering and risk management.

High voltage laboratory

With this in mind, the joint service offering from STRI and DNV gives us the opportunity to offer integrated solutions to our customers and meet the growing demand in the market place,” commented Dan Wikstrøm, President of STRI.

At its laboratory, STRI is able to conduct high voltage tests on products with system voltages up to 1 000 kV. Besides several flexible high voltage

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

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renewab les


will help with

large scale manufacturing of photovoltaic (pv) panels “The annual global world energy consumption is approximately +/-500 exajoule (500 x 1018 joule) – 80% of this energy is provided from non-renewable fossil fuel, 10% from biomass, 5% from hydro electricity power plants, 5% from nuclear power and less than 1% is from other renewable sources such as wind and solar power,” explained Dr Anton Vosloo, portfolio executive of alternative energy at Sasol.

that rely on high-energy and/or vacuum processes. The aim is to develop manufacturing processes like “printing and painting” to produce PV panels cost effectively on a very large scale. A technology that do meet some of these requirements is the roll-to-roll printing process that allows for high material utilization and uses about 50% less energy,” said Vosloo. “Solar electricity from PV panels has great potential, but cost and manufacturing techniques are prohibiting large scale application.

“The availability and cost of fossil fuels could be constrained by the ‘Perfect Storm’ and the advent of the ‘electron-economy’,” said Vosloo before explaining that peak oil was predicted in approximately 2017 and peak coal in approximately 2050. Vosloo was speaking at a media round table on energy and nanotechnology, which was held on 3 March 2011. “Solar energy, however, is in abundance. The solar energy available is more than 10 000 times the present global primary energy consumption – far more than is needed,” said Vosloo. Some of the innovative solar technologies that Vosloo mentioned during his presentation included the PS10 10 MW Power Tower Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant in Spain, which is the first commercial scale Power Tower CSP plant in Europe and a Parabolic Trough plant in the USA, which uses solar thermal energy collectors that are constructed as long parabolic mirrors to generate electricity. “Another technology that can be used to produce electricity from the sun is photovoltaic (PV) panels. Two broad types of commercial PV panels are available, namely the first generation crystalline silicone (CSI) based panels and secondly the newer second generation Thin Film PV panels. While we have all these technologies at our disposal, cost remains the largest factor inhibiting large scale application of solar energy,” says Vosloo. PV production methods to slow?


Above: The solar energy available is more than 10 000 times the present global primary energy consumption.

In addition to the high cost of PV panels, the large scale application is also inhibited by the production methods. “If for example 10% of the world’s energy is to be produced from PV by 2030, then we need to install PV panels at a rate of 15 km2/day from now until 2030. To put this into perspective, that means we need to build a highway of 300 km long and 50 m wide every day for the next twenty years,” says Vosloo.

Nanotechnology is key to develop cost-effective solutions, such as new materials as well as alternative production techniques to produce high efficient, low cost PV panels that can be manufactures on a real mass production scale,” concluded Vosloo.

“Current production techniques aren’t suitable. Conventional solar films are typically manufactured using expensive and slow manufacturing methods

25º in Africa would like to give full acknowledgement and thanks to Anton Vosloo from Sasol, who generously contributed information for this article.

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renewa b les

All that glitters may be gold for the

solar industry

In order to make silicon for PV solar panels, silicon manufacturers use what is called the “Siemens process” (named after the 19th century German inventor, Ernst Werner von Siemens). The process involves purifying less pure forms of silicon and, in order to address costs, producers have been wondering how they could cut down the Siemens process in order to save money. An Australian quartz mining company may have found the answer. In April, reported that Creswick Quartz, a mining company near Melbourne, claimed it may be able to build a plant to produce silicon from the waste taken from a 19th century gold mine. Not only would this allow the silicon produced to be finer than most alternative sources, but it could clear a waste mountain at the same time.

procedure, which would be the first step in the company’s process. “The removal of these tails puts the landscape back to its original form. This is because the removal process does not impact upon the surface by way of extraction at all,” said Aral ( The mine covers an area of 325 km2, although the entire area is not in use. Gold is still available in the mine, but it is difficult to extract and gold mining stopped over a century ago. The waste tailings currently generate a supply of quartz, which is a source of silicon, for the construction industry.

“It (the quartz) has advantages that other products can’t match in terms of low boron and phosphorus content,” said Chris Karamountzos, the CEO of Creswick Quartz. According to tests completed in March 2010, the quartz has extraordinary characteristics. “Some of the product has 60 ppm in impurities, which is unheard of. A lot of other sources wouldn’t be able to dream of our purity,” said Karamountzos. Dr Hal Aral, a scientist at the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is leading the project. Aral says the goal is to develop a commercially viable and environmentally sustainable quartz-purification process that produces metallurgical and solar grade silicon feedstock, all from the waste of Australia’s gold rush. The scientists and managers of the project reason that, since their product is purer than most silicon that currently needs to be purified in the industry, they may be able to bypass the Siemens process and save energy and money at the same time. Aral has been working on an environmentally-friendly quartz cleaning

There is, however, some controversy about the project. Jenny Chase, manager of solar insight at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, expressed doubts, saying: “Many companies have tried to develop ‘upgraded metallurgical’ silicon processes to turn metallurgical silicon (silica heated up with carbon so it reduces, adding a lot of carbon impurity in the process) as an alternative to the Siemens process.” For more views about overcoming the Siemens process to develop a lower-cost silicon, read, to which full acknowledgement and thanks are given.

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Low emission microturbine technology now in South Africa The local organisation Trade Plus Aid (TPA), in collaboration with Swiss-based Acrona Systems, recently launched the Capstone range of microturbines. The technology produces very low carbon emissions, making microturbines a clean, green, reliable source of energy. “With the rise of electricity tariffs, alternative methods for generating electricity are becoming increasingly viable. The US-based Capstone Turbine Corporation is one of the world’s leading producers of lowemission microturbine systems, marketing commercially viable air-bearing turbine technology,” says Matthew Hayden, founder of Trade Plus Aid and managing director of Acrona South Africa. Acrona South Africa is a joint venture between Acrona Systems in Switzerland and Trade Plus Aid, and is the exclusive distributor of Capstone micro-turbines in Southern Africa. The venture is supported by the Swiss Business Hub. This state-of-the-art microturbine is being introduced to South Africa as part of the Trade Plus Aid Biogas Programme, an initiative that aims to combat climate change by installing biodigesters to generate methane-rich biogas from animal waste on farms. This biogas is a sustainable and almost free source of electricity for impoverished rural households. “We are a motivated network of people, passionate about creating innovative solutions to environmental issues. Solutions that not only help to heal our planet, but also drive the development of impoverished rural households in southern Africa. This TPA Biogas Digester Programme is an effort to motivate an introduction of sustainable energy generation for the agricultural sector, as well as promoting a holistic approach to nutrient balancing and soil management,” says Hayden. The domestic TPA Biogas Programme has been expanded to include the generation of electricity from waste on large commercial farms. “Driven by financing through the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the United Nations, the proceeds from the operation of biodigesters at South African commercial farms will be reinvested into the installation of family-size rural household digesters to replace the need for the gathering of wood fuel for meal preparation and heating.” The Capstone range of microturbines was found to be the most appropriate technology for the processing of methane-rich biogas into electricity. This


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system has many applications, including mines, especially in the case of coal-bed gas processing. Microturbines have been successfully utilised to generate secure power for shopping centres, data centres, hotels, hospitals, factories and office blocks. The microturbine is also ideal for use in the waste water treatment and the processing of landfill gas. “The energy generated in this way is ultra-clean and dependable. In a country where security of supply is of utmost importance, the microturbine is a valuable addition to current electricity generation methods and far outstrips the performance of gas engines and reciprocating motors, especially in the context of reducing emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases,” says Hayden. According to Beat Naef, the CEO of Acrona Systems, the Swiss-based European distributor for the Capstone range of microturbines, the technology is particularly relevant where industries such as farming and mining produce methane gas. Normally, operations that produce methane gas flare the waste gases or vent them directly into the atmosphere. Unfortunately, methane has a greenhouse-gas impact on the atmosphere 21 times more than carbon dioxide. Capstone’s microturbine technology allows companies to capture the waste methane and use it as an on-site fuel source. According to Trevor Rainbow, sales director for EMEA and Russia for the Capstone MicroTurbine Corporation, advanced engineering and more than 100 patents put this technology in a class of its own. By integrating an aerobased turbine engine, a magnetic generator, advanced power electronics and air-bearing technology, Capstone MicroTurbines are an ideal solution to today’s distributed generation needs. They have just one moving part, no gearbox or other mechanicals, and use no lubricants or hazardous materials, resulting in minimal maintenance while providing reliable,

renewa b les

Microturbine technology has evolved from early systems of 30 kW to 65 kW to today’s systems, which can have individual ratings of 200 kW. dependable performance. They help companies to improve their operation by putting them in control of their energy costs.

(CHP) or combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP), where the clean exhaust heat can be recovered and productively used.

Capstone MicroTurbines can operate on a variety of gaseous or liquid fuels. The microturbines can be installed individually or multi-packed and can function in parallel or independent from the grid. They are compact, lightweight, affordable, quiet and provide a robust and reliable solution.

According to Hayden, Acrona South Africa will not only be using the Capstone range of microturbines on their TPA biogas sites, but they will be making the technology available to other South African companies.

Microturbine technology has evolved from early systems of 30 kW to 65 kW to today’s systems, which can have individual ratings of 200 kW. Packages up to 1 MW are available that can be assembled into multipacked units for projects of 5 MW to 10 MW. These units are packaged with integrated digital protection, synchronization and controls, they produce high combined heat and power efficiencies. One of the benefits of microturbine technology is its capacity to achieve extremely low exhaust emissions levels. Microturbines provide high electrical efficiency compared to traditional gas turbines in the same size class. The recuperator that recycles a portion of the exhaust energy back into the energy conversion process produces the efficiency advantage. The strength of the microturbine option lies with combined heat and power

“Microturbine technology allows a business to generate its own electricity on site, supplementing the electric grid. With a microturbine, entities such as mines, data centres and hospitals where security of supply is critical, eliminate downtimes,” he says. The system can be configured to run on low pressure natural gas, high pressure natural gas, compressed natural gas, diesel, biodiesel, gaseous propane, kerosene, “sour” gas, landfill gas and digester gas. Acrona South Africa Matthew Hayden Tel: +27 11 483 1875 Fax + 27 86 659 1026 Website: Vol 6 NR 3 2011

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renewab les


challenges, opportunities and benefits During 31 March to 1 April 2011, African hydropower experts, members of government, policy makers, regional planners and civil society representatives discussed the challenges for sustainable hydropower development at the Conference on Hydropower for Sustainable Development in Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Water and energy ministries and specialists from 32 countries (Africa, Americas, Europe, Asia, Oceania), as well as representatives of AUC, UNECA, regional power pools, regional economic and African specialised institutions attended the event. Organised by the Ethiopian Ministry of Water and Energy in collaboration with the African Union (AU) Commission and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), participants discussed how hydropower could not only be a source of renewable energy, but also has multiple benefits at local and regional levels that could contribute to poverty eradication. “The generation of hydropower has the potential to bring enormous benefits to the region, especially for Ethiopia,” said Alemayehu Tegenu, the Minister of Energy and Water. “As a local source of clean and safe electricity, hydropower, when harnessed in a sustainable way, is a tremendous asset for developing countries. Africa is fortunate to possess great potential, but often lacks the means to develop this resource,” said Tegenu. According to presentations made by delegates, the full extent of these benefits can only be achieved when hydropower is developed in a sustainable way, in order to meet the need to avoid, mitigate or adequately compensate for adverse impacts on livelihoods and the environment. While hydropower has been developed extensively in Europe and North America, and is being harnessed vigorously in Asia and South America, Africa is lagging behind in deployment. This has led to


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significant development opportunities being missed, reads the conference recommendations on the Hydropower Conference’s website. “The untapped hydropower resources worldwide, which are likely to be realistically developed, have been estimated to be of the order of 6 000 Terawatt hours (Twh) per annum, if prepared, constructed, operated and managed well, global electricity production from hydropower could be three times its present level; thus, hydropower alone could produce half of the electricity consumed at present,” said Tegenu. Abdoulie Janneh, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ECA, said that it is common knowledge that Africa is very well endowed with a rich variety of energy resources, including oil, coal and other fossil fuels, hydroelectricity, solar and other sources of renewable energy. “Paradoxically, however, Africa has yet to fully exploit this massive energy potential to buttress and sustain its development. Whether measured in generation capacity, electricity consumption or security of supply, Africa’s power infrastructure delivers only a fraction of the service found elsewhere in the developing world,” said Janneh. “Africa, which has 14% of the global population, produces only about 3% of the world’s electricity. From a business viewpoint, power shortages and regular interruptions in services are the norm and this causes Africa’s firms to lose about 5% of their sales, while the economic costs of power outages in Africa have been estimated around one to two percent of GDP,” said Janneh. Dr Elham Ibrahim, the AU commisioner for infrastructure and energy, commented that Africa is still lagging behind the rest of the world in terms of developing hydropower resources. “In spite of the efforts made by the African Union Commission, the African Development Bank, regional economic communities, power pools, river basins organisations and the development partners to develop hydropower projects, many countries in sub-Saharan Africa are still faced with an acute crisis and only a small portion of the available hydropower potential, estimated at 7%, has been developed to date,” said Ibrahim. This situation compelled the African Union Commission to launch the Hydropower 2020 Initiative in 2009. “For the implementation of this initiative, the African Union Commission is committed to support and promote the exploitation and development of the vast hydroelectric potential of the major river basins in Africa, through the construction of hydropower plants and interconnection of high voltage power transmission networks between 2010 and 2020, to ensure African people’s access to reliable and affordable electrical energy,” said Ibrahim. According to Janneh, Africa will most likely have to take a regional perspective when it comes to developing hydropower projects “because

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There is a need for innovation in the structuring of financing, including guarantees where appropriate to take into account realities of regional hydropower development, which include high capital costs, long development lead times and long operational lives. some individual African countries may not be large enough to undertake the investment required. Indeed, many of our smaller economies consume less than 500 MW of electricity per year, a figure that precludes the development of large hydropower dams. The fact of shared water resources also means close regional cooperation if they are going to be used in an optimal manner.” “Regional cooperation is also important because there is an intriguing imbalance in the availability of energy resources across Africa’s sub-regions. While coal resources are mostly located in Southern Africa, crude oil and natural gas are more prevalent in the western and northern parts of the continent, while 51% of hydropower resources are in the central and eastern sub-regions. This suggests to me that energy development in Africa has to be a regional integration issue, focusing on these projects that will deliver the greatest regional benefit,” said Janneh.

On enabling finance and investment, the conference suggested: defining the differentiated roles of the public and private sectors in hydropower investment; innovation in financing, including guarantees that take into account the realities of regional hydropower development; and enhancing the capabilities of the utilities to develop bankable projects. “In recognising the need to increase the role of the private sector in hydropower development, the differentiated roles of the public and private sector should be well defined and utilised. There is a need for innovation in the structuring of financing, including guarantees where appropriate to take into account realities of regional hydropower development, which include high capital costs, long development lead times and long operational lives,” said the recommendations. Participants called for certain measures to advance the role of hydropower in Africa. These measures included catalysing improvements in water security management, nurturing the development of multi-purpose water infrastructure and use, strengthening and expanding regional power transmission systems, promoting and utilising knowledge on climate change mitigation and adaptation, and prioritising the delivery of benefits to affected communities. The use of the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol of the International Hydropower Association as a guide to evaluate project development was also encouraged. For more information, visit, to which full acknowledgement and thanks are given.

