Harald Winkler on WITS Radio

With the UN’s COP22 underway in Marrakesh, Wits Radio hosts a programme called ScienceInside that focuses on climate change. In an interview with Professor Harald Winkler, the director of the Energy Research Centre at the University of Cape Town and others, they find out more about what the Paris Agreement means for South Africans. Listen to the interview on SoundCloud.

JESA 27(3)

The Journal of Energy in Southern Africa has just published its latest issue (No. 3 Vol 27, 2016) at http://journals.assaf.org.za/jesa. Articles in this issue: Promoting energy efficiency in a South African university (1-10) by Nandarani Maistry, Tracey Morton McKay Scoping exercise to determine load profile archetype reference shapes for solar co-generation models in isolated off-grid rural African villages (11-27) by Gerro Johannes Prinsloo Varying percentages of full uniform shading of a PV module in a controlled environment yields linear power reduction (28-38)… Read moreJESA 27(3)

Paris Agreement comes into force.

Today the Paris Agreement comes into force – thirty days after having been ratified by more than 55 countries prod for more than 55% of global emissions, the two-fold legal trigger required. In total, 97 of the 197 Parties to the UNFCCC have ratified the Paris Agreement domestically; a list can be found on the UNFCCC’s Paris Agreement page. Below we have pulled together a number of articles from around the web to give you a clearer picture of what ‘entry… Read moreParis Agreement comes into force.

SA ratifies Paris Agreement

South Africa has ratified the Paris Agreement on climate change. In doing so, it has joined the growing momentum to take climate action. 87 countries had ratified already, exceeding the requirement of 55 Parties – and on 5 October, the second ‘trigger’ of representing 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions was also met. Thirty days after these two triggers were met, the Agreement formally ‘enters into force’ – on 4 November 2016.   SA snuck in with its instrument of ratification… Read moreSA ratifies Paris Agreement

SA’s coal habit hurts carbon budget

SA will have to close either all its coal-fired power stations or Sasol’s coal-to-liquids plant by 2050 to stay within its carbon budget of 14 gigatonnes, Jesse Burton, a researcher at the University of Cape Town’s Energy Research Centre, says. In any event, SA cannot build more coal-fired power stations if it is to meet its commitments under the Paris agreement to reduce its share of emissions of greenhouse gases to keep the increase in global temperatures below 2ºC above… Read moreSA’s coal habit hurts carbon budget

Public Seminar: Scientific assessment of shale gas development in South Africa

You are invited to a public seminar on “Scientific assessment of shale gas development in South Africa”. University of Cape Town researchers and students who were part of developing a sound evidence base for decision-making as part of a broader strategic environmental assessment will present results from a multi-author study. Programme Scientific assessment of shale gas development in South Africa. UCT contributions to a sound evidence base for decision-making as part of a strategic environmental assessment Welcome and context –… Read morePublic Seminar: Scientific assessment of shale gas development in South Africa

Shale gas, air quality and GHG emissions

Technological advancements over the past decade have led to a rapid rise in unconventional natural gas production, known as “shale gas”, particularly in the USA and Canada. The large-scale and rapid development of shale gas has resulted in an abundant and cheap energy source with lower direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than coal and petroleum. That South Africa has the eighth largest technically recoverable shale gas reserve in the world – located in three geological formations in the Karoo –… Read moreShale gas, air quality and GHG emissions

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Postgraduate Symposium

Recently three masters students from the Energy Research Centre (ERC) attended the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Postgraduate Symposium (REPS) which was partly funded by the by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), through the National Research Foundation (NRF). REPS has taken place annually for the past 6 years, with all prior symposiums held at Stellenbosch University. This year, however, it took place at the University of Fort Hare which was also celebrating its centenary. The main aim of the… Read moreRenewable and Sustainable Energy Postgraduate Symposium

China and US ratify Paris Agreement on climate change – SA next?

Image credit: HOW HWEE YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images

The US and China have jointly announced that both countries are ratifying the Paris Agreement on climate change. This has increased, the percentage of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions covered by countries that have ratified dramatically. The  official UNFCCC website now shows 26 Parties having ratified, accounting for 39.08% of emissions. That latter number gets the world closer to the 55% required. And with the political momentum generated, it seems highly likely the Paris Agreement will enter into force soon. Before… Read moreChina and US ratify Paris Agreement on climate change – SA next?

IPCC special report on 1.5 degrees scoped out

A scoping meeting for the IPCC special report on 1.5 °C, (SR 1.5),[1] was held in Geneva 15-18 Aug 2016. In the Paris decision, the UNFCCC had invited the IPCC to provide a speicial report (SR) in 2018 “on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways”. The Paris Agreement (PA) includes the aim to keep temperature increase “well below” 2 °C and pursue efforts limit to 1.5 °C.  Ambitious climate… Read moreIPCC special report on 1.5 degrees scoped out