Engineers vs Planners - Joke for a “friday” thursday

A man is flying in a hot air balloon and realizes he is lost. He reduces
height and spots a man down below. He lowers the balloon further and
shouts: “Excuse me, can you help me? I promised my friend I would meet him
half an hour ago, but I don’t know where I am.”

The man below says: “Yes. You are in a hot air balloon, hovering
approximately 30 feet above this field.”

"You must be an engineer," says the balloonist.

"I am," replies the man. "How did you know?"

"Well," says the balloonist, "everything you have told me is technically
correct, but I have no idea what to make of your information.

"The man below says, "You must be a planner."

"I am," replies the balloonist, "but how did you know?"

"Well," says the man, "you don’t know where you are, or where you are
going, and you have made a promise which you have no idea how to keep. The
fact is you are in the exact same position you were in before we met, but
now it is somehow my fault.”

An emotional week. The recognition of my selfishness in society sneaks up subtly. His sacrifice is a light which could shame or challenge me.What is the contribution I could be making to improve the state of our country?It’s so terrifying a question.
Hard to ask, harder to answer, hardest to implement.
But possible.

An emotional week. 
The recognition of my selfishness in society sneaks up subtly. 
His sacrifice is a light which could shame or challenge me.
What is the contribution I could be making to improve the state of our country?
It’s so terrifying a question.

Hard to ask, harder to answer, hardest to implement.

But possible.

Delay in the announcement of additional projects under the DoE’s REIPPP Programme

From the DoE IPP website found here:

“The Department regrets that it will not make an announcement today in relation to the appointment of the additional MW for the Third Bid Submission Date in the Onshore Wind and Solar Photovoltaic Technologies. 

The Department experienced delays in finalising the approach to allocation of additional MW.  Therefore, the Department will make further announcement regarding its decision in due course, and is intending to do so by no later than 31 December 2013. 

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”


@GoldieBlox have come up with a range of toys for young girls which are more than tea sets and little dolls.

I know that this is not energy related, but this resonated so heavily with me.  I grew up with three older brothers, playing with tonker toys in the back garden.  We had play cars, we built cities with wooden blocks and we made lego mansions.  

This incessant obsession with making everything for girls pink, and teaching young girls from such an early age that they should only care about how pretty their dress is, or if they have the right accessory for their new anorexic doll or peeing lifelike infant is very upsetting for me.  Girls get told they’re so pretty and boys get told they’re so smart or strong and that is where their perceived value lies and defines the choices and career paths to follow.

Thank goodness my dad taught me how to change plugs, change the chain on my bike, and explore the wonders of science.

More than just a princess indeed.  I was an engineer in the making.


Tags: GoldieBlox

A summary from the DoE can be found in the presentation linked.

Some key items for me with regards to Bid Window 3:

- 93 bids have been received, amounting to 6,023MW whilst the available
MW for allocation was 1,473MW.
- 17 preferred bidders have been announced and there are 6 PV projects,
7 wind, 2 CSP, 1 landfill gas & 1 biomass
- The Northern Cape has the lion’s share of the jobs again, with 82% of
all the construction jobs. Gauteng has got six jobs in there out of over
7000… This seems to be largely driven by the CSP facilities, both of
which will be in the northern cape. The PV plants are split between four
- 50.4% of equity across the projects is from foreign investors as is
25% of the debt
- PV, wind and CSP had a dip in Round 2 in operational jobs/MW, but they
have all increased in Round 3 (wind & PV most notably… where there is the
most competition) Not sure if this is a response to socio-econ drivers.
- The bidding tariffs for each facility has been provided. Not sure
this was available before, but it is quite interesting that this is
available now. The rumoured cheapest PV price is 86.41c/kWh from Adams
Solar PV2 (Enel?)
- Welcome to the party landfill gas & biomass.

There are still some things to be gleaned from the notice on the IPP
website today…

- If your PV facility was not 75MW you’re not yet listed as a preferred
bidder, as they’ll be awarding 6 projects at the 75MW cap = 450MW
- Landfill gas and Biomass have joined the party
- It is likely that we’ll be seeing 200MW of CSP with storage coming
online soon as the tariffs were only really favourable for CSP with storage
- Wind and Solar PV may have additional capacity made available, and
this should be announced before the 20th November.

The info below is found here .

The Department received 93 Bid Responses on the Third Bid Submission Date.

