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Green business awards launched in Zimbabwe

Posted on 14 May 2013 by Wallace Mawire

Zimbabwe anticipates to ignite its green economic revolution with the recent launch of the green business awards expected to be presented to outstanding winners in November 2013, according to Sebastian Zuze, Chairman of the awards. The awards recently launched in Harare under the theme:Greening the economy for sustainable national prosperity are an initiative of Xhib-it Events company and are meant to celebrate excellence in green practice,strategy and products, complimenting the Ministry of Environment’s efforts on greening the economy.They seek to recognize the most innovative,ambitious and effective initiatives by Zimbabwean business and individuals for achieving environmental sustainability and implementing smart business practice.

Launching the award, Zuze said going green is the idea of making sure that in any activity that is conducted by individuals,communities and business,the environmental impacts are assessed and minimized to ensure sustainability.

He added that the effects of not managing the environment include loss of bio-diversity and long term damage to ecosystems,pollution of the atmosphere and the consequences of climate change,damage to aquatic ecosystems,land degradation,the impacts of chemicals use and disposal,waste production and depletion of non-renewable resources.

“On the other hand, good environmental practice ensures increased productivity in our factories,reduction of waste, improved efficiencies,enhanced national image,better utilization of resources and development of environmentally friendly technologies,” Zuze said.   Through the awards, Zimbabwe seeks to explore various approaches to attain sustainable growth in the global market place.

“Goals for the awards are simple, but bold, to fill heads with practical knowledge,ideas,new trends,helping transform business as usual by partnering with extraordinary visionaries,forward thinkers,creative industry leaders and companies committed to building profitable and sustainable enterprises while solving some of the world’s toughest problems,” Zuze said.

Some of the award categories include;the overall green business award,the green leader award,the green entrepreneur award,the green supply chain award,the green building award,the green residential building award,the green energy award,the green professional services award,the green travel initiatives award,the waste to business resource award,the green retailer award,the green school/college award,the green SME award,the green manufacturer award,the green product award,the green innovation award,the green local council award,the green community award,the green healthcare award,the green entertainment and leisure award,the green communications award, the green financial institution award,the green corporate citizen award, the Minister of Environment’s award for environmental excellence, the minister of tourism’s award for eco-tourism excellence and the ministry of mines green mining award of excellence.

Awards chairman Zuze says many factors are impacting on local, regional and international trade.”Managing the environmental impact of manufacturing,mining and the activities involved during the provision of services to markets is assuming significance of enormous proportions especially in Zimbabwe,” Zuze said.

Zimbabwe’s Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Management, Francis Nhema said threats to the environment in Zimbabwe are arising from the construction industry, infrastructure development, mineral resources exploration, waste disposal, packaging and branding, communications, natural resource consumption, energy and water consumption.

“The precautionary principle is therefore crucial to apply that business should operate in a way that does not threaten the future of our existence by continually seeking alternative means and ways of operations that are sustainable,” Nhema said.

Nhema added that his ministry envisions using platforms like the Green Business awards,the merging of business and the environment through behaviour change known as sustainable business or green business to present opportunities for new business that is future oriented.

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New technology for harvesting energy from low velocity ocean and tidal currents multiplies the potential for marine energy

Posted on 01 May 2013 by Africa Business

by Anders Jansson, CEO, Minesto

Anders Jansson is co-founder and CEO of Minesto, an energy technology company in the field of marine energy, with a patented and proven technology (Deep Green) to harvest energy from low velocity tidal and ocean currents. He has eight years of experience from developing and commercialising marine energy technology, both as an entrepreneur and business leader with a background from Chalmers University of Technology. See


Marine energy – for instance energy from tidal and ocean currents – is the ‘best of the best’ amongst green energy sources: it has the greatest potential (in theory, the planet’s oceans could supply the entire world with renewable energy), tidal and ocean current  power plants are under water and therefore completely invisible, they produce electricity from 100 per cent renewable energy sources (the water in the globe’s oceans will always move around, well, at least until the sun swallows the moon), they are safe, and the icing on the cake is that they actually have positive environmental effects. Positive? Yes, studies have shown that marine life thrives in marine energy installations.

The UK and Irish waters are especially promising for marine energy, due to the islands’ geographical location. UK and Ireland can provide 25-50 per cent of total European marine energy, according to a new report from RenewableUK. The marine energy industry has been forecast to be worth £6.1 billion to the UK economy by 2035, and displacing up to half a million tons of CO2 every year by 2020.