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renewab les

Chinese wind-turbine maker targets African growth The world’s fifth largest maker of wind turbines, China-based Xinjiang Goldwind Science and Technology, opened a shop in Cape Town on 14 March 2011. The company, which since the turn of the millennium achieved an average of over 100% growth per year, aims to supply equipment and project finance in Africa. Xinjiang Goldwind Science and Technology will use approximately US$900-million raised to help fund debt and equity projects in Africa, Australia and the Americas. “Goldwind Africa will not only be looking for projects to supply turbines, but we will also be looking at projects to offer equity and debt financing. Li explained that Goldwind has strong relations with Chinese financial institutions, and had secured significant credit lines. “We have been offered a significant credit line to support our international sales and investment outside China,” said Goldwind deputy director-general Chunhua Li at the office launch. The company will initially import turbines, but it is in discussions with several South African wind developers to partner wind projects in the country. “We don’t have any factories, but as local markets evolve it is something we are very interested in – everything from sourcing parts and doing assembly, tower production,” commented Daniel Kurylo, the director of Goldwind Africa. Source: Goldwind Tel: +27 21 481 1829 E-mail:

Kenya’s Lake Turkana wind farm

delayed again The €617-million Lake Turkana Wind Power Project (LTWP), which Kenya hopes will be the largest wind farm in Africa once it is up and running, has once again been delayed. The project had been scheduled to come online by the first quarter of 2013, but on 26 March investors behind the 300 MW project said this has now been pushed back to mid-2014. LTWP initially planned to inject 50 MW into the national grid by June. “We now look up to breaking ground by December and have the initial 50 MW running on the national grid by September 2013 and at full capacity by mid-2014,” said LTWP chairman Carlo van Wageningen. Kenya’s government is trying to curb its debt by no longer granting guarantees on funding. The government issued them with a letter of support for the private venture, forcing them to mitigate risk via underwriters. “With the letter of support, we now expect to be able to close financial loan deals as soon as possible and get going with the work,” said Van Wageningen. “Regrettably we had delays on the way, but the new commitment by the Kenyan government resolves several issues that had been raised by some of our targeted financiers. The letter of support from the government of Kenya will heavily boost our applications to our financiers. We are now keen on speedily working towards implementing this unique project,” said Van Wageningen. According to the project website, LTWP will be able to satisfy up to 30% of Kenya’s current total installed power. The wind farm is set to consist of 353 wind turbines, each with a capacity of 850KW. Sources:,

Tunisia and France sign

renewable energy agreement France and Tunisia signed an agreement for the development and rational use of renewable energy on 24 March 2011 in Tunis. The agreement will establish institutional and technical cooperation for renewable energy projects. The two countries will be strengthening their energy cooperation, which is part of the Mediterranean Solar Plans and Tunisian Solar Plans (TSP). Tunisia’s Minister of Industry and Technology, Abdelaziz Rassaa, and the French Minister of Economy, Finance and Industry, Eric Benson, were present for the signature ceremony. Source:


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renewa b les

UN executives visit the largest geothermal plant in Africa UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited Nairobi in April to take a tour of Olkaria, the largest geothermal power station in Africa. Ban Ki-moon was joined by the Kenyan Energy Minister, Kiraitu Murungi, the managing director of the energy company Kengen, Eddy Njoroge and members of the UN Chief Executives Board, including UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner.

“It is among a growing number of examples of how the United Nations, the World Bank, donor governments and the private sector are supporting forward-looking public policies – policies that can help to reduce poverty and lay the foundations for a truly sustainable future,” said Ki-moon.

Okaria to generate 1 200 MW by 2018

In 2002, the US$2.7-million Joint Geophysical Imaging (JGI) for the Geothermal Reservoir Assessment Project kicked off with the aim of lowering geothermal development costs by improving the interpretation of geophysical data, and so reducing the number of unproductive, expensive wells.

The state-of-the-art geothermal power station located on the Great Rift Valley generates over 150 MW into Kenya’s electricity grid, with the country aiming for 1 200 MW by 2018. The plant operates on a single flash plant cycle with steam consumption of 7.5t/h/MW. “It is a remarkable story, not just in terms of renewable energy and climate change, but also in partnership and development,” said Ki-moon.

Geophysical data can reduce costs

UNEP, who contributed US$1-million from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) towards the project, says the project has resulted in substantial savings on the proposed development of geothermal resources in Kenya, and there are plans to replicate this in the wider region. “Working at KenGen’s (the national power generation utility of Kenya) Olkaria facility, improvements in imaging and interpretation have increased the chances of hitting steam, and made it easier to identify wells on high generation potential,” said UNEP in a statement.

Only a fraction of geothermal potential has been exploited – UNEP Geothermal power generation requires the exploration and drilling for steam generated by the “hot rocks” of relatively young geological areas to turn the electricity-generating turbines. According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), high up-front costs and the substantial risks involved in geothermal development have meant only a fraction of the Great Rift Valley’s geothermal potential has been exploited.

KenGen is using its expertise to help Rwanda, Eritrea and Zambia to assess and develop their geothermal resources. A regional project, called the African Rift Geothermal (ARGeo) Project, involving numerous partners, has been initiated in six East African countries – Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda – to tap into the Rift Valley’s unexplored geothermal potential. For more information, visit, to which full acknowledgement and thanks are given.

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nuclear ener gy

What is a meltdown? With the disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-tichi nuclear plant caused by the tsunami still not finalised, experts are worried about the possibility of a meltdown – but what is a nuclear meltdown? Charles Ferguson, physicist and president of the Federation of American Scientists, says: “The term ‘meltdown’ is now a prominent expression in relation to this event, and many people think that you get the fuel hot and things start melting and become liquid, but there are different steps along the way.” Inside the core of the boiling water reactors at Fukushima are thousands of zirconium metal fuel rods, each stacked with ceramic pellets the size of pencil erasers. These pellets contain uranium dioxide. Under normal circumstances, energy is generated by harnessing the heat produced through an atom-splitting process called nuclear fission. As uranium atoms split into two parts, they produce heat, while creating what is known as fission products. These are radioactive fragments, such as barium, iodine and Cesium-137. In a working nuclear reactor, water gets pumped into the reactor’s heated core, boils, turns into steam and powers a turbine, generating electricity. A reactor is like a pressure cooker. It contains boiling water and steam, and as the temperature rises so does pressure, since the steam can’t escape. In the event of a cooling failure, water gets injected to cool the fuel rods and pressure builds. This superheated core must be cooled with water to prevent overheating and an excessive build-up of steam, which can cause an explosion. In Japan, they have been relieving the pressure by releasing steam through pressure valves. But it’s a trade-off, as there is no way to do this without also releasing some radioactive material. A nuclear meltdown is an accident resulting from severe heating and a lack of sufficient cooling at the reactor core, and it occurs in different stages. As the core heats, the zirconium metal reacts with steam to become zirconium oxide. This oxidation process releases additional heat, further increasing the temperature inside the core. High temperatures cause the zirconium coating that covers the surface of the fuel rods to blister and balloon. In time, that ultra-hot zirconium metal starts to melt. Exposed parts of the fuel rods eventually become liquid, sink down into the coolant and solidify. And that’s just the beginning of a potentially catastrophic event. “This can clog and prevent the flow of more coolant,” Ferguson said. “And that can become a vicious cycle. Partial melting can solidify and block cooling channels, leading to more melting and higher temperatures if adequate cooling isn’t present.” A full meltdown would involve all the fuel in that core melting and a


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mass of molten material falling and settling at the bottom of the reactor vessel. If the vessel is ruptured, the material could flow into the larger containment building surrounding it. That containment is shielded by protective layers of steel and concrete. “But if that containment is ruptured, then potentially a lot of material could go into the environment,” Ferguson said. A meltdown can also occur in the pools containing spent-fuel rods. Used fuel rods are removed from the reactor and submerged into what’s called a spent-fuel pool, which cools and shields the radioactive material. Overheating of the spent-fuel pools could cause the water containing and cooling the rods to evaporate. Without coolant, the fuel rods become highly vulnerable to catching fire and spontaneously combusting, releasing dangerous levels of radiation into the atmosphere. “Water not only provides cooling, but it provides shielding,” said Robert Alvarez, a nuclear expert and a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies. “Radiation dose rates coming off from spent fuel at distances of 50 to 100 yards could be life-threatening.” “Since spent fuel is less radioactive than fuel in the reactor core, these pools are easier to control”, said Peter Caracappa, a professor and radiation safety officer at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. “But they’re also less contained. If material is released, it has a greater potential to spread because there’s no primary containment,” he said. Most of the problems with the backup generators at Fukushima were caused by the tsunami flooding them, but it is suspected that unseen damage from the earthquake may be adding further challenges. For more information, visit and www.scientificamerican. com, to which full acknowledgement and thanks are given.

b io fu e l s


help standards biofuels manufacturers to test their fuel

Report finds algal biofuels still at pre-commercial phase

The South African government’s current biofuels strategy envisions 2% of national petrol and diesel usage coming from biofuels such as bioethanol and biodiesel by 2013. While bioethanol can be produced most economically from large sugar cane plantations, there is considerable scope for producing biodiesel from small producers – if the quality of this biodiesel can be assured. The recent publication of SANS 833 (full title: Biodiesel production – Quality management – Producer requirements) is an important step towards helping to create a local biodiesel industry, as it helps producers and suppliers – particularly those producing small batches of biodiesel – to manage their quality requirements in a more cost-effective way. Why SA needs a new standard “Quality standards for fuel are important to ensure that the products are fit for purpose for the desired market. One aspect of this is the biodiesel market, which is a relatively young industry, especially in South Africa,” explains John Fitton, a technical specialist who was closely involved in preparing SANS 833. “SANS 1935 was first published in 2004. This standard, based on the European standard, clearly stated the requirements for automotive biodiesel. However, this standard is rather costly to test against, as the equipment needed for this is expensive to procure and complex to operate. Further, as many of the biodiesel producers are relatively small batch producers, they cannot afford to conduct the required testing and certification,” says Fitton. “In order to make this easier, this quality management standard – SANS 833 – has been published to allow for frequency testing of certain aspects of the biodiesel and other quality management requirements,” says Fitton. Fitton explains that all biodiesel manufacturers who have constant feedstock will need to use the standard. “End-users of the biodiesel and biodiesel blends will also be able to use the standard to ensure that the product that they are receiving from the manufacturer/distributor is fit for purpose,” says Fitton.

Algal biofuels have been suggested as possibly playing an increasing role in future alternative energy/transportation fuel scenarios because of their apparently inexpensive and basic requirements of sunlight, CO2 and low grade water. However, there continues to be considerable debate about the technical and engineering challenges that have yet to be resolved, the overall economics of any of the various algal biofuel options and the overall sustainability of any of the proposed processes. Despite recent enthusiasm over algal biofuels, projects remain at a pre-commercial “proof of concept” phase, says a special feature in the IEA Bioenergy 2010 Annual Report. The feature, entitled “Algal Biofuels Status and Prospects”, highlights that although the projects aren’t yet at a commercial stage, they warrant investment in further research, development and demonstration. Of the production methods reviewed, authors found that photobioreactors are generally more costly than raceway pond algae production facilities. Other than costs, the report found that the most significant limiting factors affecting algal biofuels are these imposed by the need for climatically favourable locations with suitable land, water and carbon dioxide resources. Even if these issues are overcome, the report concludes that algal biofuels are unlikely to be able to displace a large fraction of fossil fuels. “There are multiple potential algae production techniques, but some routes are more plausible than others. Studies consistently find that photobioreactor costs will greatly exceed these of raceway pond algae production facilities,” write the authors.

Standard needs to be enforced

Meaningful estimates of the potential sustainable production volumes of algal biofuels worldwide are difficult to develop at present. However, algal biofuels are unlikely to be able to displace a large fraction of current petroleum fossil fuel usage.

“A standard is only as good as how it is implemented or enforced. It is important that this standard is followed and applied by the biodiesel sector to ensure that the product is fit for purpose, and that the vehicle manufacturers’ warrantees are not impacted,” concludes Fitton.

For example, 4% of the EU’s transportation fuels are now biofuels, and between 2008 and 2009 biofuel usage grew by 19% - although growth has slowed in the last year due to supply and sustainability issues (EurObserver, 2010).

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

For more information, visit, to which full acknowledgement and thanks are given. Vol 6 NR 3 2011

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CERs post 2012

This is what you need to know! People in the CDM industry have heard a myriad of alternative options for CER sales into Europe after the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol expires at the end of 2012. According to Robbie Louw, a director at the climate change and carbon advisory firm Promethium Carbon, the EU has legislated for the different scenarios post-2012, but CDM project constraints and timeframes could influence the tradability of CERs into the EU after 2012. In April 2009, the European Parliament laid down certain laws concerning the trading of CERs into the European Union Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS) post-2012 (Decision No 406/2009/EC). This decision include the following significant points: • Emission levels for the period from 2013 to 2020: By 2020, each member state has to limit its greenhouse gas emissions at least by the percentage set for that member state in Annex II to the decision made on 29 April 2009 by the European Parliament. “The overall emission reduction for the EU is listed as 20% below the 1990 levels by 2020 in the case that no international agreement with respect to either the extension or replacement of the Kyoto Protocol is reached,” explains Louw. “In the event that an agreement is reached, the reduction commitment is 30% below the 1990 levels.”

• Use of credits from project activities: According to the decision by the European Parliament, member states may use the following greenhouse gas emission reduction credits to implement their obligations under the above-mentioned decision: “CERs and ERUs issued in respect of emission reductions from 1 January 2013 from projects which were registered before 2013 and which were eligible for use in the community scheme during the period from 2008 to 2012.” This decision was recently amended to exclude credits generated from HFC23 and adipic acid nitrous oxide projects. These decisions mean that credits issued up to 2020 from projects registered before 2013 are tradable into the EU ETS. Should a project, or subsequent projects, not be registered prior to 2013, then the eligibility of the project for carbon credits will depend on the outcome of the next Conference of the Parties (COP) of the UNFCCC in Durban in 2011. Project registration process has to start by October 2011 “The problem created by this registration deadline is the current timelag experienced in the CDM registration process. According to our calculations, the very latest that the CDM process can start – if it wants to be able to trade CERs from projects registered prior to the end of 2012 into the EU ETS – is October 2011,” said Louw.

Monthly and cumulative average timelag between the start of the public comment period and submission of the request for registration. (Source: Risoe CDM pipeline)


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Average time from request registration until registration.

Promethium Carbon suggests that the following times must be budgeted for projects: Project Phase



Completion of the project design document (PDD)

2 months

Time required for carbon advisor to prepare the project documentation required.

Completion of PDD to start of validation

2 months

This time may vary depending on the availability of the DOE and when they can schedule the validation.

Validation (start of public comment in graph above) to request for registration

8 months

As per graph above

Request for registration to registration

4 months

As per graph above

Total (current regulatory regime)

16 months

Total with COP16 instruction to EB as above)

12 months

These times can be impacted by a desicion taken by the 16th Conference of Parties (COP 16) in Cancun last year. According to this decision the Executive Board was asked by the COP to change the date of regsitration from the current situation. Currently a project is registered when the 8 week public comment period is completed without requests for review. Under the new regime a project registration date will be the date on which the completed submission has been made to the EB. Time frame for project registration “As there is a good chance that there may be an increase in the system delays in the run-up to the December 2012 deadline, it is advisable that the process must be started as soon as possible,� concludes Louw.

Promethium Carbon offers a comprehensive climate change and carbon advisory service. Besides services pertaining to the development of carbon reducing projects under the Clean Development Mechanism, the company also offers carbon footprints, carbon reduction strategies and assistance with greenhouse gas reporting programmes. 25Âş in Africa would like to give acknowledgement and thanks to Robbie Louw and Promethium Carbon for the information contained in this article. Promethium Carbon Tel: +27 861 227 266 Fax: +27 86 589 3466 E-mail: Website:

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As a global provider of services for managing risk, DNV has been appointed as the Certified Verification Agent (CVA) for the Cape Wind project, the first offshore wind farm to be built in the USA. The role of DNV as the CVA is to conduct thirdparty design reviews, inspections and other verification activities. US regulations require that offshore wind developers submit a construction and operations plan (COP) and also that an independent third-party organisation is appointed to verify and certify structural aspects of the wind farm installation. “As the CVA, DNV will maintain an independent role throughout the project, essentially acting as BOEMRE’s eyes and ears,” says Shashikant Sarada, DNV’s project manager for the Cape Wind CVA project. In April this year, US Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, announced approval the of the Cape Wind energy project’s construction and operations plan. During this announcement, BOEMRE director Michael Bromwich pointed out: “After a thorough review, we are confident that this offshore commercial wind project – the first for the nation – can move forward. This will spur innovation and investment in our nation’s infrastructure, especially renewable energy.” DNV’s head of cleaner energy, Christian Nerland, adds: “We know how important the Cape Wind project is for the US and the development of the offshore wind industry in the US I can assure you that DNV will bring its depth of experience, and the lessons learned from the offshore wind

industry in Europe and around the world, to help the US industry to jump-start its offshore wind business.” About DNV and wind: DNV is a risk-management organisation with safeguarding life, property and the environment as its purpose. Organised as an independent and autonomous foundation with no proprietors, DNV balances the needs of business and society, based on its independence and integrity. The company has supported the wind industry for over 25 years and is now established in major markets in North America and Europe, and also has offices in most of the emerging markets throughout the world. In the US DNV is the leading wind consultancy company and is among the largest in the world with more than 250 employees dedicated to wind and many more contributing to wind projects from related units. DNV has also obtained a dominant position on the certification of wind turbines and project certification of offshore wind farms, particularly in Europe. A core value to the wind industry is DNV’s independent role in developing technology standards together with the players and authorities. This supports rapid development of the industry, ensuring the highest level of safety and business value. Established in 1864, the company has a global presence with a network of 300 offices in 100 countries, and its headquarters are in Oslo, Norway. Its prime assets are the knowledge and expertise of its 9 000 employees from more than 80 nations. In the US, DNV has more than 700 employees, of which about half are based in Houston. DNV has operated in the US since 1898.

