‘Power plan clings to pragmatism over ambition’

Engineering News, 22 October 2010

The draft second integrated resource plan, or IRP2010, is unlikely to receive universal acclaim and even its drafters will acknowledge that errs far more on the side of pragmatism than on perfection.

There will certainly be deep unhappiness in some quarters about the fact that a decision on nuclear has been placed on the “critical path” for early 2011. There will also be disquiet over what can only be perceived as a slower-than-anticipated build-up of renewables, which truly only begins to gain traction from 2016 – the 1 025 MW of immediate renewable capacity outlined in the IRP1 notwithstanding.

No doubt, these anxieties, and more, will be expressed during the upcoming public hearings, which the Department of Energy (DoE) has requested the National Energy Regulator of South Africa to convene.

The DoE confirmed on Friday that the comment period for written submissions on the draft would be extended by 30 days to December 10, 2010 and also announced that the public hearings would begin in Durban on November 26, before moving to Cape Town on November 29, and then to Johannesburg on December 2 and 3.

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‘SA should reduce carbon emissions from road transport – Cronin’

Engineering News, 26 October 2010

Removing excess road use and improving efficiencies on South Africa’s roads seems to be the most viable option to reduce the transport sector’s carbon emissions in the short term.

Transport is the fastest growing emitter of greenhouse gases in South Africa, contributing to about one fifth of the country’s emissions, second only to its dependence on coal-fired power stations.

In addition to the negative environmental effects, the excessive use of the country’s roads also has a negative economic impact, with about R15-million a day lost due to congestion.

Speaking at a World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) future of transport convention in Johannesburg, Transport Deputy Minister Jeremy Cronin said that the country was suffering from a dysfunctional and inefficient transport system, brought on mainly by the urban sprawl.

The urban sprawl has lead to a number of challenges, including over exaggerated peaks. “Large fleets are needed to move people to and from work, while this fleet is then left idle afterwards. Consequently, government finds it difficult to sweat its assets, such as the 800 new Rea Vaya busses that was recently brought onstream.”

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Stockholm Resilience Centre: Research for Governance of Social-Ecological Systems

‘The Stockholm Resilience Centre is an international centre that advances transdisciplinary research for governance of social-ecological systems with a special emphasis on resilience – the ability to deal with change and continue to develop.

The Stockholm Resilience Centre was established on 1 January 2007.
It is a joint initiative between Stockholm University, the Stockholm Environment Institute and the Beijer International Institute of Ecological Economics at The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. The centre is funded by the Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research, Mistra.

The Centre for Transdisciplinary Environmental Research (CTM) at Stockholm University and The Baltic Nest Institute (former MARE) are also part of the Stockholm Resilience Centre.

The FORMAS-provided project Resilience and Sustainability: Integrated Research on Social-Ecological Systems, is an acknowledgement of Stockholm Resilience Centre also being a Swedish Centre of Excellence.’

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