The total amount of wave and tidal stream energy in UK and Irish waters is estimated at 935 TWh/year. Of this, some 98 TWh/year of marine energy resource has been assessed as being economically recoverable with today’s technologies. The current UK annual electricity demand is about 350 TWh/year. No wonder the UK and Ireland are frequently called “the Saudi Arabia of marine energy”. Other countries with great marine energy potential and political or commercial marine programmes already under way are the USA, Canada, China, France, Portugal, Spain, Chile, New Zealand, Japan, China, South Korea and South Africa.

So why isn’t marine energy more developed and used, and more talked about amongst politicians, decision-makers, environmental movements and the general public? Well, as with all emerging technologies, there are a series of obstacles to harvesting cost-efficient marine energy:

· Capital costs of marine energy projects are currently relatively high compared with e.g. wind projects.

· Lack of funding for research, development and demonstration on technology, to both academies and private companies (many of them start-ups). The development of marine energy needs support from both private investors and governments.

· Regulatory issues. For instance, it can take up to two years to get a site permit for offshore testing.

· Market challenges like long development timescales, grid connections (or lack thereof), and lack of performance assessment standards.

· Challenges in offshore operations: the sea is a tough environment in which to install, operate and maintain marine energy power plants. The offshore operations are made when the tide turns, i.e. during slack water, and that time period is usually shorter than 30 minutes at many tidal energy sites.

· Limited locations where tidal and ocean currents are strong enough to be technologically and economically viable to harvest.

Let us take a look at the last two of these obstacles. They can be overcome with new developments in marine energy technology. The fact that most marine energy power plants developed so far can only operate efficiently in currents that are really strong reduces the number of good locations for marine energy parks and complicates offshore operations for installation, service and maintenance. After all, it is not easy to work in strong currents.

Just recently, an ‘underwater kite’ was launched in the waters off Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland. The ‘kite’ consists of a three meter long wing and a turbine which is secured to the seabed with a tether and moves fast in an 8-shaped path in the tidal or ocean current. The hydrodynamic principle on which this technology is based allows for the kite to move at speeds of up to ten times that of the flow of water it is operating in. This marine power plant is the only available solution to cost-efficiently produce electricity from slow tidal currents.

Why is this significant? Well, there are many more sites with low velocity tidal and ocean currents than there are with strong currents. So the possibility to operate cost-efficiently in slow currents extends the total potential for renewable marine energy significantly. In the UK, the amount of energy which is possible to harvest from tidal currents is doubled when low velocity currents are included.

Slow currents are also much easier and less costly to work in; For instance, installation and maintenance can be carried out in ordinary small vessels rather than giant DP (dynamic positioning) vessels. The kite’s robust anchorage system means that no tower is needed. Only attachment and detachment of the kite needs to be done offshore. All this reduces maintenance costs and operating expenses, and results in a cost-efficiency that is comparable with conventional energy sources.

Even sheer physics is on the underwater kite’s side: it operates 30-60 meters above the seabed, i.e. higher above the seabed than a power plant fixed on the seabed. 75 per cent of the marine energy is in the upper 50 per cent of the water column (and only 25 per cent is in the lower half). So a power plant that operates higher up in the water will capture more energy than a conventional marine energy power plant.

In conclusion, many or all of the obstacles to efficient marine energy can, and will be, overcome given enough time and funding. New power plants that can operate cost-efficiently in slow currents is one big step forward. There will be other important steps. Marine energy is simply too clean and too potentially beneficial to the planet and its inhabitants to be ignored by politicians, investors and the global energy industry.

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Clean Power Africa to Showcase Successful Renewable Projects

Posted on 10 March 2013 by Africa Business

Clean Power Africa will give an exclusive look at hydro, wind and solar projects and opportunities across the African continent in Cape Town in May.


Cape Town, South Africa, March 10, 2013 –(– There is undoubtedly awareness among South Africans that renewable energy is the way to go. But how feasible is it for the ordinary householder to switch to new, greener technology?

“In a country such as South Africa where solar energy is abundant, the sustainability of its usage through solar geysers and solar panels is unquestioned,” says Dr Roula Inglesi-Lotz, senior lecturer at the Department of Economics of the University of Pretoria and headline speaker at the upcoming Clean Power Africa conference and exhibition from 14-15 May in Cape Town.

She adds that solar power can be generated equally well in remote and urban areas because it need not be connected to the national grid.

“In private dwellings”, says Dr Inglesi-Lotz, “investment in solar geysers and panels pays off only after a few years therefore cost effectiveness has to be calculated in the long term. Households cannot depend entirely on electricity from the sun – energy cannot be stored in high volumes – which means that energy can only be generated and used when there is daylight.”

Green government support
Since 2009, the South African government has committed to providing support to the residential and commercial sectors wanting to install solar water heaters (SWH).