CDM milestone

The Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), the international tool that channels investment into clean energy and greenhouse gas reduction technology in the developing world, has registered its 3 000th project – a wind power project in Inner Mongolia, China. The project is expected to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas which contributes most to human-generated climate change, by more than 101 000 tonnes a year.


There are now CDM projects in 71 countries. In addition to the 3 000 so far registered, there are about another 2 600 projects in various stages of the vetting process. Growth remains steady. The number of projects beginning validation in the first three months of 2011 was 17 percent higher than in the same period in 2010.

“The Clean Development Mechanism is still evolving and will continue to do so. But from the original concept to now, it has been a success way beyond the initial expectations, not only in the number of projects but also in its ability to attract private sector investment into bettering livelihoods and environments of people in the developing world,” said UNFCCC executive secretary Christiana Figueres.

Under the CDM, projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to sustainable development can earn saleable emission offset credits – so-called CERs. Each CER is equivalent to one tonne of carbon dioxide. Developed countries which have an emission reduction commitment under the Kyoto Protocol, can use these CERs to meet a part of their obligations to reduce their national greenhouse gas emissions under the protocol. To date, 1 039 projects have earned a total of more than 600-million certified emission reduction credits.

“The world will not solve climate change without an ever-increasing commitment to international cooperation,” said Figueres. “This means that the financial sector and business must be given ways and means to help put money and technology where they are most needed in the developing world, as well as in the developed world.”

The 3 000th project in China will involve the installation of 41 windpowered turbines capable of producing up to 49.5 MW of electricity. The electricity produced will be fed into the power grid and replace electricity that otherwise would have been generated through the burning of highcarbon fossil fuel.

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Developed in collaboration with HarperCollins, the e-Atlas allows users to export customised, professional quality, full colour maps and graphs. Other features include scalable maps, timeline graphing ranking tables, and import and export functions for sharing data and graphics. The online tool is set to be used as a practical companion to the World Bank’s popular Atlas of Global Development, which is now in its third edition.

World Bank launches

e-Atlas online tool On 4 April, the World Bank launched an e-Atlas of Global Development. This interactive tool maps and graphs over 175 indicators from the bank’s development database, such as energy usage, freshwater usage, population growth, international trade, climate change, foreign direct investment, CO2 emissions, forest areas, resource depletion and so forth. The e-Atlas, which is free and can be accessed online at data., thematically organises the indicators for over 200 countries, letting you visualise and compare progress on the most important challenges facing our planet.

“We are always looking for new and innovative ways to display and disseminate our data. Our atlases are evolving with the times and with the changing needs of our users. This new e-Atlas is a powerful visualization tool for anyone interested in learning more about the state of our world,” said Carlos Rossel, publisher at the World Bank. Shaida Badiee, director of the World Bank’s Data Group, commented: “The launch of the e-Atlas is an important contribution to the World Bank’s Open Data Initiative. Not only are we making our data available for free and without restriction, but we are creating an innovative way for people to instantly see changes in the world over time,” said Badiee. For more information, visit, to which full acknowledgement and thanks are given.

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the challenges of poor imports Cullin Africa, a BEE-company that has been in operation since 1998, has been supplying high voltage overhead line gear to Telkom, Transnet and the local power-utility Eskom for a number of years. Cullin Africa was the mayor shareholder in Cullinan Industrial Porcelain, with a output of about 7 000 tonnes per year. Under 28 000 m² of roof, the factory represented the largest facility of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, producing insulators for nominal system voltages of up to 400kV. In May 2010 the factory was officialy closed down due to high labour costs,the rising cost of rental space and electricity costs. Imports enter the market After 1994, local markets opened up and many of the quality products that Cullin Africa provided were imported into the country. “The problem with imported products, specifically from China and India, is that the quality of some of these were inferior,” said Kobus Booyens, a marketing consultant at Cullin Africa.

the requirements of the customer in depth, including climatic studies, lightning ground flash density surveys and pollution severity measures need to be regularly undertaken. Quality can’t be compromised,” says Venter. Know what you are buying Cullin Africa started their own import drive during 1998 in order to identify reliable manufacturers that could supply them with high quality products according to the company’s specifications. “We had a great deal of success with this, partly because we deal with manufacturers directly, not with agents,” says Venter. “Cullin Africa works on sourcing products that provide the customer with quality insulators. All our imported insulators meet our rigorous testing standards and criteria in order to give clients the durability and quality they need from these products,” concludes Venter. We also employ independent inspectors to ensure the high standard of quality is maintained and regular factory audits are carried out by management.

“While many industry giants would prefer to give their business to local clients, this good intention goes out the windows once the bottomline is compromised. No preference is given to local manufacturers if they can’t match the prices of cheaper imports,” says Booyens. The good imports vs the bad imports “Manufacturing products locally is often more expensive than simply importing the products. The problem comes in when local sellers and buyers aren’t aware of the difference between good and bad imports available in the market,” warns Booyens. “When you are importing highly technical and expensive products, however, you can’t simply look at the price tag. Standards of some imported products are not up to scratch, so it is important to buy your products from a name you can trust,” says Jan Venter, a technical consultant at Cullin Africa.


Hi-spec products

Why quality porcelain insulators are needed

Cullin Africa’s imported products are manufactured in accordance and in compliance with various relevant specifications, such as A.N.S.I. (American International Electrotechnical Commission), D.I.N, I.E.C., Eskom, Transnet and the SABS (South African Bureau of Standards – they also carry the Cullin logo so that customers can identify the products. If it doesn’t say Cullin, it isn’t.

Venter explains why the quality of insulators can’t be compromised, even when price is a consideration. “In service, insulators are exposed to extremely severe operating conditions. Heavy mechanical, thermal and electrical stresses are common, and yet reliable maintenance-free performance is expected over a long life. Engineers need to investigate

Cullin Africa Tel: +27 11 848 1400 Fax: +27 11 848 1428 E-mail: Website:

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Success with energyshifting at Nelson Mandela Bay Metro As part of a recent energy-load shifting project, SmartRipple geyser-ripple control receivers were installed in homes within the entire Nelson Mandela Bay Metro (NMBM) area. This is not new technology, as it has been used in homes in Europe and certain parts of South Africa for years. During peak energy periods which are currently between 07h00 and 10h00 in the morning and 18h00 and 21h00 in the evening, the ripple-control receivers are activated in groups and the hot-water cylinders are switched on and off from a central control point at the 132 kV intake substation where the injection takes place. Approximately 89 000 ripple-control receivers are installed in a project initiated and completed by ESCOTEK GROUP and funded by Eskom DSM. Currently the Metro is saving approximately R18 Million per annum. The system is also used in assisting Eskom during the current demand shortages in the Eastern Cape. The receiver is installed either inside or next to the residential distribution board. ESCOTEK GROUP is also involved in suppling energy-efficient street lights, both CFL and LED luminaire types.

The 132Kv injection equipment is the first of its type at the high voltage in South Africa. ESCOTEK GROUP signed a ten year maintenance contract with the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro with a portion of the generated savings as remuneration. All queries with regards to this project can be directed to Escotek Head Office. Escotek Tel: +27 12 347 7034 E-mail: Website:

The SmartRipple load management device is an intelligent ripple receiver with future proof interface to Smart Metering


Active led indication.

Multiple communication protocols

Relay failure detection and indication.

Can be used on any existing Ripple system

Under frequency detection.

Artificial Intelegence shedding

Remote parameterisation.

Advanced digital filter techniques

DIN & Mini rail mountable.

Thermal protection on terminals.

Relay position indicated with multicolour led.

IR programming interface (USB).

pattern builder. •

On board Real time clock with battery backup.

Input protection with self resettable fuse.

Secondary output for tariff changes.

Provisional Smart Meter interface.

Built in soft pickup after power failure.

Contact information: •

ESCOTEK (PTY) LTD Reg. No: 2003/010659/07 VAT Reg. No: 4580206573 430 Muskejaat Street, Waterkloof Ridge Ext 2, Pretoria 0181, Gauteng, South Africa Postnet Suite 21, Private Bag X25723, Monument Park 0105, Gauteng, South Africa Telephone: +27 12 347 7034 Facsimile: +27 12 347 5352 Web page: Email: Vol 6 NR 3 2011

Patents A fr i cpending a 25o in




altered after released draft

After nationwide public comment sessions and months of planning, South Africa’s Department of Energy (DoE) finally gained approval from Cabinet and released the Policy Adjusted IRP (Integrated Resource Plan) in March 2011. Closer inspection by Frost & Sullivan reveals a number of significant changes since the release of the draft IRP and asks the big question: will these modifications impact electricity prices? The South African government gave the go-ahead for the building of 9 600 MW of nuclear capacity, escalating the building costs of nuclear by 40% in the new IRP. “As a result, the overnight costs are now in line with recent international experience,” explains Cornelis van der Waal, Frost & Sullivan’s energy and power business unit leader. The countries two coal-fired power plants, Medupi and Kusile, will go ahead as planned with additional coal capacity brought forward to allow investment by industrial electricity end-users. Alterations to the Policy Adjusted IRP One of the alterations to the Policy Adjusted IRP is a decrease in imported hydro from 3 300 MW to 2 600 MW, indicating less co-operation with neighbouring countries, specifically Zambia and Mozambique. “This signifies reduced large-scale hydro construction opportunities in these countries. Considering the dire electricity situation in both Mozambique and Zambia, these countries require much-needed energy investment into projects to cater for unmet local demand,” says Van der Waal. Combined cycle gas turbine infrastructure has also been increased from 1 900 MW to 2 400 MW by 2030. Open cycle gas turbine infrastructure will also be decreased from 5 800 MW to 3 900 MW due to its high operational cost – a move that indicates that the policymakers believe there will be sufficient baseload power to reduce stand-by peaking power infrastructure. “This clearly opens the door for the development of gas infrastructure in South Africa. However, this should be done in an environmentally acceptable manner,” says Van der Waal when commenting on the increased combined cycle gas turbine infrastructure. Other aspects addressed in the new policy-adjusted plan include allowances for the increase in carbon emissions (i.e. more coal-fired power stations) and electricity imports including coal-generation imports have been allowed (meaning a potential revival of the Mambula Project in Botswana.


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Energy-efficiency increases were not included in the plan as the DoE decided that even if South Africa can increase its energy efficiency potential from 3 420 MW to over 6 000 MW, failure to meet these targets could have significant disruptive impacts. Largest changes made in RE category Van der Waal says it seems that the DoE has recognised its failure to include the Upington Solar Park into the IRP II document, by increasing the Renewable Energy (RE) from 11 400 MW to 17 800 MW (the largest change in the Policy Adjusted IRP). In the new policy plan, provisions have been made for significant allocations to solar PV (8 400 MW) and concentrated solar power (CSP) (1 000 MW). “This sends out a strong signal for investors looking at solar projects to speed up their feasibility studies. With NERSA having recently indicated that they are considering reducing RE feed-in tariffs, this could present reduced interest in solar and wind investments,” says Van der Waal. DoE claims electricity prices won’t be affected by the changes The DoE says the electricity price path will not be affected by the 40% hike in nuclear construction costs and the increase in RE. Frost & Sullivan, however, believes this is a “misrepresentation of the facts and urgent investigation is required to ensure that the price path still holds true. The impact of significantly higher electricity prices will have major implications for job creation, investment and economic growth,” argues Frost & Sullivan. “Through the DoE not providing re-assuring evidence that the price path will remain unchanged, we expect large energy-users and South African investors, who essentially drive the economy, to feel particularly uneasy about the situation,” says Van der Waal. Frost & Sullivan noted that, in general, the Policy Adjusted IRP will hold positive outcomes for South Africa. The next important steps include finalizing the legislative aspects of the IPP integration and setting up the Independent Systems and Market as a matter of urgency. Frost & Sullivan Tel: +27 21 680 3566 Fax: +27 21 680 3296 Website:

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Co-generation’s role in South Africa’s energy future By Paolo Gianadda, energy specialist at Golder Associates In South Africa’s quest to ensure that electricity supply meets the growing electricity demand over the next 20 years, it is important to understand the role that co-generation can play. Apart from the challenge of supply matching demand, there are also the additional criteria that this supply must be cost-effective to implement and that the future supply complements South Africa’s long-term objective of reducing its national greenhouse gas emissions. Co-generation can halve CO2 emissions Co-generation offers significant energy-efficiency benefits over conventional power generation since a greater proportion of the input energy for co-generation is utilised. As a result, the greenhouse gas impact associated with co-generated electricity is at most half of that of power generated at a conventional coal-fired power station. Additionally, since a greater proportion of the input energy is utilised in co-generation, the actual cost of power generation is also typically lower than that for conventional power generation.

What is co-generation? According to the engineering definition, co-generation is the sequential conversion of a primary fuel energy source into power and thermal energy. The two most common examples of co-generation are a gas turbine or engine with a heat recovery unit and a steam boiler with a steam turbine. While co-generated power does not necessarily have the zero greenhouse gas advantage of renewable power, it is a lower carbon power generation technology which has other advantages, not least of which is that it can produce a stable supply of power which is independent of natural elements. Therefore, in South Africa’s quest to ensure that we have an adequate electricity supply to meet our rising demand for electricity in the future, is it not appropriate that we seek out every opportunity to maximise cogeneration alongside renewable power generation?

