SA Urged to Switch to Renewable Energy

Greenpeace anti-nuclear activists have unfurled a banner at the 2nd Nuclear Industry Congress Africa 2015 in Sea Point which read ‘nuclear investments cost the Earth’.
The banner hung for a short while in the hotel foyer where delegates were registering for the congress, until hotel security asked activists, perched on a ledge above it, to come down.

Greenpeace’s Melita Steele, says that their intention have been to ‘communicate directly with the congress delegates, which we did, so we came down’.

Eskom Infringing on Rights of South Africans: ELA

Earthlife Africa Johannesburg says Eskom is infringing on the rights of South Africans to access electricity by threatening load-shedding and possible blackouts in the near future.

The organisation’s Makoma Lekalakala, says the current crisis is an opportunity for Eskom and the Department of Energy to accelerate the renewable energy programme in South Africa.

Eskom Blamed for Electricity Problems

Earthlife Africa Johannesburg has criticised Eskom for failing to apologise to South Africans for the ongoing electricity problems when it held a press briefing on Thursday, 15 January 2015.

The group’s energy policy officer, Dominique Doyle, points out that, "The closest the public came to an apology is chief executive officer, Tshediso Matona, stating that Eskom is now opting to do the right thing, thereby acknowledging that Eskom has been doing the wrong thing."

WB to Invest in Electricity Production

This summer, the World Bank announced that it will allocate US$5 billion in aid to Africa to help the continent optimise its potential for electricity production. The initiative focuses on hydroelectric power, among other sources.

Although its regional economies are expanding rapidly, Africa still suffers from significant deficiencies in electrification, a factor which hinders development.

There is a plethora of initiatives both private and public aiming to increase access to electricity, but the scale of the task at hands is daunting.

Boeing, SAA, to Develop Tobacco Biofuel

United States aircraft manufacturer, Boeing, has teamed up with South African Airways (SAA) to develop jet fuel from a tobacco plant as part of efforts to cut carbon emissions and promote green energy in South Africa.
In a joint press statement, the companies say the jet fuel will be made from a hybrid tobacco plant known as Solaris, which will be produced by alternative jet fuel maker SkyNRG.
They say the test farming of the plants, which are nicotine-free, is under way in South Africa, with biofuel output expected in the ‘next few years’.

Funding to Boost Solar Power Project

The Development Bank of Southern African (DBSA) has signed a R1.4 billion contract with the European Investment Bank (EIB) to support development of a solar power project in the Northern Cape.
In a press statement, Jacky Mashapu, points out that, "We are encouraged by the EIB's trust and confidence towards our investment strategy in supporting SA's power generation infrastructure to improve the security of energy supply."
Mashapu says that the country's energy sector faced a number of problems and needed an energy mix to accelerate economic growth.

Court Urged to Halt ‘Illegal’ Smelter

The environmental activist grouping, Earthlife Africa, had asked the Gauteng High Court to halt smelting operations at the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa (NECSA) Pelindaba plant on the grounds that they were illegal.

The organisation, which wants the smelter to shut down, argues that the possibility exists that it could be turned to commercial use which would result in South Africa becoming ‘a nuclear waste junkyard’.

South Africa Warned Against Fracking

Environmental and anti-nuclear organisation, Earthlife Africa says fracking will have negative environmental consequences in the long-term.

President Jacob Zuma, in his State of the Nation Address, announced the possibility of pursuing shale gas, which is recognised as a game changer for the economy.

Earthlife Africa Johannesburg project coordinator, Tristen Taylor, points out that, “What we are discovering from shale gas field in the United States is that the decline rate is very high.”

Eskom Announces Electricity Supply Emergency

Power utility, Eskom, has declared an emergency as four generating units developed ‘technical problems’.
Eskom spokesperson, Andrew Etzinger, has requested large industrial consumers to reduce their electricity consumption by 10 percent.
Etzinger states that as per regulatory protocols available to Eskom, they have declared an emergency, which requires all large industrial users to reduce their load.

NGO Warns on Fracking in Botswana

Survival International, a British-based NGO, says the world should pay attention to the potential threat that hydraulic fracturing for gas has for the indigenous Khoisan people of Botswana.

The organisation, which aims to protect the rights of indigenous tribes, reported yesterday that large parts of Botswana’s Central Kalahari Game Reserve – home to Africa’s last hunting Khoisan – had been opened up to international companies for the controversial practice of fracking.


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