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Asian Water Scarcity Risked as Coal-Fired Power Embraced

Inner Mongolia’s rivers are feeding China’s coal industry, turning grasslands into desert. In India, thousands of farmers have protested diverting water to coal- fired power plants, some committing suicide. The struggle to control the world’s water is intensifying around energy supply. China and India alone plan to build $720 billion of coal-burning plants in two […]

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Blackouts: green energy frozen out

South Africa could be in for more power disruptions when power consumption increases in winter, with Eskom warning that power supply is tight. While reduced power demand would be the quick-fix solution, Eskom said demand has already increased by 1.5% in the first quarter alone, and forecasts a 2% increase in 2011 overall.  The situation […]

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Saudi Arabia acknowledges peak oil. When will we?

If one of the world’s leading oil producers and exporters is officially acknowledging that alternative energy production is the way of the future and the key to human sustainability and survival of our tiny little planet, why is the idea even open for debate? The United States is currently the largest oil consumer in the […]

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Why is it so difficult to wean ourselves from fossil fuels?

Why is it so difficult to wean ourselves from fossil fuels? The answer is a surprisingly simple one. A clarifying insight comes from comparing different energy sources in terms of their energy content. Using 1 million BTUs as a standard for comparison, let’s look at how much it costs to get that much energy from […]

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Energy efficiency should be seen as ‘another fuel’

Energy efficiency could be the immediate solution to higher energy demand, while renewable energy sources were being considered for long-term energy sustainability, energy experts said on Wednesday. Global energy industry players attending the Power and Electricity World Africa conference in Johannesburg said South Africa should focus on energy efficiency as “another fuel” that can be […]

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Food vs. Fuel: The Debate Continues

University of Stellenbosch department of microbiology’s Professor Emile van Zyl says that the maize-for-biofuels debate has been checkmated. Grain South Africa market research senior economist Wessel Lemmer says, at present, no grains are used for biofuels and maize is still excluded from government’s biofuels policy. This, he believes, is a lost opportunity as South Africa […]

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Green Oil?

Here’s a dirty secret from the clean industry: WE LOVE HIGH OIL PRICES! That’s right. When the rest of the world is in a panic over the rising economic and political costs of escalating oil prices, we’re thinking “expensive oil = green oil”. Why, you ask? Well… People re-consider consumption habits. For starters, check out […]

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How to Save Electricity in a Hurry, or Lessons from Japan

The earthquake and tsunami in Japan have demonstrated the dangers of nuclear energy (or the success, depending on who you ask). The disaster also has reminded us just how dependent we are on electricity. But what if the power went out, or you knew it was going to go out soon, unless you started to […]

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Japan crisis may influence South Africa’s nuclear power plant decisions

South Africa’s intention to expand its nuclear energy capacity has not been affected by the unfolding crisis and concerns about radioactivity at Japan’s earthquake-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, although decisions and planning on future nuclear plants could be influenced by the Japanese crisis, Energy Minister Dipuo Peters said on Tuesday. Addressing delegates attending the Africa […]

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