Golder Associates Tel: +27 31 717 2790 Email: Website:

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South African

medium and high voltage

switchgear market will be driven by utilities and IPPs until 2020, says Frost & Sullivan The medium voltage (MV) and high voltage (HV) switchgear market in South Africa holds high growth potential for manufacturers. Eskom will continue to implement its grid-strengthening projects, boosting growth in the HV segment. The MV segment has become increasingly competitive and is threatened by decreasing margins. The ongoing lack of maintenance in the distribution network by various municipalities will provide a longer-term opportunity. A new analysis by Frost & Sullivan, “The South African Medium and High Voltage Switchgear Market”, finds that the market will be driven by utilities and IPPs until 2020. “Eskom’s continued investment in grid-strengthening projects will drive growth into the HV switchgear market,” notes Frost & Sullivan energy and power research analyst Marc Goldstein. “If the IRP2010 is implemented, the growth in both renewable energy and nuclear power plants over the next two decades will further advance this market.” The MV segment has become increasingly competitive over the past five years. Underinvestment in distribution system maintenance is a continued threat to sustained growth in this segment, with increasing outages affecting the entire grid. “Rising electricity demand and a lack of timely investment into new generation capacity has led to an ambitious new building programme for South Africa,” states Goldstein. “If implemented as planned, this plan offers the key to growth in both the MV and HV markets.” The critical risks to growth in the MV and HV switchgear markets are the failure to implement the IRP2010 new building plans and the inability to maintain investment into the refurbishment and replacement of switchgear equipment in the distribution infrastructure. There is a significant maintenance deficit that is not being addressed due to the inability of municipalities to earmark revenues from electricity for grid maintenance and the subsidisation of other loss-making municipal services. “The attempted establishment of the regional electricity distributors (REDs) has no doubt contributed to the lack of investment into the distribution infrastructure,” explains Goldstein. “Equipment manufacturers and suppliers


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will need to find innovative funding and service approaches in order to unlock the current distribution system maintenance deficit.” Investment in the distribution grid has stalled due to a lack of funding and skills at municipal level. Suppliers and manufacturers need to offer municipalities turnkey supply and operational services with easy access to funding. Due to the need for municipalities to secure funding internally, equipment suppliers will need to find innovative service-fee based business models, which allow access to new equipment without incurring significant debt. Despite uncertainty regarding the implementation of new building generation and transmission projects and a lack of investment in maintenance, there are significant opportunities for switchgear equipment manufacturers. Multinational OEMs will find it easier to compete in the HV segment, as the MV segment continues to fragment. “Manufacturers need to adopt a more flexible pricing and service model to maintain market share in the MV segment,” concludes Goldstein. “There will probably be significant partnerships and M&A activity in the market as parallel players seek competitive advantages.” For more information on this study, please send your complete contact details to Christie Cronje, Corporate Communications, at, or download it at: “The South African Medium and High Voltage Switchgear Market” is part of the Energy & Power Growth Partnership Services programme, which also includes research in the following markets: The South African MV and HV Cables Market, West African Transformer Market and The Southern African Renewable Energy Equipment Suppliers. All research included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants. Frost & Sullivan Tel: +27 21 680 3566 Fax: +27 21 680 3296 E-mail: Website:

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Earth Hour results in 350 MW savings for SA Enough electricity to power the city of Mangaung (Bloemfontein) was saved during Earth Hour on 26 March 2011, said the state-owned power utility Eskom. Eskom measured the reduction in electricity used from 20:30-21:30 against typical consumption for this time on an average Saturday evening. According to their measurements, South Africans saved 350 MW of electricity. “We encourage every South African to ‘Lift a finger’ – which is all it takes to switch off a light when it is not in use,” said Brian Dames, Eskom’s chief executive. “Simple actions, such as using compact fluorescent lamps instead of incandescent globes, keeping unused appliances switched off, adjusting the thermostat on your geyser, and switching it off when leaving for work and turning it on before we go to bed, make a huge difference. Reducing electricity wastage can have a dramatic impact on electricity consumption. If you are not using it, switch it off,” said Dames. Although 350 MW is a significant saving, Eskom measured an estimated reduction of approximately 420 MW during the hour-long campaign in 2010. In March, Deputy-President Kgalema Motlanthe launched the 49M campaign. The campaign aims to mobilize South Africans to save electricity in order to save power, the environment, as well as their money.

How did Earth Hour originate? In 2007, the first Earth Hour was held in Sydney, Australia. Over 2.2-million people turned their lights off for one hour. Today, more than 50-million people from 35 countries participate in this hour-long intervention. Who’s switching off their lights? Monuments and famous tourist attractions have pledged to turn off their lights during Earth Hour every year. These are some of the international attractions that commit to Earth Hour: Sydney Harbour Bridge, Big Ben, Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and CN Tower in Toronto. Sources:,

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World Bank initiates global green growth platform Pointing to the “inherently unsustainable development path we are on”, World Bank Vice-President Inger Anderson called on governments, international aid agencies, and other development partners to join a new global knowledge platform aimed at fostering green growth. Anderson was speaking at the University of Copenhagen on the theme of green growth. The World Bank, United Nations Environment Programme and OECD have joined forces to develop this platform that aims to bring together proponents of sustainable development to promote and implement green growth policies by exchanging knowledge, information and experience. “As residents of developed countries, our pathway to prosperity has come through technological innovation and industrial production. This has brought many benefits, but they have come at a significant price as we have seen depletion of our natural resources and harm to our environment. Increasingly today, we understand the true cost to the planet of this model of economic growth. Developing countries are looking for another, better way to pursue their own growth and reduce poverty, leapfrogging the polluting age of development. The world needs to get answers, not just for them but for all nations,” said Anderson. World is unquestionably richer compared to 1992 Based on a broad survey of economic progress over almost two decades (since the first Summit on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992), Anderson said that the world is unquestionably richer today, but that this growth has come at a cost to the environment. There are also many contradictions in the world’s apparent growth compared to 1992 – more crops are being produced than ever before, yet one billion people in developing countries go to bed hungry each night. “In many of the world’s poorest nations, we can see vast tracts of land that have been harmed over decades due to poor land use, over-exploitation of soils, and unsustainable and degrading farming practices. This land, about one quarter of all agricultural land in the world, can be rehabilitated and put into productive use.” As well, many poor countries possess other natural capital in their farms, forests and ecosystems that can be a primary source of their prosperity. Capitalising on these riches while at the same time protecting or enhancing the environment is not mutually exclusive. In fact, just the opposite: the environment needs to be at the heart of economic decision-making, alongside concerns for economic and social sustainability,” continued Anderson. Anderson also noted that energy-efficiency in cars, buildings and factories has increased exponentially in 20 years, yet the growth in greenhouse gas emissions has risen steadily. “Getting the right mix of green growth policies, can also be a stimulant to the labour market, helping to create jobs in economies where unemployment remains a major economic and social concern. This is an issue not just for the developing countries we work with that are seeking growth to reduce poverty. This is also an issue for the more developed economies, such as here in Denmark, where we have seen clean energy technologies stimulate job creation in research and manufacturing,” said Anderson. For more information, visit, to which full acknowledgement and thanks are given.


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SA’s industrial energy efficiency capacity strengthened In February 2011, 25º in Africa reported on the introduction of the Industrial Energy Efficiency (IEE) improvement project, a collaborative initiative between the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), the Department of Energy, UNIDO, the Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs and the UK Department of International Development. Hosted by the National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa at the CSIR, the project currently focuses on the following sectors: agro-processing, chemicals and liquid fuels, metal-processing and engineering, automotives, and mining. Over the past few months, the project has been vigorously pursuing their objectives (to contribute to the sustainable transformation of industrial energy usage practice in South Africa, to reduce CO2 emissions and to demonstrate the positive impact of energy management as a means of increasing profitability). Through the efforts of the project, delegates from the SABS and SANAS have been trained in the implementation of the new Energy Management Standard ISO 50001. The IEE envisages that the demand for energy-efficient services will be stimulated through an enabling policy framework, and as a consequence the Department of Energy has embarked on a comprehensive review of the National Energy Efficiency Strategy. Capacity-building programme A key component of the project is the training of energy experts, consultants, plant personnel and practitioners in energy management best practices. Since August 2010, approximately 600 delegates have attended training courses in energy management and energy systems optimisation, specifically compressed air, pumping and steam systems.

The first national expert candidate training group in Midrand, with international trainers Bill Meffert (2nd from right) and Liam McLaughlin (4th from right).

Recently, the first group of national expert candidate trainees in energy management systems (EnMS) was enrolled, following a stringent selection process. To build the legacy of the project, suitably skilled and experienced individuals from this group will be earmarked to take over from the UNIDO-approved international trainers upon completion of their training. Agreements have been entered into with a number of major multinational and local companies to host the trainees as training partners.


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New project staff The internal capacity of the project has also been strengthened with the recent appointment of two experienced regional project managers, Faith Daba and Alf Hartzenburg. Daba, previously an engineer with Eskom, joined the project in February and will be active in the Gauteng region. Hartzenburg joined the project in April as project manager for the Western Cape region. He brings onboard extensive training and project management experience in resource efficiency in large retail chains and industrial plants in South Africa and abroad.

Faith Daba, who will be focusing on the Gauteng region.

Demonstration projects The objective is to involve at least 25 medium to large companies to demonstrate significant energy performance improvements through their interaction with the project. The Alf Hartzenburg, the IEE project distinguishing feature of a showcase manager in the Western Cape. plant or demonstration project will be the implementation of energy-savings opportunities identified. The savings realised and the process embarked upon by the company will be documented and reported on. Negotiations are currently underway with a number of industrial sites in Gauteng, Durban and Cape Town about their participation as showcase plants.

Companies interested in becoming involved as demonstration projects or in the training workshops, are invited to get in touch with IEE project staff on +27 12 841 2768 or +27 21 658 2776. Website: Industrial Energy Efficiency Improvement Project in SA Tel: +27 12 841 2768 Fax: +27 12 841 5039 E-mail: Website:


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HOW Insulation technologies

can save energy

Africa Thermal Insulations (ATI) manufactures, sells, markets and distributes building insulation products throughout southern Africa. The company’s vested interest in green building materials has lead them to become a renowned manufacturer of radiant barrier reflective foil building insulation products. ATI is one of the pioneers in radiant barrier technology and the company has continued to expand its product offering. ATI’s signature product, Alububble®, is an insulation material that consists of sealed plastic bubbles laminated to an aluminium foil. The product enjoys an enviable track record for quality, which has been proven over more than twenty years. Energy-efficiency in the design phase In today’s growing awareness of the need to conserve energy, it is imperative that buildings incorporate all aspects of energy-efficiency during the design phase. “Probably the most important factor to be considered during the early stages of design is the need to ensure that the building envelope will be built in such a way that it can control heat-gain in the summer and heat-loss in the winter,” says Ann Davies, technical coordinator at ATI.

Davies explains the effect of the various climatic zones on the heating and cooling requirements of buildings. In the following example, Climatic Zone 1, in which Gauteng is situated, has been used: The average domestic roof structure is likely to consist of roof tiles attached to timber brandering, which is in turn fixed to timber roof trusses. Between the roof and the living area one typically installs a ceiling. To meet the requirements of SANS 204, insulation must be installed – a radiant barrier under the roof tiles and a bulk insulation laid above the ceiling board, is an excellent way to achieve the required R-values. To calculate the “R” value system of such a structure, one takes into account the outside air surface coefficient, the roof tile, the radiant barrier insulation in association with the adjoining airspaces on either side of the radiant barrier material, the bulk insulation “R” value, the ceiling board and the inside air surface coefficient below the ceiling board. By adding all these components together, such a construction should provide an “R” value of R 4.4 in summer and 3.3 in winter. Alternatively, conventional bulk materials, either a fibre glass blanket or a polyester blanket, can be used at a thickness of around 135 mm – 150 mm to achieve this “R” value.” The installation of a radiant barrier under the roof covering has the benefit of acting as a dust inhibitor, a vapour barrier as well as providing insulation. The requirements under SANS 204 dictate that a combination of a radiant

Local building codes When designing to comply with 10400 XA energy usage in buildings, the requirements of SANS 204 must be applied. One of the first principles to be considered when designing the thermal insulation requirements of the building envelope, is the location and climatic conditions which prevail. The Climatic Zone Map gives clear guidelines for “R” value requirement for each of the climatic zones in South Africa. CLIMATE ZONE 1 2 3 4 5 6


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ROOF AND CEILLING TOTAL SYSTEM “R” VALUE (M2K)/W 3.7 3.2 2.7 3.7 2.7 3.5


barrier and bulk insulation must be installed. Either one or the other used in isolation cannot meet these requirements. Having said that, multiple radiant barriers may provide the required intervention if installed in conjunction with appropriate air spaces. “A challenging point to understand about radiant barriers is that the product itself has no inherent ‘R’ value. Radiant barriers are extremely effective when installed in the correct manner. The success of Alububble® has largely been due to the fact that it has been installed mainly in industrial and commercial buildings, but its potential for use in the domestic marketplace has largely been ignored. This is rapidly changing,” explains Davies. In an attempt to illustrate the versatility of radiant barriers on their own and in combination with other products, ATI has chosen different types of applications, which will show the apparent “R” value calculated for their specific installations.

In this exercise the first layer of foil is a single-sided Alububble, installed with the white bubble layer facing outwards, to the top of roof, and the second layer is a double-sided foil, with an air gap of 80 mm. The two reflective surfaces are facing each other and the last reflective surface is facing downwards, to the open airspace beneath. “In this example we show that the manipulation of air spaces and a combination of reflective foils placed in layers with their associated air gaps yield very good resistance in industrial buildings. This is an interesting and effective means of achieving a higher resistance without the addition of bulk materials,” says Davies. This type of application would be used where the warehouse interior temperature would be required to be much cooler, for example for the storage of food products or products which respond negatively to intense heat.

Industrial application: standard practise Single layer radiant barrier foil membrane white bubble to the underside of a metal roof 22° pitch.

Direction of heat flow

Summer heat-gain

Winter heat-loss

Total resistance “R” value in (m²K)W



Total thermal transmittance in W/m.K



The figures shown are total system “R” values.

In this example, the product is being used more for its aesthetic finish than its ability to resist heat. In most factories and industrial buildings where machinery is operational, “R” value intervention has very little consideration. What this application does, is that it lets the building perform naturally by allowing it to cool off at night.

The success of Alububble® has largely been due to the fact that it has been installed mainly in industrial and commercial buildings, but its potential for use in the domestic marketplace has largely been ignored. This is rapidly changing. Continues on page 46

Industrial application: best practise Direction of heat flow

Downward with no foil

Downward with foil

Upward with no foil

Upward with foil

Total resistance “R” value in (m²K)W





Total thermal transmittance in W/m.K





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Continued from page 45 Domestic application: metal roof and cement tile roof comparison The double-sided foil in this application serves multiple purposes, providing waterproofing and dust-proofing in addition to its excellent thermal contribution as an insulation and UV barrier.

A. Oustide air-surface co-efficient B. Metal roof C. Air space 50mm>/ air space 1 D. Radiant barrier upper surface dust covered lower surface clean E. Air space 100mm > airspace 2

Benefits of radiant barrier reflective foil insulation • Alububble® radiant barrier insulation contains additives that ensure that it is not negatively affected by extreme heat or ultraviolet rays emanating from the sun. • Reflective foil insulation is thermally effective. • Reflective foil insulation installed under the roof covering will reduce the heat-gain into the roof space, thereby increasing the lifespan services installed in the roof space, such as electrical cables. The reduced temperature inside the roof space supports the effectiveness of the bulk insulation as an increase in ambient temperature has a negative impact on conductivity through the bulk material. • The installation of Alububble® has a profound effect on reducing the heat load entering the building during the summer. While the effectiveness of this type of insulation during the winter months is somewhat reduced, here in South Africa it still makes a significant contribution towards savings in heating costs.

F. Gypsum ceiling

G. Inside air surface co-efficient

Heat resistance and direction of heat flow. “This is an extremely efficient form of insulating domestic roofs because it is very resistant to both upwards and downwards heat flow,” says Davies, when referring to the combined use of both radiant barrier reflective foil coupled with 100 mm thickness of a bulk insulation. Direction of heat flow

Direction of heat flow

Summer heat-gain

Winter heat-loss

Total resistance “R” value in (m²K)W



Total thermal transmittance in W/m.K



Summer heat-gain

Winter heat-loss

Total resistance “R” value in (m²K)W



Total thermal transmittance in W/m.K



Total resistance “R” value in (m²K)W



Total thermal transmittance in W/m.K



Cement tile with double-sided foil

Metal roof with double-sided foil

Replacing your standard plastic sheet under the roof tile with a radiant barrier has distinct advantages in both the thermal performance of the building and the longevity of the roof assembly,” says Davies.


