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2nd Call for Papers: 2018SAEEC Conference

The President of the board of the Southern African Energy Efficiency Confederation (SAEEC), Ms. Lisa Reynolds, cordially invites you to submit an abstract for consideration to speak at the 2018 Southern African Energy Efficiency Conference to be held on 13-14 November 2018 at Emperors Palace, Ekurhuleni, Gauteng, South Africa. All potential speakers’ abstracts will be reviewed by the Conference Technical Programme Committee based on this submission.
2018SAEEC Conference Abstracts due May 31, 2018.

ABSTRACTS COVERING THE FOLLOWING POSSIBLE THEMES ARE WELCOME FOR SUBMISSION:

  • Alternative & Renewable Energy
  • CHP / Power Generation
  • End-Use Technologies
  • Energy Management
  • Energy Policy
  • Energy Services
  • Government Energy Management
  • High Performance & Green Buildings
  • Industrial Energy Management
  • Sustainable Development
  • Transportation Systems

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SUBMISSION SCHEDULE:

01 March 2018: Abstract applications open
31 May 2018:
Closing date
02 July 2018: Notice of abstract acceptance
01 August 2018: First-draft papers submission
03 September 2018: Feedback and recommendations…………………………………………….
17 September 2018: Final paper submission
28 September 2018: Letter of acceptance
Abstracts submitted will be selected on the basis of significance, relevance, correctness, originality and clarity by a panel of reviewers.

Abstract Registration

Abstract Guidelines

For more information please contact us:
Ms Nikki Nel
Project Manager
Timzama Event Imagineers
Tel:  +27 18 290 5130
Email:  support@saee.org.za

The Southern African Energy Efficiency Confederation Conference (2018SAEEC) is presented by the Southern African Energy Efficiency Confederation (SAEEC) and organized by Timzama Event Imagineers.

Global water insecurity calls for water infrastructure maintenance

The growing funding gap to keep up with the rehabilitation, operation and maintenance of ageing water infrastructure is a global concern, particularly in the current age of austerity, says global engineering firm Aurecon.

The firm emphasises that new water systems need to be built to cope with increasing populations, shifting consumption patterns, improving technologies, an uncertain future and a changing climate.

“This is the only way we can guarantee the security of our water in the complex times of our future,” say Aurecon waterresources design director Dr Verno Jonker.

To tackle the outlined challenges, he suggests that there must be a global mindset change. “We need to create new sustainable and resilient water realities, based on a comprehensive understanding of problems, imaginative approaches, cooperation, new paradigms, and new technologies.”

In a South African context, Aurecon’s studies indicate the critical importance of constructing integrated bulk water supply infrastructure to mitigate negative impacts associated with limited water supply. This is already seen in the Western Cape’s forced Level 4 water restrictions, which have meant households and businesses have had to take extreme and immediate action to comply with critical water-saving measures.

“Almost every day, there are constant reminders of the increasing scarcity of water and the importance of managing this essential natural resource in the face of increasing demands, degrading environmental conditions and climate change,” says Aurecon water resources engineer Dr James Cullis.

The Value of Water 
Cullis explains that clean, safe drinking water is an important prerequisite for life, the environment and healthy living. He adds that, while many countries globally spend up to 20% of their national budgets on healthcare, investment in quality water supply remains inadequate.

“Globally, 1.1-billion people still do not have access to safe drinking water, and 2.6-billion people – half of the developing world – lack even basic sanitation facilities.”

As a result, Jonker reveals that four out of five illnesses in developing countries have been linked to poor water and sanitation, and one death in five of children under the age of five worldwide is related to waterborne diseases. Even in developed countries, a lack of attention to the protection of critical water supply sources can have significant human health implications.

Food is also dependent on water and without water security, crops and livestock are put at risk,” he points out.

He further highlights that, by 2050, it is expected that foodproduction will demand 20% more water than it currently does, owing to the increase in global standards of living and the trend towards diets consisting of meat and dairy products.

“The amount of water required in the cultivation and production of food and other products is significant. It takes 600 ℓ of water to produce 500 g of wheat, 1 000 ℓ of water for 1 ℓ of milk, and 4 600 ℓ to produce one 300 g beef steak.”

