How Scientists Can Help Contribute To Conservation Efforts

What is a conservation social scientist and why is she visiting South Africa? Dr. Meredith Gore is one of the world’s leading conservation experts and she recently traveled to South Africa to learn from and share best practices with South African students, community members, and government officials on tackling issues of wildlife poaching, wildlife trafficking, ...
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Signing of Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Projects (REIPPP) Agreements

Congratulations, South Africa!  We were thrilled to be at today’s signing of renewable energy independent power producer project (REIPPP) agreements, which will result in R55.92 billion in new investments in the energy sector (including foreign direct investment from U.S. companies!), create nearly 60,000 new jobs, and generate 2300 megawatts of energy.  Chargé d’Affaires Jessye Lapenn ...
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U.S. Embassy Supports South African Wildlife Crime Investigations through Donation of Forensic Trailer Units

The U.S. Embassy is pleased to announce the donation of three forensic trailers to support provincial law enforcement officials to investigate wildlife crime scenes. The trailers were handed over to representatives of the Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, and KwaZulu-Natal authorities at a ceremony co-hosted with the non-governmental organization TRAFFIC on February 20, 2018, at the ...
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Dr. Jenna Jambeck, U.S. Expert on Marine Waste, Joins South Africa’s Fight Against Plastic Pollution

Media Advisory July 24, 2017 The U.S. Mission to South Africa hosted Dr. Jenna Jambeck, an expert on plastic waste from the University of Georgia, for meetings with environmental leaders, local government officials, academics and members of the public in three provinces along South Africa’s coastline July 9-18, 2017.  She travelled to Port Elizabeth, Plettenberg ...
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Power Africa Launches New Initiative at African Utility Week

Media Advisory | Thursday, May 18, 2017 Power Africa announced the launch of its Southern African Energy Program this week in Cape Town, South Africa.  This announcement came as representatives from Power Africa, a U.S. government-led initiative, and the U.S. Mission in South Africa participated in African Utility Week and the Gas to Power World ...
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WDC Solar: Sustainable energy, sustainable jobs

Like many urban centers, Washington has low-income residents, many seeking good jobs. African American–owned WDC Solar is giving all of them a boost by installing solar panels at no cost to residents and training young men and women in solar installation and maintenance skills. Owner Mark Davis says, “WDC Solar is focused on installing solar ...
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YALI Voices: Getting Energy to All Africans Through Renewable Sources

Sub-Saharan Africa has abundant renewable energy resources. The question is how to tap into them and reach the goal of supplying everyone in each of its regions with reliable, clean and affordable electricity. At the 2016 Young African Leaders Initiative summit in Washington, the State Department’s Macon Phillips recorded a podcast with South African Mandela ...
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Solar power gives light and jobs where both are most needed

It’s a community effort in Seaview, in Nelson Mandela Bay on South Africa’s Eastern Cape. Mongezi Gobodo, an electrician for Mandela Bay Electrical (MBE), trains local residents to install solar panels in communities that aren’t connected to the power grid. “Now we’ve got the solar panels, and they are working so nice for me,” Pinky, ...
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Telling South Africa’s Renewable Energy Story

Global and local experts and leaders within the renewable energy industry believe the time to champion renewable energy is now – as South Africa’s energy mix is currently being decided and debated. There is also an urgency to convert a general awareness and understanding about renewable energy into tangible action. These were some of the ...
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Net metering makes electricity distribution smarter

Customers who generate their own electricity with solar panels or wind turbines reap benefits when net metering is available. It works like this. An ordinary electric meter keeps track of how much electricity customers use from the power grid. They are billed for it. Net metering uses a meter designed to track the amount of ...
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South Africa and United States Partner to Promote Renewable Energy Awareness