According to the Department of Energy Affairs, a number of commercial banks, insurance companies, and benevolent donors are driving various SWH initiatives in different parts of the country. The mass rollout of SWHs is slow but gaining momentum. From April to 31 December 2010, 26 768 rebate-funded SWHs were installed.

It is unclear to what extent the South African economy has benefited from renewable energy because, according to Inglesi-Lotz, there has not yet been an orchestrated effort to evaluate the benefits.

She adds: “90% of electricity generation is from coal burning sources. This means there have not yet been major changes in the energy supply mix. The unsustainability of non-traditional alternative methods of energy generation as well as the current high costs has prevented investors as well as policy makers from preferring them.”

Consumers will turn to alternatives for their energy needs
Inglesi-Lotz says in most cases, the cost of changing from traditional forms to alternative sources is too high for the average householder. She explains: “not only in a monetary sense, but also in the cost in time. In general the lack of specialised skills is a crucial element keeping the country growing at a faster rate. There is a particular lack of skilled people who can install solar heaters and geysers and specialised services push up the costs. Universities and other institutions do offer specialisation in the development of skills capacity regarding renewable energies.”

However, she believes that things will certainly change in the future: “electricity costs are constantly rising and we are moving to a future in which the costs of installation and implementation of renewable energies will be comparable to older technologies. Demand for electricity from coal-burning generation will decrease and as a result, consumers will turn to alternatives for their energy needs.”

Clean Power Africa
Dr Inglesi-Lotz’s presentation at Clean Power Africa will be on “Renewable energy usage in South Africa: A comparison.”

Previously known as Hydropower Africa and Solar Energy Africa, which ran successfully for over 6 years, Clean Power Africa will give an exclusive look at hydro, wind and solar projects and opportunities across the African continent. The event gathers major stakeholders in the clean power energy generation sector and will facilitate information exchange at the highest level and will explore clean energy options for smarter generation as a feasible solution to fulfil Africa’s generation capacity needs. Clean Power Africa is co-located with the 13th annual African Utility Week.

Renewable energy in action
The event will also offer a unique site visit to three successful renewable energy projects in the Cape Town region including the Green Energy District in Montague Gardens with a state of the art manufacturing facility at AEG Power Solutions where over 60% of the components are locally sourced. Clean Power Africa delegates also have the opportunity to visit Africa’s largest rooftop solar installation at Vodacom in Century City. The 500kw installation supplies 65% of the peak power required for the Vodacom site. At the Oldenburg Wine Estate a 44.65kw ground mounted solar installation provides much needed power on the farm.

The dates for Clean Power Africa are:
Exhibition & Conference: 14-15 May 2013
Pre-conference Workshops: 13 May 2013
Site Visits: 16 May 2013
Location: CTICC, Cape Town

Contact Information
Clean Power Africa
Annemarie Roodbol
+27 21 700 3558


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Green energy efficient power solutions needed to reach the Next Billion mobile phone users – will ‘save the planet’ as well

Posted on 21 February 2013 by Africa Business

by David King, CEO, Flexenclosure


David King is CEO of Flexenclosure, a specialist developer of intelligent power management systems and pre-fabricated data centres for the telecom industry.

Telecom and tech companies could, and will, make billions by serving the ‘Next Billion’ customers in the developing world. However, new strategies are needed to reach this attractive market in an economically viable way. To begin with, mobile operators must adopt green cost-saving power solutions for their networks. All indications show that they are in fact doing this right now, with major implications for the industry and the environment.

The adoption of green power solutions as the strategy of choice for mobile operators going forward would prevent many million tons of CO2 emissions – enough to actually make a difference. Operators could save up to 20 percent of their total cost mass, freeing up capital to expand their footprint and make the necessary investments to serve the Next Billion customers, most of whom are living off grid or in bad grid locations – exactly where these green power solutions are needed most. And with these customers typically of the low ARPU type, using cost effective green power solutions to serve them would also help make them profitable for the operator.


No other practice in the mobile telecom industry is more environmentally harmful than powering several hundred thousand of off-grid base stations by burning diesel fuel. One single diesel powered base station can consume around 20,000 litres of diesel per year, and spew 50 tonnes of carbon emission into the atmosphere.


And no other practice is more financially onerous for mobile operators. Operating a single diesel powered base station can cost US$40,000 per year. For many operators in developing markets energy is the single largest cost item, often representing as much as 40-50 percent of total operating costs, and the energy cost item is high due to the use of fossil fuel to power base stations.


The good news is that there are alternatives to powering base stations with diesel, particularly those located in sunny and/or windy locations. There are several companies offering power management solutions based on renewable energy sources, with control systems and battery banks for energy capture and storage. And even without renewable energy sources, simply using energy efficient power systems based on intelligent controllers and batteries, power for base stations can become “green” using a fraction of the diesel currently used today.


