Approximately seven million prepaid electricity meters in South Africa need to be reset before November 2024 as the system that runs the credit tokens will run out of numbers at this time and all existing meters will stop accepting credit tokens. The South African metering standards industry body, Standard Transfer Specification Association (STSA), has embarked on an awareness programme to inform utilities to upgrade their vending systems to STS600 and visit each meter in its region to clear the memory and change the meter key before November 2024. Don Taylor, director of STS Association, explains: “the token identifier (TID) is calculated as the number of minutes that have elapsed since a defined base date of 1993 up to the time of creating the token. The TID has a limited range and will run out in November 2024, at which point all existing prepayment meters will stop accepting credit tokens. In order to circumvent this issue, the memory of each meter needs to be cleared of all stored TIDs and its cryptographic key needs to be changed before 2024.” The new range of TIDs will then start from a new base date of 2014 and run out in 2045, thus extending the useful functional life of the meter. “In order to do this key change,” Mr Taylor explains, “it is necessary that each meter has to be physically visited, which can be performed either by dedicated employees of the utility or by the end customer.” Concerned utilities may leave this too late “There is thus a six-year window,” he continues, “within which the utilities have to complete this programme. Because we are concerned that utilities may leave this too late, we are embarking on an awareness programme by reaching out to all STS users and providing a platform that will facilitate technical support and guidance to users during the implementation of the TID rollover programme. We aim to establish a website for this purpose where users can interact by discussion of issues. In addition we are embarking . . .
Solar PV is overwhelmingly seen as the most promising generation source for Africa while corruption, skills gaps and access to finance are some of the biggest challenges that power and water professionals face in their industries. This is according to a survey by the organisers of African Utility Week amongst attendees of the annual event in Cape Town last year. Other questions in the survey included what respondents think will have the biggest impact on the energy and water sectors, what future technology excites them and what the biggest challenges are that they face in their industry. Of the 834 people surveyed, 696 are South African (71%), 199 are from 24 other African countries (63 Kenyan, 85 Nigerian) and 40 from the rest of the world, including Europe, USA, China, India and Canada. Most promising generation source Asked what the most promising source of generation is for Africa, Solar PV scored more than 54% amongst the respondents while nuclear was second with 11%. “The reason could be that rooftop PV, when measured against the other technologies, is easy to execute as a project and photovoltaic modules are becoming very affordable,” says Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl, editor of the energy trade journal, ESI Africa. She adds: “it is also the most obvious technology to use in mini- and off-grid projects as well as for use in hybrid models. However, what is interesting but not surprising is that 11% of respondents feel that nuclear energy is the most promising generation source. Nuclear has its merits. What is disappointing is how few are in favour of biomass as a promising source of generation capacity, considering that this technology offers a distributed model and a measure of reducing the mounds of waste that Africa’s cities are confronted with. Another concern is the lack of interest in wind energy – only 8% of respondents felt this technology a worthy source; however, it does rank slightly higher than hydro where the continent’s impressive . . .
Johannesburg, Gauteng, 22 March 2018, Servest are in the process of testing new battery operated landscaping equipment. These include leaf blowers, brush cutters, hedgers, trimmers and pruners, which are all battery operated. “Servest Landscaping and Turf are on par with international best practices in improving productivity, sustainability, and the assurance of aligning business practices to that of international standards”, says, Andre Ferreira, Sales and Marketing Director at Servest. The client, where Servest are currently testing this equipment, is amazed with the low noise levels of the blowers. This was tested outside the boardroom where a meeting was in progress without the participants even knowing that garden machinery was in use. According to an article in BizCommunity, ‘noise is a natural consequence of whatever we do. It forms part of our everyday lives and, we often just tolerate it. Nevertheless, noise has the capacity to cause conflict between those who are generating it and those who are victims of it. However, noise nuisance is a totally different animal and includes operating machinery, or power tools that cause a noise nuisance, among other things’. According to the case of Laskey and Another v Showzone CC and Others (5988/06)  ZAWCHC 50;  4 All SA 1162 (C) (30 October 2006) there are two different kinds of noise, namely, disturbing noise and noise nuisance. A disturbing noise is objective and is defined as a scientifically measurable noise level, and generally compared to the existing ambient noise level. A noise nuisance is a subjective measure, and is defined as any noise that disturbs or impairs, or may disturb or impair the convenience or peace of any person’. [parts of excerpts extracted from https://goo.gl/YbtHVB], Ferreira adds that “the benefits of the battery operated machines include low noise levels, no fuel costs, maintenance costs and long term cost savings. We believe these factors are a value-added . . .
