Tag Archives: green energy

What can you do to SAVE ENERGY




49M, South Africa’s leading energy saving movement is calling on all South Africans to avoid wasting and save energy this winter.

The campaign, which is certainly quickly becoming a trendsetter simply by challenging individuals to live energy efficient lives, has been received well via a countrywide creative campaign reminding citizens that any saving will go a long and make a difference.

The advertising campaign presently has new television and radio commercial adverts stressing the necessity of saving electricity as well as explaining to consumers that 49M is in fact putting its money where its mouth is.

The television commercial literally saves power through the process of using a black screen and making use of audio to convey the message to save energy.

The commercial unwraps with a black screen together with tiny white copy and audio telling the viewer that each and every amount of saving helps. The radio commercial at the same time calls on listeners to get started on saving the little they can, simply because it will assist to relieve the pressure on the national grid.

The marketing campaign can also be noticed on billboards in urban centers and townships throughout the country.

These adverts are directed at motorists and commuters in transit. Black 49M branded taxis are going to hit the streets soon – an initiative which will take the 49M brand to new heights.

The intent behind this outdoor campaign is to call attention and to remind all South Africans to try and do their little bit to save electricity throughout the toughest months of the year where demand from customers increases significantly as research has revealed that for every degree the temperature drops, electricity demand increases by as much as 700 MW during the evenings stated 49M’s ambassador Kheepe Moremi.

A great deal has been accomplished ever since the campaign was launched approximately a year ago. Just recently, the movement called on all South Africans to participate in Earth Hour on March 31 by turning off all unused electricity appliances.

South Africans listened to the call and saved an astonishing 402MW, a sufficient amount of electricity to power the city of Mangaung (Bloemfontein) for a day.

Up to now, the campaign has reached in excess of 40 000 South Africans in one-on-one conversations and more than 7 million people via the above-the-line campaign.

Make a difference and sign the 49M pledge.


For energy saving tips and ideas  – click here

Source: BuaNews


Robben Island Green Pilot Project will Lead SA into Sustainable Future

The South African National Energy Research Institute (Saneri) and the Department of Energy (DoE) have launched a pilot project aimed at turning Robben Island into a self-sufficient community that runs on green energy.

By using a hybrid approach to power generation, the Greening of Robben Island project will reduce the demand on the island’s infrastructures and its dependence on fossil fuels.

In 1999 Robben Island was inscribed on Unesco’s list of world heritage sites. As such it holds distinct historical meaning for South Africa and is a popular tourist destination.

Initially it served as a training and defence station during the Second World War. Later it was a place of quarantine for those suffering from leprosy, and in 1961 it became a penal colony for political prisoners.

Now it is to become the model for self-sustaining communities in South Africa and the Southern African region.

In Saneri’s 2009/10 annual report, the organisation’s CEO Kadri Nassiep described the Greening of Robben Island as a flagship project for Saneri, and one that is expected to thrust the island into a position of energy leadership for other South African communities, especially those which have limited or no access to the national grid.

Nassiep hopes to be able to reveal some of the technology in time for the 2013 meeting of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Cape Town.

Renewable energy sources

The Robben Island team is investigating the development of micro-hydroelectric, biomass, wind, solar and possibly wave technologies, with a view to rolling them out in other parts of the country where appropriate. The team hopes to begin infrastructure installation during 2011, although the time frame is dependent on funding.

Despite an earlier political hiccup which resulted in temporary suspension of the project, it is now going ahead, according to senior manager Derek Batte of the DoE.

The project is expected to produce about 600KW from its various energy sources, which will replace the two diesel generators that currently power the island, resulting in an expected monthly saving of around R450 000 (US$64 500).

A smart grid, currently in development at the University of Cape Town, will coordinate energy generation from the various sources and manage its distribution. All houses and buildings are to be fitted with energy efficiency technology, including solar water heating.

The notorious Western Cape wind will be harnessed not by conventional wind turbines, but by vortex turbines, which, according to an October 2010 Financial Mail report, are smaller, less intrusive and operate without masts and rotors.

Hydropower is used for desalination and for the production of energy. Micro-hydropower installations are capable of providing power to a small community and are found around the world. They provide an economical resource without the need to buy fuel and in many instances, complement photovoltaic systems when solar energy is diminished.

The clearing of alien vegetation, bush encroachment and certain grasses, as well as household waste, will provide the biomass which in turn will power biogas generation. This takes place in an anaerobic digester and produces a combination of methane and carbon dioxide, which can then be used for heating and cooking, as a fuel source, or to drive an energy-generating turbine.

Projects such as these are undertaken in many parts of the world and on different scales. According to Batte, South Africa can play a major role in this development space.