Short payback time makes investment decision a no-brainer


These alternatives exist today, and are proven to deliver savings in fuel-related operating expenses by 20, 30, 50 and in some cases (the eSite) 90 percent, when the system is highly energy efficient and uses a sophisticated controller. Converted into hard cash, this equates to annual savings of more than US$30,000 per base station per year, making the investment decision a virtual ‘no-brainer’ with payback times of less than two years (on equipment that can last for ten years or more).


There are several hundred thousands off-grid and bad grid sites in the developing world, mainly in Asia and Africa – which are also the biggest and fastest growing mobile markets in the world. The overwhelming majority of them are powered by diesel or inefficient battery-hybrid solutions. Still, only around 3 percent of the base stations in developing markets use green energy.


So why aren’t there more green base stations out there powered by energy efficient power solutions and renewable energy? And why do network operators continue to spend so much money on base station diesel fuel when lower cost and more sustainable alternatives have existed for some time? These aren’t easy questions to answer, but I believe that there are a number of contributing reasons:


  • Operators are more focused on expanding their services than on reducing OPEX. There has been a clear push to roll out services to as many potential customers as possible, as quickly as possible. The operators have always made good money, so why worry about costs now?


  • Most organisations are slow to see opportunities to save. This is particularly true for larger organisations and mobile operators are typically huge companies.


  • Power management is not a core competence for most operators. As such, it’s not getting the attention it needs and possibly not at a high enough management level, where the impact of the potential savings on operating expenses and bottom line would be most keenly felt.


  • The business case proposition has, until now, not been compelling enough to get the attention of senior management. Renewable energy solutions are relatively new technologically and payback times have not been short enough. Also, some operators have had bad experiences with early equipment that have impacted the decisions to go ahead with the much more advanced green power solutions available today.


  • Evaluating solutions will take time when several suppliers, and local options, are considered and results are evaluated over seasonal changes.


  • Power related equipment is part of the passive infrastructure which, in many organisations, is purchased only on price and not performance. Focus has therefore been on keeping CAPEX budgets low rather than reducing OPEX costs in the long run.


  • The diesel distribution chain is strongly entrenched in many countries, making it difficult to introduce new technologies that reduce the dependence on diesel.


On reflection, at least half of the reasons above are just poor business sense – decisions that are simply ill informed and un-thought through, such as buying inferior equipment just because it is cheaper to purchase even if it is more expensive to operate. You can also call them inexplicable – no reasonable CEO should invest in something that is so much more expensive in the long run.


So what could and should be done to change this clearly sub-optimal way of powering base stations in off-grid and bad grid locations around the world?


Luckily, no major intervention is needed as the situation is about to change by itself. Market forces are now putting increasing pressure on mobile operators to reduce their operating costs, driven by the data boom that is putting a strain on the infrastructure, and the competition which is squeezing call rates.


On top of this, the cost of diesel cannot be expected to decrease in the long run – rather the opposite. And green power management solutions are now seen as tested and efficient enough to not be regarded as a risky choice.


There are many factors that suggest that we are on the threshold of a major shift to adopt green power for base stations. One example on the ground is Airtel’s current program to roll out hundreds of brand new state-of-the-art green power solutions all across Africa. It is a clear mind shift and also takes into account the positive effects to the brand by migrating from dirty base stations to green base stations. Mobile operators do not want to be seen as environmental ‘bad guys’.


As I see it, green power management solutions are essential to reach the Next Billion customers. They are essential to the operators’ bottom lines, and their long term financial health.  And they are essential for the health of our planet. Implement them and everybody wins.



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MEC Qedani Mahlangu to Officially Open the Africa Energy Indaba 2013 Exhibition

Posted on 16 February 2013 by Africa Business

The Gauteng MEC for Infrastructure Development, Qedani Mahlangu will officially open the exhibition of the 5th annual Africa Energy Indaba on 19th February 2013 at the Sandton Convention Centre.  The exhibition will be showcasing the latest technologies and vast opportunities in Africa’s energy sector. The opening of the exhibition by the MEC reinforces the Department of Infrastructure Development’s (DID) commitment to a greener economy.

The Africa Energy Indaba exhibition has become a significant market-place for African and international stakeholders doing business in Africa’s energy sector and attracts various players in the energy sector, from people looking for equipment & technology solutions to project developers and consultants looking to find business opportunities in the energy sector. This showcase will include companies supplying, or able to supply, the large range of equipment, components and specialist services needed by the industry.  It is a platform for companies to demonstrate their commitment to provide solutions and services that will enable the African continent to embrace the challenges arising from current and future energy demands.