Water as a Catalyst for Peace

Moreover, Cullis explains that one of the greatest challenges for the future is how to ensure sufficient and sustainablewater supply for a growing global population in excess of seven-billion. Sustainable water resources management requires collaborative partnerships among diverse stakeholders.

The human right to water and sanitation acknowledges wateras a shared resource, which brings with it complex hydrological, social, environmental and economic interdependencies, notes Cullis.

“Our growing world will demand more water and generate more pollution. This impacts and threatens ecosystems, water sustainability, peace and security. This, in turn, threatens the future and certainty of the world’s watersupply.”

Water supply risks are exacerbated by inadequate infrastructure spending, maintenance and poor managementand governance. However, Jonker postulate that this could be a necessary catalyst for improved cooperation between countries, especially in regions such as Africa, with 59 transboundary river basins.

The challenge of ensuring that water infrastructure is invested in and maintained is integral to water security. The value of water is only known when it is no longer accessible, he concludes.

Source: Engineeringnews

Business doesn’t need permission to act on climate

Great leaders protect their nations and their communities by addressing current threats, scanning the horizon for approaching storms and transforming policies as needed. They understand that being prepared, as the Boy Scouts have taught us, is the requisite of security.

Today, without any doubt, the Earth’s climate is changing. In 2016, global temperatures were the highest recorded, surpassing the previous record set only the year before. Rising seas are already threatening island nations and coastal communities. Drought has forced millions of families to migrate in search of food, while the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joseph Dunford, and Secretary of Defense James Mattis have described climate shifts as a serious potential threat to the United States.

This is a threat that we must heed. We do not want to be caught unaware and in denial like the grasshopper of Aesop’s fables.

What do we do? One approach is to wait for the government to act. This is a hazardous path. As a candidate, President Donald Trump called climate change a hoax and dismissed the Paris Agreement as misguided.

China has taken the opposite position. It has committed to aggressive emissions reduction targets and, by some reports, is already ahead of schedule. In January, China halted plans for 103 coal-fired plants. Simultaneously, it is committing billions of dollars toward a low-carbon economy, creating jobs in renewable energy and supporting emerging nations in their efforts to adapt to the onslaught of climate change.

This does not mean that we in the U.S. are paralyzed. Climate change, in fact, has ushered in a renaissance in design, land use and technology. Businesses and universities are investing in new technologies as well as new partnerships with the focused mission of solving the climate challenge, with or without the government.

Architects are designing buildings that generate more energy than they consume. Farmers are using cropland more efficiently to prevent expansion into carbon-storing forest ecosystems. And cities, businesses and universities are continuing to invest in clean-energy breakthroughs that are driving down the price of wind and solar.

“Humanity has the capacity and the ingenuity to respond to climate stress. To do so, we must remember that no great transformation has been led by government alone”

In November, immediately after the U.S. presidential election and concurrent with the United Nations climate negotiations, the worlds of innovation and tradition came together as entrepreneurs and indigenous leaders joined forces to plan decentralized action to fight climate change. The result is the Roadmap, a call to action to create new inclusive models of change to fight climate change together as a global community.

One non-technological solution put forward was simply to support the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities, who control nearly 25 percent of the Earth’s surface and most of the planet’s healthy ecological systems. Their forests, if managed wisely, could capture one-third of the total amount needed to keep global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, which is what many scientists believe is the limit for avoiding the worst effects of climate change.

There is no doubt that humanity has the capacity and the ingenuity to respond to climate stress. To do so, we must remember that no great transformation has been led by government alone. It always has been up to private citizens to provide the solutions to back up formal policy.

Now, we push forward with that work, with or without the U.S. government. No matter what our government does, we — citizens, communities and businesses — must not hold back our creativity, urgency and investment.

This is the time for transformation without permission.

