Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Veg Pride Campaign

If you can, please take part in the Veg Pride activities on Saturday 30th October in Cape Town.

See http://www.bwcsa.co.za/campaigns

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Do we need retirement funding and a cost of living?

Can we live a Free Life On Earth without Retirement Funding and without a Cost of Living for ourselves and for our environment? David Lipschitz believes we can: see http://knol.google.com/k/david-lipschitz/free-life-on-earth/213ev1gehazzh/1#.

Monday, 6 September 2010

RYW: David's new year message 5771

Greetings my friends,

I have written a Rosh Hashanah and Eid Mubarak message which is applicable to my Jewish and Muslim friends at this time of year, and is also applicable to all my friends and everyone I know and/or who know me. It is here.

It deals with my philosophy and shows how we can live in this life, not be apathetic or dead, reduce our carbon footprint, reduce our cost of living for ourselves and this earth and think differently. Enjoy. Grab a cup of tea or coffee as it is 8 pages. There are bits in bold in each paragraph in case you'd like to have a quick scan.

Sorry it is so long, but I haven't written for a long time and there is a lot to catch up on. I have recreated myself at MyPowerStation. You can read about how it happened on my PR page.

The order of importance of the highlighting in the text is yellow, then green, then purple.

The article refers to Genesis and Deuteronomy and our Constitution and President Jacob Zuma and Helen Zille and Dan Plato and you and me. It also refers to R100 Billion and shows us how we can think about such big numbers and what we can do with R100,000,000,000 if we decide not to build a coal powered power station and spend the money differently. We have to assume that if the government can find R100,000,000,000 to build a power station, they they (we) can find the money and use it for purposes that reduce our cost of living both for ourselves and our planet. We have to further assume that if our government ministers can think about the value of One Hundred Thousand Million Rand then so can we.

I wish you all a content 5771 or 2010/2011 and may you "retire" by at least 5% in the next year, ie worry about the future 5% less. If we seek to retire by 5% per annum for 20 years, then in 20 years time we will be retired, ie we won't need to worry about the future. If you are confused then read the Knol.

Shalom Aleichem / Salaam Aleikum / Namaste / Peace (of mind, health, body and soul) to You
Your friend, David

Monday, 2 August 2010

The Oil Spill and Renewable Energy

In the same week we read of the terrible damage that oil production is doing to our world, and at the same time as the world's worst economic recession, we see hope: renewable energy. Here are some articles.


Toxicologists warn that waters that look clear of oil can be deceiving

Photos of the disaster.

Also take a look at BP Oil Spill on Youtube for an interesting view of the oil spill.

Renewable Energy at the Tipping Point

"Over the past two years, the United States and Europe have both added more power capacity from renewables than from coal, gas, and nuclear combined, according to the report. Worldwide, renewables accounted for one-third of the new generating capacity added.

Renewable energy, including hydropower, now provides 18 percent of total net electricity generation worldwide. Meanwhile, biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel are making inroads in the transportation fuels market and are now equal to about 5 percent of world gasoline production. And in China, more than 150 million people heat at least some of their water using solar hot water systems.

The economic weight of the renewable energy sector is now large enough to attract many of the world's largest and most powerful companies, from GE and Siemens to unlikely players such as Samsung and Google. Renewable energy investment of $150 billion worldwide in 2009 was the equivalent of nearly 40 percent of annual investment in the upstream oil and gas industry, which topped $380 billion.

Changes in government policy are responsible for most of these advances. In 2009 alone, 10 national and state governments enacted policies giving renewable power generation access to the grid at prices set by policymakers, bringing the number of governments with such policies to 70. Altogether, the number of countries with policies to encourage renewable energy has increased from 55 in 2005 to 100 in 2010 [and South Africa is being left behind as although we have policies, we have no way to implement them. The reason for this is that we do not have power purchase agreements. Many people, including myself have asked government to simply allow "net metering" where we can efficiently connect ourselves to the grid and provide battery and generator backup for emergencies. Doing this will cost the government nothing, and will create many jobs, investment, additional taxes for the fiscus, etc, but the ANC won't allow it as they see electricity generation "being the responsibility of the state" even though private individuals wish to provide for their own energy security and are prepared to pump excess energy into the grid without a feed in tariff].

One of the forces motivating new renewable energy policies is the desire to create new industries and jobs. Employment in the renewables sector now numbers in the hundreds of thousands in several countries. In Germany, which has led renewable energy development for more than a decade, more than 300,000 people were employed in renewables industries in 2009. This figure almost equals the number of jobs in the country's largest manufacturing sector: automobiles."

