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Environmental Studies News

South Africa's permission for ACWA plant expires, lawyers say

By: Bloomberg     19th February 2020 ACWA Power has been informed by the South African government that its environmental authorisation to build a 306 MW coal-fired power plant in the country has expired, according to lawyers opposing the project. The authorisation for the Khanyisa coal-fired plant lapsed on October 31, 2018, and the... 

Skills shortage plagues natural refrigerant sector

By: Darren Parker     14th February 2020 One of the most pertinent issues facing the local heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC-R) industry is the lack of specialised skills needed for the systematic adoption of natural refrigerants in place of traditional synthetic refrigerants. Heightened pressure on... 

Skills shortage plagues natural refrigerant sector
SNEAKY LEAKS Refrigeration systems charged with odourless CO2 need to be monitored with sensors to ensure leaks do not compromise air quality in enclosed spaces

Renewed call to ban disposable cylinders

By: Darren Parker     14th February 2020 Despite various heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC-R) industry participants contesting the banning of disposable gas cylinders in South Africa for years, there is no indication of a decision on the matter being reached. South African Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning... 

Renewed call to ban disposable cylinders
TIME TO SCRAP THIS PRACTICE Disposed cylinders create about 3 150 m3 scrap metal and can explode if not thoroughly evacuated

World emissions kept in check as rich nations kick coal habit

By: Bloomberg     11th February 2020 Global emissions from energy held steady in 2019 for the first time in three years as developed nations continued to move away from coal power and toward renewable energy and natural gas. Even as the world economy grew, energy-related carbon dioxide emissions remained at 33.3-billion tons.... 

'Drastic' fall in bumblebee populations shocks scientists

By: Reuters     7th February 2020 When scientist Peter Soroye first saw the figures showing estimated bumblebee populations in North America had fallen by nearly 50% in a single generation, he thought it must be a typo. He checked the numbers - the result of a long-term analysis of bumblebee populations published in the journal... 

'Drastic' fall in bumblebee populations shocks scientists

Kruger National Park sets traps for tree-killing beetles

By: Yvonne Silaule     6th February 2020 Game reserve, the Kruger National Park, has warned tourists and residents from local communities to burn wood in the locality of where they find it to avoid the spread of the polyphagous shot-hole borer (PSHB), a type of beetle that has been spreading across South Africa and killing trees. The... 

Kruger National Park sets traps for tree-killing beetles

DRC to benefit from rise in global copper demand  

By: Kim Cloete     5th February 2020 Canadian mining company Ivanhoe Mines chairperson Robert Friedland is capitalising on the rising need for more copper globally, with a mission to restore the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC's) position as the number one producer of copper metal in the world. Friedland told the 2020 Investing... 

DRC to benefit from rise in global copper demand
Ivanhoe Mines chairperson Robert Friedland addresses the Investing in African Mining Indaba. Video and editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Creecy invites comment on extending EAP registration deadline  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     27th January 2020 Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy has published, for public comment, a notice of her intention to amend the Section 24H Registration Authority Regulations of the National Environmental Management Act. This is aimed at extending the date for the compulsory registration... 

EV pilot programme can help Rwanda go green

By: Cameron Mackay     24th January 2020 Electric mobility through electric vehicles (EVs) in Rwanda can help the country in its efforts to go green, says Volkswagen South Africa (VWSA) CEO Thomas Schäfer.  This comes after Volkswagen launched a pilot project in the country in October last year, where it introduced its first EV in Africa. 

EV pilot programme can help Rwanda go green
Photo by Creamer Media
THOMAS SCHÄFER Africa will develop in many ways with cooperation. We need to learn to work together across the continent, find shared value, and ways of collaborating

Children across South Africa learn about renewables in vernacular

By: Simone Liedtke     21st January 2020 English, Afrikaans, Xhosa and Setswana speaking children across South Africa are learning about the role that wind power is playing as the world transitions to renewable power for a cleaner, healthier planet through a beautifully illustrated story book, named Let the Wind Blow. The South African... 

Children across South Africa learn about renewables in vernacular

World risks 'disaster' as reuse of natural resources declines

By: Reuters     21st January 2020 The proportion of raw materials the world is reusing has fallen, researchers said on Tuesday, warning of a "global disaster" as annual consumption of natural resources rose to 100-billion tonnes for the first time. Just 8.6% of the 100-billion tonnes of materials – including minerals, metals,... 

South Africa has huge 'green fuels' potential. But it needs to act now

10th January 2020 In this opinion piece, first published in The Conversation, professors David Walwyn and Rod Crompton make the case for South Africa to pay greater research and development attention to the production of green hydrogen using a combination of wind and solar power and electrolysers. In addition,... 

South Africa has huge 'green fuels' potential. But it needs to act now

Additional renewable energy development zones proposed

13th December 2019 The second phase of the Strategic Environmental Assessment for wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) energy in South Africa proposes three additional renewable energy development zones for wind and solar PV energy projects. The renewable energy development zones support the responsible implementation... 

