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nedbank opens branch driven solely by wind power

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2011-02-10 10:36

In the middle of the informal settlement of Du Noon, close to Blaauberg in Cape Town, a branch of Nedbank, now derives all its energy from wind turbines – the first in the country.

Nedbank are also behind the billboard that combines solar panels and a wind turbine in Athlone (you can see it rather prominently from the N2), bringing electricity to a youth and family development centre there.

Whilst my reaction to the impetus for the branch in Du Noon is a little sceptical (we are to admire their efforts to bring banking to the formerly disadvantaged, where they charge them royally for it), what it does do is place the possibility in the minds of many who will read about (and see) the use of wind power as reliable and sustainable renewable energy. If a bank branch can make it happen, then so can the average home, eventually...

( categories: ) online calculator launched (and reviewed)

Submitted by turbosprout on Thu, 2011-01-27 14:19 calculatorI've been looking forward to the launch of's online calculator since I first heard that it was in the pipeline a few weeks ago.

Online calculators of the carbon variety have been around for quite a while and vary in their suitability to the SA energy scenario and ease of use. It seems like quite a tricky piece of software to nail down properly and I still think there is room for SA's carbon calculators to improve.

That said, the calculator is a bit different to a carbon calculator. It measures how much electricity you can save by calculating the energy expenditure of your old high-consumption lighting and

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green trends for 2011

Submitted by turbosprout on Wed, 2011-01-05 09:51

nanobreweries set to trend this year in the USnanobreweries set to trend this year in the US

JWT - one of the world's largest advertising agencies credited with firsts like creating the first global ad agency network (by 1930 they had branches in 30 countries), employing the first female creative director over a century ago (1908), and creating the first television advert back in 1939 - has produced its annual trendwatching report: 100 Things to Watch in 2011.

They take a stab at predicting what will trend this year - companies, events, artists, products, cities etc. And they have a track record - looking back at the 2010 report - of at least getting some of their predictions right. Perhaps because of their standing their predictions even become self fulfilling...

Now we know who to thank for Lady Gaga.

I scanned their list of trends for signs of environmental/green/eco trends set to feature this year:

IRP2 - what's wrong and what to do (urgent)

Submitted by turbosprout on Thu, 2010-12-09 13:42

A dirty future?A dirty future?The deadline for submissions to the draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP2 aka IRP2010) is this Friday 10 December 2010 (tomorrow, ulp). If you're anything like us you've left it to the last minute because life is complicated enough as it is without also having to worry about the country's energy plan for the next 20 years...

Well we should be worried. Although the IRP2 is intended to be a living document that is not cast in stone, in it's current form it is setting us on a course that is headed for a place I personally don't want to be in 20 years time.

Cut to the chase
If you're time-constrained jump to the end and see how you can act! If you want the nitty-gritty then keep reading!

So here goes
First off this IRP is an improvement over its predecessor which didn't allow for participation in the process (yay, democracy can work if we shout loud enough). The process has now opened up (at least seemingly), although it is still not

book review: going green - 365 ways to change our world

Submitted by MichaelE on Tue, 2010-11-30 13:16

going green by simon geargoing green by simon gearIts nearly Christmas and many of us are thinking about gifts to buy. Well one book that I can wholeheartedly recommend is Going Green - 365 Ways to Change our World. This book is filled with great ideas on how to make our planet a better place. The book is written by Simon Gear, known as one of South Africa's favorite weathermen.

triple bill: hout bay green faire

Submitted by turbosprout on Tue, 2010-11-23 10:46

Hout Bay Green FaireHout Bay Green FaireThere are three mucho importanto events going down this Saturday, 27th November, details of the others will follow...

The Hout Bay Green Faire is one of my favourite green events on the calendar and it is now in its fourth incarnation! There is always something new to checkout and it gets bigger and better each time. It's in the open air, away from fluorescent lighting, and is a great community initiative to support. Hout Bay is firmly in the lead when it comes to green initiatives happening on the ground, thanks to the hard work of Envirochild, Green peas and others.

Last year I took

training for a greener future

Submitted by MichaelE on Thu, 2010-11-18 16:52

green jobs by thevancouveritegreen jobs by thevancouveriteIn August Greenpeace released its South African Energy Sector Jobs to 2030 report. This report presents an analysis of the energy sector job creation associated with the three energy scenarios up to 2030: the Energy [R]evolution (by Greenpeace), the IEA Reference case, and the Growth Without Constraints scenario presented by government. Their Energy [R]evolution scenario could be a major employment creator in South Africa, with a net increase of 78,000 jobs by 2030.

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the IRP 2010: an electricity plan for Arcelor Mittal and BHP Billiton?

Submitted by Guest on Thu, 2010-10-14 10:27

Listening to big business, ignoring civil society: How the DoE wrote its draft 20-year electricity plan - the IRP 2010

Using scare tactics and the threat of further load shedding and blackouts, the government is rushing through its IRP 2010 (Integrated Resource Plan), which defines a twenty-year electricity plan for South Africa.

On 8 October 2010, the Department of Energy (DoE) published a final draft scenario for public comment – a scenario that suggests systematic contempt for the opinions offered in public consultation.

help us to help the govt to help all of us go solar

Submitted by turbosprout on Tue, 2010-09-07 11:17

join the solar water heating campaignjoin the solar water heating campaignThe sprouts want to go solar and we need your help. In fact we want to help you go solar too. What we really want is for you to help yourselves to go solar. Actually, we need your help to help the government to help us all to go solar!

Project 90x2030, Oxfam,, urban sprout and Activist! are calling on the government to spend R 60 billion wisely and commit this money to buying South Africa four million solar water heaters instead of spending it on more coal-fired power stations. Sign this online petition to urge the government to supply households with free solar water heating systems.

The country is already locked into the building of the Medupi power station at an estimated cost of R 125-billion and The Mail & Guardian reported in May the likely cost of the Kusile power plant will be R 175-billion.

This huge capital outlay is buying us a lot more coal pollution, increasing our

well worn theatre brings climate change action play to jozi

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2010-09-01 12:42

I'm a fan of theatre in any form. I particularly admire those who do theatre with a message (alright, I know all theatre has a message, but, you know), especially one with climate change for school kids. And this one is aimed at grades 5 to 9.

What's more, the team of actors, are prepared to act just about anywhere – in a quad, hall or field – just so that they can get their message across.

The “high-octane, action-packed adventure story” by the theatre team Craig Morris, Lerato Moloi, Jacques De Silva and Joni Barnard, from the Well Worn Theatre Company has already made it to the halls and quads of at least 20 schools with their climate change programme.

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