Source: greenbiz

Solar-power system could provide clean drinking water in rural India for the first time

A solar-powered purification system could slake the thirsts of rural India with clean drinking water for the first time. This would be no ordinary feat. Tens of millions of people in India lack access to potable water, and roughly 600,000 Indian children die every year from water- and sanitation-related diseases like diarrhea or pneumonia, according to UNICEF. In the country’s most far-flung regions, where 70 percent of India’s population lives, toxic bacteria routinely fouls at least half of the water supply. But while the Indian government has focused its efforts on treating surface water in rivers and streams, researchers from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland want to attack the source of contamination: sewage.

They’ve developed a system that uses sunlight to induce high-energy particles within a photocatalytic material, which uses light to generate a chemical reaction. These, in turn, activate molecules of oxygen, mobilizing them to destroy bacteria and other organic matter.

Because the materials require no power source, an off-grid system requires little more than attaching the photocatalyst to containers of contaminated water and angling them toward the sun until they’re safe to drink. If necessary, the system could be used in tandem with a filter to catch larger particles.

The researchers are now working with the Indian Institute of Science Education & Research to scale up the technologies they honed during a five-month pilot project.

“Working closely with our Indian partners, we aim to harness the sun’s energy to tackle a huge problem that affects many people around the world,” Neil Robertson, a professor from the University of Edinburgh’s School of Chemistry, said in a statement.

Source: inhabitat

Big Data and Africa’s Green Revolution

“Take it to the farmer”. Those were the last words of Dr. Norman Borlaug, as remembered by his granddaughter Julie Borlaug in her opening speech at the Africa Green Revolution Forum in Nairobi. The man whose improved wheat varieties sparked the Green Revolution in Asia during the 1960s had dreams to take new and improved agricultural technologies to Africa to spark a similar revolution here, but he died with “unfinished business”.

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That challenge now lies with us.

Data revolution key to solutions for nuanced African agriculture

I believe that if Africa can have a Green Revolution, central to it will be a data revolution.

That’s down to the fact that we live in such a diverse continent, with many different environments and cultures. It’s something to embrace and celebrate. But it also means that blanket solutions to agricultural challenges – like single new crop varieties – won’t work here. There is too much nuance. There is too much complexity. Instead, African agriculture needs site-specific solutions. And key to that is the collection, sharing, and analysis of farm data from all over the continent.

We need African farmers to monitor their farms like never before – recording rainfall, fertiliser use, the crop varieties they sow and the yields they produce, and sharing their results with scientists. We also need research organisations, universities, and governments to share the data they have generated over the years, with the global scientific community. By making data open access, we could trigger a bonanza for farmers.

Where data becomes intelligence

The CGIAR Big Data Platform will play an important role in this. When it launches in January 2017, it will be the largest convenor of big data experts in agriculture in the world. It will also collate and crunch data from organisations globally. Then thousands of computer modelers, GIS experts, and statisticians from the public and private sectors will mine it for patterns, trends, and anomalies.

The platform will be the place where data becomes intelligence, giving us unprecedented insights for improving agriculture. These will be shared directly with policymakers and governments so that intelligence becomes action on the ground. It will help farmers make better decisions about what to plant, when to plant and how to manage their crops in the best possible way. They will help make agriculture much smarter and much more precise.

And smart, precision agriculture is much more resilient to unpredictable weather, to pests and disease outbreaks and other challenges that affect African farmers every day. It will help take some of the huge risks out of farming, boosting food production, and helping protect soils and ecosystems. It will also ensure that agriculture is more responsive to new technologies, new practices, and emerging market opportunities. That will not only improve productivity and boost yields, it will enable farmers to grow and feed their own families more nutritious food.

Take the message to the farmer

Of course, when you improve smallholder farming in Africa, you also improve the lives of women. We need no reminding that they are the ones who put the food our tables here.

We’ve already seen how collecting and sharing high-quality data can help us achieve incredible, things, very quickly. In Colombia recently, rice producers saved millions of dollars by delaying planting until a dry spell had passed. This was the result of CIAT and the Colombian government working together with shared information and shared goals. I want to see these kinds of innovations and these kinds of impacts here in Africa.

We accept there will be challenges. But these shouldn’t stop us. When Norman Borlaug sent his improved wheat seeds to India, it wasn’t a smooth ride. They were held up at customs, denied permits and the first batch was entirely destroyed. But that didn’t stop him eventually getting them to farmers.