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“In this time of the need to conserve our energy resources, it goes without saying that architects, developers and home owners are becoming increasingly aware of the need to insulate. With this in mind, it is important to remember that there is a significant role to be played by both reflective barrier and bulk insulation.” concludes Davies. Africa Thermal Insulation Tel: +27 11 462 9122 Website:


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SA can learn from Israel’s experience


Embassy of Israel Sharon Kedmi

South Africa is on the verge of exploring and developing its renewable energy sector. While interest and growth of this market holds huge potential for the country, it is also very risky, says Sharon Kedmi, director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labour. Kedmi was speaking at the 13th annual Power & Electricity World Africa Conference and Exhibition, which was held at the Sandton Convention Centre in March 2011. After his keynote presentation, Kedmi spoke to 25º in Africa editor Marlene van Rooyen on what South Africa can learn from the mistakes Israel has made in its energy sector. “South Africa is currently in the same position that Israel was in three or four years ago with regards to the government’s preparation of new regulations and tariffs. South Africa can use the experience that Israel has gained in this area to make better decisions,” explained Kedmi. Kedmi said South Africa doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel and that government should rather draw on the assistance that Israel is offering. “Israel was experiencing the same crisis. We didn’t know exactly what we wanted or needed, but we knew there was an urgent need for project planning,” said Kedmi. Government needs to attract investors Kedmi explained that investors want stability and the government needs to take irrefutable decisions that will attract them. “There must be a positive, almost aggressive endeavour to implement the necessary REFIT programmes, and companies must be incentivised to participate, both locally and from abroad, with government paying premiums for new industry. For example, the photovoltaic (PV) capacity – particularly in the Eastern Cape – should be increased substantially, and government should help to provide the infrastructure to achieve this,” said Kedmi. “The catalysts for Israel’s REFIT and project implementation were numerous,” explains Kedmi. “There was a lot of pressure from independent power producers (IPPs), banks, investors and new start-up companies. The government was forced to speak with one voice about the Israel’s plans and energy future. Once this was achieved, the relevant ministries were able to cooperate and implement the country’s plans,” said Kedmi. The result of the abovementioned pressures and unified stance from the Israeli government is 100 MW of PV installations since REFIT. “According to decisions taken by the Israeli government, the renewable energy production

should consist of 10% (6.43 TWH) of the total energy production by the year 2020 and an interim target of 5% by 2014,” says Kedmi. In February 2010, the Ministry of National Infrastructures published a policy paper describing the steps towards the full implementation of renewable energies in Israel. An economic allocation model distinguishes between the different technologies and sets different capacities according to the economic indicators. Solar water heaters should be mandatory in SA The founder of the staste of Israel and its first Prime Minister, David BenGurion, envisioned solar water heating back in the 1950’s. In the 1980’s, the Israeli government introduced legislation that required new buildings to install solar water heaters for domestic use. Since then, Israeli rooftops have been filled with solar panels and big water tanks, saving approximately 4% of the electricity consumed for domestic use in the country. “This should also be mandatory in South Africa. Solar water heaters can reduce electricity consumption significantly – this needs to be implemented and government has to regulate this implementation. Not only will this save energy, but it will also grow the economy and provide employment. Regulation is the first step – after regulation, the details can be defined and determined,” says Kedmi. How renewable energy fits into the medium-term plan Kedmi commented on gvovernment’s medium-term risk mitigation plan for “keeping the lights on” in South Africa (the plan, which was released in September 2010, deals with an anticipated electricity supply shortfall between 2011 and 2016). “According to South Africa’s medium-term risk plan, and the Department of Public Enterprises will ensure that non-Eskom electricity generation initiatives proposed in the plan become a reality. This is a step in the right direction for including co-generation, energy efficiency, and demand-side management programmes into South Africa’s power mix,” says Kedmi. SA needs green taxes as well as incentives Besides renewable energy solutions, Kedmi said that the government should also concentrate on emission reduction policies, such as a “green” tax on cars – that I understand that was introduced recently – and the provision of incentives to industry for the transition to natural gas. Continues on page 50


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“In this respect, Israel is a country of innovation and we have workable research and development programmes that South Africa could use – for both on- and off-grid systems, new renewable technologies and effective solar panel systems,” says Kedmi.

third generation of biofuel pilot plants funded partly by the government’s CleanTech programme called “Israel NewTech”. The programme is increasing research and development expenditure, including providing capital for academy courses in this area.

Water issues

Israel’s developments in biofuels include oilseed crop biodiesel, biodiesel enzyme catalysts, a novel gene discovery platform, jatropha oil cultivation and algae fuel sources.

Similar to South Africa, Israel is currently tackling its water and energy problems, including water leakage through the existing infrastructure, which is calculated at about 7-8% per annum. “The aim is to have 75% of Israel’s water recycled, rising to 95% within three years.Israel is also leading in desalination with the two biggest plants now in operation, and the aim is that within three years all domestic water will be from desalination projects,” comments Kedmi. Israel spends over 4% of GDP on R&D

“An Israeli firm has developed a unique technology for producing biodiesel and bioethonal from algae. Utilising flue gas from coal-burning power stations for algae cultivation, the process allows CO² emissions to be reused and filtered to aquaculture pools to nurture algae growth. Instead of being released, the recycled CO² allows the algae to produce concentrations of more than a million times its natural concentration in ocean water, maximising its energy potential – being harvested as a cleanburning biofuel,” concludes Kedmi.

Israel is the world’s leader in research and development, currently running at over 4.5% of the country’s GDP. Israel is now in the second and

Energy-efficient lighting at Nelson Mandela Bridge By Jeroen Janssen, Philips Lighting general manager

 In February 2010, Philips, together with the energy company City Power, initiated the lighting of the Nelson Mandela Bridge as City Power wanted to create a legacy for the City of Johannesburg. The brief from City Power was that Philips should to provide them with a cost-effective, energy-saving lighting solution.   The bridge is 284 m long, with a total of 5 725 m² of lighting space, and it was important that the lighting complimented the structural aesthetics of the bridge. So, with a team of five, consisting of Eddie Johnson (professional lighting design engineer), Scott Kachelek (international sales manager for colour kinetics), Tomas Sandoval (international lighting consultant for colour kinetics), Shavahn Fareed (account manager), and myself, we were able to complete the project by May 2010.   Controlling the traffic Some of the particular challenges we faced, included controlling the volume of motor vehicle and pedestrian traffic, and managing the level of interest from passing drivers to ensure that no accidents were caused as a result of distraction. We also needed to find the correct lighting that could illuminate the bridge and that could be seen from a great distance – as an iconic landmark, it was important that it be easily identified from many different angles in the city.


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The lights that we used, came from Philips’ Colour Kinetics range and include the ColourBlast Powercore RGB and ColourReach Powercore RGB luminaires. We have also proposed supplementing these with 284 ColourGraze Powercore RGB luminaires, which will be installed pending City Power’s approval. Therefore, the partnership between Philips and City Power meant that the lighting design, manufacturing and supply of the luminaires, as well as the programming thereof, was managed by Philips, whereas the total installation was done by City Power and one of its contractors who also specialises in lighting installations, namely Light-be. Currently, the power consumption of the Nelson Mandela Bridge is about 38,84KW, but unfortunately Philips cannot track the energy-savings as this is managed by City Power. However, from research and experience in energy-efficient lighting solutions, Philips anticipated a substantial saving in these energy costs. It is always a challenge to convince decision-makers of the benefits of energy-efficient lighting, but the long-term benefits, both environmentally and financially, far outweigh the set-up costs. Philips Tel: +27 11 471 5085 Website:,


Collaboration needed for Green Star ratings In December 2010, the Nedbank Ridgeside building in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) achieved a four-star Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA), thereby becoming the second office development in South Africa to be fully certified, and the first in KZN. The 6 500 m², four-storey office block and a three-level super basement has been hailed as the building which “sets the standard for all future development of the Ridgeside precinct”.

The Nedbank Ridgeside building achieved a four-star Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) in December. 2010.

Collaboration key to success Engineering, management and specialist technical services group, Aurecon, says that collaboration between the professional teams was key to the success of the project. The professional teams for the project included WSP Green by Design as the sustainability consultant and Aurecon as the structural, civil services and wet services engineer. “In order to ensure that all role-players were aware of the common goals surrounding the achievement of a Green Star rating, the team met regularly for a series of design and report-back meetings,” comments Aurecon engineer Pieter Becker. He adds that the strict requirements of the Green Star rating system forced the professional team to challenge tried and tested building practices to come up with innovative ways of achieving the sustainability criteria. Some of the project features include state-of-the-art rainwater drainage through innovative wet services techniques such as rainwater harvesting from the entire roof area, a detailed stormwater management plan and a centralised plant that provides chilled water to fan coil units throughout the office space.

Experience and expertise Aurecon, a silver founding member of the GBCSA, was appointed as the mechanical engineer on Phase II of Nedbank’s head office in Sandton. The project claimed the title of being the first GBCSA Green Star certified building in the country. This experience, coupled with the group’s global expertise pool, helped the success of the Nedbank Ridgeside project. “It was immensely satisfying to learn that the project achieved a four-star rating, proving that teamwork and dedication remain key success factors in the pursuit of environmentally sustainable development,” concludes Aurecon engineer Jaco de Villiers. Aurecon Tel: +27 12 427 2000 Fax: +27 12 427 2010 E-mail: Website:

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Reducing energy consumption with technology and market changes

By Dr Gunnar Hovstadius

recommended. A systems approach analyses both the supply and demand sides of a pumping system and how they interact, thus shifting the focus of the analysis from individual components to total system performance. The potential energy- and cost-savings through a systems approach to optimisation almost always outweigh the sum of the savings through component optimisation. Recent projects

Dr Gunar Hovstadius (centre) with fellow workshop presenter Steve Bolles (left) and national IEE project manager Gerswynn McKuur (right).

In our national and global dialogues about energy conservation we often overlook the role that new technologies – combined with systems analysis – can play in reducing energy intensity, as well as the significant role that the combination of government and industry can play.

A similar systems analysis was performed on an existing water circulation tank pumping system at a pulp and paper mill. The analysis recommended installing a new, smaller pump in parallel to the existing pump to provide base load duty. The estimated savings of over $700 000 [approximately ZAR4.6-million] over the estimated 20-year system life is a 56% reduction in the life-cycle cost.

Industrial manufacturing in most countries (including South Africa) consumes as much as one-third of the country’s energy. Reducing energy intensity in this sector must therefore be part of any meaningful strategy on the part of governments as well as industry.

In the next issue of 25º in Africa, Dr Hovstadius will expand on these and other examples, and will also propose a way forward for life-cycle savings available through systems-efficiency improvements.

Eliminating inefficient processes


There is precedent for success. US Department of Energy figures indicate that there was a 40% improvement in energy efficiency among manufacturing companies since the last US energy crisis in the 1970s through to the mid-1980s. Reductions were achieved primarily through the elimination of inefficient processes, such as the closing of old plants, and the installation of more efficient technologies. The industry has made great strides with basics such as efficient heating, cooling, lighting and “smart” building technologies.

For enquiries about upcoming training courses in South Africa by Dr Hovstadius, please contact the IEE project staff on +27 12 841 2768 or +27 21 658 2776 or visit More information on all the training workshops facilitated by the IEE project appears elsewhere in this issue.

Component versus systems approach One of the fundamental ways to reduce energy intensity in industrial processes is to apply a total systems approach rather than focusing on individual components. A good place to start is the electric motor-driven systems, which are the lifeblood of manufacturing. These systems make up by far the largest category of electricity end-use, accounting for nearly twothirds of the electricity consumed. When a manufacturing system – and specifically pumping systems – is considered for optimisation, taking a systems approach is highly


An existing condensate pumping system at a chemical processing plant was evaluated for life-cycle cost-savings. Based on recommendations following a systems analysis, the pump impeller was trimmed and the existing 150 horsepower motor was replaced with a 100 horsepower motor. This resulted in an estimated cost-savings of $115 000 [approximately ZAR762,000] – or 40% – over the ten-year projected life of the system, due to both reduced energy consumption and maintenance costs.

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About the author Gunnar Hovstadius has 30+ years of experience in engineering and technology management, mostly within ITT Fluid Technology Corporation, where he served as director of technology. In 2004 he started his own consulting company. He is one of the US DOE’s approved specialists for doing energy saving assessments and seminars on their behalf, and is an internationally recognized, UNIDO-approved workshop facilitator involved in the Industrial Energy Efficiency (IEE) improvement project in South Africa. Industrial Energy Efficiency Improvement Project in SA Tel: +27 12 841 2768 Fax: +27 12 841 5039 E-mail: Website:


INDUSTRIAL ENERGY EFFICIENCY improvement project in sa - WORKSHOPS 2011 • Become more Energy Efficient • Cut Energy Costs • Reduce Carbon Emissions • Improve Operational Reliability and Control The Industrial Energy Efficiency Improvement Project in SA will be hosting the following workshops in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban during 2011: • Energy Management Systems (a methodological, organised approach to managing energy usage) • Energy Systems Optimisation, with individual courses on the following: • Compressed Air Systems • Motor Systems • Pump Systems • Fan Systems • Steam Systems • Process Heating Systems

- Workshops are presented at three levels Introductory workshops Duration: Five to eight hours Cost: Free Training workshops for users Duration: Two days Cost: R900 per person Expert-level training workshops Duration: The consists of theoretical and in-company practical modules spread over a number of months Cost: R9 000 per person All workshops are presented by internationally recognised, UNIDO-approved trainers with in-depth practical experience

- WHO SHOULD ATTEND • • • • • •

Energy managers Plant and facility engineers Maintenance staff Engineering consultants Service providers to industry Suitably qualified candidates interested in training-the-trainer opportunities

- what others say • • • •

A good balance of examples, science and practical ways to improve systems and reduce loss Very practical, and excellent lecturers Anecdotes from the presenters assisted in bringing in real-life experiences and what can happen in the field Very informative. Highly recommended!

ENQUIRIES (also refer to the latest 25 Degrees e-newsletter) For bookings, more information and regular updates on future training events, please contact us on: 012 841 2768 (Pretoria) • 021 658 2776 (Cape Town) • Email:

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Tyre manufacture recycles over 28 tons of waste In just under a year, over 28 tons of waste has already gone into Goodyear’s unique waste recycling facilities in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. Funds generated from the sale of waste are ploughed directly into local charities and projects, assisting not only the health of the environment but also the welfare of needy community projects. “Globally, Goodyear aims for ‘zero waste to landfill’ and ‘zero harmful emissions’ in its tyre manufacturing processes,” said Pamela Moodley, Goodyear risk control manager. “Here in South Africa, Goodyear is currently the only manufacturer across all industries that can boast a true zero waste policy. This is thanks to innovative developments in materials and processes, as well as our determination to reduce, reuse and recycle wherever possible,” concludes Moodley. Source:

SA Cabinet approves new CEO and Regulator members at NERSA On 6 April, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) announced that the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Phindile Nzimande as chief executive officer (CEO) and full-time regulator member primarily responsible for the administration of the Energy Regulator. Nzimande will assume her duties on 1 May 2011. The Energy Regulator has appointed Nomalanga Sithole (executive manager for corporate services) to act as chief executive officer from 1 April to 30 April 2011, adding that Sithole’s acting appointment is assigned for administrative responsibilities only. The cabinet has also approved the appointment of the following full-time regulator members: Thembani Bukula as full-time regulator member primarily responsible for electricity industry regulation. Ethel Teljeur as full-time regulator member primarily responsible for piped-gas industry regulation. Dr Rod Crompton as full-time regulator member primarily responsible for petroleum pipelines industry regulation. These appointments are for a period of five years.


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

Namibia’s Husab project viability supported In April 2011, Extract Resources Ltd in Perth completed a definitive feasibility study demonstrating the technical and economic viability of its Husab project, potentially one of the world’s largest uranium mines. Last year its indicated resources for Zones 1 & 2 of the Rossing South orebody had increased to 99 000 tU and total resources are 141 000 tU, averaging about 0.05%U proven so far over 1.7 km of the overall deposit, still open along strike and dip. It is evidently the highest grade granite-hosted uranium deposit in Namibia, and it is an extension of the Rossing stratigraphy. The company envisages producing 5 770 tU per year from 2014 after a total investment of around US1.66-billion. Source:


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COP 17 will be held in Durban One of the world’s largest conferences, the 17th Conference of Parties (COP 17) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), will take place from 28 November to 9 December 2011 at the International Convention Centre in Durban. The COP is the highest body of the UNFCCC and consists of environmental ministers who meet once a year to discuss the convention’s developments. It is expected that ministers and officials from more than 100 countries will attend, including countries with observer status, industry groups and non-government organisations.

IEA announces new executive director Former Dutch Minister Maria van der Hoeven has been named the next executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA). Van der Hoeven will succeed Nobuo Tanaka of Japan, who will serve until 31 August 2011, completing four years of service. “Maria van der Hoeven will bring a wealth of political and policy-making experience to her new position,” said a statement on the IEA website. Van der Hoeven served as Minister of Economic Affairs of the Netherlands from February 2007 until October 2010. In that role, energy policy was one of her most important responsibilities and she played an active role in the international arena, including chairing the Ministerial Level Meeting of the IEA Governing Board in October 2009. From 2002 to 2007, she was Minister of Education, Culture and Science. During both of her stints as Minister, she presided as deputy-chair of the Netherlands Innovation Platform. From 1991-2002, Van der Hoeven was an elected member of the Netherlands House of Representatives of the States-General. She had various positions during this time, including Parliamentary Secretary for the CDA Party, Deputy-Speaker of the House and chairperson of the Standing Committee of the House on Education, Culture and Science. For more information, visit, to which full acknowledgement and thanks are given.

