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Environmental issues & green related tech that can improve the environment


Danie van der Merwe

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China, Europe Drive Shift to Electric Cars as U.S. Lags

From the article: Electric cars will pick up critical momentum in 2017, many in the auto industry believe—just not in North America.

Tighter emissions rules in China and Europe leave global carmakers and some consumers with little choice but to embrace plug-in vehicles, fueling an investment surge, said industry executives gathered in Detroit this past week for the city's annual auto show.

"Car electrification is an irreversible trend," said Jacques Aschenbroich, chief executive of auto supplier Valeo, which has expanded sales by 50% in five years with a focus on electric, hybrid, connected and self-driving cars.

In Europe, green cars benefit increasingly from subsidies, tax breaks and other perks, while combustion engines face mounting penalties including driving and parking restrictions.

"Look to China rather than the U.S. for the future of electric cars," Gerard Detourbet, a Renault-Nissan executive leading low-cost plug-in development, said recently. "China is compelled to act - that's the main difference."

As I've mentioned before I also see the tipping point coming from China which will be focussed on affordable electric cars. Renault from Europe is even selling to China. The China spec EV's won't be readily usable outside China, but their economies of scale will bring down overall costs, and show innovative ways of doing EV's cheaper. Europe, with its demand for EV's as well as smaller compact cars, would be perfect for China to export to, if they can pass quality controls.

And us in Africa where very little has happened with EVs? Well current EVs are just to expensive to import into Africa, and the most recent startup in South Africa has gone completely quiet. So we'll probably catch the wave after the tipping point breaks, when costs of EVs have fallen and smaller cheaper ones are readily available.

Dominique Bugmann (Bluumi)'s profile photoAnthony Hazard's profile photo
First they will to get a much longer range or a way to be fully charged in 10 min or less. I hate buying gasoline but my trip to the doctor in 2 days is 320 miles 516 km the idea of spending 8 hrs to recharge is to much to bare as is it's 7hrs can't picture 15 hrs. Taxes on gasoline are so high electric cars are for the moment the only way to go, but they will find a way to the price rechargeing almost a expensive as gasoline. The elites of government are so smart and caring 
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Danie van der Merwe

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New temperature measurements smash global warming denial

From the linked article: You could be forgiven for thinking that global warming has paused. It’s a narrative that has been hammered home by columnists and politicians around the world. Proponents of this argument say there is no need for alarm and that fewer resources need to be dedicated to lowering carbon emissions.

But that argument has relied on what has now been proved to be a fault with how scientists measure global temperatures.

By 1990, some 80% of all measurements were taken by measuring the temperature of water running through a vessel’s engine room. Given all the variables in this method of recording temperatures, by 2015, 80% of measurements were rather coming from buoys bobbing about the ocean.

But the data sets haven’t made an allowance for this change in the source of data.

So it seems that scientists had just been looking at absolute temperature readings and incorrect conclusions have been drawn. There is more detail about the two studies that brought this to light at It's not good news but it is more important that scientists align themselves in terms of where we stand.
Scientists’ reassessment of data that provides global average temperatures has been faulty and proves that warming has been constant.
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Danie van der Merwe

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Emissions cheating scandal expands to France's Renault

The "Dieselgate" pollution scan that started with Volkswagen has expanded in Europe as French authorities are now investigating automaker Renault SA. Three judges will probe possible "cheating on pollution control checks ... with the consequence of making the [vehicles] dangerous to the health of people and animals," Le Figaro reports. That follows a preliminary investigation which concluded that some Renault models were emitting up to ten times the legal amounts of nitrogen oxide (NO2).

Renault said it has "noted" the probe, but repeated statements that it has complied with emission rules and that's its vehicles are not equipped with defeat software. In August 2016, the company asserted that the problem could have been caused by a "calibration error" on an anti-pollution part, and not by a defeat device.

So although not conclusive yet it does show EU governments are serious about cracking down on cheating, and want to clean up their air.