South Africa and United States Partner to Promote Renewable Energy Awareness Media Release | November 28, 2016 Johannesburg, South Africa, 23 November 2016 – ‘Expensive, inaccessible, complicated and unreliable’ are a few of the misperceptions about renewable energy that persist, despite South Africa’s success in building out its large-scale renewable energy infrastructure. To a large ...
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Airports look to the sun to save money

A plane taxis on the George airport runway in South Africa. It’s Africa’s first airport to be powered by solar energy. (© Getty Images) Airports around the world are looking sunward to electrify their facilities — and they find it makes good business sense. George Airport, on the southern coast of South Africa’s Western Cape ...
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BioTherm Energy invests in communities

Wind Energy Facility (State Department) The BioTherm wind energy facility at Klipheuwel-Dassiefontein does much more than generate much-needed electricity cleanly near Caledon in South Africa’s Western Cape province. It also invests in the local community. In the nearby town of Genadendal, BioTherm has trained school principals and provides funding for instructors who teach students critical ...
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Microcare supplies electricity and jobs to locals

MicroCare: 12V Informal Settlement Power Supply (State Department) Residents of informal communities in Port Elizabeth in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province need electricity as well as jobs. Solar component manufacturer Microcare makes sure they have both by training and employing local workers, while manufacturing hardware for off-grid and grid-connected solar power. “We made it a mandate ...
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What is the power grid and how does it work?

(State Dept./Doug Thompson) Everybody’s seen those tall towers strung with wires that stretch across the landscape. Most people know that those are power transmission lines, but they may not know they are looking at part of the power grid. First you need electricity … The power grid starts in the places where electricity is made. ...
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When it comes to renewable energy, will emerging economies be leaders?

(© AP Images)  Part 4 Countries that are developing or expanding their energy infrastructure are well placed to be the renewable energy leaders of the future. Not only is that a good position, it is a good business strategy. “In many senses, [the developing world] is a clean slate. It can just leapfrog into the ...
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With renewable energy everyone wins

A man installs solar panels on a Honolulu rooftop. Hawaii is a U.S. national leader in solar power. (© AP Images) Part 3 Rooftops, great for shelter, can now make the homeowner money too. That’s because of renewable energy technology. People are able to generate their own electricity close to home, and in communities where ...
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California leads the way to a renewable future

This solar farm at the University of California Davis supplies 14 percent of power used on campus. There are solar installations on rooftops and parking lots too. (UC Davis) Decarbonizing the economy is an intellectually electrifying and energizing opportunity for California’s universities and students. It is abundantly clear to most people working in the energy field ...
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What happens when fossil fuels meet the renewable-energy model of power generation?

Part Two Necessity — and good business — is ushering in a new energy reality. And that energy is renewable. Large, energy-hungry populations; failures of outdated 20th-century infrastructure; and commitment to preventing global temperature rise are all reasons why cities, states and countries around the world are using renewable energy. So how are they doing ...
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The future is renewable and we are transitioning toward it

(© AP Images) Part One By 2050, the world will get most of its electricity from renewable sources, like the sun and wind, and no longer rely on polluting fossil energy that contributes to climate change. Angelina Galiteva (Courtesy photo) That bold prediction comes from Angelina Galiteva, who knows a lot about energy. She has ...
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What is distributed generation?

If you’ve ever seen solar panels on the rooftop of a home or business, you were looking at “distributed generation.” And it’s a safe bet you will be seeing more of it. Distributed generation means generating electricity at or near the location where it is used. It is cheaper than conventional, centralized generation because it ...
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U.S. dollars flow toward renewable energy innovation

Energy storage and solar power are hot. And to speed up adoption of renewable energy technologies, the U.S. Department of Energy is committing funds. As much as $144 million was recently allocated for research and development of innovative renewable tech ideas. The Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E) set aside $37 million to back 16 projects ...
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Myths about solar energy

Myth #1. Solar power doesn’t generate enough electricity. Solar energy is now mainstream. Solar contributes substantially to electricity grids around the world. Globally, solar installations grew by nearly 30 percent last year and the industry is on an upward trend. Texas, Colorado and other U.S. states have successfully integrated solar and other renewables to the ...
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Bright solar tech entrepreneurs make a mark in South Africa’s Silicon Valley

An invention by South African scientist Vivian Alberts that replaces expensive silicon used in photovoltaic solar panels promises to make solar energy more affordable than ever. It’s a thin-film photovoltaic coating for glass that uses no silicon at all. Alberts announced his discovery in 2007. Now he is poised to build an industrial-scale factory to ...
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What is renewable energy and why use it?