Renewables 2010 Global Status Report

Note: [comments in square brackets are by David Lipschitz; the bolding is also by David Lipschitz]

• "For the second year in a row, in both the United States and Europe, more renewable power capacity was added than conventional power capacity (coal, gas, nuclear). Renewables accounted for 60 percent of newly installed power capacity in Europe in 2009, and nearly 20 percent of annual power production.

• China added 37 GW of renewable power capacity [this is almost South Africa's entire production added in one year!!], more than any other country in the world, to reach 226 GW of total renewables capacity. Globally, nearly 80 GW of renewable capacity was added, including 31 GW of hydro and 48 GW of non-hydro capacity.

• Wind power additions reached a record high of 38 GW. China was the top market, with 13.8 GW added, representing more than one-third of the world market — up from just a 2 percent market share in 2004. The United States was second, with 10 GW added. The share of wind power generation in several countries reached record highs, including 6.5 percent in Germany and 14 percent in Spain.

• Solar PV additions reached a record high of 7 GW. Germany was the top market, with 3.8 GW added, or more than half the global market [Germany has much less sun than South Africa, but look what it is doing - Renewable Energy is cheaper than any other form of fossil fuel energy if all costs are considered]. Other large markets were Italy, Japan, the United States, Czech Republic, and Belgium. Spain, the world leader in 2008, saw installations plunge to a low level in 2009 after a policy cap was exceeded."

Monday, 26 July 2010

Apathetic People and The (A) Messiah

I've been involved in various causes for decades. A few people take it upon themselves to make their world a better place.

I've decided that "Apathetic people do what they like because one day the (or perhaps a) Messiah will come and save them."

Do you agree with me?

Do you agree that each of us has a piece of God inside us and therefore we have shared responsibilities to take care of our world?

Thursday, 15 July 2010

My Power Station

My new sales and energy management web site is up and running. Take a look at http://www.mypowerstation.biz/

My Power Station concerns internal (personal) and external (relationships, electricity) energy. Both of these types of energy are renewable, ie can and should be renewed.

Renewed implies a time limit. The time limit should be reasonably short, eg 1 month to 10 years. Fossil fuel energies are "renewable" in the sense that it takes millions of years for trees to become coal and oil, but this stored energy is being released far too quickly into our atmosphere and the 20th Century Process is causing environmental destruction.

We need a new process for the 21st Century. We don't want our children to think of us as living in The Age of Stupid. "Why didn't we save ourselves when we had the chance" is the question asked in the video.

I believe we live in The Age of Procrastination. We don't understand something so we leave it for someone else. Or we believe something will take us too long, so we rather watch sport and let other "green" people handle these problems. But these "green people" are not "green" (stupid) anymore. We are waking up and using our knowledge to make changes. Some of us are business people and we are helping this movement take shape. We need your help.

So ...

In the internal section, we will explore:

Tai Chi
Reiki
Meditation
Djembe Drumming
Walking
Nature
Saving Ourselves
The external section will explore:

Relationships
Business Energy
Renewable Energy: energy from the sun, wind, water, underground, etc
Ideas for 21st Century Energy
We'll be updating this part of the site in the next few weeks.

In the meantime you can start saving money, saving the environment and saving yourselves (with our creator's help) by reading our Reduce section.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

RYW: Skills for Community Self Reliance Course

To my dear RYW BLOG readers

I just attended a week long Ecovillages and Sustainable Community Design Course.

It was brilliant.

If you'd like more information, please email me or reply here.

Love
David

PS: I will be prefixing these BLOGS with RYW in future. RYW stands for RepairYourWorld, my BLOG.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Oil Slicks and Slick Oil

Oil spills of the magnitude of the one in the Gulf don't just happen. A combination or series of errors and misjudgements leads to them. One could say that 100 years ago when we had electric cars before petrol cars that we should have stayed with electric cars, but we didn't. And recently BP tried to save money and at the same time drilled into pressures that have never been dealt with before and the latest oil spill is the result.

Here's a short video that shows what might be going on. It concerns a coffee spill and 5.4 million people have watched it already.

The latest BP oil slick isn't the only one in the Gulf and there are probably loads more elsewhere.

Here is one that was toppled by Hurricane Ivan 6 years ago. It still leaks today to make a plume 10 miles long. If BP and the USA government and current technology can't control this, then what about the latest debacle?