We should draw inspiration from this. It will require hard work, significant funding and global cooperation. But I firmly believe big data has the power to transform and revolutionise African agriculture. We need to seize the moment and take that message to the farmer.
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3 Low-Carbon Transportation Technologies Driving Development in the Global South

Transportation accounts for around one-seventh of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. And globally, greenhouse gas emissions are rising faster in transportation than in any other sector, with rapid motorization — more cars and trucks — being the principal cause.

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Enhanced mobility has many positive effects on economic development and social welfare, according to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, including more efficient movement of goods and improved access to jobs, health services and education. But if this is achieved primarily through increased reliance on conventional private cars, it can mean diverting substantial financial resources to roads and suffering worse air pollution and traffic congestion. The benefits are huge, but the costs also can be significant. And this is accentuated in the developing nations of Africa, Asia and Latin America. Most are experiencing rapid population growth and urbanization, and many have fast-growing economies.

But while the United States and some other wealthy countries struggle with crumbling transportation infrastructure riddled with underfunded bus, subway and light rail systems, many developing countries in the global South are facing an interesting challenge: developing low-carbon transportation systems where no formal transportation infrastructure previously existed. This provides both an opportunity and a challenge: because many cities in the global South lack substantial public transportation infrastructure, they can start with a relatively clean slate — but starting from scratch also can be difficult.

Some developing countries also face issues of changing the historical transportation industry structure, said Rachel Kyte, VP of sustainable development at the World Bank, in a 2011 interview. Many coun­tries in Africa, Latin America and Asia have bus systems that are owned and operated by a large number of small operators. Having a large number of small operators allows for low-cost services, but often leads to poor quality due to severe competition. Other problems include dangerous driving practices, pollution and a tendency to have too much service on profitable routes and virtual­ly no service on non-profitable routes.

Despite these challenges, some current and forthcoming innovations in public transportation are already or soon could help countries in the global South achieve low-carbon transportation systems. Here are some of the promising:

1. Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)

BRT is a bus-based mass transit system that generally has specialized design, services and infrastructure to improve system quality and remove the typical causes of delay. Sometimes described as a “surface subway,” BRT aims to combine the capacity and speed of light rail or metro with the flexibility, lower cost and simplicity of a bus system.

One of the best examples of BRT in the global South is the TransMilenio in Bogotá, Colombia. Opened to the public in 2000, TransMilenio consists of several interconnecting BRT lines, each composed of many elevated stations in the center of a main avenue. Users pay at the station entrance using a smart card, pass through a turnstile and wait for buses inside the station. The bus and station doors open simultaneously, and passengers board by walking across the threshold. TransMilenio buses enjoy their own dedicated lanes on the city’s sprawling and congested roads. For a city of 9 million people, TransMilenio was a godsend.

During my year living in Bogotá, I experienced TransMilenio firsthand, as it was my primary means of transportation across the sprawling city. While the system works well during non-peak hours, trying to use it during rush hour is a lesson into what it’s like to be a sardine. Granted, my Colombian friends told me of the horrors of trying to get across town before TransMilenio — people were forced to take so-called colectivos, or small private buses that run random routes throughout the city. Colectivos still play an integral role in getting people around, but for long-distance travel within the city, TransMilenio drastically cuts commute times — while it could take hours on a colectivo to get from one side of the city to the other, TransMilenio can cut this down to less than an hour.

2. Traffic-Straddling Buses

As crazy as it sounds, China has built a massive bus that straddles multiple lanes of cars to move commuters without creating additional traffic. Recently unveiled in Qinhuangdao, China, the prototype bus is limited to a 300 meter long track, with limited turns and traffic challenges.

If the bus proves capable of handling a wide variety of streets and traffic conditions, it could one day carry upwards of 1,200 passengers at speeds of close to 40 miles per hour. Adding a fleet of these buses to a crowded city center would be hundreds of millions of dollars cheaper than introducing new subways or elevated trains to help ease congestion.