Renewable energy comes from natural sources that don’t run out, such as the sun, wind, water or heat within the earth. Fossil fuels — coal, oil and gas — are traditional sources of energy generation that will eventually run out. Solar panels and wind turbines generate electricity from sun and wind. Geothermal plants harness heat ...
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For former coal workers, renewable energy means renewed job market

What does greater use of green energy mean for workers in more traditional energy sectors? A Colorado initiative may have the answer: put the workers where the jobs are. Consider the findings of Michigan Technological University professor Joshua M. Pearce and associates: There are nearly 209,000 solar workers in the United States, compared to about ...
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Next-generation batteries for cars and power grids use glass and molten metal

(Shutterstock) In a bid to create more efficient and longer-lasting batteries for electric vehicles and the power grid, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have been testing ideas that could revolutionize the clean energy field. The latest research aims to improve upon rechargeable “lithium-air” batteries, a highly promising technology that can store up to ...
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Salting away renewable energy for future use

One of the biggest challenges in the solar energy field is how to store electricity from the sun for use when the sun isn’t shining. One solution may be no farther than your salt shaker. SolarReserve, a California company, is pioneering a technology that uses molten salt as a medium for long-term energy storage. Mirrors ...
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Renewable Energy Costs: How Low Can They Go?

How can we reduce the greenhouse gases that cause  climate change  when most developing nations need more energy than ever before? Renewable energy  sources emit far less CO2 than traditional fossil fuels. But critics argue renewables like solar and wind are too expensive. No more. Innovation and research have lowered the cost of many renewables to — and sometimes below — ...
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As We Generate More Electricity From Sun and Wind, Where Do We Store It?

The big thing holding us back from wholesale use of renewable energy is a reliable long-term storage mechanism. But scientists are working hard to develop a battery that can make the most of solar- and wind-generated energy. This ClimateWire article describes a few of the promising technologies under consideration for storing electricity collected by solar ...
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Combating Climate Change With Cool Tech

How is the world going to reach the climate goals of COP21? Not with your grandmother’s wind turbines. “The truth is, if we adapt existing technologies … there’s still going to be a big gap to fill,” said President Obama about the importance of climate innovation. “Cool technologies” need to fill the gap, and fast, says ...
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To Protect the Planet, We Can All Do Our Part

Did you know small changes in your daily routines can make a huge difference to your health, the health of your neighbors and the future of the planet? Choose from among these simple steps and start today. (Adapted from the California Air Resources Board’s “Simple Solutions to Help Reduce Air Pollution”) When you run errands ...
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Power to the People the Smart-Tech Way

What if every month you got a report on how your electricity use compared to that of your neighbors? And personalized tips on how to save money based on your own usage patterns? New software is making this possible, says David Moore, senior market development manager at  Opower . His company has pioneered cloud-based software that ...
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How Many Days In A Year Can You Use Renewable Energy?

