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Saliem Fakir

Saliem Fakir

Fakir is interim executive director of the African Climate Foundation –

SA needs an independent system operator 

By: Saliem Fakir     8th July 2011 Previously, I noted some reservations about the idea of an independent system and market operator (ISMO). 

Do green jobs threaten other jobs?

By: Saliem Fakir     10th June 2011 You have probably heard this before: green industries will steal jobs from other sectors. Superficial logic invites superficial conclusions. But here is an exploration that may help to deepen the debate on this matter. 

Japan’s nuclear crisis shows up the ‘unknown unknowns’ 

By: Saliem Fakir     13th May 2011 After the Japanese nuclear accident following the tsunami there has been a lot of chatter by defenders of nuclear power that nuclear is still here to stay. That may be true. Nuclear technology tends to be presented as a flawless technology by proponents. But then Fukushima came like a ‘Black... 

Fracking in the Karoo – who do we believe? 

By: Saliem Fakir     15th April 2011 While Shell is attracting the most negative publicity owing to its application to the Petroleum Agency of South Africa for exploration rights in the Karoo, other companies have also submitted applications, including Anglo Coal and Sasol. The latter is also in partnership with an American and... 

Why a carbon tax will be useful in supporting a transition to a low-carbon future

By: Saliem Fakir     1st April 2011 The National Treasury’s deadline for comments on the draft discussion document on carbon taxes was February 28. Business and industry have set up a special task team on the carbon tax. They do not like the idea at all and are preparing for a big fight. The debate is unlikely to be sober.  

Will an independent system and market operator fly in South Africa?

By: Saliem Fakir     11th March 2011 A number of public statements on the issue of an Independent System and Market Operator (ISMO) have been made by government officials in the last year or so. Whether an ISMO is the best route to go or not for South Africa’s electricity sector is open to debate.  

Climate change Green Paper under the spotlight

By: Saliem Fakir     11th February 2011 The 38-page National Climate Change Green Paper was released just before most of South Africa’s negotiating team went to Cancun.  

From Cancun to Durban – what’s in store for the next 12 months?

By: Saliem Fakir     14th January 2011 When you land in Cancun, what strike you most starkly are concrete blocks upon concrete blocks that have taken occupation where lush mangroves once existed.  

The merits of a solar cluster 

By: Saliem Fakir     10th December 2010 The solar park idea raises the question of how South Africa should be positioning itself to take advantage of the country's abundant solar resources.  

Taking the wind out of the baseloaders 

By: Saliem Fakir     12th November 2010 What is disturbing is not the debate about baseload power versus intermittent power. This debate is always useful as we grapple with the the question of what our energy mix should be going into the future. 

Just how much coal do we have in the ground? 

By: Saliem Fakir     15th October 2010 Propaganda has it that South Africa has enough coal to fire our power plants for 200 years or until alternatives that can compete with coal come onto the market. But we may not have enough coal to last that long.  

The carbon tax debate and irrational howls 

By: Saliem Fakir     17th September 2010 No sooner was the announcement that a carbon tax was on the cards made than the hecklers from special interest groups and their lobbyists started coming out of the woodwork. 

Our expectations of electric cars must be tempered with reality 

By: Saliem Fakir     20th August 2010 Electric cars are often spoken of as if they will turn the tide against the current fleet of petroleum junkies. But we may be far from that nirvana.  

Reflections on the Integrated Resource Plan 

By: Saliem Fakir     16th July 2010 The Integrated Resource Plan 2010 (IRP2010) consultation process has begun. It should provide the ideal vehicle for the convergence of low-carbon energy policy with climate issues and the development of new industrial opportunities in the cleantech sector.  

How realistic is the green economy?

By: Saliem Fakir     18th June 2010 The idea of a green economy has gained great popularity of late but the proof will be in implementation. During the last year, particularly, green economy issues have gained ascendancy, receiving a boost through fiscal stimulus measures in many countries where the recession has resulted in... 

Climateproofing the second Integrated Resource Plan 

By: Saliem Fakir     21st May 2010 The second Integrated Resource Plan (IRP2) should be due anytime soon. It will be a crucial document that will pretty much define South Africa’s energy mix for the next 20 years. Getting it to speak to the right things will involve intense wrangling between advocates for different energy solutions. 

Should we have a carbon tax to promote a low-carbon economy? 

By: Saliem Fakir     16th April 2010 The question of the merits of a universal carbon tax compared with those of a cap-and-trade system is a source of considerable debate among policymakers. Some time soon, the National Treasury should be releasing a discussion paper on the matter, and this may or may not settle the issue.  

Why transformation of the energy-industrial complex is crucial for a low-carbon economy 

By: Saliem Fakir     19th March 2010 Everything new has to start somewhere – so the saying goes. If truth be told, there are more than just climate change reasons why we need to shift our energy-industrial complex to a low-carbon trajectory. 

The Paradox of peak oil  

By: Saliem Fakir     19th February 2010 The paradox is simply: the lesser of a thing, the more there will be of it. An oil peak implies that the production peak will occur when about half of the total oil in the reservoir has been extracted. 

The two stages to a low-carbon future 

By: Saliem Fakir     22nd January 2010 The transition to a low-carbon future is inevitable and will involve two stages.  

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