3. Hyperloop

First proposed in 2013 by Tesla and SpaceX visionary Elon Musk, the ‘Hyperloop’ Transport System, has been promised to be capable of rapidly transporting people from Los Angeles to San Francisco via a tube in under 30 minutes. Earlier this year,Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT), the startup aspiring to bring the Hyperloop to life, began construction on a full-scale, passenger-ready Hyperloop. The prototype will run 5 miles through Quay Valley, a planned community rising from nothing along Interstate 5, midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

But the first commercial application of the Hyperloop technology would make more sense in the developing world, according to Dirk Ahlborn, CEO of HTT, during an appearance late last year. Cities such as Beijing and Bombay have serious transportation problems, and the Hyperloop could help address them. If powered by renewable energy, the Hyperloop could provide a form of fast, efficient and sustainable travel. Musk claimed that the Hyperloop is going to do for the 21st century what the railroad did for the 19th.
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Renewable energy: what has Africa accomplished thus far?

Guest letter by Sisa Njikelana, chairperson of the South African Independent Power Producers Association (SAIPPA).

Besides biomass and wind, which date deep into human history, renewable energy has always been viewed as an alternate power source, but it was only in the 1970s that it took a formidable shape – with Africa trailing behind.

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Finance and investments are amongst the vital arsenal for further rollout of renewables. The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) corroborates that Africa needs US$20 billion per year to achieve universal electricity access by 2030; such comprises 60% of the global demand. Unfortunately KPMG argues that the “biggest challenge in most countries of the [African] region has been the subsidised tariff structures for electricity”, which raises the risk of disincentive for new private investment.

Other latest developments, through innovative technologies (e.g. power storage, plug-and-play off-grid solutions), are viewed as additional arsenal notwithstanding their disruptive nature. At the recent African Utility Week, one expert contended that power storage has better prospects and will benefit Africa – excluding South Africa. Since Africa is power hungry it is therefore worth exploring various technologies, which are based on each country’s resources, e.g. South Africa and Zimbabwe are endowed with platinum that is essential for the hydrogen fuel cell.

Skills demand is ever increasing whilst the rate of training is lagging behind. Forbes research projects the growth of Wind Turbine Service Technicians’ occupations in the USA at 108% (from 4,400 in 2014 to 9,200 in 2024). According to SARETEC, Europe has a shortfall of about 2,500 of the same technicians and South Africa has had to import such skills.

The evolving electricity market in Africa has been characterised by policy inconsistencies, costly and painful delays, regulatory conflicts, unclear regulatory independence, and price based regulation that can be restrictive if not anchored in intensive and extensive consultation. Worth noting is that development of policy, legislation and regulation is lagging behind the rate of reforms in the power market.

Clear, consistent, transparent, and enabling regulations – whether in a highly regulated, liberalised or hybrid markets – are almost non-negotiable to attract meaningful foreign direct and/or local investments in power generation. Furthermore, the debate around whether large- or small-scale is the best route to take cannot be conclusive unless extensive studies and intensive debate or consultation takes place.

An exemplary testimony of growth in renewables, Sarah Odera’s MSc Dissertation (University of Cape Town) asserts that: “Kenya does not have any solar power generation at a utility scale. It does however have a developed solar PV market on a residential and institutional scale. The LCPDP (Least Cost Power Development Plan – like the South African IRP), 2010 estimated that there are 200,000 solar home systems installed in Kenya whilst Hansen et al, 2014 and Ondraczek, 2014 estimate the number to be 320,000 in 2010.”

Furthermore, the innovations on micro- and off-grid systems are growing; however, we need to be mindful of challenges of technology rivalry, which are not about to ebb or become overt notwithstanding their detrimental effect. At this stage, the harm by such may not be that obvious.

Despite the prospects and challenges highlighted above, the potential for energy-mixed power generation, including renewables, in Africa is enormous. McKinseys and Company claim in its 2015 report that “over the past 20 years, private capacity in sub-Saharan Africa has doubled every five years, with 50 percent of total IPP capacity added to the grid since 2009 alone.” However there is lamentation that the 6,00MW of IPP power added is insignificant compared to total need for 600 million inhabitants without electricity. The claim further extends to “project that sub-Saharan Africa will consume nearly 1,600 terawatt hours by 2040, four times what was used in 2010.”

