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Power from South Africa’s wind

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first_imgThe four turbines of the Darling Wind Farm produce 7 GHW per year ofclean, green energy.(Image: Wikipedia)  MEDIA CONTACTS • Bheki Khumalo  Dept of Energy, communications  +27 12 444 4256 or +27 82 773 2388 RELATED ARTICLES • SA’s future renewable energy mecca • IDC fund helps companies go green • SA becoming a renewable energy hub • First CT homes to feed power to grid • Nedbank branch runs on wind powerSource: Africa Renewal OnlineThree blades — each the length of a tennis court — revolve atop a wind energy tower reaching 50 metres into the sky, equal in height to a 17-storey building.There are four such turbines whirling in the hot, dry and windy landscape near the town of Darling on South Africa’s west coast, generating 7 gigawatt hours per year of green energy.This first commercial wind farm in South Africa, reflecting the collaborative efforts of international donors, government agencies and the private sector, shows that wind energy is feasible.The development of the Darling Wind Farm, which was established in 2008, was fraught with obstacles. This was mainly because large-scale wind generation was new to South Africa and institutional arrangements were not yet in place to allow independent power producers to feed energy into the national grid.What made the difference was that Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, then minister of mineral and energy affairs, proposed the Darling Wind Farm as a national demonstration project in 2000. She also requested international assistance in developing wind energy from the UN Global Environment Facility, UN Development Programme (UNDP) and Danish International Development Agency.That assistance led to the South African Wind Energy Programme (Sawep), a project to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the promotion of wind power. It facilitated the creation of the Darling Wind Farm.Speaking at the 2003 World Wind Energy Conference in Cape Town, Mlambo-Ncguka said that wind energy had been one of the world’s success stories, and that it should play an important role in South Africa’s energy economy.Energy generated by the private sector “The significant thing to remember about the Darling Wind Farm is that it shows that wind energy can be done by the private sector,” says Andre Otto, Sawep’s project manager.“It was never intended to be a fully economical business,” he adds.It also served to demonstrate how to develop power purchase agreements with Eskom, South Africa’s public electricity utility.Such an agreement was signed with the City of Cape Town to buy energy from the Darling Wind Farm. The city then sells the electricity through so-called green energy certificates to buyers prepared to pay a higher price for green energy.For example, when the African Wind Energy Association decided to hold a conference in Cape Town in May 2010, the organisers purchased certificates for 9 900 kilowatt hours to ensure that the conference used only green energy throughout.Galvanising the industrySawep was one of several initiatives contributing to South Africa’s adoption of a target of reaching 10 000 gigawatt hours of renewable energy in its Integrated Resource Plan, an energy blueprint for the period from 2010 to 2030.The government is now soliciting bids from independent power producers to generate an initial 1 850 megawatts of wind energy within the next few years.“The establishment of Darling had an important catalytic effect in promoting wind energy in South Africa, as it showed that on-grid wind could be a reality,” says Lucas Black of the UNDP’s Global Environment Facility unit.As the Darling wind turbines revolve at a constant speed of 32 revolutions per minute, they represent the baby steps of an industry whose time has come.last_img read more