The Department has today, 29 October 2013, sent letters of appointment as
Preferred Bidders to 17 Bidders who submitted Bid Responses on the Third
Bid Submission Date. The number of appointments, and the total MW of
Contracted Capacity awarded to date, is as follows:

Onshore Wind - 7 Preferred Bidders totalling 787MW
Solar Photovolatic - 6 Preferred Bidders totalling 450MW
Biomass - 1 Preferred Bidder of 16,5MW
Landfill Gas - 1 Preferred Bidder of 18MW
Concentrated Solar - 2 Preferred Bidders totalling 200MW

The Honourable Minister of Energy and the Director-General of the
Department of Energy are currently not available to address the media and
interested parties about the outcome to date of the procurement in respect
of the Third Bid Submission Phase, and appropriate arrangements will be
made in due course for a detailed announcement regarding the Preferred
Bidders and the benefits to South Africa in respect of their projects.

The Department has today also sent letters of non-appointment as Preferred
Bidders to 18 Bidders. Those letters were sent to Bidders whose Bid
Responses were Non-Compliant with the requirements of Part B (Qualification
Criteria) of the RFP.

The Department has taken note of the fact that a large number of very
competitive Bid Responses were submitted for the Third Bid Submission Date
in the Onshore Wind and Solar Photovoltaic Technologies, and the Department
is considering the appointment of additional Preferred Bidders for those
Technologies from the remaining Compliant Bidders. As such, the Preferred
Bidders that have been appointed in those Technologies may not be the only
Preferred Bidders that are appointed in those Technologies for the Third
Bid Submission Date, and no final decision on this has been taken at this
time. The Department will make a further announcement regarding its
decision in this regard in due course, and is intending to do so by not
later than 20 November 2013.”

Found here

Eskom has announced that, because of the recent price determination by
NERSA, it will no longer be able to maintain the incentive rates that have
previously been in place. This will affect the standard offer and standard
product programmes. You can read the letter yourself (dated the 30th
September 2013) but in summary:

Any projects submitted under the programmes after the 11th October will be
subject to the new rates (that’s TODAY). There will also be new stringent
local content and BEE requirements placed on projects

The eligible size of projects has also been updated. Projects under the
Standard Offer now have to be between 200kW and 5MW and projects under the
Standard Product will need to be between 10kW and 250kW.

If you hear anything about the new rates being published, please let me
know via twitter: @viviwalsh.

Transport for Cape Town - integrating Cape Town’s public transport systems

I don’t know how I missed this as it was launched almost exactly a year
ago, but there is a TfL equivalent in Cape Town, which is focusing on
integrating public transport modes in CT. A snippet from the City’s
website found here.

“Transport for Cape Town oversees planning, contracting, finance, licensing
, training, marketing and operator regulations that relate to public
transport in Cape Town.

Transport for Cape Town commits to ensuring:

Infrastructure that is well maintained and is at a unified, high standard
across the City.
That commuters experience seamless, safe and reliable public transport
across all modes.
The system and network is responsive, well managed and integrated.
The governance structure for the rollout of the Integrated Transport Plan
is sound and within the legislative parameters.”

Future Cape Town also has a good article on it found

"Transport for Cape Town (TCT) will mean, practically, the following:

- TCT will manage all transport facilities in the City
- It will link all models into one system
- Taxis, buses and trains will be governed by one authority
- This will mean improved connections – without over servicing of some
routes and under servicing of others
- This will mean faster times of travel”

Racial distribution (and density) mapped in Cape Town via @adrianfrith

I found this on the Future Cape Town site, but it was done by someone
called Adrian Frith, and more (Joburg/Durban) maps can be found here:
short, the census results have been mapped according to households racial
profile, and each dot in the map below represents 50 people.

This goes to show the legacy of apartheid planning in Cape Town, and also
shows how far so many people live from the city centre, and urban goods.
Think of the liquid fuels required for transportation in a city laid out
like this…

I’ve included it as a medium sized map, so to do it justice, view it here:

Really interesting. Thanks Adrian.

The challenges of developing utility scale PV in South Africa
by Vicky Evans, Vivienne Walsh and Lebohang Matlanyane

"The PV industry is undergoing the most dramatic change since its entrance
to the global energy stage and South Africa, as one the fastest growing PV
markets, is witnessing this change fi rst hand. South Africa has a good
enabling environment, and has committed to the inclusion of 17,8 GW of
renewable energy capacity by 2030 in its Integrated Resource Plan (IRP),
the national long-term electrification plan. PV accounts for 8,4 GW of this
capacity, and at least 1,45GW of this capacity will be met by the
procurement and construction of utility-scale PV facilities.”