Expectations are that 30 000 – 40 000 people will attend, making it the largest event ever hosted in a South African city. A key element which contributed to Durban winning the bid, is the International Convention Centre, Arena and Exhibition Centre, which will enable the entire conference to be held on a secure island site.

ECREEE seeks partners The Economic Community Of West African States’ (ECOWAS) Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) is executing a stocktaking exercise to identify qualified partners to support the creation of renewables and energy-efficiency markets in West Africa. Respondents to the call will receive job offers, call for proposals and tender notices from ECREEE via e-mail. To respond to the call, visit

Green Google Google has furthered its investment in green energy resources by purchasing the largest solar power tower plant on the planet. Located in the Mojave Desert, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System is already under construction and is reportedly looking to produce 392 MW on completion in 2013 (1 MW would power approximately 650 homes). Costing Google an amount of US $168m, the plant will host 173 000 heliostats (plane mirrors) at approximately 137m in height, which will focus the sun’s rays onto a central tower. This heat generates steam which powers multiple turbines, generating electricity. The new acquisition will join a plethora of renewable energy plants already held by the Google brand, including Shepherds Flat Wind Farm in Oregon, a solar wind farm in Brandenburg an der Havel and an offshore wind cable stretching from New Jersey to Virginia. On the subject of its new solar tower power plant, Google commented: “We need smart capital to transform our energy sector and build a clean energy future. This is our largest investment to date, and we’ve now invested over US$250m in the clean energy sector.” Source: World Architecture News

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Labrum appointed as SRK’s new MD Although the headcount at SRK Consulting has tripled since Peter Labrum joined the business in 1989, the professionalism that attracted him then remains at the core of his leadership mandate in his newly appointed role as managing director. It would be hard to find an SRK partner who is more steeped in the culture of the firm’s now global brand than Labrum, whose first stint with the firm went back to 1979 – when he spent eighteen months on site as the resident engineer for the construction of a rockfall shelter on Kowyn’s Pass in Mpumulanga. Having left to become involved in the Garden Route arch bridges in the Eastern Cape, it was little less than a decade later that one of SRK’s founders, Hendrik Kirsten, was able to attract him to re-join the head office in Johannesburg, and within a couple of years he became one the firm’s partners. “I found that I was very comfortable with SRK’s philosophy and organisational model,” said Labrum. “While each office had its own focus, expertise and motivation, I was able to interact with expert colleagues around the world. Being a member of the international board of SRK – a rotating position – was one of these opportunities that reflected the company’s innovativeness and appeal.” The business has of necessity become more corporate as it has grown during the last 23 years, “but our version of corporate is different!” He adds: “The unique mix of the entrepreneurial with the professional and technical aspects of the business still makes SRK a special place to work.” And it is this recipe for success that he is tasked with preserving, while charting the constantly changing environments into which the South African operation has spread its wings. With over 40 offices worldwide, SRK (South Africa) has made recent inroads into other countries in Africa, such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ghana. At home in South Africa, as elsewhere, Labrum emphasises the need for SRK to attract and nurture young engineers, exciting them with the challenge of technical excellence in all aspects of a project. “Developing people has always been at the foundation of our company and our industry, and it will remain a priority for us going forward,” he said. SRK Consulting Group Tel: +27 11 441 1111 E-mail: Website:


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Botswana will have a renewable feed-in tariff in


Benoni Erskine, Director of Energy at the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, confirmed that Botswana will be introducing renewable energy feed-in tariffs for electricity generation by March next year. Botswana, which currently imports 72% of its power from Eskom in South Africa, is creating the scheme to encourage renewable energy suppliers to provide electricity to the country’s national grid. Independent power projects in Botswana’s renewable energy feed-in tariff scheme will range from tiny schemes to 5 MW power producers. All projects above 5 MW will be implemented through power purchase agreements with the state-owned Botswana Power Corporation. It is expected that renewable energy will be generated from biogas and biodiesel. Companies from South Africa, China and Mauritius have shown interest in clinching the power deals. Erskine told Reuters that the country is “presenting the final report in November. So we are going to set an office in parallel because we know it is going to be approved. We are looking at the end of March next year.” Source:

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ENERGY EVENTS June Energex Africa Date: 7 – 9 June 2011 Location: Johannesburg, South Africa Contact: Saki Magoxo Tel:+27 11 783 7250 Fax:+27 11 783 7269 E-mail: Website: Watertec Africa 2011 Date: 7 – 9 June 2011 Location: Johannesburg, South Africa Tel: +27 11 783 7250 Fax: +27 11 783 7269 E-mail: Website: exhib_2011_watertec_main.asp PETRO.T.EX 2011 Date: 7 – 9 June 2011 Location: Johannesburg, South Africa Contact: Mark Burridge Tel: +27 (0)21 713-3360 E-mail: Website: Nigeria Oil & Gas Technology Conference & Exhibition Date: 7 – 9 June 2011 Location: Lagos, Victoria Island, Nigeria Contact: Shaun Quinn Website: Africa Energy Forum 2011 Date: 14 – 16 June 2011 Location: Paris Contact: Rod Cargill Tel: +44 (0)20 85 47 06 98 Fax: +44 (0)20 85 41 32 44 E-mail: Website: ZIMEC – 1st Zambian International Mining and Energy Conference and Exhibition Date: 15 – 17 June 2011 Location: Lusaka, Zambia Contact: Laura Sitzia Tel: +44 (0) 207 700 4857 Fax: +44 (0) 207 681 3120 E-mail: Website:

Solar South Africa Date: 21 – 22 June 2011 Location: Johannesburg, South Africa Contact: James Brady Tel: +44 (0)20 3355 4205 Website: Wind Power South Africa Date: 22 June 2011 Location: Johannesburg, South Africa Tel: +44 207 099 0600 E-mail: +44 207 099 0600 Website: ENEX 2011 Date: 23 – 25 June 2011 Location: Nairobi, Kenya Contact: Ken Kinyua Tel: +254 20 208 4754 E-mail: Website: Power Kick for Africa 2011 Date: 29 June – 1 July 2011 Location: Abuja, Nigeria Contact: World Future Council Africa Tel/fax: +27 (0)11 72 61 11 E-mail: Website: July Nigeria Alternative Energy Expo Date: 6 – 8 July 2011 Location: Abuja, Nigeria Contact: Chris Edeh Tel: +44 203 239 6611 E-mail: Website: Renewable Energy Africa (REA) Conference and Expo Date: 27 – 29 July 2011 Location: Johannesburg, South Africa Contact: Nomsa Radebe, Alphabeta Communications Tel: + 27 11 706 6085 Fax: + 27 11 463 1082 E-mail: Website: Dam Managment and Rehabilitation Conference Date: 28 – 29 July 2011

Location: Johannesburg, South Africa Contact: Amrita Singh Tel: + 27 11 326 2501 E-mail: Website: August Industrial and commercial use of energy Date: 15 – 17 August 2011 Location: Cape Town, South Africa Tel: +27 21 460 3660 Fax: +27 21 460 3728 E-mail: Website: October The Sustainable Energy Seminar Date: October 2011 Location: Johannesburg, South Africa Tel: +27 21 447 4733 E-mail: Website: Viridis Africa 2011 Date: 17 – 18 October 2011 Location: Johannesburg, South Africa. Contact: Suza Adam, Spindle Communications cc Tel: +27 11 880 0364 Fax: +27 11 788 3697 E-mail: Website: 18th Africa Oil Week Date: 31 October – 4 November 2011 Location: Cape Town, South Africa Contact: Rue Limekhaya  Tel: +27 21 700 3500 Fax: +27 86 551 8811 E-mail: Website: Vol 6 NR 3 2011

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360 Vol 1 Nr 1 2011 – R49

Treatment for water recycling • EAPASA launched



water MagaziNe! 25º in Africa is expanding from the middle of the year you will be able to find all the latest water news on the flipside of this magazine. Get the latest information, reviews and coverage on africa’s water crisis, hydro energy and acid mine drainage from your

leading energy magazine!

InternatIonal ContaCt InformatIon: Tel: +27 12 347 7530 • Fax: +27 12 347 7523 Cell: +27 83 327 3746 • E-mail:


in this issue

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Products & services 03 Acid-rock drainage management course resource management 04 About acid mine drainage in South Africa 06 Treatment for water recycling in breweries 07 The looming water crisis Technologies 08 Seawater desalination plant in Australia 10 SA launches environmental association 11 The development of ION exchange resins 11 New water by-law for Cape Town ProjectS & case studies 12 Pump monitoring: an essential element

of operating efficiency

events 14 Wisa at the IPUC conference

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Celebrating World Environment Month with the launch of WATER 360! Water is one of the key focus areas for government, businesses and civil society, as well as the general public for the future. Water issues and water management is a huge part of energy and sustainability, and a major focus worldwide, which makes it a great complementary publication for our existing energy title. I’ve been toying with the idea to launch a new title focussed solely on water for about two years now and decided this year I have to do it! As the name suggests, WATER 360 will cover everything to do with water – from strategic water management planning for municipalities to topical issues such as acid mine drainage, water security and supply and local sanitation issues and new water technologies. The aim of the publication is to disseminate relevant, topical information to key players in the market, bringing together decision-makers and marrying research, development, technologies, solutions and project funding. WATER 360 is a purposely-tailored, independent, unbiased publication dedicated to comprehensive coverage and meaningful reportage on all forms of water and related environmental impacts, technological advances and policy developments. We will cover the whole gamut of water issues, independently, fairly and without bias. We are extremely excited about this new magazine. Following the success of our multiple award-winning title 25° in Africa, I know we have the package for this title and understand the needs of our readers. We will feature predominantly exclusive, own-generated and sourced content, making it an unmissable read for all water engineers, utility managers, environmental officers and board members. From this issue, the water magazine will be available as a flip-side publication to 25° in Africa and will split off as a separate magazine later on. Please feel free to send us your ideas and comments – we love hearing from our readers.

Marlene E van Rooyen

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. Water360 reserves the right to edit, withhold or alter any editorial material to complement the style of the publication. Subscriptions: Water360 is published bi-monthly as a print publication. Water360 is also available as a free web download. For more information, please contact the editor or editor’s assistant on Tel: +27 347 7530 or visit us on

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 team: Editor: Marlene van Rooyen Tel: +27 83 327 3746 • E-mail: Founder: Schalk Burger (1943 – 2006) Publishing Manager: Liezel van der Merwe Financial Manager: Fanie Venter Assistant Business unit manager: Alida Edwards Tel: +27 82 325 6617 • E-mail: Accountant: Gerda Bezuidenhout E-mail: Advertising sales professional: Shannon Pringle Tel: +27 84 619 8023 • E-mail: Journalist: Adrienne Brookbanks Tel: +27 82 468 4566 • E-mail: business unit coordinator: Zuerita Gouws Tel: +27 12 347 7530 • E-mail: Design and Layout: Ilze Janse van Rensburg Proofreader: Elizabeth Kruger Reproduction & Printing: Business Print Centre 360

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P r o d u c t s & S e rvic e s

Acid-rock drainage

management course New legacies of the mining of acid-generating material appear in the media every day. How can mining companies avoid future acid rock drainage (ARD) liabilities and apply the best practice management of ARD?

Leading consulting, design and construction services company, Golder Associates, is hosting a two-day course that will help mine planners, regulators, environmental coordinators and other professionals to understand and manage ARD within their environment. The course will be presented at Glenburn Lodge, Muldersdrift, near Johannesburg on 20–21 July 2011. “Research over the last 20 years has yielded a vast body of knowledge regarding ARD,” says a specialist environmental geochemist at Golder, Terry Harck, who will be one of two geochemists presenting the course. The other is Nico Bezuidenhout. Nico specialises in industrial waste and ARD.

This course will help many industry professionals to create sustainable ARD management plans. “ARD isn’t something new in South Africa – it’s been happening for a very long time, but it only recently started to receive a lot of media attention. The limited ARD management in the mining industry is not a gap in legislation – it’s applying the ARD body of knowledge that is available. This course will help many industry professionals to create sustainable ARD management plans,” says Terry. Using the Global Acid Rock Drainage (GARD) Guide, which was developed by Golder for the International Network for

Acid Prevention (INAP), this course shows how a mine’s ARD liability can be significantly reduced. “The course offers an overview of ARD in the mining context. Participants will learn how to apply global best practice in the assessment and management of ARD, as well as how to develop an ARD management plan specific to their mining operation,” explains Terry. The two-day course will include ARD topics ranging from characterisation, prediction and prevention to mitigation and a practical exercise on how to develop an ARD management plan. The course will also include a field trip to a site near the venue to enhance participants’ understanding.

Learn and share with industry-leading experts

• Limited places will be available, so book now to secure your place in the course. • The cost is ZAR7 000, VAT included. A 50% deposit is required on registration to secure your place. The full payment is required by 13 July. • Registration fee: ZAR7 000 per person, VAT included. (Includes course notes, food and beverages during course and networking dinner on Wednesday evening.) For more information about the course, contact Louisa Smit at, or phone her on +27 11 254 4880 or send a fax to +27 11 315 0317. Golder Associates Tel: +27 11 254 4800 E-mail: Website:

Who should attend? Mine planners and managers, including environmental coordinators, mining engineers, metallurgical engineers and tailings operators. Regulators from all departments involved in mining applications and the environmental assessment of mines. 360

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R e s o u rc e M a n a g e m e n t

About acid mine drainage in South Africa Acid mine drainage (AMD) occurs when old mine shafts and tunnels fill up, leading to underground water oxidizing with the sulphide mineral iron pyrite, otherwise known as “fool’s gold”.


ccording to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), acid mine drainage is the formation and movement of highly acidic water rich in heavy metals. The acidic water forms through the chemical reaction of surface water (such as rainwater) and shallow subsurface water with rocks that contain sulfur-bearing minerals, resulting in sulfuric acid. Heavy metals can be leached from rocks that come in contact with the acid, a process that may be substantially enhanced by bacterial action. The resulting fluids may be highly toxic and, when mixed with groundwater, surface water and soil, may have harmful effects on humans, animals and plants. As early as 1987, the EPA recognised that “problems related to mining waste may be rated as second only to global warming and stratospheric ozone depletion in terms of ecological risk. The release to the environment of mining waste can result in profound, generally irreversible destruction of ecosystems.”

waste dumps, tailings and ore stockpiles, which make up nearly 88% of all waste produced in the country, reads a report entitled “Acid mine drainage in South Africa” by the CSIR. AMD has been reported from a number of areas in the country, including the Witwatersrand goldfields, Mpumalanga, the KwaZulu-Natal coalfields and the OKiep copper district. The western, central and eastern basins are identified as priority areas requiring immediate action because of the lack of adequate measures to manage and control the problems related to AMD, the urgency of implementing intervention measures before problems become more critical and their proximity to densely populated areas. “The predicted flooding of Johannesburg by acid mine water registered AMD on the national radar. There were several other smaller incidents, all linked to mining, that contributed to the national awareness of AMD,” says André van Niekerk, Principal of ground engineering and environmental sciences firm Golder Associates.

The local situation

The major sources of AMD in South Africa include drainage from underground mine shafts, run-off and discharge from open pits and mine

“It’s a thought almost too bizarre to contemplate. But, if nothing is done, from around November next year the central basin, which is already flooding underground, will start to decant. And what that means, is that we will see water in places that we don’t want to, like the basements of buildings in the Joburg CBD.” – Bongani Bingwa, Carte Blanche (covering Acid Mine Drainage in Gauteng for Carte Blanche).



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The acid water is believed to be currently about 600 m below the surface of Johannesburg and the surrounding areas, but it is rising at an estimated rate of between 0.6 m and 0.9 m a day. Since 2002, acid mine water has been overflowing from the western basin, located below the KrugersdorpRandfontein area north-west of Johannesburg ( The Olifants River example

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) conducted a research project on the impact of pollution in the Olifants River after incidences of fish deaths and crocodile deaths in Loskop Dam and further down the Olifants River in the Kruger National Park.