Given this high demand and growing keenness by African governments to allow private sector participation, what is left is for the authorities to work hand-in-hand with business to ensure a more conducive environment for increased investment in renewables.
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Tallying the benefits of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Power Producer’s Procurement Programme

As energy investors eagerly await announcements of the preferred bidders in the latest round of South Africa’s renewable IPP programme – the so-called expedited bid window – it is worth reflecting on the successes of the country’s Renewable Energy Power Producer’s Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) and why it has achieved what many commentators believed was an unachievable feat.

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“The REIPPPP has been a resounding success, spurring not only investment into South Africa’s energy sector, but in the broader region,” says Scott Brodsky, Partner and energy lawyer at international law firm Macfarlanes, who are advising clients across Sub-Saharan Africa on all aspects of renewable and other energy projects, including project financing and bankable power purchase agreements. “The effect of load shedding on life, on businesses and the wider economies is devastating. Although South Africa is having temporary respite from load shedding, some countries in the region are experiencing 12 to 16 hours per day with no electricity. The good news is that IPPs are helping tremendously and the need for new generation has translated into significant new opportunities,” says Brodsky.

The successes of the REIPPPP have been notable; Brodsky and the Sub-Saharan Africa team of Macfarlanes  have power and energy specialists based in their offices in Johannesburg and London.. They are currently advising on energy projects throughout the region, including in South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, and Mozambique.

The success story of South Africa’s renewable energy programme is impressive when one views the figures. Sandra Coetzee, Head of Strategy at the Department of Energy’s IPP Office, recently shared the Department of Energy’s latest figures at the third annual IPP conference held in Sandton.

“Launched in 2011, the REIPPP Programme is bringing about a tangible transformation to our country’s power sector and economic and physical landscape. The competitive bidding approach clearly demonstrates that renewable energy options, and specifically onshore wind and solar PV power, can already be delivered at lower costs in energy terms, than new build fossil fuel solutions,” said Coetzee.

Here are some of the facts and figures:

• The AfDB estimates that nearly 654 million Africans still have no access to energy. This signals enormous potential for energy investment on the continent.

• In 2010, the South African government adopted a plan to grow the share of renewable energy in the electricity mix from 0% to 21% over the 20-year planning horizon to 2030, simultaneously reducing the capacity share of fossil fuels in the electricity mix from 86.5% to 57%.

• The REIPPP Programme has attracted vibrant investor interest both locally and abroad. Commitments to the value of 194 billion rand have been raised, contributing to South Africa being rated by the Climate Scope Index as 3rd and 4th most attractive renewable energy investment destination among emerging markets (in 2014 and 2015 respectively).

• The annual competitive bidding process effectively leveraged rapid global renewable energy technologies and price strengths, buying cleaner and cleaner rates with every bid cycle. Consequently South African citizens are getting the benefit of renewable energy at some of the lowest tariffs in the world.

• At the end of 2015, 6376 MW of power was successfully procured from 102 IPPs in four bid rounds of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer’s Procurement Programme.

• This 6376 MW of power procured represents an extraordinary 92.1% of the target 6925 MW renewable energy to be operational by 2020.

• Of the 6376 MW of renewable energy procured, just over 2GW of electrical generation capacity has been connected to the national grid. This is equivalent to half of the capacity of an additional coal powered station, delivered in only a third of the time.

• This renewable energy capacity is contributed by 40 operational renewable energy plants that will be producing approximately 5.12 terawatt hours of clean energy per year, enough to supply 1.5 million average South African households with power for a year.

• South Africa’s renewable energy share of installed capacity has grown from 0% to in 5% in five short years, making it one of the fastest growing renewable energy programmes in the world.

• Onshore wind has contributed 3308 gigawatt hours to the national grid, making it the biggest wind energy producer in Africa, followed by Morocco, whose installed capacity stood at 787 MW in 2015.