The DID is committed to creating and maintaining a green and sustainable Gauteng with every new school, multipurpose centre and hospital it builds. Among the Department’s flagship green projects, is the gradual replacement of coal and diesel powered hospital boilers with natural gas powered boilers, in an effort to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are emitted by coal and diesel powered boilers. MEC Qedani Mahlangu is also working out the implementation details for a “Trigeneration power plant” to be piloted at the Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital. The natural gas fuelled power plant will meet all the hospital’s energy, steam, hot water, cooling and heating needs and perform all the functions currently performed by coal or diesel boilers.  This will result in the reduction of the hospital’s energy bills, with the potential to feed any excess electrical power generated into the national grid and the reduction of pollution.

“We are moving decisively into the green energy space, and will over the next few years take bold decisions and undertake ambitious projects that will reduce our carbon footprint, improve the energy efficiency of government buildings and public facilities such as schools, clinics, and hospitals. By taking the lead as government, we are challenging fellow citizens as well as the private sector to join us in taking these small steps today, that will ensure our energy security and save our environment”

“We are honoured to host MEC Qedani Mahlangu at the Africa Energy Indaba and that she will be opening the exhibition.  This commitment highlights the importance of the energy sector and as Gauteng is seen to be an economic hub of activity for South Africa, the support from the provincial leaders demonstrates the significance of the energy sector.”  Says Liz Hart, Managing Director, Africa Energy Indaba.

The Africa Energy Indaba exhibition is relevant to companies involved in all areas relating to showcasing solutions for the benefit of Africa. This extends to services for major energy projects on the continent, rural energy solutions, urbanization, the renewable & sustainable energy industry and the management thereof. The exhibition will be open from 9am on 19-21 February 2013 to the public and registration is free.



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VIASPACE Signs Project Agreement and Growing Giant King Grass in South Africa

Posted on 28 January 2013 by Africa Business

WALNUT, Calif., Jan. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — VIASPACE Inc. (OTCQB: VSPC) today announced that it has signed a project agreement and received initial funding from Selectra CC of Johannesburg South Africa. VIASPACE CEO Dr. Carl Kukkonen delivered Giant King™ Grass (GKG) to South Africa, supervised the first planting, and held business meetings with Selectra and their partners.

Selectra is a leading developer of sustainable bioenergy projects in Africa and sought out Giant King Grass as a dedicated energy crop.  Selectra is considering both biogas and direct combustion biomass power plants. VIASPACE and Selectra may join forces on specific future projects.

Selectra obtained an import permit from the South African government for Giant King Grass that required detailed inspection and treatment. Accordingly, US agriculture officials inspected the VIASPACE nursery in California and witnessed the treatment required by South Africa, and then issued the phytosanitary certificate stating that the Giant King Grass was free of disease and pests.

The first specific project for Selectra is to produce energy on land that has been affected by mining in South Africa. Mining is a very large industry in South Africa, and there are many mine affected lands. For example, gold mining produces large amounts of ore from which the gold has been extracted. There are thousands of hectares of these “mine dumps” or more correctly stated slimes dams and mine tailings (the footprint that remains after a slimes dam has been removed for further processing).

Dr. Kukkonen and representatives from Selectra visited two different mining locations for the start of this business relationship. Selectra and VIASPACE are conducting two trials, namely on mine affected land and on mine tailings; the success of which will significantly contribute to development of local communities with other social benefits associated with remediation of mine affected land.

Giant King Grass is a candidate crop to remediate mine affected land through the removal of heavy metals by phytoremediation and by returning organic matter into the tailings to make soil. Another important benefit could be the reduction of dust and erosion on the slimes dams thereby contributing to better health for local communities. Incorporation of Giant King Grass in Selectra’s mining program results in a truly sustainable solution as the grass is then harvested for bioenergy applications thereby offsetting the costs of the program.

Dr. Carl Kukkonen stated, “South Africa has a good climate for Giant King Grass and we are pleased to be working with Selectra.  We are certain that Giant King Grass will grow well on the unmined land, and are hopeful about the prospects for bio remediation of the mine dumps and tailings. The Giant King Grass test plantings will tell us whether Giant King Grass will grow on dumps and tailings or not. We cannot guarantee the results, but if Giant King Grass can be successfully grown on mine affected land, this will represent another very large market.”

Selectra Commercial Director Dwight Rosslee reports, “We have grown beets and sorghum on the tailings dams. These are annual crops. We believe that Giant King Grass will have significant advantages because it is a perennial crop that does not require replanting every year, and the root system will deposit organic matter into the soil. If it is successful, we plan to build a biomass power plant to generate electricity from the Giant King Grass.  We will have taken a major environmental problem and turned it into a major asset.”

