Nedbank funding about-face puts future of two new South Africa coal plants in doubt

first_imgNedbank funding about-face puts future of two new South Africa coal plants in doubt FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Fin24:This decision fits with the banking group’s commitment to “green” funding, responsible lending and supporting sustainability initiatives. The bank says its initial proposal for funding the construction of the Thabametsi and Khanyisa independent power producers (IPPs) has lapsed and will not be renewed.This follows a corporate policy announced in early 2018 that the bank would no longer fund the construction of any new coal-fired power plants beyond its existing commitments to fund Thabametsi and Khanyisa, which were included as part of the new coal IPP programme in the South African Department of Energy’s draft integrated resource plan for electricity, Draft IRP 2018.The proposed Thabametsi 557 MW coal-fired power station, which would be largely owned by Japan’s Marubeni and South Korea’s Kepco, was planned to be built near Lephalale in Limpopo, while the Khanyisa 306 MW power station was to be sited near eMalahleni in Mpumalanga. The biggest shareholder of Khanyisa would be Saudi-owned Acwa Power.Nedbank says that it would prefer to offer financing for projects in energy efficiency and renewable energy, such as landfill gas, solar, hydro and wind projects. The bank says in its core business of lending and investing, it has a crucial role to play in transforming the economy and addressing climate change and that it seeks to “use [its] financial expertise to do good for individuals, businesses and society.”Nedbank’s announcement follows reports in September 2018 of Standard Bank’s withdrawal of financing the construction of coal-fired power. Currently, it appears that FirstRand, ABSA and the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA) are still willing to offer funding for the Thabametsi and Khanyisa projects, but this may change. Nedbank and Standard Bank have followed the global trend of financial institutions refusing to fund the construction new coal-fired power plants.Funding is not the only challenge faced by the two new coal IPPs. Credible high court challenges (reviews of the environmental authorisations) are underway, and atmospheric emission licenses, water-use licenses and generation licenses for both projects are either outstanding or being challenged.More: Nedbank withdraws funding for new coal IPPslast_img read more

Lambert hails Benteke

first_img Benteke made an £8million move from Genk to Villa last summer and has so far scored 15 goals, forming an effective partnership with 10-goal Andreas Weimann. The Belgian has inevitably been the subject of speculation linking him with potential moves away from Villa this summer. Lambert said: “Will Benteke be coveted by a lot of clubs? It’s a hard one to say because he has only been here for a few months, less than a year. “I don’t know whether people will say ‘Let’s see how he does next year’, or do they go, ‘We’ll take a chance’. “I don’t think you can stop clubs from trying to make a bid for him. “I can’t stop that, but the fact is that the big lad has three years left (of his contract), he’s only 22, and he has been playing well. “They might take a punt. He has a few years left here. It’s not something I worry about. I know he has been playing well.” Lambert admits the winner of the prestigious award is likely to be one from Robin van Persie, Gareth Bale and Luis Suarez after their feats with Manchester United, Tottenham and Liverpool. But the Villa manager named Benteke when asked for his list of potential candidates for the final list from which the winner will be decided, saying: “Has Benteke an outside chance? I don’t know. He’s had a great season, Christian, but I also think the lad at Swansea (Michu) has had a great season. I think people will look at the big three, Van Persie, Bale and Suarez, to maybe get it.” Paul Lambert has pinpointed Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke as a candidate for the PFA Player of The Year award shortlist.center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Should we treat obesity like a contagious disease

first_imgQ: Are you concerned that describing obesity as a contagion might increase the stigma around it? D. T.: All the models are indicating that over time, obesity rates will level off … around 35% to 40% [prevalence]. It is believed that obesity rates are leveling off because of the great work we’ve been doing in intervention. But that may not be the case. All of these models are indicating that a plateau is just a natural evolution of the system. D. A.: Obesity is a highly stigmatized condition already. There’s ample data showing that obese people are discriminated against in the job market, in the housing market, [and] with respect to wages. We don’t want to stigmatize anybody further. … That’s where careful messaging has to get out, that this is something that we’re all in together. D. A.: I want to just be clear that actually there is a hypothesis out there, supported by some data, that certain microbes—particularly adenoviruses—do contribute to obesity, and in that sense, it would be contagious in the more literal sense of spreading viruses from one person to another. So we don’t want to dismiss that.  Should we treat obesity like a contagious disease? By Kelly ServickFeb. 19, 2017 , 11:15 AM Check out our full coverage of AAAS 2017. D. A.: Should we intervene with people who are already at the high end of the BMI continuum, because maybe they’ll benefit the most or need it the most? Or should we intervene more broadly because we’ll have a bigger bang for our buck with a bigger population? These kinds of models can help inform those decisions. D. T.: If you’re somebody who loves to go to the gym and loves to eat healthy, it’s unlikely that you’re going to draw in a circle of friends that love to smoke cigarettes and love to eat at fast food restaurants. You’re going to kind of surround yourself and emulate the behavior of a cluster around you. There is some experimental evidence for that.  Q: What kinds of things can these models tell us? Kevin Case/Flickr Q: In what way is obesity a “social contagion”?center_img Q: How did this idea of modeling obesity as a contagion come about? Q: Can the models tell us how to reduce obesity? BOSTON—Becoming obese isn’t like catching a cold, but a handful of research groups are now trying to model obesity in a population by treating it like a “social contagion” that spreads among people through their interactions. Statistician David Allison and information scientist Keisuke Ejima of the University of Alabama at Birmingham and mathematician Diana Thomas of the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York, have been working on refining such obesity models. They explained their progress in a session today at the annual meeting of AAAS, which publishes Science. We caught up with them to learn more. This interview has been edited for clarity and length. D. A.: Most of these models are, so far, fairly primitive. Our model only includes a single gene—we know that that’s not true. [And] we know that people have different numbers of offspring as a function of their BMI [body mass index, which measures body fat based on height and weight]. Overweight people tend to have more children than nonoverweight people. Only when a model has built in these many factors can we make good predictions and talk about manipulation. … We’re not ready to make public health recommendations. Q: What questions would you like the models to answer? Q: What factors go into your model, and what does it predict?  Sixth Avenue in New York City. D. A.: What we’re saying is a population that had these characteristics would start to have these obesity rates. [The model is] a series of interrelated equations, and they include several factors. One is a genetic factor. … We include another term [in the equation] for nongenetic transmission of obesity from mother to offspring, because there’s some evidence that the more obese the mother is, the more obese the offspring will be, irrespective of what she transmits genetically. Then another term deals with the overall population prevalence of obesity. … If the prevalence is higher, you run into more people who are obese, and you are more likely to pick it up from them. D. T.: I have a lost a tremendous amount of weight … and when I was classified with obesity, I know people looked at me and said, “Well she’s just fat because she’s lazy and doesn’t want to take care of herself.” What these types of models tell us is there’s more than one reason why someone might end up in that state, and not all of those reasons are in their personal control. K. E.: The first paper was published in 2007 by [Nicholas] Christakis and [James] Fowler. … They found that the obesity can be transmissible through social networks. During my Ph.D. course, I was working on mathematical modeling of infectious disease. When I read their paper, I thought, “I can apply my mathematical techniques to describe the obesity epidemic model.”last_img read more