• South Africa was recognised among the top 10 countries with the largest installed utility scale solar photovoltaic capacity in the world, having reached 3300 gigawatt hours by December 2015. Concentrated solar power’s contribution to the grid was 181 gigawatt hours, whilst small hydro technologies made 40 gigawatt hours.

• A study by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) found that the wind and solar power capacity operational during 2015 showed an R800 million net benefit to the economy achieved during that year, followed by a further marked increase in the first 6 months of 2015, helping to save more than an additional 4 billion rand in costs to the economy.

• From programme inception to date, 7 million tons of CO2 equivalent reductions have been realised, of which 4.7 million tons alone were realised in 2014/2015. The procured renewable energy portfolio is projected to produce well over 19 terawatt hours per annum of clean energy, reducing the need for conventional fossil fuel based power supply.

• The environmental benefit of the renewable energy portfolio at full operation will displace 45 million tons of CO2 emissions per annum. Over 20 years this will amount to a total of 902 million tons, in other words, the equivalent of four full years of South Africa’s current electricity emissions at the reported 2014/2015 levels.

• The environmental significance and benefits of the renewable energy portfolio extend beyond the reduction of the country’s carbon footprint. Our current power system requires 1.4 litres of water for every kWh of energy produced. In comparison, wind and solar PV technologies require and consume hardly any water, offering a means to supply our energy needs without further burdening our scarce water resources. Beyond diversifying the supply and nature of SA’s electrical energy production, the programme is also providing a vehicle for delivering the country’s social and economic development objectives:

• The renewable energy IPPs have committed 19.2 billion rand towards social economic development initiatives in the country, with 15.2 billion thereof specifically allocated to local communities.

• Over 23 000 job year opportunities have been created to date for South African citizens; which continue to grow beyond the original expectations of project developers.

• At least 12 new industrial facilities that have been established in the country in direct response to the REIPPPP to date.

• The Programme has been called a flagship public private partnership model for South Africa and the rest of Africa by the WWF and is considered a blueprint to inform programme design in other African countries.

• The country has benefitted from an influx of foreign direct investment. The REIPPPP has attracted 53.4 billion rand in foreign investment and financing to date. Foreign equity in the REIPPPP is 35 billion rand, equivalent to 56.9 percent of the inward FDI attracted by SA during 2014.

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Mall of Africa set to open this month

South Africa’s largest single-phase shopping centre development to date, the $340 million (R5-billion ZAR) Mall of Africa, will be fully operational in 17 days — on 28 April 2016.

At 130,000sqm, Mall of Africa will feature over 300 retailers, restaurants, entertainment and cinema complex, all within a single development.

The mall is co-owned by two South African property companies. JSE-listed real estate capital growth fund Attacq Limited holds the commercial development rights to Waterfall and owns 80% of the Mall. Atterbury Property Developments owns 20% and is responsible for the development project, on behalf of Attacq.

“The development has enhanced the diversity of the retail sector in South Africa, changed Gauteng’s skyline and stimulated the economy,” says Louis van der Watt, CEO of Atterbury.

Funded by Nedbank CIB Property Finance, the construction of Mall of Africa began nearly three-and-a-half years ago, on 28 October 2012.

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While the mall comprises some 130,000sqm of gross lettable area, James Ehlers, MD of Atterbury Property Developments, notes its construction area covers a massive 550,000sqms – or 78 rugby fields. A stroll around the building’s perimeter will take you on a walk of 1.75 kilometres.

Ehlers also reveals that over 6 kilometres of shopfront has been created inside Mall of Africa. Plus, more than 530 kilometres of post tension cable has been used in its construction, as well as 18,500 tons of rebar and 205,000 cubic metres of concrete.

During the construction phase, a substantial 3,078 people were employed for the project and, by January 2016, they had worked 10.41-million man hours.

The shopping mall will open with seven anchor tenants, and an array of international retailers that have chosen to debut their brands to South Africans at the mall, as well as an appealing line-up of flagship stores for all major South African retailers.

Anchor tenants include Checkers, Edgars, Game and Woolworths. They will be joined by leading South African brands from The Foschini Group, Mr Price and Truworths.