Real-world pollution is reportedly ten times more than in lab tests.
Danie van der Merwe's profile photoAlexis “The Player Of Games” Boom's profile photo
This can only be a good thing, Renault are second only to Tesla in actually trying to put out EVs in volume, other manufacturers look to go niche to reduce risk or go compliance to avoid charges

If Renault do get caught out the only thing I'd like to see is that they get treated no more or less harshly than the rest, maybe ideally less harshly if we take into account that they make four discrete BEV models in the EU
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Danie van der Merwe

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Volkswagen's new electric Microbus is even more 'hippie' than the original

Have you always wished you could ride in an iconic 1960s Volkswagen Microbus? Well, soon you'll be able to, and what’s more, it’s electric and drives itself. It may also help people forget about the diesel scandal from a year ago as the company executes on a larger overall strategic shift from diesel towards electric vehicles.

According to Volkswagen, the ID Buzz has an all electric driving range of up to 270 miles on one charge. It seats up to eight, but can also be adjusted to have two lounging seats and features a fully autonomous “ID Pilot” driving mode, wherein the driver’s seat can even be turned 180 degrees to face the rear.

It has a lot of other hi-tech features too and is hoped to go into by production by 2025. It is probably not going to be cheap though.

The VW Microbus loses the dirty fossil fuels. And the driver.
Matt Casters's profile photoEmmanuel Nxumalo's profile photo
Very nice
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Danie van der Merwe

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London breaches annual air pollution limit for 2017 in just five days

By law, hourly levels of toxic nitrogen dioxide must not be more than 200 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m3) more than 18 times in a whole year, but late on Thursday this limit was broken on Brixton Road in Lambeth.

NO2 pollution, which is produced largely by diesel vehicles, causes 5,900 early deaths every year in London. Most air quality zones across the country break legal limits and the crisis was called a “public health emergency” by MPs in April. This week scientists said that one in 10 cases of Alzheimer’s in people living near busy roads could be linked to air pollution (

A government spokesperson said: “We are firmly committed to improving the UK’s air quality and cutting harmful emissions. We will update our air quality plans in the spring to further improve the nation’s air quality.” He said the government had committed more than £2bn since 2011 to support ultra-low emissions vehicles and greener transport schemes.

In December, Paris, Madrid, Athens and Mexico City pledged to ban polluting diesel cars from their centres by 2025 and a number of cities outside the UK have already taken action such as banning cars on specific days or making public transport free.

Jenny Bates, at Friends of the Earth, said: “Air pollution is a major health threat, particularly to children and other vulnerable people. Road traffic is the biggest culprit – and diesel is the worst. This is why the government must take much bolder and quicker action including planning to phase out diesel by 2025.”

This week new data also revealed that modern diesel cars produce 10 times more NO2 pollution than heavy trucks and buses per litre of fuel, which experts say is due to the much tougher testing faced by heavy vehicles.

Daniel J's profile photoNajat Aziz's profile photo
Big cities should be free of all toxic gasses .
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Danie van der Merwe

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South Africa's Eskom 'blatantly distorted' renewable energy costs

From the article: Power utility Eskom is being accused of blatantly distorting the facts associated with the cost of renewable power purchases.

Cape Town-based environmental and climate change non-profit organisation ‘Project 90 by 2030', together with the South African Renewable Energy Council (SAREC), and various independent energy bodies, have come out in strong opposition to Eskom's claims that renewable energy posted a net loss of R9 billion in 2016.

Eskom arrived at this figure by using a methodology developed by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), which showed the economic benefit of renewables in the first six months of 2015 to be almost R4 billion.

"Through the national renewable energy programme, there have been a number of bidding windows (BW). During this process the cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) dropped from R3.65/kWh in BW1 to R0.62/kWh in BW4 expedited. Wind power dropped from R1.51 to R0.62 per kWh over the same timeframe. Coal IPPs come in at R1.03/kWh, and Eskom's new Medupi and Kusile power stations have current levelised cost of electricity estimated at R1.05 and R1.17 per kWh respectively.

"While a proper comparison should be across all the IPPs, however you look at it, wind and solar PV are now cheaper than coal for new build electricity production."

Ali Sdira's profile photoMahammad Tukur's profile photo
Ali sdira iam with you guys have to be with you in tech support 
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Danie van der Merwe

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Gadget mountain rising in Asia threatens health, environment

Developed Western nations may be patting themselves on their backs about how well their recycling programmes are going, transitioning coal power stations top renewable energy, but often the problem has just been moved elsewhere. All over the world, due to obsolescence, we are replacing gadgets at an ever increasing rate. The problem is they are often not being recycled, and many contain rare elements which are being depleted instead of recycled. Making matters worse is the illegal global trade in waste (moving from countries with strict laws to other countries where they are just dumped).