Additional renewable energy development zones proposed
RENEWABLE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT ZONES The Phase 2 proposed zones support the responsible implementation of the Integrated Resource Plan 2019

Water project underway and making progress

13th December 2019 Last month, the official ground-breaking function for Phase II of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) took place and was attended by Kingdom of Lesotho Minister of Water Samonyane Ntsekele and South Africa Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu. “Implementing Phase... 

Water project underway and making progress
DAM BIG PROJECT The site of the 2.3-billion-cubic-metre Polihali dam

Environmental studies essential to REIPP success

By: Darren Parker     13th December 2019 In most renewable-energy independent power producer (REIPP) project cases, environmental sensitivities can be successfully avoided if developers embrace advice given by environmental consultants during the environmental impact assessment (EIA) stage. This enables developers to better ensure that... 

Environmental  studies essential  to REIPP success
NOT WINGING IT Embracing the advice given by professional environmental consultants early on can lead to the avoidance of many environmental issues

4IR could lead to ‘profound changes’, says German embassy

By: Simone Liedtke     10th December 2019 The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) would “radically transform the working environment” and affect almost every industry and country and, in so doing, lead to “profound changes in systems, production and government”, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany to South Africa cooperation head... 

4IR could lead to ‘profound changes’, says German embassy
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Embassy of Germany cooperation head Fabian Kyrieleis

Waste management, recycling needed for sustainability

29th November 2019 Waste management and recycling practices play an important role in South Africa’s sustainability drive. With the conservation of resources being the responsibility of all governments, South Africa introduced the Carbon Tax Act with the aim of reducing carbon emissions by 34% by 2020 and 42% by 2025. 

Waste management, recycling needed for sustainability
AGAIN AND AGAIN Nampak has undertaken to recycle and reuse plastics in their plight to produce sustainable packaging

Company launches first plastics research centre

By: Halima Frost     29th November 2019 Specialist chemicals company Clariant last month announced the inception of its EcoCircle centre of excellence, based on its plan to offer significant support to reduce, reuse and recycle. The first such centre will be based at Clariant’s Masterbatches Business Unit in Pogliano, Italy, and aims... 

Company launches first plastics research centre
BACK TO GREEN The EcoCircle center of excellence brings with it support of the reduce, reuse and recycle concept

Innovation key in reducing sector impact on environment

29th November 2019 The energy and electrical sectors should be at the forefront of innovation to reduce its impact on the environment, says diversified power management company Eaton South Africa’s Energy Saver System business development manager Marcel Buckner. “This at a time when the world’s focus is... 

Innovation key in reducing sector impact on environment
GOOD GAS The Xiria switchgear system does not use harmful sulphur hexafluoride gases

Research grant awarded at environment conference 

By: Halima Frost     29th November 2019 Stellenbosch University research fellow Dr Hayley Clements was announced as the recipient of the inaugural Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer Research Grant last month at the tenth Oppenheimer Research Conference held in Midrand, Gauteng. The research grant was set up to honour the late Jennifer Ward... 

Research grant awarded at environment conference
Oppenheimer Generations research head Dr Duncan MacFadyen discusses the Oppenheimer Research Conference and the recipient of the Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer Research Grant

Water-treatment technology launched in Amsterdam

By: Halima Frost     29th November 2019 Earlier this month, flow control, filtration and environmental technology supplier Flowrox launched its Flowrox Corona non-thermal plasma water-treatment technology at the Aquatech expo, in the Netherlands. The Flowrox Corona was selected as one of the finalists for the Aquatech Innovation Award... 

Water-treatment technology launched  in Amsterdam
PURI-FECT The Flowrox Corona uses cold plasma technology to purify wastewater before being reintroduced into the environment

Solaris-based biodiesel introduced to operations at OR Tambo

By: Simone Liedtke     28th November 2019 Various entities on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for Project Reya Foya, the follow up to Project Solaris, which will introduce Solaris-based biodiesel into the ground-handling operations at OR Tambo International Airport. Solaris is a nicotine-free tobacco plant used by... 

Solaris-based biodiesel introduced to operations at OR Tambo
A Solaris seed pod

Thirty JSE-listed companies embark on biodiversity valuation assessments

By: Simone Liedtke     25th November 2019 Thirty JSE-listed companies, across various sectors, are being supported by a World Wide Fund for Nature-South Africa (WWF-SA) Nedbank Green Trust project team to assess their current levels of biodiversity mainstreaming into their strategies and activities. The assessments are supported by the... 

Fuel for rockets, Zeppelins points toward green heat solution 

By: Bloomberg     18th November 2019 It’s the most nettlesome problem in the quest to ditch fossil fuels: how can you get thousand-degree heat used in factory furnaces without pumping billions of tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere? Heat-intensive processes like steelmaking and oil refineries are the starting point for... 

Fuel for rockets, Zeppelins points toward green heat solution
The Enel Fusina hydrogen plant near Venice, Italy.