"Nature or Water, exploring how we can use nature to overcome the water challenges of the 21st century“ is the theme of this year‘s World Water Day which is on 22 March. The scientific discipline of biomimicry employs the same approach. Biomimicry = nature’s genius "Every so often an idea comes around that is a game changer. After we hear it and understand it, we never see the world quite the same ever again. Biomimicry is such an idea,“ says Claire Janisch, the founder of BiomimicrySA. She adds: "it shows us that genius solutions to our challenges already exist. Right outside, in nature. Tested over eons.“ Claire is a keynote speaker at African Utility Week, taking place from 15-17 May in Cape Town, with a presentation entitled: Biomimicry: Learn from and emulate nature’s genius to create more sustainable designs. She explains: "when you realise that the simple act of learning from and emulating nature’s time tested genius is so profoundly impactful, it’s one of the most inspiring approaches to Africa's big challenges. I will share case studies and core principles to illustrate this.“ "Our vision is that the designers of our world - and particularly the designers of our infrastructure - look to natural systems as model, measure and mentor to design abundant and resilient cities that function like natural ecosystems.“ Cape Town not unique African Utility Week will also focus strongly on water challenges on the continent, including investment needed in water solutions by the public and private sectors to enable universal access, water security and resilient societies. The water conference will furthermore showcase how partnerships, financial models and latest technological advances can make the greatest impact in meeting Africa's water demand. “What is happening in Cape Town could happen anywhere,” says water expert Paul Yillia about the current water shortage in the Mother City. A guest research scholar (Water Programme) at the International . . .
“Nuclear energy is certainly not any more expensive than any other energy source” says nuclear expert Dr Anthonie Cilliers, explaining that “the large 9600MW nuclear programme has created an impression of a single expensive mega-project, when in fact the purpose of the fleet approach was to drive down costs over time and increase the learning rate. This should be broken up into smaller chunks, for example, should two nuclear reactors be added to the current plant at Koeberg, the cost would be no more than the guarantees already provided by treasury for the current IPP programme, whilst two nuclear reactors would produce more units of electricity per year (and more reliably) than the units on the IPP programme.” He adds: “I agree that South Africa’s fiscus is constrained at the moment, I believe this will change and when it does we need to be prepared. If we cannot afford nuclear new build we cannot afford any new build. We also have to remember that the new IRP has not been gazetted and with an outdated IRP, I find the approval of any energy projects (including nuclear) irrational.” Nuclear Power Africa Dr. Anthonie Cilliers is the National Coordinator of SAN-NEST (South African Nuclear Education, Science and Technology) the R&D Programme Manager: Advanced High Temperature Reactor (AHTR) and Honorary Research Fellow at the University of the Witwatersrand. A regular commentator and speaker at African Utility Week, he returns this year as a panellist during the Nuclear Power Africa conference at the event from 15-17 May in Cape Town. “Nuclear is certainly part of the energy mix in Africa” says Daniel Njoroge Butti, Energy Economist at the Karatina University in Kenya, another expert who will share his views at African Utility Week and asked whether there is appetite for investors to fund nuclear energy projects, he replies: “the definitive answer is YES.” With regards to costs he explains that “in my view, nuclear energy has significantly high initial . . .
