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an ‘aviation estate’ for malmesbury

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2008-09-17 11:45

You’ve scraped together your life savings to buy a farm just an hour’s drive outside of Cape Town, nestled in the foothills of the Paardeberg mountains. You’ve joined a community of farmers who revel in the peace and quiet, the sedate, unhurried lifestyle that brings one close to nature and to what matters in life. You’ve an enviable lifestyle, and friends and family head off to join you over weekends, only too glad of a space in which to rejuvenate.

And then someone comes up with a marvellous idea that puts paid to your gentle way of life. They propose an aviation estate just outside the nearest town for leisure flying enthusiasts.

Sound like a bit of a mare? An aviation estate (let’s call it what it is – an airport for light aircraft) has been proposed for just outside Malmesbury...

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SA's first electric car unveiled, nearly

Submitted by turbosprout on Mon, 2008-09-15 13:20

SA's first electric car: Citroen Picasso or Jaguar F-Type? The truth lies somewhere between.SA's first electric car: Citroen Picasso or Jaguar F-Type? The truth lies somewhere between.So they invited the media to the test drive and asked them please not to say anything. What were they thinking? This is the most awesome news ever and the poor Cape Argus reporter couldn't resist.

Optimal Energy launches the appropriately named XXX (censored due to media embargo), it's been designed by legendary SA-born car designer, XXX, it is a XXX-seater, battery plug-in rechargeable, with a range of XXX, going for the affordable sum of R XXX and manufactured in XXX.

Unlike some others we're not telling. We've been requested to adhere to a media embargo due to the much awaited international launch at the upcoming Paris car show. You can bet it is going to be awesome.

Here's what we've said about SA's Electric car

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greening it up – wed 27 aug 2008

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2008-08-27 13:35

This is what a zero emissions car looks like. Leave it to the Swiss to come up with the concept of Cree, a zero emissions electric car – new acronym for you ‘ZEV’ – is still at the prototype stage, but 80 of these gorgeous bugs will be produced for testing in Zurich and Basle. The team behind the car aim to bring this car to mass production and they’re asking for investors. Interesting to learn that all the development took place as early as 2001, and that they had to close their doors in 2003 due to lack of funding! Via [hippyshopper] [cree]

Rea Vaya baby – Jhb’s rapid transit system ready soon. Keeping with the transport theme, the first phase of Rea Vaya, Joburg’s new bus Rapid Transit system, will be ready before the Confererations Cup next year - 14 June 2009. According to the City, the first prototype Rea Vaya station will be in operation in October 2008. The double-model station will be located in Twist Street, Joubert Park. Via [sagoodnews]

NY city mayor wants windmills on city bridges. As part of a renewable energy programme for New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is proposing placing windmills on city bridges, solar panels on...

uk revives waterways, as fuel prices soar

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2008-08-13 09:06

Britain looks set for a renaissance of its waterways, as a direct result of the continued rise in fuel prices, growing traffic jams and environmental pressures. The long-neglected latticework of canals and rivers that were at the fore of the industrial revolution are undergoing a revival!

Apparently there is such a boom that shipping and barge companies have received more enquiries about transporting goods by water in the past 18 months than

simple solutions to high fuel bills

Submitted by turbosprout on Wed, 2008-07-23 10:34

When it comes to reducing your ecological footprint and saving money at the same time, simple solutions can have the most impact. Here is a list of small simple changes you can make that will go far to reduce co2 emissions as well as fatten your wallet. These suggestions featured on 702 / Cape Talk's Redi Direko's Green Tip of the Day programme today.

With a 50 litre tank of petrol now costing over R500 to fill, and some peak oil pundits predicting the oil price to hit $500 per barrel in the next 3 to 5 years, the simple solution is to DRIVE LESS. Dead obvious I hear you groan, but if you can reduce the kilometres you travel to work each day or find an alternative cheaper means to get to work you stand to save a big proportion of your monthly fuel bill.

work from home
First prize is setting yourself up to work from home. Even if it's just for one day a week. If you have an ADSL internet connection and your company can set up a VPN (Virtual Private Network) this is entirely possible as long as you have an understanding boss.

compress your working week
Another option is to compress your working week into fewer days spent at the office. So you manage to get all

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greening it up – wed 16 july 2008