R e s o u rc e M a n a g e m e n t

In August 2009, the Olifants River Forum, a voluntary body comprising members from industry, mining, conservation and management authorities, commissioned the CSIR to conduct one of the largest assessments of its kind in South Africa on the progressive eutrophication and chemical pollution of the Olifants River and the implications for aquatic ecosystem health and human health. The research findings indicate that the dam and the upper Olifants River are so heavily impacted by high levels of nutrients that it is only 30% from the threshold, with the contamination in water samples taken from more than fifteen different sites “the highest ever measured in natural samples” in the CSIR’s isotope research laboratory. Amongst other findings, the results of the study showed there is bioaccumulation of metals, high levels of microbial pathogens, presence of endocrine disrupting chemicals, clear evidence of ecotoxicity in parts of the catchment and a shift in the ecosystem towards algal blooms. “The question is whether we understand the potential legacy by say 2050 with the cumulative effect of past, present and future land uses?” Van Niekerk asks. We need billions, not millions

In February 2011, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced that ZAR225-million would be set aside to deal with AMD. This year, ZAR75million will be spent, followed by ZAR150-million in the following two years. The budget summary for the Department of Mineral Resources also announced that ZAR117-million is allocated over three years to manage extraneous water at the Grootvlei mine on the Wits eastern basin. Mariette Liefferink, the chief executive of the Federation for a Sustainable Environment, said that this amount won’t cover infrastructure spending required to treat AMD. “The capital expenditure requirements will amount to billions of rands, not millions. But if the aim is just to neutralise, then the budget may be sufficient,” said Liefferink, while putting a rough estimate of ZAR2.2-billion on the capital costs of creating infrastructure to treat AMD on the Witwatersrand.

Mine water is also a potential contributor to growth and development

While there are many negative aspects on our water resources as a result of mining, mine water is still a potential contributor to growth and development, says Van Niekerk before making the following three points: • Mining modifies natural hydrology and may be effective in harvesting water. • Large volumes of mine water have accumulated and are available. • Many catchments are considering alternative and non-conventional resources to reconcile water supply and water availability.

The 146-page report on AMD

In August 2010, Cabinet mandated Environmental Minister Edna Molewa to establish a special task team to investigate how government should respond to AMD in various parts of the country (particularly in Johannesburg). In December 2010, a team of water and geology experts presented the 146-page report entitled “Mine water management in the Witwatersrand goldfields with special emphasis on acid mine drainage” to the Inter-Ministerial Committee. Expert team says AMD is complex

The subject of AMD has been extensively researched and studied globally and in South Africa, resulting in a sound but generic understanding of the process and the various components of the AMD problem in the country. “This examination has also, however, highlighted the complexity of the host and receiving environments that militates against a single or ‘one size fits all’ solution to address the problems associated with AMD. However, with regard to the Witwatersrand goldfields, sufficient information does exist to be able to make informed decisions regarding the origins of the mine water, potential impacts, management strategies, treatment technologies, etc,” reads the report. The expert team, chaired by Mineral Resources Director-General Sandile Nogcinca, identified the following risks with respect to the flooding of the mines in the priority areas and the subsequent decant of AMD to the environment: Risks owing to flooding of the mines:

• Contamination of shallow groundwater resources required for agricultural use and human consumption. • Geotechnical impacts, such as the flooding of underground infrastructure in areas where water rises close to urban areas. • Increased seismic activity, which could have a moderate localized effect on property and infrastructure. Risks owing to the decant of AMD to the environment:

• Serious negative ecological impacts. • Regional impacts on major river systems. • Localised flooding in low-lying areas. The team recommended a range of solutions, including solutions for specific sites, starting with immediate control measures to reduce the rate of flooding and eventual decanting and pumping volume. Continues on page 6 360

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R e s o u rc e M a n a g e m e n t Continued from page 5 It recommended improved water quality management, including neutralisation and metal removal, as well as improved monitoring of mine water, groundwater, surface water, subsidence and other geotechnical impacts of mine flooding. In February 2011, Cabinet approved the recommendations of the team of experts on AMD in parts of Gauteng, and agreed that work on tackling the problem should start immediately. At a media briefing in Cape Town, National Planning Minister Trevor Manual said: “We want to assure South Africa that there is no need to panic at the moment, as it remains our responsibility to ensure the safety of our water systems in the country.” “In light of the serious challenges with AMD in the Witwatersrand, the pumping and treatment of mine water is critical and should be implemented in the western, central and eastern basins as a matter of urgency,” said Molewa.

Manual said it would be premature to estimate how much it would cost to address the crisis, considering that a lot of work needed to be done across the affected areas over the next three years. While the government is considering imposing an environmental levy, Manual said a thorough investigation still needs to be done. “There are various initiatives and ideas that could turn AMD into an opportunity for South Africa. The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry’s Integrated Water Resource Management Plan (IWRMP) for the upper and middle Olifants catchment, for example, has identified reclaimed mine water as a future source of water to meet the growth in municipal water requirements,” says Van Niekerk. 25º in Africa would like to give full acknowledgement and thanks to André van Niekerk, who generously contributed information for this article. For more information, visit, and, to which full thanks and acknowledgement is given.

Treatment for water recycling in breweries By Bernard Talbot Part 1 25º in Africa will be doing a series on reusing water to make beer. This is the first article, which focuses on alternative solutions for a safe water supply. The second article will focus on filtration methods and other technologies for water recycling in breweries. Throughout Africa and many other parts of the world we encounter areas or entire regions where water is scarce and the water quality is highly suspect. In these situations beer quality is often compromised and the production schedule is disrupted. “The use of properly treated effluent presents the brewer with a safer option and greater security of supply,” explains Dr Bernard Talbot from Talbot & Talbot, and environmental engineering company that focuses in industrial wastewater management. We can produce water quality that is chemically safe for human consumption, as well as chemistry entirely compliant with even the most stringent of compliance schedules.Talbot explains that the biggest argument for reusing treated effluent is that its chemical quality far exceeds that encountered in most borehole abstraction schemes and in fact is closer to that of water used in hospitals for kidney dialysis. “It is not uncommon on the eastern seaboard of the African continent and elsewhere to find borehole water high in the BTEX complex – benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene residual mix – ingressed into the groundwater from leaching diesel pollution, in addition to the frequent presence of elevated nitrate and faecal coliforms that betrays the ingress of percolated domestic sewage. After all, many large cities in the developing world with populations of several millions do not even have basic sewage treatment and disposal systems or landfill facilities. A large portion of this waste load ends up in the groundwater, making the shallow coastal freshwater aquifers along the African eastern seaboard,” says Talbot.



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In urban and peri-urban coastal environments, excessive groundwater abstraction results in coning, a process whereby salt water upwells from the underlying denser saline aquifer to dramatically increase sodium and chloride concentrations in the groundwater. Where water is supplied by the local councils in developing countries, availability can be an issue. Rampant urbanisation often negates any advances made in bulk water supply and distribution. Very commonly, the microbiology can be far from safe and introduces an unknown human health risk to the brewer through the presence of pathogens. Talbot says the treatment train required to achieve the necessary water quality for reuse in brewery operations has developed rapidly over the last 20 years. While there are still reasonable variations in the field, the industry benchmark currently has settled on a specific format to produce a safe water supply. “While there is consensus among water scientists that existing technology can produce a demonstratably safe water supply, there is clearly still opposition throughout the industry,” says Talbot, before concluding that there are many upsides to the practice of water recycling in breweries, such as improving security of supply, reducing water ratios and the resultant reduction in its environmental footprint. Water 360 would like to give full acknowledgement and thanks to Talbot & Talbot, who generously contributed information for this article. Talbot & Talbot Tel: +27 33 3461 444 E-mail: Website:

R e s o u rc e M a n a g e m e n t

The looming water crisis Africa appears to be a continent with large water resources, such as the Congo River, Nile River, Zambesi River and the Niger River. While the continent may appear to be blessed with an abundance of water, Africa is the second-driest continent in the world (after Australia). Additionally, three-quarters of the world’s severe droughts over the past 10 years have occurred in Africa.


ccording to a recently released report that maps the water security of 162 countries, the Middle East and North Africa are the regions with the least secure water supplies. The report, which was researched by Maplecroft, says that 15 of the 18 countries that were classified as at extreme risk in the Water Security Index are in the MENA region – these include Mauritania, Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt, Israel, Niger, Iraq, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Djibouti, Tunisia and Algeria. “Water security has the potential to compound the already fragile state of societal affairs in some countries,” says Prof Alyson Warhurst, the CEO of Maplecroft. “For example, in Egypt water security may intensify the ongoing civil tensions. In turn it is not unrelated to food security, which leads to cost-of-living protests and then violent oppression in less democratic societies,” says Warhurst.

South Africa’s real water crisis

On 22 March 2011, the UN conference on water opened in Cape Town, South Africa. During the conference, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) repeated warnings that South Africa faces a water supply crisis. According to the CSIR report on South Africa, the country is facing a water supply crisis caused by a combination of low rainfall, high evaporation rates, an expanding economy and a growing population whose geographical demands for water do not conform to the distribution of exploitable water supplies. The report raises issues across Africa’s semi-arid regions, with managers grappling with demands for electricity for mining and industry, for water for irrigation to consolidate food security and rural incomes, and the challenge of sustaining domestic water supply to fast-growing cities. South Africa’s freshwater resources will be fully depleted by 2030 and unable to meet the needs of people, industry and its neighbours if people continue to exploit their water resources by following a “business as usual” approach. Dr Peter Ashton, a senior aquatic ecologist at the CSIR, says: “And this will happen even sooner if we experience prolonged droughts or more frequent incidents of water pollution.” The acting deputy director-general for policy and regulation at the Department of Water Affairs, Mbangiseni Nepfumbada, said he and his colleagues are presently reviewing the country’s national water resource strategy.

Water facts • An American taking a five-minute shower uses more water than the typical person living in a developing country’s slum uses in a whole day – UNDHP. • 1-Billion people in the world do not have access to safe water. This is roughly one in eight of the world’s population. In Africa, two out of five people lack clean water – WHO / UNICEF. • More than 300-million people in Africa do not have access to clean water. • Of all the renewable water available in Africa each year, only 4% is used – because most Africans lack the wells, pumps, reservoirs and other irrigation systems – Africare. • Over 80% of the diseases in developing countries are related to poor drinking water and sanitation – WHO. • The average distance a woman in Africa and Asia walks to collect water is 6 km – • South Africa’s average rainfall of 450mm per annum is far below the global average of 860 mm per year – CSIR.

“In South Africa and perhaps in many countries in Africa, we know all too well that we are not endowed with water resources and that ours is not much of a choice when it comes to the judicious management of water,” said Nepfumbada. For more information, visit, to which full acknowledgement and thanks are given. 360

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Seawater desalination plant in Australia Dow Water & Process Solutions (DW&PS) is a business unit of the mammoth Dow Chemical Company, and is the only manufacturer currently offering a complete portfolio of ultrafiltration (UF) and reverse osmosis (RO) resin technologies, and Electrodeionisation (EDI) products – setting the industry benchmark for quality and reliability.


t was probably these values that ensured that the company’s elements were selected for the new Southern Seawater Desalination Plant (SSDP), being established outside Perth in Australia.

The SSDP will use SWRO 440-series DOW Filmtec elements in a two-pass RO system for seawater and brackish water, producing 50-billion litres of drinking water annually with the capacity to expand to 100-billion litres per year. The SSDP will be the second major seawater desalination plant in Western Australia, a state whose inland reservoirs today contain only onequarter of the water available thirty years ago.

Currently, Australia’s largest desalination plant is in Sydney, which was inaugurated on 19 April 2010, and which meant that the city joined the ranks of other coastal cities in Australia using seawater desalination as a sustainable and rainfall-independent route to provide drinking water for its metropolitan area. Dow Water & Process Solutions supplied approximately 36 000 DOW Filmtec reverse osmosis (RO) elements to this new, efficient desalination facility. DOW Filmtec elements will help to convert 250 000 cubic metres – or



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250-million litres – of seawater per day into potable water, thus providing approximately 15% of Sydney’s water supply needs.It is interesting to note that the energy demand of the Sydney plant is being offset by wind-generated electricity and uses advanced water treatment technologies to reduce energy consumption. By comparison, Perth expects to need an additional 150-billion litres of water to meet population demands by 2031, hence the commissioning of the new desalination plant. “The new Southern Seawater Desalination Plant will utilise 440sq. ft. (41 m²) DOW Filmtec membrane elements,” said Kai-Uwe Hoehn,

senior account manager for large projects with DW&PS. “This project is also utilising a combination of advanced design features to maximise performance of the desalination technologies.” Currently, the existing Perth Seawater Desalination Plant, which is located off the coast of Cockburn Sound, provides 17% of Perth’s water needs. At the completion of the SSDP project later this year, more than 30% of Western Australia’s water supply will come from climate independent sources like desalination.


Construction of the plant began in July 2009 and upon completion an intensive ocean monitoring programme will analyse the plant’s seawater discharge to ensure the ongoing health of marine environments. The Filmtec membranes help to produce 50-billion litres of drinking water annually, and the energy-efficiency and affordability delivered by this membrane technology make DW&PS the partner of choice to supply 1,5-million residents with potable water. For more information on DOW Filmtec SWRO components, visit the website About Dow Water & Process Solutions

Dow Water & Process Solutions has a 50-year legacy of providing innovative water and process solutions to communities and industries alike. As a differentiated business unit of Dow Chemical Company, DW&PS offers a broad portfolio of ion exchange resins, reverse osmosis membranes, ultrafiltration membranes and electrodeionisation products, with strong positions in a number of major application areas, including industrial and municipal water, industrial processes, pharmaceuticals, power, residential water and waste and water reuse. Seawater desalination using DW&PS reverse osmosis elements has spread globally because of their consistent reliability, long-life, high salt rejection capability and resistance to bacterial attack. Water purification facilities from the Caribbean to Spain, and the Middle East to the Pacific, are taking advantage of these elements to meet today’s growing demand and limited availability of freshwater resources. In addition to the main application in potable and agricultural schemes, DW&PS’ seawater desalination technology is also used in power, industrial and mining as well as residential and marine applications. The optimised combination of these schemes enables treating difficult waters at a lower cost while reducing the environmental footprint. DOW Filmtec elements are used in the largest operating desalination plants (Ashkelon and Hadera with 400 000m³/day each) and many other large desalination facilities (Sydney, Perth, Jebel Ali, Mostaganem, Torrevieja, Tampa, Venezuela) in the world. Used in desalination plants with a capacity of more than 100 000 m³/day such as Wang Tan, Magong, Moni, Episkopi and Eemshaven, integrated process schemes using DOW ultrafiltration are growing very strongly due to accelerated industry adoption.

the range of 1-10 mg/l. This often requires three and more separation component technologies. Hence, in addition to the SWRO technology, upfront ultrafiltration pretreatment and a BWRO 2nd pass, ion exchange cation, anion and mixed beds and/or electrodeionisation technology are used to reach the required water quality. The marine segment is characterised by small, mobile seawater desalination systems, mostly on ships, but occasionally also on land. A very variable range of feed waters is used, which includes sea and brackish surface sources, with wide variation in salinity and temperature. This requires the relatively small units to be very versatile. Small 4-inch (100 mm), and occasionally even 1,5-2,5-inch (37,5-62,5 mm) DOW Filmtec SW30 elements, can be used. Ultrafiltration membranes for pretreatment must be chosen smaller. In sea water desalination, as we have seen, DOW Filmtec reverse osmosis technology offers a wide range of solutions for the lowest water cost in any of the application and technology segments. The FilmTec Corporation is a subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company and part of the Dow Water & Process Solutions business, making the highquality DOW Filmtec reverse osmosis and nanofiltration elements for a wide variety of industrial, municipal, commercial and home drinking water applications. Dow also produces DOWEX ion exchange resins, as well as a variety of specialty water separation products.

Desalinated water from the sea can be used in a myriad of applications. For example, potable water and water for agricultural irrigation is often supplied via common distribution networks – therefore these two applications should be considered in context. Potable and agricultural standards vary considerably around the world.

Dow customers are primarily original equipment manufacturers of water treatment systems, engineering companies that specialise in the design and installation of water treatment systems, water service companies that operate water treatment systems for industrial and other water end-users, and public and private water utilities, serving a wide range of end users including power generation and semiconductor plants, chemical and process industries, municipalities and other commercial and consumer customers.