In some cases this waste is being recycled, by poor people at great health risk to themselves, and where the burning of plastics etc is also causing dangerous air pollution. Some products, like Apple, are not even manufactured so that they can be easily recycled.

Manufacturers need to start taking more accountability and instead of just producing goods at an ever increasing rate, they need to be finding ways to better re-use materials from these discarded products.

From the article: Ruediger Kuehr, one of the study's authors, said the amount of waste being generated is higher than governments estimate, partly because of their narrower definitions, and should be a wake-up call to policymakers and consumers.

"We are all benefiting from the luxury of these electrical and electronic products to a certain extent, it makes our lives easier, sometimes more complicated," he said. "However if we want to continue like this we must be reusing the resources contained in electronic and electrical equipment."

A smartphone, for example, uses more than half the elements in the periodic table, some of which are very rare, and in the longer-run will be exhausted without recycling, said Kuehr.

JAKARTA , Indonesia (AP) — The waste from discarded electronic gadgets and electrical appliances has reached severe levels in East Asia, posing a growing threat to health and the environment...
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Danie van der Merwe

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My solar usage stats for last 24 hours

This is the typical pattern I'm getting right now where you can see the grid powering the load at night and as the sun rises the solar starts to provide the power (to the load as well as charge the batteries). This evening I let the batteries run to about 21:30 powering the load, and then I switched back to grid. The following day the solar with have enough surplus to charge the batteries as well as power the load. This use of the battery "extends" the use of the stored solar power from the batteries. Normally I keep the batteries above 95% state of charge so that if there are any grid outages I will have sufficient battery to keep everything running.

The solar usage screenshot shows more clearly how as the solar power kicks in it provides a lot of power to charge the batteries until the batteries become full and that charge tapers off.

Until I do any further upgrades the current system is only powering LED lights throughout the house, external lights, TV, Internet and my computer, so you'll see no heavy load items like kettles or fridges.

If you want to drill into the detail more you can visit my site's realtime stats at
Jeremie Francois's profile photoDanie van der Merwe's profile photo
+Jeremie Francois the prices will differ dramatically by location, type and quality of kit. This post I did at was about what I put together and lessons learnt.
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Danie van der Merwe

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All electric trains in the Netherlands now run on wind energy

The Netherlands has been harnessing the power of the wind to drain bodies of water, saw timber and to produce oil for centuries. Now, the country is also using it to run all its electric trains. The Dutch railways network (NS) started using wind energy generated by the turbines owned by electric company Eneco two years ago when they signed a ten-year agreement. They planned to power all of the country's electric trains with wind-generated energy by 2018, but they're clearly a shining example of Dutch efficiency and reached their goal a year earlier than planned.

Which is why we need to start using more electrically powered transport, so as the generation switches to renewable energy, the whole system is running green.

Delan Banda's profile photoIrvan Setiyadi's profile photo
That's nice, Using wind energy to run electric trains. It's amazing
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Danie van der Merwe

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Report: FBI arrests Volkswagen executive over Dieselgate

The first Volkswagen executive has been arrested in the "Dieselgate" affair, reports the New York Times. The FBI charged former regulatory compliance chief Oliver Schmidt with conspiracy to defraud the United States, said unnamed law enforcement and company insiders. Schmidt reportedly gave false technical explanations for high emissions levels discovered during 2014 tests and only acknowledged the existence of software "defeat devices" once the scandal broke last September.

Volkswagen eventually confessed to installing pollution-cheating devices on 11 million vehicles. The software sensed when the 2.0- and 3.0-liter cars were being tested by the EPA and activated pollution systems at the expense of power. It disabled the controls during real-world conditions to give vehicles more performance, however, causing them to emit up to 35 times the legal level of nitrogen oxide. That gas is known to cause respiratory problems and kills up to 30,000 people per year in the UK alone.

In a July press conference, NY state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said the company only admitted the scam "when they knew the regulators had the goods on them."

Abdul Zafar's profile photoEnebeli Moses's profile photo
Yes, be care full
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