SUSTAINABLE ENERGY NEWS on EMAIL (SENSE), Number 51: June 2008
Welcome! SENSE is a service of the Energy Policy Unit of the Sustainable Energy and Climate Change Project (SECCP) of Earthlife Africa Johannesburg (ELA Jhb).
SENSE is a regular publication, edited by Tristen Taylor. We welcome any feedback and submissions. Also, let us know if you wish to get more information from ELA Jhb, or know someone else who should be receiving SENSE. Please note that the material in SENSE does not necessarily reflect the positions or policies of Earthlife Africa Jhb and/or the SECCP.
2. SECCP News‚ÄîPress Releases on Nersa and Eskom, SECCP Staffing News
3. SA Sustainable Energy News‚ÄîDarling Windfarm Online, German School Goes Solar, JHB to Recycle Landfill Methane, Isreali Company Wants to Do What Eskom Should, Eskom’s SWH Affair, Potential 7000MW from Hydro
4. SA Unsustainable Energy‚ÄîPBMR’s Deathknell, ANC’s Uranium Addiction, Uranium Stocks Up as Supply Dwindles, Mitsubishi Rumour on PBMR, Eskom’s R26billion Hangover, New DEPP Client?, Natural Gas Illusion I, Natural Gas Illusion II, No Maize for Biofuels, Loadshedding Redux, Private Investors Make Demands, Erwin Tells Us to Stuff Off (Again)
5. SA Energy Policy & Analysis‚ÄîEcological Crisis and Renewables, WWF on Cleaning Up, Peak Oil
6. African Energy News‚ÄîBotswana’s Mmamabula in Trouble, Mauritania’s Oil, Financing Inga, Namibia’s Electricity Bill, Africa’s Lack of Renewables
Sometimes, someone else beats you to the punch. Harper‚Äôs Weekly started off with:
‚ÄúOil reached a record $139.89 a barrel. Four Western companies met with Iraq’s Oil Ministry to finalize no-bid contracts to tap Iraqi oil fields, and the Nigerian government distributed billions of dollars of windfall to corrupt state officials. Thirty-five countries and 25 oil companies met in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to try to fix global oil prices, which have caused strikes, riots, and inflation around the world. Many OPEC countries blamed speculators for the price increase, as did some representatives of oil companies and oil-dependent industries. United States Energy Secretary Sam Bodman blamed supply and demand, as did lobbyists for Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and the International Swaps and Derivatives Association. Drivers in the Gaza strip, where Israel limits fuel supplies and black market gas costs $27 per gallon, used vegetable oil and turpentine as fuel, producing toxic fumes that result in diarrhea and stomach pain. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration cancelled four global-warming research expeditions, citing the cost of fuel.‚Äù*
Bravo, and not Project Bravo, which is, of course, a sign of Eskom‚Äôs coke addiction and its continued, pathological aversion to sunlight and fresh winds. Natural gas addictions are being fantasised about down in the Western Cape, despite the climbing street prices. This addiction is being matched within Cabinet, with the recent Cabinet statement on mainlining caesium isotopes.
Lest you think I‚Äôm taking the addiction metaphor beyond the bounds of good taste, consider the definition of substance dependence from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV TR):
‚ÄúSubstance dependence: When an individual persists in use of alcohol or other drugs despite problems related to use of the substance, substance dependence may be diagnosed.‚Äù
Our continued reliance on petroleum as our primary source of energy in society despite its increasing scarcity and escalating price surely classifies as a substance dependence. Ditto for natural gas and uranium. As for coal, with its acid rain and planet-frying CO2 emissions‚Ä¶.
Some people just don‚Äôt get the point.
Others, however, do. Darling Windfarm came on line in June, the German School went solar, and City Power is thinking of doing something with landfill methane. See the SA Energy Policy & Analysis section for analysis on our high-carbon economy and the end of oil.
Perhaps, the most interesting news report in this edition regards Botswana‚Äôs planned Mmamabula coal-fired power station. International Power Plc and CIC Energy Corp. are failing to build the station, from which Eskom had planned to purchase 75% of the station‚Äôs 2400MW output. Eskom now has another supply hole to fill, and all thanks to the much vaunted efficiency of the private sector.
Anyway, that‚Äôs enough for this editorial, I‚Äôve run out of cigarettes and, thus, must abandon writing and make a dash to the shops to obtain my daily allotment of cancer on the instalment plan.
* Sam Clark, ‚ÄúWeekly Review‚Äù, Harper‚Äôs Weekly, 24/06/08, http://harpers.org/archive/2008/06/WeeklyReview2008-06-24
Energy Policy Officer
Earthlife Africa Jhb
30th of June 2008