The energy sector is a clear winner emerging from the South African cabinet shuffle earlier this week says the editor of the energy trade publication ESI Africa, Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl. She explains: “President Cyril Ramaphosa’s attempt to sweep his inherited cabinet clean on Monday night resulted in a watered down compromise to satisfy both party and state interests. However, a clear winner emerging is the energy sector, which can look forward to two ‘new’ faces: Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan, known for his deft ability at service delivery and turnaround of state departments, and long-standing cabinet member Minister of Energy Jeff Radebe, renowned for his firm leadership. These placements have shown Ramaphosa’s commitment to ensuring reform at state-owned enterprises and specifically Eskom.” She continues: “assuredly, with these two gentlemen, along with Minister Nhlanhla Nene’s return to Cabinet as the minister of finance, we will see a finalisation of the nuclear build programme (either putting it to bed or giving it a nod) and a formal consultation on the long-overdue integrated resource plan. Another priority area that needs immediate attention is the independent power producers’ outstanding power purchase agreements.” “The damage done to South Africa’s energy market is extensive; however, there is tangible hope in the air. With the likes of Gordhan, Radebe and Nene in the fold, this is a brilliant move by Ramaphosa – who had already shown his mettle at the WEF when commenting on South Africa’s nuclear position – and I’m optimistic that we will see progress at last.” Radebe “to address the mess” Independent energy expert Ted Blom agrees: “it is probably not by accident that President Ramaphosa has appointed one of the most senior ANC members to the portfolio of energy. This sector has been troubled by one scandal after the other, which included the missing billions at Eskom, Mosgas, and the Strategic Oil Fund. Add to this the near . . .
Johannesburg, Gauteng, 26 February 2018 – As leaders in the world of facilities management, Servest rely on the use of water as a key resource to deliver their core services, these include, Cleaning, Landscaping, Catering, Office Plants and Hygiene. “It was therefore an imperative for Servest to consider the conservation of water as a vital resource that is leaning towards almost becoming a scarcity – this is certainly the case in Cape Town at the moment” says, Abubakr Hattas, Group Business Improvement Specialist. One of Servest’s main policies and strategy is to approach environmental sustainability through innovation. One example of this is their Office Plants Division, who has modified their interior plants operation. “We have changed the types of plants in the working environment, by replacing all plants that require a high water intake with harder, sustainable, water wise plants. These plants require less than one litre of water every 6-8 weeks, and if the environmental conditions are applicable, some plants only require water once every 3 months”, says Kumuran Pillay, National Sales and Marketing Director, Office Services. It could be argued that office plants are not important, however the need for plants in offices is greater now than before. It positively affects the atmospheric conditions in the work environment of businesses. Plants remove harmful, volatile compounds (VOCs), such as formaldehyde and benzene from the air by as much as 70% in a 24 hour period and plants convert this into oxygen and water too, for the plants’ own nutritional needs. Plants eliminate carbon monoxide from indoor areas, the absence of which certainly impact human attention, concentration and the overall health of people. Indoor plants also stabilise humidity by 30-60%, creating a more comfortable and healthy work environment, benefitting office workers’ general well-being in many ways, such as minimising throat dryness, preventing headaches, dry skin and fatigue, . . .