VIASPACE Chairman, Dr. Kevin Schewe , commented: “We are genuinely excited about our project with Selectra in South Africa to grow GKG on unmined lands and the new possibility of expanding the role of Giant King Grass for the purpose of phytoremediation and linking that process to carbon neutral bioenergy production. The African Continent represents a large and important market for VIASPACE. We are now growing Giant King Grass and are actively engaged in Africa, Myanmar, the Caribbean, Hawaii, Central America, the United States and elsewhere. We have many exciting projects in various stages of development and we will continue to announce the details of those deals according to our clients’ timelines and schedules. Our business is beginning to build upon itself as new clients are regularly contacting us with new projects to evaluate and consider. We are working hard to build a robust and recurring revenue stream to make this company a global leader in the green energy business sector.”

VIASPACE grows renewable Giant King™ Grass as a low-carbon fuel for clean electricity generation; for environmentally friendly energy pellets; and as a feedstock for bio-methane production and for green cellulosic biofuels, biochemicals and biomaterials. Giant King Grass is a proprietary, high yield, dedicated biomass clean energy crop that does not compete with or displace food production. For more information, please go to or contact Dr. Jan Vandersande , Director of Communications, at 800-517-8050 or

Safe Harbor Statement
Information in this news release includes forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements relate to future events or future performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Such factors include, without limitation, risks outlined in our periodic filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011, and other factors over which VIASPACE has little or no control.


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Study asks Government of South Africa to legislate Alternative Energy policy, but not coal and nuclear

Posted on 10 December 2012 by Africa Business

By Thandisizwe Mgudlwa

A radical green energy plan can not be ignored by all stakeholders of society, an energy study declares.

And radical new proposals show how South Africa’s power needs could be met by renewable energy and energy efficiency measures – and not by coal and nuclear.

The authors of the Smart Energy Plan have urged government to reconsider its plans to build new coal and nuclear plants. Its preliminary findings were released at a media event at St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town by a network of civil-society organisations called the Electricity Governance Initiative of South Africa (EGI-SA).

A peer-reviewed study is to be released next year.

“The primary aim,” said Samantha Bailey, of 350.Org, presenting the study, “Is to build a positive road map for electricity usage in the future. Currently South Africa is making very big decisions about
electricity which could lock us into 40-60 years of contracts and patterns which may be impossible to undo.

“Alternatives are more affordable, intelligent and modern than sources like coal or nuclear and have more benefit to the environment and to people.”

Bailey pointed out that electricity is a key economic enabler, especially for the poor, and vital for better health services and improved education. But rises in joblessness and inequality were not going to be solved by expanding traditional sources of power. The study had found that many more jobs had been created by alternative energy methods than traditional ones and the trend would increase in the future.

“Do we continue polluting and destroying our life support systems, in the name of economic growth, or are we going to take the path of a sustainable, life-giving future?” asked Bishop Geoff Davies, executive director of Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute.
“The EGI findings show that we can meet all our energy needs without resorting to further coal or nuclear power stations.”

“We are here,” said Imam Dr A Rashied Omar, chair of the Western Cape Religious Leaders Forum, “to express our deep concern that our public policies are not in sync with the best options for preserving our natural environment, saving energy and alleviating poverty.”

Futhermore, the research finds that our current electricity infrastructure is economically uncompetitive, inefficient, unhealthy and based on demand on outdated projections of demand – it has decreased over the past two years as prices soared, the authors of the report say.

“The total coal reserve in the country is equal to only 15% of the solar reserve that is available annually,” said Bailey. Also, the cost of solar had in fact declined in the past few years, she said.

“This report shows us that renewable energy, some of it generated locally, can provide   us with all the electricity we need and is far more efficient and cost-effective, than either coal or nuclear energy,” said Bishop Davies.

Also, the  report highlights that South Africans are paying for Eskom to recover the costs of its infrastructure, which hikes up prices to unaffordable levels. Poor households are increasingly turning to alternative fuel sources such as paraffin when cash is short, and this trend is likely to continue as electricity prices continue rising.

Renewable energy and small-scale energy plants owned and run by individuals and communities, would be a smarter, healthier, more equitable option, the report says.

The concrete recommendations include:

·     Boosting the energy access of two million of the poorest households by  giving them the chance to install ceilings, solar powered lights and cell phone chargers, at a cost of R13 550 per household. This could be funded by existing economic agencies, like the Renewable Energy Independent power producer programme (REIPPP) or the Integrated National Electrification Programme (INEP).