International brands opening their first stores in South Africa at the mall include Armani Exchange, Helly Hansen, Asics, Zara Home, The Kooples, Under Armour, Mango Man, women’secret and Amsterdam-based Soap Stories.

One of the many leisure highlights at Mall of Africa is a magnificent outdoor park with a children’s play area featuring an interactive musical water fountain.

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The retail centre is situated in Midrand’s Waterfall City, halfway between Johannesburg and Pretoria. It is located adjacent to the Allandale Road exit of the N1 Highway, the first free-flow intersection of its size in Africa.

The mall has around 6,500 parking bays, most of which are under cover. It also offers valet parking, special drop-off facilities for buses and dedicated Uber pick-up and drop-off points – a first in the South African retail environment. It is also minutes away from the Gautrain Midrand Station.

While Mall of Africa is set to dazzle both locals and visitors from far and wide, there is much more to this ground-breaking development than first meets the eye.

The project implemented multiple green technologies, including a massive photovoltaic installation on the roof of Mall of Africa. The installation will be the largest in South Africa and Africa and will provide 4.8MVA of sustainable power for the centre. The mall will use grey water harvesting in all public toilets and for the irrigation of the entire development. Its design means natural light is maximized in the mall in such a way that shopper comfort is also optimised.

The shopping mall combines the latest international trends, environmentally sustainable materials and technologies. It is designed around new urbanism principles of walkable, mixed-use environments to create a truly cutting-edge shopping experience.

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Source: africapropertynews


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SolarPower Europe calls for policy changes to unleash solar+storage potential

SolarPower Europe, EHPA and EUROBAT propose regulatory adjustments needed to unlock huge potential of solar and storage solutions.

SolarPower Europe (former European Photovoltaic Industry Association), the European Heat Pump Association (EHPA) and the Association of European Automotive and Industrial Battery Manufacturers (EUROBAT) presented today a new “Solar and Storage” policy paper, proposing regulatory adjustments needed to unlock the potential of solar+storage technologies in Europe.

“Storage allows for households to consume more of the solar power they produce. But solar and storage together also provide wider system benefits as storage technologies allow for the best use of cheap solar electricity when it is available, “ said Policy Director of SolarPower Europe Alexandre Roesch.

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Considering that in 15 years from now, almost half of power in Europe is expected to be generated by renewables, appropriate energy storage solutions become a more and more important issue every day. And yet there is no commonly agreed legal definition of energy storage at the EU level, which slows down the creation of a real European market for the technology.
A common legal definition for storage is one out of six regulatory adjustments proposed by SolarPower Europe in the new policy paper. Further measures include the development of appropriate and cost-efficient framework for renewable self-consumption in the upcoming new Renewable Energy Directive. In parallel, energy policies should ensure that services provided by storage and solar to transmission system operators (TSOs) and distribution system operators (DSOs) are properly recognized and valorized.
Furthermore, the implementation of the EU strategy for heating and cooling should identify which elements require a regulatory prolongation in the product-related European legislation. Also, it should emphasize the potential of bridging electricity and thermal grids via the storage of surplus electricity in the form of heat.
The paper suggests that the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan should promote the integration of storage solutions into buildings, communities and industrial processes. Finally, it highlights the “great potential” of storage technologies for creating high-tech R&D and production jobs in Europe, and proposes the introduction of temporary market programs with a digressive design, which can help to accelerate cost reduction for energy storage.
“For example, the KFW program in Germany has helped to create a strong battery-storage market in Europe,” the paper says.
As the experts point out in the policy paper, solar and storage technologies provide new opportunities not only for homeowners and businesses but also for grid operators. For example, batteries can provide backup power through the entirety of a power outage period, serving as uninterruptible power supply unit, which is particularly useful in areas with weak low voltage grids.
Further benefits can be gained by combining thermal power generation with PV and storage technologies. “Heat pump systems equipped with storage are cost efficient thermal batteries providing demand response potential to the grid. Reversible heat pumps connected to PV generators provide renewable cooling when it’s needed most – with little impact to the grid,” said Thomas Nowak, Secretary-General of EHPA.

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Source: pv-magazine


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