A huge undersea slick and with sea currents running at one to two knots, then I believe that we can expect oil from the latest gusher off South African coast in less than 10 months. There is already talk of the gulf stream taking the slick to Europe.

This is not just a USA catastrophe, but a world wide one. Here is a more up to date video of the latest Horizon oil slick.

Take a look at some photos.

BP could have prevented the disaster, but greed overrode safety. Take a look at this business analyst's analysis of what happened. See http://www.haroldrobinson.co.za/News/2010/06_2010_June.html

So what of an alternative. We are constantly told that Sun and Wind cannot give us Base Load power, ie power our factories that run 24 hours a day. But think about Ocean Current Energy. There are alternatives.

I understand that about 40% of our energy is used to get more energy; eg look at this huge coal digger, the Bagger 288. It requires 16.56 MW of energy to run it as it gets more coal. How wasteful is that? And then consider that most of the energy from our power stations is lost on its way to the consumer. How much better to have localised electricity with 90% efficiency?

Please make your voice heard. It's getting late and we have much to do. According to The Global Education Project 69% of electricity produced is lost in transmission and distribution, ie getting it to us. So the Bagger 288 requires 24 MW of energy to run, ie energy produced at the power station to give 16.56MW of energy at the digger.

So you're reeling and you don't know what to do and you want to make a difference right now? ok, step 1: eat less meat. Simple and easy. Find nutritious alternatives. Try healthy sprouts. Step 2: recycle everything you can, eg leaves in the garden; your clothes; old toys. step 3: try to find ways to use less. These three things will all reduce the amount of energy needed to run your life and you will start making a difference today.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the soccer.

Friday, 11 June 2010

World Cup, Grid Tie, Net Metering, Ecovillages, Acid Mind Drainage

Dear all

World Cup fever is here. I'm supporting Bafana Bafana and hope you are too. Kick off in an hour. Even if Bafana Bafana don't win, South Africa wins. The opening ceremony was great.

Take a look at The Spectacular World Cup circle.

Click anywhere in the circle and on the outside of the circle. An amazing bit of programming and a great reference.

I thought you all might like to know that things are starting to change in South Africa with more and more people connecting grid tie systems. I met the Minister of the Environment in the Western Cape Province on Tuesday about grid tie and net metering and he wants me to come back and do a presentation to his department.

I'm also currently doing quotes and working on proposals for systems of 2KW, 3KW, 5KW, 100KW and 1MW, so things are hotting up.

If you're thinking about lowering your cost of electricity over the next 20 years and of getting security of supply, please contact me. I'm also in touch with a Solar Water Heater installer in case you need one. If you don't know where to start, then buy an Efergy e2 Energy Meter from me. It shows me you are committed and gives you an hour of my time. R995 for a single phase system and R1295 for a three phase system. Prices include VAT.

There is also some good news about Eco Villages and about Acid Mine Drainage.

I pray you are all well.

Love
David

Monday, 8 March 2010

David Lipschitz on The Midday Report

See me on youtube:



Questions from Chris Gibbons: How does Renewable Energy Feed In Work? Can every house feed electricity into the grid? Are we reinventing the wheel or has it been done before? How about wind energy? Why aren't we doing it in South Africa? Is NERSA colluding with ESKOM?
Answers include: Monopoly; Power Purchase Agreement; Farmers; Job Creation; Different between renewable energy jobs and base load power station jobs.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Repair Your World: Energy Animations; 80 cents a mile or 2 cents a mile petrol; avoiding another economic crash

Dear all

To see how geothermal and concentrated solar energy is manufactured and a bunch of other animations, take a look at ImageMaker Advertising's site.

Also take a look at Shai Agassi talking about the new electric car.  Do we want to pay 80 US cents a mile or 2 US cents a mile for our fuel? How can we avoid another and more serious downturn than the one we are currently exiting? How can we have morality, ethics and a great economy at the same time? Watch the video and all will be revealed.

Regards
David

Monday, 1 March 2010

Repair Your World: Afrikaans Newspaper

Dear all

For those Afrikaans readers amongst you, an article referring to me appears in yesterday's Rapport newspaper in the Sake24 section.  I was interviewed by the reporter on Friday.

You can read the article in Afrikaans and English.

I also just sent the following to the editor of the Cape Times (it was published - although rewritten):

Acting deputy director-general of energy Ompie Aphane said last week that the latest tariff announcement will see the shortfall on Eskom's build programme increase from R34billion to R50billion (at http://www.energyforecastonline.co.za/index.php/articles/water-and-energy/140-electricy-uncertainty).