Global pollution is rising again and won’t peak before 2040

By: Bloomberg     13th November 2019 Global greenhouse-gas pollution rose for a second year, ending a lull in emissions and putting the world on track for further increases through 2040 unless governments take radical action. The findings in the International Energy Agency’s annual report on energy paint a grim outlook for efforts... 

Greenpeace finds rare underwater biodiversity haven offshore Cape Town

By: Marleny Arnoldi     13th November 2019 A team of Greenpeace activists, divers and scientists has discovered a “biodiversity haven” on the Vema Seamount, which is 1 000 km off the coast of Cape Town in the southeast Atlantic ocean. The discovery was made onboard the environmental organisation’s research expedition called Arctic... 

Focus on implementing energy efficiency project by 2021

By: Cameron Mackay     8th November 2019 The National Cleaner Production Centre (NCPC-SA) is looking to escalate the implementation of energy management in South African industry to allow companies to benefit from the support of the Industrial Energy Efficiency (IEE) Project before the project ends in 2020/21. The IEE Project is... 

Focus on implementing energy efficiency project by 2021
ENSURING ENERGY EFFICIENCY Companies participating in the IEE Project have achieved energy savings of 4 286 GWh since 2010, and GHG mitigation of 3.9-million tonnes of CO2 equivalent

French cement company sells promise of greener future in IPO

By: Bloomberg     21st October 2019 A tiny French cement company sold shares on the Paris exchange with a big promise: to shake up global production and reduce carbon emissions. Hoffmann Green Cement Technologies pitched to investors a “disruptive” manufacturing process based on changing the composition of cement so that it no... 

Plastic bottles vs aluminium cans: who'll win the global water fight? 

By: Reuters     17th October 2019 Global bottled water giants are ramping up trials of easily recyclable aluminium cans to replace plastic that pollutes the world's seas. Sound like a slam-dunk for the environment? Not entirely. Aluminium cans might indeed mean less ocean waste, but they come with their own eco-price: the... 

New water-level station introduced

By: Tracy Hancock     11th October 2019 The HOBO MicroRX water-level station, which can monitor water levels in the harshest conditions, is the “perfect solution” to South Africa’s current economic and environmental challenges, says local technology integrator Euca Technologies. South Africa has fast become a water-conscious country,... 

New water-level  station introduced
INFORMED DECISION-MAKING The MicroRX water-level station can provide data to help businesses make more informed decisions on how best to action strategies that allow for better management

Minerals Council calls for rational debates on a just transition 

By: Kim Cloete     9th October 2019 The Minerals Council South Africa has called for "rational and sombre" debates about a just transition from coal-fired power to more wind and solar energy and has outlined the difficult situation mining companies are facing, amid higher electricity prices and other input costs. The council's... 

Minerals Council calls for rational debates on a just transition
Photo by Creamer Media
Minerals Council chief economist Henk Langenhoven

Drought conditions persist in some parts of the country – Agriculture dept

By: African News Agency      9th October 2019 Below normal rainfall is anticipated over the central and south-eastern parts of South Africa during late spring, while above normal rainfall is expected during early summer to mid-summer in the central and eastern regions, the department of agriculture, forestry and fisheries said on Wednesday,... 

Drought conditions persist in some parts of the country – Agriculture dept

As great white sharks disappear, Cape Town searches for reasons

By: Bloomberg     30th September 2019 Capetonians don’t know who to blame for the disappearance of their great white sharks: The orcas that eat them, the fishermen who sell their prey to Australia for use in fish-and-chips shops or gradual ecological change. The world’s biggest predatory fish haven’t been seen this year in False Bay,... 

Shipping sector sets course for zero carbon vessels, fuel by 2030

By: Reuters     23rd September 2019 Leading ports, banks, oil and shipping companies on Monday launched an initiative which aims to have ships and marine fuels with zero carbon emissions on the high seas by 2030, in another step by the maritime sector to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2). International shipping accounts for 2.2% of... 

HVAC-R system to be introduced to S Africa in Q1 2020

By: Cameron Mackay     20th September 2019 Diversified technology company Johnson Controls will introduce Verasys – the first plug-and-play control system that integrates heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC-R) equipment and controls – to the South African market in the first quarter of next year. Johnson... 

Institute establishes drive for CO2 as natural refrigerant

By: Cameron Mackay     20th September 2019 Local heating, refrigeration and air conditioning (HVAC) industry body the South African Institute of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (SAIRAC) has established a drive to introduce the option of using carbon dioxide (CO2) as a natural refrigerant, referred to as R744, through technical talks... 

National action ‘critical’ in combatting climate change, says Momoniat 

By: Simone Liedtke     19th September 2019 Appropriate action to help transition the South African economy onto a low-carbon growth path, as articulated in the National Development Plan, is needed, says National Treasury deputy-director general Dr Ismail Momoniat. Speaking at a Carbon Tax Colloquium hosted by the South African National... 

National action ‘critical’ in combatting climate change, says Momoniat
Photo by Creamer Media's Simone Liedtke
National Treasury deputy-director general Dr Ismail Momoniat
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