The cost of Eskom’s three power station headaches

Take Home: Eskom has had three very expensive events at three different power stations (Duvha Unit 3, Majuba and Lethabo). The article suggests that the high costs arising from these events (totalling an cost of about R 6 billion!) and other consequences arising, were due to mismanagement at Eskom.
Read more: http://today.moneyweb.co.za/article.php?id=806431&cid=2015-01-26#.VMXklotv2-9

New solar plants in sunny Northern Cape

Take Home: There are a lot of new Solar power projects currently being developed in Northern Cape, which will amount to several hundred new MW’s of electricity to the grid. [Including Solar One of Spain, a client of S&L – 3 Sites, 150+ MWs]
Read more: http://www.southafrica.info/about/sustainable/solar-redstone-9115.htm#.VMX5NYtv3cP

Social cost of carbon six times higher than thought – study

Take Home: Researchers at Stanford University have put a social cost (lower crop yields, cost to human health and infrastructure damage) of $220 per tonne of carbon emitted, up from the US government figure used for decision making purposes, or $37 per tonne. The main reason for the discrepancy is that the Standford researchers argue that climate change will effect economic growth rates of countries. If agreed with, the research provides a basis to argue that higher cost climate change mitigation interventions should be used.
Read More: http://www.rtcc.org/2015/01/12/social-cost-of-carbon-six-times-higher-than-thought-study/

2014 officially the hottest year on record

Take Home: NASA and NOAA scientists report 2014 was 0.07F (0.04C) higher than previous records and the 38th consecutive year of above-average temperatures.  The world was the hottest it has been since systematic records began in 1880, especially on the oceans. The odds of that temperature shift occurring because of natural climate variability were less than one in 27 million, according to the Climate Central research group. This proves climate change is real, it is very serious, and the world needs to deal with it decisively and in a unified way.
Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jan/16/2014-hottest-year-on-record-scientists-noaa-nasa 

First solar powered computer lab launched in KZN school

Take Home: Africa’s first commercially available Solar Powered Container Lab is ready for use. These labs, holding 21 computers, are specifically developed for non-affluent schools, addressing lack of electrical infrastructure, lack of building infrastructure and lack of access to technology. This new school year, the learners and teachers at Umhloti Primary School in Verulam, KwaZulu Natal will use the first such lab, which was donated.
Read more: http://thegreentimes.co.za/first-solar-powered-computer-lab-launched-in-kzn-school/

Cansa launches fracking transparency initiative

Take Home: The Cancer Association of South Africa (“Cansa”) believes that water contaminated by hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) can cause cancer. Cansa has launched an initiative which it hopes will force companies to be transparent, should fracking for shale gas become a reality in the Karoo. The association says companies should be forced through legislation to release detailed information of the chemicals that are added to fracking fluid.
Read more: http://ewn.co.za/2015/01/22/CANSA-launches-fracking-transparency-initiative