Imagine if private industry and private households built this R50 billion for themselves using Net Metering and Retail Wheeling (transporting energy across the distribution network from a point of supply to a point of use).  South Africans are ready.  Is the government ready to take a giant leap for its citizens?

Best regards
David

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Repair Your World: Solving the electricity crisis at no tax cost to the treasury

My latest letter to the Cape Times editor.

Melanie Gosling's articles this week and NERSA today (24th February 2010) approving 25% increases (95% over 3 years) refer.

My company has a number of clients who wish to provide their own energy. We don't believe that we can rely on Eskom energy. It isn't sustainable. It isn't clean. Not only is coal polluting the air, mining it is polluting our water resources and destroying our roads. If we weren't in a recession Eskom energy wouldn't be enough for our requirements, so there is no true security of supply, especially as Eskom has not got the increase they wanted. Lastly, in the medium to long term, Eskom's energy is not affordable for our clients and there are already affordable alternatives.

However, most of the clients we consult to are too small to fit into the 1 Megawatt bracket which gets the feed in tariff (REFIT). And the REFIT itself is a farce because the government has implemented a tender system which is the opposite of a REFIT system. The tender system has failed in the UK.

Our solution. We need a "grid connection agreement" where we can install systems which connect to the grid and allow us to feed excess electricity to the grid on a "net metering" basis. This means that if we pay 88 cents per kilowatt hour (kwh), then if we generate excess energy, we get paid 88 cents per kwh. It is unlikely that we will be in credit on an annual basis especially in the early stages of implementation. And this system doesn't require long term power purchase agreements.

However, we understand that the City of Cape Town doesn't want net metering because they believe they will lose electricity revenue. This even though the City has ambitious 10% energy targets by 2020. It has taken Germany 20 years to get to 15%. How are we going to get to 10% by 2020 if we haven't even got a grid connection agreement yet, i.e. we don't have a legal way to connect private electricity supply to the grid? The City of Cape Town says that they don't want "reverse feed" into their grid, but this is a red herring and a way to slow down a process which already works in Germany.

We challenge the City of Cape Town and the Premier of the Western Cape to allow this to happen by the end of April 2010! This is not too short a time considering what Marian Nieuwoudt, the Mayoral Committee Member for the Environment in the City said in the city's Energy and Climate Change Strategy in 2005! All the legislation already exists. If the government continues to allow 25%+ annual electricity increase, its citizens must be allowed to chose from where they get their electricity.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Fwd: Repair Your World: Tai Chi Newsletter

Renewable Energy
By David Lipschitz, 28th January 2010

The industrial revolution brought many changes. The discovery of oil; the steam engine; the ability to find large quantities of previously untouchable commodities including coal, oil, fish, forests, and other mined and natural products.

Although these changes brought about wealth, equality, and democracy, they brought about an associated search for the fastest way to make money and this is at the expense of our one and only home, our planet.

Part of the problem is that we haven’t looked deeply at our energy system to find ways that we can have the energy without the associated destruction. I get so irritated when we have all this energy outside. Sun, wind, rivers, tides, ocean currents. If only South Africa would use them!

Tai Chi teaches that we need to live in harmony with nature by developing our own mental and spiritual harmony. I love Tai Chi because it allows me to meditate during the class. Just to be myself. To bask in the knowledge that I have a contribution to make. And to share in the beauty of our planet.

The sun’s energy can be used directly to heat, cool, and cook. The sun’s energy together with wind and other sources of energy can be used to make electricity.

As Solar Water heating is high on the agenda, here are some of the terms you might consider: flat panel or evacuated tube; thermosyphon or pumped; pumped using a photovoltaic panel or electricity; direct or indirect systems; mountings and connections to your existing system; replacing your geyser or keeping it (retrofit); the Eskom rebate; approved installers; electrical backup; remote temperature control; costs and efficiencies. Different systems work better in different situations. Email me for details on how to choose a solar geyser.

Make a difference right now: halve your meat intake. Vegetables are a raw source of energy and nutrients, not processed by animals into meat. Production of meat and coal mining are the biggest contributors to environmental destruction. Install insulation in your roof. Use much less air-conditioning and heating. Look for low wattage appliances so that fewer power stations are needed. Install a solar geyser. Demand that government spends our money on energy efficiency and renewables rather than more fossil fueled power stations.

My company, Orbital RE, specializes in helping organizations survive the energy crisis. Contact me on blog@orbitalre.co.za.