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  • 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.

    To read the article titled, “Less than 10 percent of rural sub-Saharan Africans have access to electricity. what's being done to change that?,” click here.

    Global Voices Online
  • 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’.
    To read the article titled, “SAA to develop tobacco biofuel with Boeing,” click here.

  • 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.
    To read the article titled, “R1.4 billion deal for solar power project,” click here.

    Sowetan Live
  • 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’.

    Earthlife Africa has been in a decade-long dispute over the smelter which was constructed to decontaminate radio-active metal by smelting and mixing it with scrap metal.

    To read the article titled, “Earthlife Africa tells court Pelindaba smelter ‘illegal’,” click here.

  • 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.”

    To read the article titled, “Fracking will have environmental consequences: Earthlife Africa,” click here

    SABC News
  • 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.
    To read the article titled, “Eskom declares electricity supply emergency,” click here.

    Mail and Guardian
  • 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.

    It warns that if the Botswana government’s plans go ahead, it could be the first country in Southern Africa to carry out the extraction of gas from deep underground.

    To read the article titled, “Fracking puts Khoisan at risk, claims NGO,” click here.

    The Post
  • Botswana Silent Over Fracking in the Kalahari

    According to Wagdy Sawahel, while a fierce debate rages about fracking in South Africa and elsewhere, the Botswana government has been silently pushing ahead with plans to produce natural gas, keeping the country in the dark as it grants concessions over vast tracts of land, including half of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve - the ancestral home of the San.
    Sawahel says that a new documentary film - the High Cost of Cheap Gas - has uncovered incontrovertible evidence that drilling and fracking are underway in Botswana and that international companies are planning massive gas operations in the future.
    However, he says that there has been little attempt to inform the public, despite growing international concerns about the harmful effects of natural gas production.
    To read the article titled, “Fracking the Kalahari,” click here.

    All Africa
  • Eskom Apologises for Spying on NGOs

    Eskom has publicly apologised to three environmental non-governmental organisation – Greenpeace, groundWork and Earthlife Africa - after it was accused of spying on them.
    Eskom chief executive, Brian Dames, argues that the use of private companies to gather intelligence from stakeholders is unacceptable and not how Eskom does business.
    “To the extent that this may have happened as a consequence, even if unintended, is regrettable and Eskom apologises for this,” he explains.
    To read the article titled, “Eskom apologises for spying on NGOs,” click here.

    News 24
  • Fracking Process Contested

    If energy companies and the ruling African National Congress (ANC) are successful, the Karoo a semi-desert wilderness, will soon be home to scientists and geologists mapping out shale gas fields touted as game-changers for Africa's biggest economy, and determining whether fracking will work here.

    The fracking process is incurring challenges from multiple opponents - pro-fracking activists assert that a lengthy legal fight is inevitable.

    "After the licence has been granted, there is going to be legal battle after legal battle after legal battle," states chairperson of the Karoo Shale Gas Community Forum, Vuyisile Booysen.

    To read article titled, “Water, wealth and whites - SA's potent anti-fracking mix,” click here.

    SABC News
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