More Stuff About Buildings and Food

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first_imgAs I was putting some jelly on bread the other day, I got to thinking about how we get our food.Industrial farms use petroleum-based fertilizer, harvest their crops with huge machinery or, often, by exploiting migrant workers, process and store the food in refrigerated containers, ship it across the country to distribution centers, then truck it to stores to which we drive our cars (sometimes many miles) to buy this “fresh” food.Even if what we are buying would naturally grow in our local environment, usually it is produced somewhere else and shipped to us. In most places, fresh, local food is hard to find except at local farmers’ markets. When in season, the fruits and vegetables we buy there actually taste like they are supposed to. But we continue to buy them when they are out of season and usually bear only a vague resemblance to the in-season product. (I am not a big tomato eater, but I certainly wouldn’t bother with those pale red balls available in the winter. I definitely avoid overpaying for tasteless berries in the off season, even though I miss them.)When the fresh stuff is not in season, we should be eating more of the naturally “processed” foods—jellies, nut butters, canned tomatoes, beans, etc., instead of paying too much for bad imitations that have been shipped half-way around the world to our supermarkets. Hopefully, these foods will someday be grown locally in large enough quantity so we can all taste them when they are perfectly fresh, then eat them out of jars and cans in the off season (or just remember how they tasted until they reappear next year).We want the real thing, but we just can’t get it, so we settle for a pale imitation of the fruit we remember. How does this relate to buildings, and in particular, building greenThink back to how shelters were built in generations past—passive solar cave dwellings in the southwestern United States that stayed cool in the blistering sun and warm over cold nights, for example, and southern bungalows with wide porches to provide shade from the summer sun, open hallways for ventilation, and high ceilings to keep the living areas cooler.Examples of appropriate regional architecture can be found everywhere, but building professionals have ignored them for years, instead re-creating English castles in the bayou, Mediterranean villas in the north, Cape Cods in the Pacific Northwest, and the list goes on.We build homes with flat roofs and no overhangs where there are torrential rains, practically guaranteeing building failure. We take home designs out of their natural environment, ship them (theoretically) across the country to another climate and, poof, they start underperforming, just like the out-of-season fruit shipped across the country. Think of these incorrectly located buildings like out-of-season strawberries—they are pale imitations of the buildings they should be.We need to get back to the basics by working to keep both our food and our buildings in their natural environments. We will be happier and healthier as a result.last_img read more

UAAP Season 80 Preview: Sablan vows different UST Tigers will show up

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first_imgUAAP SEASON 80 PREVIEW: UST Growling Tigers428 viewsSportsVentuno Web Player 4.51 Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Coach: Boy SablanLast Season: 3-11 (8th Place)Holdovers: Marvin Lee, Jeepy FaundoAdditions: Steve Akomo, Christian Garcia, Jordan Sta. AnaKey Losses: Louie Vigil, Jon Sheriff, Renzo Subido, Mario BonleonCoach Boy Sablan acknowledges that after last year’s disastrous run, the UAAP Season 80 campaign will be make or break for him in University of Santo Tomas.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Gilas Pilipinas joins Fiba Asia Champions Cup in China Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST PLAY LIST 01:00Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST00:50Trending Articles01:37PNP vows dismissal for cadets in alleged hazing at PNPA02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games With key figures from last season’s campaign gone, the Growling Tigers will lean on veterans Marvin Lee and Jeepy Faundo to carry the fight.But Sablan believes that UST’s unpredictability makes it dangerous, as he expects several players to step up unlike others who depend largely on only one go-to guy.“You won’t rely on just one person. Everybody can be depended on. There are no main guys. I’m not particular on one, two, or three players. Now, I have more confidence on my players. I trust what they can do on the court.”While he’s not willing to make any promises, he guarantees that UST will be better prepared for the challenges that this season brings.“No promises,” he said. “That the team prepared well and we’ll try do everything we practiced the last eight months during the games. You’ll see the changes in our players. That’s one thing you have to watch out for. You’ll see the difference.”ADVERTISEMENT Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo But Sablan is willing to take on all comers in his second season at the helm for the Growling Tigers with a squad that he can proudly say is his own.“I built this team unlike last year’s. When I arrived, I had no choice but to run with whatever I had. This time, I’m in control of everything. We had a longer preparation this time and I believe we’re in a better groove,” said Sablan in Filipino.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingParading a mix of veterans and new recruits, Sablan is confident with the group that is slowly showing signs of maturity after the numerous pocket tournaments it participated in in the run up for this season.We had a longer time to prepare, not like before that we only had two months of preparation. So now, we’re running a bit better. The system I was trying to instill last year is finally happening. The bottomline is we had a longer preparation,” said Sablan.center_img Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul View commentslast_img read more