Power and industrial systems are characterised by very stringent treatment standards, often requiring up to full demineralisation. Therefore, salinity needs to be reduced from the 40 000mg/l range down to around

Dow Water & Process Solutions E-mail: Website: 360

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P r o j e c t s & C a s e s t u di e s

Pump monitoring: an essential element of operating efficiency


here is no doubt that efficient pumping systems lead to lower production costs and increased profits for the operator, together with less pressure on both the electricity supply capacity and the environment – particularly relevant as escalating electricity costs seriously affect the profits and competitiveness of energy-intensive businesses, which are continuously being forced to reduce current and projected energy usage by legislation and escalating tariffs. Pumping systems are a necessity in production processes, but they are also the largest single user of electricity in industrial and commercial applications, said to consume at least 1,0 TWh worldwide, which equates to approximately 15% of the electricity generated worldwide. If the other machinery in industrial plants that is directly affected by pump efficiency is taken into account, this proportion rises to approximately 30%. Pumps frequently operate at poor efficiency levels – anywhere between 15% and 40% below best inefficiency – and often, as long as they deliver the correct amount of product flow, they are deemed to be satisfactory, regardless of operational efficiency, which means that electricity wasted in the pumping process is often hidden or viewed as inevitable and unavoidable. The British Pump Manufacturers Association says current energy usage could be improved by 40% if overall system improvements were carried



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out. According to progressive lifecycle cost models, electricity usage during the lifetime of a pump accounts for up to 90% of the ownership cost. Capital expenditure accounts for around 5% and maintenance between 5-25%, depending on the abrasiveness of the pumped product. Overworked engineers’ lack of day-to-day checking of their operations means pump analysis is often shelved until they fail or inhibit production. This neglect results in excessive and continuous energy waste, more frequent and unexpected production downtime, increased maintenance and wasted skilled resources. Monitoring cannot control a pump. It will only be successful if supported by commitment from senior management, through initial capital budgets and instituting energy-efficiency as a key performance area; and also by engineers, who need to evaluate and act on the information and recommendations presented to them, where feasible within business constraints. However, if performance monitoring is adopted, a savings potential of up to 40% is available and the typical payback period on the initial capital cost of instrumentation and installation is about one year. Payback periods are also likely to reduce as electricity costs increase and carbon trading is better understood in South Africa.

P r o j e c t s & C a s e s t u di e s

Energy waste in pumping systems is not inevitable and is easily avoidable. Saving electricity and reducing maintenance in energy-intensive pumping systems greatly improves overall profitability. However, the only way to uncover the source of inefficiency and provide engineers with the platform to eliminate the problems is regular and consistent performance monitoring. Regardless of the manufacturer, no two pump models are the same. Each model operates within a very confined envelope of best efficiency – graphically displayed by the pump performance curve, which describes the relationship between head, flow, power and efficiency over the pump’s capacity range, and remains an accurate measure of the pump’s characteristics throughout its operational life. On either side of the best efficiency zone lie performance inhibitors such as increased energy consumption, reduced component life, and product re-circulation. The reasons why a pump may operate outside its most beneficial efficiency, include incorrect assumptions and application of erroneous safety factors during the design stage, systems dating from an era of cheap abundant electricity when energy-efficiency was a minor factor in system design – the focus was on minimising capital cost, the wrong pump being used for the job, unresolved component wear, changes in system requirements, and employing quick-fix solutions. A relevant case study – the Johannesburg Water pump station at Illovo – that demonstrates the practical viability of theoretical improvement. Putting to test the theory that pumps which operate in line with the system’s requirements will deliver better efficiency, Eskom’s Power Systems & Technology Department, together with pump engineering and monitoring specialist TAS Online, conducted a pilot installation of the company’s TAS PumpMonitor at this installation.This project set out to provide Eskom with first-hand experience of an online pump-monitoring system and to prove the effectiveness of monitoring and communicating pump-efficiency. It also aimed to demonstrate actual energy savings derived from the execution of remedial energy-efficiency actions (e.g. the installation of a VSD), to identify long-term actions to further improve the efficiency of pumps, and to quantify the cost versus the benefit associated with the remedial action. The Johannesburg Water pump station at Illovo was selected as being a typical water transfer site – where water is pumped up to a tower for gravitational distribution – the Illovo site features pumps operating in parallel. This configuration presents the ideal opportunity for short-term energy-efficiency through better pump scheduling and changes to the operation. The study quickly demonstrated the effectiveness of a pump-monitoring system by providing accurate ongoing information on pump-efficiency in near-real time. The system’s ability to calculate flow rates from power and pressure readings within accepted tolerance was demonstrated. The adage of “you cannot control what you cannot measure” was quickly proven to be true.

% Head

PUMP CURVE SENSITIVITY FOR PUMP RELIABILITY Lower impetior life Discharge recirculation Low flow cavitation High temperature rise Suction Low bearing & recirculation low seal life Best efficiency point

Characteristic Life MTBF


Best practice = -10% to +5% of BEP


Low bearing & low seal life

Better practice = -20% to +10%



Good practice = -30% to +15% Pump curve

Reliability curve

% Flow Consequences of operating pumps outside the best efficiency envelope

With the flow of data from the monitoring system, remedial energy efficiency actions could be applied within a short-term space, beginning with the installation of a VSD on one of the pumps. This simple action achieved an energy saving of 10.2% by allowing the pump to run at the lowest speed necessary to match the required tower outflow. Further long-term actions were recommended to improve the efficiency of the pumping system, with the ability to assess the cost justification for each measure through the financial data produced by the TAS PumpMonitor. These recommendations include the installation of an intelligent pump controller to run the pump at its optimum speed at all times, despite varying system conditions and a full refurbishment of the pump to render further possible additional savings of between 6-8%. While a small project applied to relatively low capacity pumping systems, Eskom EEDSM has soundly demonstrated with the Johannesburg Water pilot that the implementation of technology which accurately monitors pump-efficiency is the first step towards the delivery of substantial savings. By providing engineers with the information necessary to control pump output to accurately meet demand, the next step is put in place by implementing a systematic approach towards better usage of a commodity which is becoming increasingly scarce and costly. Remote monitoring systems are believed to be necessary for high priority sites which require substantial electricity supply, providing for rapid reductions in demand should inefficiencies exist. The systems approach should extend to the involvement of the manufacturers of pumps, pipes, valves and motors. Similar performance-based audits have been performed in the mining industry, coal washing plants, and pulp and paper applications where energy savings in excess of 20% have been achieved. For an assessment of energy-efficiency solutions, call Eskom on 08600 ESKOM (08600 37566). Or visit the IOM website on TAS Online Tel: +27 11 325 0681 Fax: +27 866 213 759 E-mail: Website:; 360

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SA launches Environmental Association Rejoice Mabudafhasi, the Deputy-Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, officially launched the Environmental Assessment Practitioners Association of South Africa (EAPASA) during the first week of April.

Assessment Practitioners’ Association, which is proposed to act as a registration authority for EAPs in South Africa.

Rejoice Mabudafhasi, the Deputy-Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs.


peaking at the launch, Mabudafhasi said that the recently renamed Department of Environmental Affairs has committed itself to put in place a system for integrated environmental impact management and assessment within the context of the principles of sustainable development. “This system will introduce a combination of initiatives and interventions, which includes introducing a framework of alternative tools and systems to enhance and complement the current EIA system, developing and maintaining capacity, law reform and the integration of regulatory processes and coordination between organs of state.” “It is our vision that this new system will address the shortcomings of the current system and optimise these aspects of efficiency and effectiveness already achieved, through both voluntary and regulated instruments being applied in the most effective and efficient manner. It is our vision that this system will be supported by sufficiently capacitated, skilled and experienced practitioners in all the relevant sectors and that all stakeholders are equally committed to make it work – not only government, but also environmental assessment practitioners, developers and communities,” she said. The purpose of the Association is to promote public interest through the advancement of the quality of environmental assessment practice in South Africa by establishing, promoting and maintaining the registration of environmental assessment practitioners (EAPs) in terms of section 24H of the National Environmental Management Act (Act 107 of 1998). In November 2005, the former Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT) and the Interim Certification Board (ICB) for Environmental Assessment Practitioners of South Africa (representing 17 organisations) signed a memorandum of understanding, which enabled a broad consultative process for the establishment of an Environmental



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For a registration authority to perform an effective quality assurance role in environmental practice in South Africa, certain outcomes need to be achieved, which include the establishment of a representative and recognised association that would be seen as a registration authority in terms of section 24H of NEMA, the registration of a qualification for environmental assessment practice within the National Qualifications Framework in collaboration with SAQA, and, the conclusion of relevant enabling legal mechanisms making it compulsory for EAPs to be registered. Mabudafhasi said: “The proposed system for registration for environmental assessment practitioners has been modelled in international best practice – not only will professionals need to meet criteria for competence, experience and ethics, they will also need to commit to continuing professional development.”

Mabudafhasi said: “The proposed system for registration for environmental assessment practitioners has been modelled in international best practice – not only will professionals need to meet criteria for competence, experience and ethics, they will also need to commit to continuing professional development.

She acknowledged that there is still a lot of work to be done and that it can only be achieved through working together with all stakeholders – environmental assessment practitioners and government. Deputy-Minister Mabudafhasi’s speech can be accessed at the following link: mabudafhasi-launches-eapasa.htm.


the development of ion exchange resins Ion exchange is the reversible interchange of ions between a solid (the ion exchange resin) and a liquid. Since they act as “chemical sponges”, ion exchange resins are ideally suited for the effective removal of contaminants from water and other liquids. This technology offers a number of advantages in industrial water demineralisation and softening, wastewater recycling and other water treatment processes – including high water recovery, low volume of waste and operational flexibility. Ion exchange resins are also used in a variety of specialised applications such as chemical processing, pharmaceuticals, mining, and food and beverage processing. Dow Water & Process Solutions offers a wide range of ion exchange resins for specialised applications in most of the above applications, but perhaps the most important sector serviced by the company in South Africa is in the mining industry, where they are used for the separation of gold from liquids. Cyanidation mining: Gold recovery from mining cyanidation leach solutions with anion exchange resins – has long been common practice in the gold mines of the former Soviet Union. Today Western mining companies are discovering the economic benefits of gold recovery via ion exchange resins. Dow produces a gold selective resin, specifically designed for use in resin-in-pulp and pump-cell processing. The resin is XZ 91419.00 developmental resin, manufactured under an exclusive license from South Africa’s premier mining technology house, Mintek. New process development using XZ 91419.00 resin can be fully supported through

contractual arrangement with Mintek’s technical staff, and for information on who to contact about the use of XZ 91419.00 resin in gold mining applications, e-mail Dr Charles Marston at Acidic halogen leach: Many developmental projects are also underway where ores are leached under oxidising and acidic conditions. Here too, Dowex anion exchange resins have proven to be tough, steady performers. Copper/gold: Additionally, several companies have proposed cyanide recovery techniques using anion exchange resins. Notably, AuGment (JV between EI DuPont and Newmont Mining), Tallon Metal Technologies (VitrokeleTM chemistry) and Mintek have brought processes to the marketplace. Efficient cyanide recovery processes could open the way for the use of cyanide-on-cyanide consuming ores like gold porphyries (Au/Cu), and new cyanide recovery resins are under development by Dow. Full scale commercial operation of an ion exchange based cyanide recovery process for copper/gold ore is currently pending. Plating baths: Dowex anion exchange resins are commonly used in the recovery of gold from spent plating bath solutions. Generally, the loaded resin will absorb up to 60 ounces of gold per cubic foot of resin (60g/l resin) and the gold is recovered by thermal decomposition (fuming). Dow Water & Process Solutions E-mail: Website:

Water quality crisis a major concern for local food producers The deteriorating quality of South Africa’s raw water supplies, coupled with overloaded sewage works, acid mine drainage and power water catchment could have a devastating effect on the safety of local food, says Gareth Lloyd-Jones, Managing Director of hygiene and sanitation company in the food sector, Ecowize. “The onus is now on food producers and retailers who have a legal obligation to manage all of the risks associated with the production of food for human consumption, including exposure to water,” says Lloyd-Jones. “Local producers should implement additional monitoring measures in terms of water quality. If this problem persists, producers may need to invest in purification measures and processes in order to minimise the risks to food safety caused by waterborne diseases. The best solution is to treat and re-use water in the production process. Producers and retailers can establish internal methods around efficient water usage, as well as invest in technology that will enable less water usage in production,” says Lloyd-Jones. He urges all industrial water users to make sure that they are disciplined in the use of water and try where possible to re-use water or harvest water from other sources like rain and boreholes. There are three main areas of concern with regards to water safety in the Farm to Fork process, says Lloyd-Jones. Firstly, microbial contamination in water can result in pathogenic disease in crops and livestock destined for a processing plant.

Crops are irrigated and washed before processing with water, so if this is contaminated, it can have hugely negative impact on the health and quality of livestock and crops. “The PH of the water affects the amount of additional chemical that is added to water used to clean the processing plant. If the PH levels are not at correct levels in the plant, for example, a chlorine treatment process can become less effective leading to a significant food safety risk. This ultimately translates into extra costs and processes for producers as the onus is on them to ensure that processing plants meet the highest safety and hygiene standard. During the processing stage, produce is also washed with water to manage contamination and cross-contamination. After processing, the facility is cleaned and sanitised using water, and various other cleaning components. In all of these steps, water is used extensively. If the water is contaminated or of poor quality, this creates further risks to food security,” says Lloyd-Jones. Finally, at the consumer end - notably restaurants, households and consumers - the risks of contaminated food are much more alarming, as there is a lower than required level of surveillance by municipalities. “While most retail outlets follow some in-house disciplines, there is too little focus on water quality,” concludes Lloyd-Jones. For more information, visit 360

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Ev e n t s

WISA at the

ipuc conference Organised by TAS, the one-day Water In South Africa (WISA) 2011 Conference on 15 September 2011, together with the Afriwater 2011 exhibition, will be held in conjunction with the International Pump User (IPUC) Conference at the MTN Expo Centre, Johannesburg from 13-15 September 2011. Professionals should note that these conferences are CPD accredited.


resented under the banner Water quality – Problems and Solutions, this conference will examine the fact that water quality in South Africa is under threat from a number of contributing factors – acid mine drainage, inefficient waste water treatment, wetland destruction, infrastructure overload due to ineffective town planning, unregulated industrial pollution, and so on. The agricultural sector consumes a large proportion of South Africa’s electricity and water, primarily in operating irrigation systems. Over-irrigation not only wastes power and fertiliser, but it also contributes to ground and surface water pollution. The efficiency of pumping systems and effectiveness of irrigation scheduling will also be examined during the conference. Invited experts in these fields will present a series of technical papers on these issues with particular reference to progress, or a lack thereof, and they will highlight the measures that must be taken urgently to ensure a reliable supply of potable water for the foreseeable future, and thus the health of the nation. Running for the full three days, the Afriwater 2011 exhibition is organised again by Specialised Exhibitions and will provide an important platform for



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companies involved in the water and waste industry, with a view to offering solutions, products and services to all those endeavouring to preserve this precious resource. Since the inception of Afriwater in 1994, this exhibition has played an important role in the water, waste and environmental forum. IPUC 2011 is hosted by Harry Rosen of TAS, in association with the South African Institution of Mechanical Engineering (SAIMechE). It is the leading pump conference in South Africa focused on the mining, petrochemical, industrial, bulk water and waste water industries. Themed as Adapting pumping systems for an era of limited and expensive power, this conference aims to provide the latest developments designed to address this new environment and ways to modify existing systems without incurring a crippling financial burden. Leading experts, both international and local, will share their wealth of knowledge and experience on pumping systems and present papers on tried and tested solutions, as well as effective problem-solving techniques using the latest technology. It is widely accepted that efficient pumping systems lead to lower production costs and higher profits for the operator and, in turn, less pressure on both electricity supply capacity and the environment. This is first prize, but how do we get there? Some of the answers will be found at this conference. For more information on Afriwater 2011 on exhibiting at or visiting this event can be obtained by contacting Zia Tomes. Specialised Exhibitions. Cell: 082 881 2174 E-mail: For information on sponsoring or attending the conferences contact: TAS Veriza Smith Tel: +27 11 325 0686 • Cell: +27 83 553 9895 • Website:

R e s o u rc e M a n a g e m e n t


Vol 1 NR 1 2011


25 Degrees in Africa  

Africa's Independent Energy Publication

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