In recent years, some communities around the world have pledged to meet all their future power needs with renewable energy. One notable example:  Costa Rica used only renewable sources  to power itself for the first 75 days of 2015. The Central American country has made great strides in its use of renewable energy — mainly hydropower — which today generates more ...
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A Country Lowers Its Energy Bill

America is energized. In the last decade, U.S. energy production grew 24 percent, while energy consumption steadily declined. One reason for the shifts is changes made by  businessescollege campuses  and  cities  — changes that have helped the environment and reduced costs. Here are details about America’s recent progress and future plans. This graphic shows changes in U.S. energy ...
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U.S. Votes “No” on CITES Appendix-I Uplisting of Elephants – Here’s Why

U.S. Votes “No” on CITES Appendix-I Uplisting of Elephants – Here’s Why Media Statement  October 3, 2016 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Today, during the 17th meeting of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), the CITES Parties considered a proposal to include all populations of African elephants in Appendix I through ...
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Strongest CITES Protections Signal Hopeful Future for African Grey Parrots

Strongest CITES Protections Signal Hopeful Future for African Grey Parrots Press Release October 3, 2016 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Johannesburg, South Africa) – African grey parrots are being loved to death. Their intelligence and longevity make them popular as pets, and overharvest for the pet trade is devastating populations in the wild. Fortunately, nations ...
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Joint Statement: 7th South Africa – United States Annual Bilateral Forum

JOINT STATEMENT 7th SOUTH AFRICA – UNITED STATES ANNUAL BILATERAL FORUM 28 SEPTEMBER 2016 The Department of International Cooperation and Relations hosted the United States Mission in Pretoria for the 7th Annual Bilateral Forum (ABF), on 28 September 2016. The Forum was co-chaired by the Chief Director: North America and Regional Organisations, Ambassador Peter Goosen ...
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Acting Assistant Secretary Judith Garber Travels to South Africa

Acting Assistant Secretary Judith Garber Travels to South Africa Department of State Media Note Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC September 26, 2016 Acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Judith Garber will travel to Pretoria and Johannesburg, South Africa, September 26–30, to meet with South ...
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Special Envoy for Climate Change Travel to Dakar, Abuja, Johannesburg, and Pretoria

Media Note Department of State Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC September 3, 2016 U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Dr. Jonathan Pershing will travel September 4 – 9 to Senegal, Nigeria, and South Africa. His trip is an important opportunity to discuss implementation of the Paris Agreement, and advance climate and clean energy efforts ...
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U.S. Embassy Expands Projects to Address Wildlife Conservation and Trafficking in South Africa

Press Release Embassy of the United States 877 Pretorius Street, Arcadia, Pretoria Monday, June 6, 2016                                          U.S. Embassy Expands Projects to Address Wildlife Conservation and Trafficking in South Africa  Pretoria, June 6, 2016 — To advance ...
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USAID Awarded Five Stars for Enviro-friendly Construction

  For Immediate Release 18 May 2016 NEWS RELEASE USAID Awarded Five Stars for Enviro-friendly Construction The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) has approved an environmentally friendly rating of the U.S. Agency for International Development new office building in Pretoria. The final design received the council’s four-star rating, in recognition of best practice, ...
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Earth Day marks a significant climate change milestone

Mail & Guardian Analysis by Patrick Gaspard U.S. Ambassador to South Africa April 22, 2016  This Earth Day, with the signing of the Paris Agreement, is truly a cause for hope, writes the United States ambassador to South Africa. “To my compatriots, I have no hesitation in saying that each one of us is as ...
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Wildlife Trafficking Cooperation

Fact Sheet Embassy of the United States of America 877 Pretorius Street, Arcadia, Pretoria January 28, 2016 Wildlife Trafficking Cooperation Trafficking in wildlife is an international conservation crisis and a multi-billion dollar illicit business that is pushing many iconic animal populations towards extinction. Wildlife trafficking is one of the most lucrative types of transnational organized ...
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Lions Are Now Protected Under the U.S. Endangered Species Act

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service added two subspecies of lion under the Endangered Species Act due to these primary factors: Habitat Loss Loss of Prey Retaliatory Killing Due to Increased Human-Lion Conflicts Inadequate Regulatory Mechanisms Weak Management of Protected Areas. Based on newly available scientific information on the genetics and taxonomy of lions, the ...
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