·       Allowing and helping homeowners to supply energy to the grid

·       Introducing changes to how mining and other industries use power, which could slash their energy use by 45% to 50%

·       Phasing out aluminium smelters

The authors of the Smart Electricity Plan are Liziwe McDaid of SAFCEI and Green Connection, Robert Fischer and Brenda Martin of Project 90 by 2030, Dr Yvette Abrahams of  Gender CC, and Samantha Bailey of

In addition, the research was conducted using a tool called SNAPP (Sustainable National Accessible Power Planning), developed by the Energy Research Centre (ERC) at the University of Cape Town.

And ongoing contributors to the plan include Andrew Marquard and Jesse Burton of the Energy Research Centre at UCT, Saul Roux and Hilton Trollip of the City of Cape Town, Gary Kendall of the Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership, and Corporate Sustainability Consultant Robert Zipplies.

“At the time of the abolition of slavery,” added Bishop Davies, “slave owners in the US and Britain claimed that their businesses would collapse without slavery. In fact, treating people with respect improved business. Now we need to treat the natural world with respect.

“We believe nuclear energy is not necessary and will burden the citizens of South Africa with huge toxic debts that will sap resources from essential social development.”

“We want to work with our government in developing an electricity policy for a sustainable and healthy future. As faith communities we hope and pray we will be responsible to God in caring for the future of people and life on this planet, our only home.”

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EAWC Technologies Delivers the Comprehensive Solution for Water and Energy Scarcity – Innovative new technologies will provide clean drinking water and alternative energy solutions on a worldwide basis

Posted on 06 December 2012 by Africa Business

MIAMI, Dec., 2012 /PRNewswire via African Press Organization (APO)/ — EAWC Technologies, a leader in innovation in the clean water and alternative energy sectors, announced its comprehensive range of solutions designed to mitigate the growing scarcity of clean drinking water and renewable energy sources. EAWC offers solar-powered water purification systems designed to provide potable water in areas affected by disasters or in regions of the world where water shortages are already present. The water produced using EAWC’s proprietary methods meets the stringent quality standards of the World Health Organization and other major water testing organizations, making these methods a viable choice throughout the world. More information about the processes used can be found at the company’s website at EAWC Technologies.

One of the most innovative water purification methods employed by EAWC Technologies is the Atmosphere Water Generator, which extracts water directly from the air for use in agriculture, military applications and building industries as well as to provide drinking water for local populations. The water used can often be recycled and purified over and over again, allowing for a greater degree of efficiency in managing water supply needs. Solar-powered water purification systems also provide a reliable source of drinking water in areas where the existing water has been contaminated through overpopulation, industrial development or where sea water is readily available. Highly-advanced filtration systems and osmosis membranes provide the purification power necessary to produce the needed water in these regions of the world.

EAWC Technologies is an established leader in the green energy field and has patents on a number of important renewable energy processes that include elements of its CO2 Free Energy Production Solar and Wind Energy Solutions packages. By combining the technological advances necessary to produce clean energy and clean water, EAWC has positioned itself effectively to be the primary and comprehensive solution to both problems and to provide an exceptional array of green tech tools for mitigating water shortages and energy scarcity across the globe.

EAWC has developed these water purification and production systems and energy technologies alone and in conjunction with other innovators in the green technology industry. One major partner in these enterprises is EAWC’s holding company, Powermax, which performed the initial market research that led to this new approach to clean and green tech in the global marketplace. These technologies are designed to provide real help for those in underserved areas where water scarcity is already making an impact on the quality of life and health for residents. By combining water purification and energy production methods into one integrated solution, EAWC Technologies has positioned itself for exceptional growth and profitability while serving the needs of populations increasingly affected by a lack of clean water and green energy alternatives.

EAWC Technologies is a publicly listed company under the symbol EAWD. For more information, visit the company’s website at, via email at

CONTACT: Irma Velazquez, +1-786-510-8333


EAWC Technologies

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China to Emerge as the World’s Largest Market for Green Energy Transit Buses, Projects Frost & Sullivan

Posted on 03 December 2012 by Africa Business

Governments’ commitment toward green energy fuels hybrid and electric powered vehicles market

Rapid urbanization and the consequent rise in the demand for public transit systems could well make China the largest market for transit buses in the world. Being a largely state-driven market, it is expected to benefit the most from the upcoming hybridization and electrification programs. This provides global original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and suppliers with opportunities to develop strong and sustainable partnerships with Chinese OEMs and suppliers.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (, Strategic Analysis of the Chinese Hybrid and Electric Transit Bus Market, finds that the total hybrid and electric transit bus sales in China are expected to reach over 12,000 units by 2018, from 3,374 units in 2011. By 2018, the hybrid and electric powertrain penetration in transit buses is anticipated to be more than 14 percent.