Inspired Evolution has signed a deal to invest up to USD36 million in Alten RE Developments Africa B.V., the sub-Saharan Africa-focused subsidiary of Alten Energías Renovables. The investment by Inspired Evolution’s Evolution II Fund will scale Alten Africa’s existing solar PV development platform across sub-Saharan Africa. Alten Africa offers Evolution II Fund investment opportunities in 225 MWp of construction-ready and advanced projects in three of its priority countries with an additional 400 MWp pipeline of opportunities underway in select targeted countries within the region. Inspired Evolution brings Alten Africa a specialised strategic investment partner with an experienced team, deep regional market insights and a track record of 913 MW of clean energy infrastructure investments. The Inspired Evolution team has proven itself through the full investment cycle, with hands-on value addition through greenfield project development, permitting, procurement, financing, construction, operations and exit, having concluded a successful sale of its consolidated renewable operating portfolio in December 2016. Alten Energías Renovables is an experienced international solar PV developer and IPP targeting ambitious capacity expansion in sub-Saharan Africa. It has a strong track record in southern Europe and more recently in Africa and Latin America, where it has won projects in fiercely contested public-private auction environments. This makes Alten a compelling and competitive player in the region. The partnership initially aims to bring up to 500 MW of construction-ready, advanced and pre-permitted solar PV projects into operation. Three projects are advanced: (i) the construction-ready Hardap Project, a 45.45 MWp solar PV project located near Mariental in Namibia on track to reach financial close by 31 January 2018; (ii) the 51.5 MWp Kesses 1 Project in Kenya, in the final phase towards financial close by May 2018; and (iii) the 125 MWp Middle Band Solar One . . .
Operating a business without water is an unfathomable thought; however, a very real reality for the industries, agribusiness and commercial operations in and around Cape Town. ESI Africa is hosting a live free-to-attend webinar discussion on Thursday, 8 March 2018, addressing the current water situation in the City of Cape Town, South Africa and the available technologies, strategies and solutions, to overcome the challenge. “The looming Day Zero is not endemic to the City as other areas in South Africa and globally are experiencing drought conditions” says Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl editor of ESI Africa. “What is unique is that if Cape Town does in fact reach Day Zero – the day when taps are turned off - it will be the first major city world-wide to have reached this unimaginable point of no return, the resulting economic impact as agri-business, construction industry, smelters and commercial concerns grind to a halt will be catastrophic.” She adds: “it is imperative that we find alternative means to manage and replenish our water sources, whether this is from groundwater supplies or reducing waste of potable water in the reticulation system – suitable technologies must be explored.” “With the one-hour webinar on 8 March, we will gather large water consumers, water sector professionals, owners of businesses that use water as its main revenue driver, or public sector water professionals to share and gain greater insight into current plans to increase bulk water supply; and what technology solutions are available to implement in their businesses to support water best practice. It is also an opportunity to ask our expert presenters real-time questions.” “Among the concerns raised are the impact this has on commerce and industry, and national plans going forward to better manage bulk water supply,” states Pombo-van Zyl adding that through this webinar global cities and major industrial hubs can learn from Cape Town’s current predicament. The webinar, . . .
Investment in water solutions is needed by the public and private sector to enable universal access, water security and resilient societies. African Utility Week will have a strong focus on water again this year from 15-17 May in Cape Town when the strategic water conference will showcase how partnerships, financial models and latest technological advances can make the greatest impact in meeting Africa's water demand. “We want utilities to start thinking out of the box on water solutions, capabilities and solutions,” says Gerardt P. Viljoen, Managing Director of Sensus SA and GM for Sensus in Africa, an event sponsor and one of the expert speakers at the water conference at African Utility Week. He continues: “the water situation in South Africa is not only worrisome it should be considered as THE top priority for any form of economic sustainability. Increasing storing capabilities, reviewing traditional catchment areas and weather pattern changes, recycling of water and waste water treatment, network infrastructure maintenance and demand side management should all be top NATIONAL priorities going forward.” The Sensus SA MD adds: “it’s important to not only have smart metering. Smart metering should be intelligent. How to make smart metering intelligent and use it to solve infrastructure, supply and demand issues is what we are all about this year.” The full interview with Gerardt Viljoen can be read on the event website. Sensus is a returning gold sponsor at the event. Event going ahead as planned despite water shortages Meanwhile, the organisers of African Utility Week have assured all stakeholders in this long running conference and exhibition that the event will go ahead as planned despite the current water restrictions in Cape Town. “As a major event in the City, African Utility Week plays a crucial role in contributing towards the in-ward bound travel market,” says event director Evan Schiff, “by holding the event as planned, African Utility . . .