Nations around the world are taking green solutions and renewable energy proposals from the drawing board, and implementing them in real life. A number of key inventions and strategies are currently being developed, many of them in South Africa.
Vodacom Goes Green with
Local communications giant, Vodacom, recently made a big commitment to greening its business when it unveiled a new solar panel project in Cape Town; the company’s office in Century City now features the most on a single building in Africa.
According to Vodacom, the new panels are able to generate up to 75% of its energy usage, albeit during peak production periods. “The electricity produced will feed into the two main distribution boards and a display panel, installed in the reception area of the building, and will display instantaneous power produced (yield), energy yield and carbon emission savings,” the company claimed in a statement.
Maka Makanjee, Vodacom’s chief officer of corporate affairs, explained that the company is working towards reducing its carbon emissions by 5% per year until 2014. Makanjee said, “Through this particular project Vodacom aims to demonstrate that business can take the lead in promoting renewable energy solutions, thereby stimulating the green economy.”
Green Charcoal the Future?
Aurecon, an engineering company, in cooperation with Stellenbosch University and the Tshwane University of Technology, have reportedly developed technology with which green charcoal could be made from sugarcane biomass.
According to Sapa, sugar cane growers in Mpumalanga may soon have a new source of revenue, as the new torrefaction technology creates a use for the previously unutilised biomass. The next step is the running of a pilot project estimated to cost R20m.
Sandton Businesses Opt for Green Solutions
Sandton, Gauteng, is the home of big business in SA and recently a number of industry leaders have chosen to make their buildings more eco friendly. Business Day reports that the Twin Towers office complex on 5th Street will be restored and Giles Pendleton, managing director of developments at Liberty Properties, explained that “Our vision is to create the first four-star Green Star SA rated commercial building in the Liberty Portfolio”.
A little further down the road property development company, Abland, has received a four-star Green rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) for the design of its R1.7bn mixed use development. According to Lorraine McHugh, marketing co-ordinator at Abland, they obtained all 52 points they aimed for. Only 45 were needed to obtain the four-star rating and the company is very proud to be one of the only multi-tenanted buildings with such a rating.
Another Green Option: Water from a Billboard
Green solutions are popping up all over the world as natural resources become scarcer and people more populous. UTEC (the University of Engineering and Technology) in Peru recently came up with a world first; a portable water generator.
Essentially they designed a billboard that is capable of extracting moisture from the atmosphere and converting it into drinking water. Take a look:
Going Green at Home
Everyone needs to do their share to ensure that this world remains habitable and it is possible to do so; by making a few adjustments to residential properties, significant amounts of electricity and water can be saved. Sustainable.co.za offers a range of products that make contributing to the cause hassle free; ranging from solar panels to LED lighting, water saving shower heads and gas water heaters. It really is easy to make a contribution.