The total transit bus sales are likely to exceed 80,000 units by 2018, cementing China’s domination of the global transit bus market. This is compelling OEMs to develop innovative products, technologies, and supply chains that can help reduce the high upfront and lifecycle costs of these vehicles.

“The market for hybrid and electric transit buses is experiencing considerable momentum due to volatile energy prices, consumers’ awareness about fuel efficiency, and recent green incentives by the Chinese government aimed at promoting alternative powertrain technologies,” said Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Bharani Lakshminarasimhan. “Of all alternative powertrain technologies, hybrid technology places the least pressure on existing infrastructure.”

However, customers consider hybrid and electric buses prohibitively priced and their unproven reliability and duty cycle limitations discourage large-scale investment. Nascent battery technology and poor charging infrastructure along transit corridors are additional deterrents.

The price sensitivity of Chinese customers is accelerating the implementation of strategies aimed at reducing the upfront costs of the base vehicle, hybrid/electric drivetrain, or both. OEMs’ desire to differentiate themselves is impelling them to reduce operation costs and improve product quality. Key components such as modules and battery systems could become more expensive in the short term due to OEMs’ dependence on foreign suppliers.

In such a scenario, partnerships are the way forward. Collaborations with foreign suppliers will help local OEMs to develop cost-effective hybrid and electric components. The motor/generator manufacturing base will expand, as foreign and local suppliers establish their units, catering to both the local and export markets.

“Simultaneously, for western suppliers, partnering with local OEMs will help them gain access to many markets such as Africa, South America, Middle East, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN),” noted Lakshminarasimhan. “Localized production facilities and collaborations with transport authorities remain key differentiating factors for rapid market growth.”

If you are interested in more information on this research, please send an email to Zhenhua Chen, Corporate Communications, at, with your full name, company name, job title, telephone number, company email address, company website, city, state and country.

Strategic Analysis of the Chinese Hybrid and Electric Transit Bus Market is part of the Automotive & Transportation Growth Partnership Services program, which also includes research in the following markets: North American Medium-Heavy Commercial Vehicle Market, Brazilian Commercial vehicle Market, and Global Low-cost Truck Market. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

About Frost & Sullivan

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Strategic Analysis of the Chinese Hybrid and Electric Transit Bus Market

Zhenhua Chen
Corporate Communications – China
P: +86 21 5407 5780
M: +86 1381 6974 015

SOURCE Frost & Sullivan

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Global Solar Panels Market to Grow at the Rate of 15.3 Percent Till 2015

Posted on 21 August 2012 by Africa Business


NEW YORK, LONDON, BERLIN, PARIS, August 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ —

Analysts forecast that the Global Solar Panels market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 15.3 percent over the period 2011-2015. One of the key factors contributing to this market growth is functional and technological advancement. The Global Solar Panels market has also been witnessing the entry of new competitors with competitive advantages. However, the seasonal fluctuation of solar power availability could pose a challenge to the growth of this market.

According to a report titled Global Solar Panels Market 2011-2015, the progression of technology in the solar photovoltaic (PV) industry is driving the growth of the Global Solar Panels market. The report covers the Americas, and the EMEA and APAC regions; it also covers the Global Solar Panels market landscape and its growth prospects in the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of the key vendors operating in this market.

Commenting on the report, an analyst from the authoring publisher said; “The increase in R&D was another major prevailing trend in the Global Solar Panels market. In addition to reduction in policies, there were also favorable policies and procedures that existed for boosting the Global Solar Panels market.”

Key vendors dominating this market space include First Solar Inc., Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd., Trina Solar Ltd., and Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. Ltd.

Other vendors mentioned in the report: Canadian Solar Inc., Sharp Corp., Hanwha SolarOne Ltd., Jinko Solar Co. Ltd., LDK Solar Co. Ltd., SolarWorld, BP Solar International Inc., Bosch Solar Energy AG, Dyesol Ltd., EniPower S.p.A, Evergreen Solar Inc., ET Solar Inc., E-Ton Solar Tech Co. Ltd., Flisom AG, GE Energy, Global Solar Energy Inc., Hitachi Metals America Ltd., Isofoton SA, JA Solar Holdings, Kyocera Corp., Matrix Solar Technologies Inc., MiaSole Inc., Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Moser Baer Solar Ltd., Motech Industries Inc. , Nanosolar Inc., Primestar Solar Inc., Q-Cells SE, REC Solar Inc., Ritek Co. Ltd., Sanyo Solar, Schott Solar AG, Schuco USA, Signet Solar Inc., Siliken SA, and SunPower Corp.

To view the detailed table of contents of this report kindly click – Solar Panels market report or visit

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