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2008-07-16 10:02

Inspirational bike-sharing programme in Paris. Almost 1500 bike stations are spread around the city of Paris with over 20 000 bicycles and 3 million subscribers. They’ve saved roughly 10 million kilometres of car trips. Considering the rising price of petrol, this is something cities the world over should be considering. [treehugger] Other than walking, there is no more earth-friendly mode of transportation than a bicycle. Bikes have an incredibly low manufacturing footprint when compared to a motorized vehicle. They’re cheap to operate, don’t pollute the air, and provide more miles per calorie of energy than any mode of getting around known to humankind. Find out how to pick a great used bike. [lighterfootstep]

V Schalkwyk comes down on polluters of the atmosphere. After blustering away at the ineptitude of the G8 summit [reuters], the minister of the environment is now punishing pollution of the

solar panels for new prius

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2008-07-08 09:44

The fact that the solar panels are to power the car’s air-conditioning is little more than a gesture, really. But, nonetheless, Toyota’s remodelling of the Prius hybrid, due to launch next year, is set to flaunt solar panels on its roof.

If it happens, Toyota, in a close race with General Motors for the title of the world's top carmaker, would be the first major carmaker to use a solar power generation system on a mass-produced vehicle. [wheels24]

Solar power is not seen as a viable solution to power cars. Solar panels are expensive due to rising silicon prices and storing energy is difficult. It is unknown how much the solar panels on the new Prius cars will cost, or how many solar-mounted versions Toyota will build. [itweb]

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solar-powered gyrocopter out of plumstead

Submitted by turbosprout on Mon, 2008-06-30 11:01

Super Sport GyroplaneSuper Sport GyroplaneJai Reddy of Plumstead, Cape Town, has lodged international patents for a solar-powered personal helicopter and hopes to have a prototype airborne within eight months!

Not only will the gyrocopter use a renewable energy source and not emit any pollutants, but Reddy is planning on creating jobs by building the machines in South Africa. He has already had international offers to buy his invention, but is not budging.

Reddy, who is still studying towards his private pilots licence, was aware of the environmental damage caused by aviation and has spent three years and his life savings researching and developing a way to feed his passion for flying whilst conserving the environment.

Despite not having a scientific or avionics design background he has managed to build a scale version of his gyrocopter to test the concept.

"I realised it made scientific sense and I knew I had backed a winning bird. It was worth sacrificing my savings and lifestyle. But the real work begins now. With 95 percent of inventions not making it commercially, I have to make sure mine is among the 5 percent. Funding to take it to the next level is critical", says Reddy.

More on iol

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battery-operated car in sa

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2008-06-04 10:05

not the real design...not the real design...It’s no longer a pipe dream when the Deputy Science and Technology minister announces that an SA designed, battery-operated passenger car will be unveiled in 2009.

There are apparently two designs in the offing. A passenger six-seater car, "designed by a former Jaguar designer", will have a range of between 100km and 400km, and the roof will include solar panels to help charge the battery when parked in the sun. A utility van, something like a panelvan, will be a three-seater.

Both cars will be plugged into the mains at night, when demand

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greening it up – fri 25 april 2008

Submitted by sproutingforth on Sat, 2008-04-26 08:45

Affordable electric car coming soon…. Wouldn’t it be great to know that a functional and economical electric car is available? The Think City electric car - a four-seater with 110 mile range and top speed of 65 mph, priced under $25,000, made from 95% recyclable materials, will be available in the U.S. in 2009. (no guesses as to where the pic for advertising was taken) []

SA needs to clean up and slim down. Our economy is hugely energy-intensive. In fact, according to this article, SA is a considerably worse emitter than the US if you consider its carbon dioxide emissions from the perspective of carbon intensity. The carbon intensity of an economy refers to the amount of carbon (or fossil fuels) a country consumes in producing gross domestic product (GDP). [businessday]

Zinc-air fuel cells the answer to our energy crisis? AEDS has designed a fuel cell that can deliver uninterrupted power for up to 240 hours and is environmentally friendly. Though they are aimed at non grid electrification in rural areas and only power appliances that need a 12 volt DC power supply that do not consume more than 35Watt energy, you can couple fuel cells in parallel. When interviewed recently on SAFM, Rolf Papsdorf alluded to powering his lights with fuel cells in his home.[AEDC]

Climate Change – Kirstenbosch’s theme at Chelsea. The exhibit, named "The Heat is on", was designed by David Davidson and Raymond Hudson and will be on display from May 20 to 24 at the Chelsea Flower Show in London, and at Kirstenbosch from Monday. [IOL]

Town produces all of its energy, and more, from wind power. Rock Port, Missouri, is a small city of 1,300 people, and they just made history by being the first city in the US to be 100% powered by the wind, also making them #1 in the US for percentage of renewable energy. [treehugger]

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