A virtual model of the island is available on the Robben Island Museum website and those interested will be able to follow the project’s progress online from April 2011. The website will also provide real-time energy generation figures.

Optimal energy consumption

The Robben Island project falls under the Working for Energy programme, presented by former finance minister Trevor Manuel in his 2008/9 budget vote.

This is a joint project involving the DoE and Saneri, a body established in 2004 under the guidance of the Department of Science and Technology and the Department of Energy. Saneri is a subsidiary of the parastatal Central Energy Fund.

Starting with a modest budget of R5-million ($717 000) in 2009/10, Working for Energy was developed to use and distribute potential hybrid, renewable and alternative energy technologies in an effort to cut down on fossil fuels, generate more power for South African communities, and reduce associated costs.

The project’s budget for 2011/12 is a more substantial R25-million ($3.6-million) and signifies the government’s commitment to developing South Africa’s clean energy industry.

It mirrors the successful job creation concept of other environmental initiatives such as Working for Water, Working for Wetlands and Working for Fire. Job creation is sustained through use of labour-intensive practices, helping to boost skills transfer and develop local economies and capacity.

Source: mediaclubsouthafrica.com, figo2009.org.za,  thefinalthird.com, picafric.com, penguins.neaq.org,


Summit calls for government to fast-track green growth

South Africa’s first Green Economy Summit ended with delegates calling for the development of green growth policies and regulations which support the development of clean technologies.

As part of the declaration, the 650 delegates – including international guests – resolved to put the brakes on carbon emissions and other forms of pollution that have proved to be a hurdle to green economy development. The summit, held in Sandton, ended on Thursday.

They also resolved to push for the diversification of energy sources and implementation of energy efficient programmes, crucial for ensuring green growth. The summit was organised by the Environmental Affairs Department and as such, the declaration commits the government, with the help of civil organisations and business, to implement a plan that would lead to a job intensive green economy.

Green economy to stimulate job creation

A transition to a green economy has been stated as one that could stimulate the much-needed job creation in the country. Both Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel and his Environmental Affairs counterpart Buyelwa Sonjica earlier this week said the renewable energy industry could boost the government’s plans of halving unemployment by 2014.

Patel told delegates at the Summit on Tuesday that the green economy sector was capable of creating some 300 000 jobs over ten years. It is projected that the benefits, which includes health and pollution management, waste collection, disposal, and storage activities, could generate between R22 billion and R36 billion within the environmental sector and could potentially create 20 000 jobs by 2013. Green jobs have been defined as those jobs which reduce the environmental impact of enterprises and economic sectors, ultimately to levels which are sustainable.

The summit recognised that to achieve job creation, fundamental questions needed to be answered such as how the country’s macroeconomic policy would be realigned to meet the needs of green growth; the role of public expenditure and look at how the Department of Environmental Affairs will work with other stakeholders to ensure the successful transition to green economy.

“Today, the natural resource base of our planet is in danger, as indicated by many presenters in this Summit. This should be of concern to all if we want future generations to live in a healthy and fairer planet,” said Maggie Sotyu, chairperson of Parliament’s portfolio committee on Environmental Affairs.

She said parliament will play a significant role in initiating and speeding up the process of greening the economy, especially in the form of new legislation and policy frameworks to facilitate the realisation of green economy in the country.

Sotyu said the impact of the global economic crisis propelled many developed and developing nations to put forward national and international policy responses and proposals for the way forward in terms of reforming the financial architecture and global economic governance.

“In light of the recent political developments, new threats and challenges, and the need to identify alternative development, strategies are needed to support key objectives,” she said.

Reducing transport carbon footprint

The summit declaration further touched on the role of the transport sector in ensuring that it reduces its carbon footprint through cost effective interventions including shifting freight from road to rail as well as passengers towards public transport. One delegate from Port Elizabeth even suggested the introduction of bicycle lanes on all of the country’s major roads to encourage the use of bicycles, something that is practiced in most European countries.

In a unity statement produced at the end of the conference, delegates committed to ensuring that the country’s growth path is resource sufficient, far less carbon intensive and more labour absorbing.

The meeting also drew attention to concerns that the current patterns of production and consumption may lead to unsustainable utilization and collapse of natural ecosystems which underpin social and economic growth.

Zuma supports new growth path

Addressing the summit on Tuesday, President Jacob Zuma committed government to embarking on a new growth path that will aim at creating jobs through green economy and climate friendly initiatives.

Zuma said renewable energy is becoming an increasingly viable alternative to the energy sources that fuelled the growth of the developed world. “But for Africa to make use of its abundant renewable energy sources, it needs substantial investment, skills, technology and greater economic integration,” he said.

Source: BuaNews, urbansprout.co.za, dfg.ca.gov, greencitizens.net,