India’s Rajasthan state government announces 50GW solar goal by 2025

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:The state government of Rajasthan has come up with a new draft solar policy. The proposed policy package aims to establish the state as a global hub for solar with 50 GW of installed generation capacity within 5-6 years. It envisages an R&D hub for the deployment of renewable energy technologies and solar-wind hybrid projects, with a focus on improving efficiency and reducing balance-of-system costs.The new policy aims to achieve 25 GW of grid-connected solar projects up to 2021-22 to fulfill the renewable purchase obligation of state electricity distribution companies (discoms) from PV. The state will also endeavor to develop solar projects for sale to parties other than state discoms, and for commercial self-consumption.Rajasthan also proposes setting up decentralized, grid-connected solar projects near 33 kV sub-stations for the sale of power to discoms. The minimum capacity allowed for such projects under the draft policy would be 500 kW and the maximum 3 MW. The projects would be awarded through tariff-based competitive bidding.To promote the development of 500 MW-plus solar parks, the state government will invest up to half of the equity required, including the cost of land, in joint venture companies formed for their development.However, industry insider Gopal Lal Somani says Rajasthan’s ambitious 25 GW, two to three-year target appears out of reach. He said the state policy has gaps on issues such as land acquisition, the huge transmission network required for the influx of solar, the creditworthiness of discoms and permit processing for land use. The new proposals need an investment-friendly environment and cost-economic benefits for developers to take investment decisions, said Somani.More: Rajasthan eyes 50 GW of solar within six years India’s Rajasthan state government announces 50GW solar goal by 2025last_img read more

French government adviser delivers pension reform recommendations

first_imgIf the reform is fulled enacted, it could also spell the disappearance of French pension investors such as ERAFP, which manages the compulsory top-up scheme for civil servants. As anticipated, the system outlined in Delevoye’s report was points-based. Personal retirement accounts would allow individuals to track their ‘points’ so they can choose when to retire. The value of a ‘point’ would be guaranteed and indexed to average incomes in France, which was more favourable than inflation, according to the report.A “universal reserve fund” would guarantee the preservation of a point’s value in the face of demographic and economic risks, it added.IPE was unable to obtain further information about this fund by the time of publication. Af2i, the French institutional investor association, has emphasised the importance of reserves for the targeted new system. Jean-Paul Delevoye, the man responsible for laying the groundwork for a major pension reform in France, has presented his official recommendations to prime minister Edouard Philippe.Delivery of the report comes after more than 18 months of consultation and exchanges with trade unions, employers, citizens and other stakeholders in the retirement system. Delevoye presented the recommendations to the social partners today before presenting them to the prime minister.In keeping with the plan outlined by president Emmanuel Macron during his campaign, the main thrust of the proposed reform was the creation of a universal unfunded pension system to replace the current setup, which involves 42 different mandatory schemes. The same set of rules would apply to all regardless of their occupation.The country’s so-called “special” regimes – privileged arrangements for public sector employees of the state railway operator SNCF, the Paris metro company RATP and state utilities such as EDF – would be closed. Jean-Paul DelevoyeThe prime minister has asked Delevoye and Agnès Buzyn, the minister for solidary and health, to begin a “first phase of listening” from next week to receive reactions from trade unions and employer associations. Delevoye is due in front of parliament on 24 July.Following this the prime minister will detail the schedule and method for consulting on and preparing the bill to implement the reform. The new system is supposed to be in force from 2025. Last week an independent pensions body reporting to the government – the comité de suivi de retraite – said the reform, on the basis of the information available, was a change of “such large magnitude” that it was “necessarily very complex to put into practice”.One of the conditions for success, it said, would be the clarity of the “messages”, about the characteristics of the targeted system as well as the measures that might be required for the transition.Two hardline trade unions reportedly today called for strikes in September.center_img Another recommendation made by Delevoye was for civil servants and waged employees, either in the private sector pension scheme or special regimes, to have identical contributions. The report put forward a contribution rate of 28.12%, split 60-40 by employer and employee.Civil servants and those currently in the special regimes would also accrue pension rights on the totality of their pay, including all of their bonuses as opposed to only part of them, as is currently the case.The statutory retirement age would remain at 62 years, but the age at which an individual would be entitled to a full pension would be linked to life expectancy.The report recommended that the “full pension age” be set at 64 years for those born in 1963, which was the average age at which this generation was projected to retire. According to the report, this would give people the “optimal” return under the system, which on the basis of current hypotheses would be 5.5% – equivalent to an annual pension of €5.50 per €100 of contributions.Next stepslast_img read more

Raptors’ Leonard won’t fist bump teammate before Game 3

first_imgKawhi Leonard cares a lot about basketball, but he has no time for the the hubbub surrounding games.He’s been called robotic and boring, and though he’s shown a little flair for fun throughout this postseason, the bland assassin was at it again Wednesday night before the Raptors’ Game 3 against the Warriors in Oakland.Teammate Norm Powell offered Leonard a little pregame fist bump as the team prepped for the game in the tunnels of Oracle Arena.Not now Norm lol pic.twitter.com/sFaoXPVTQs …last_img

SA, Western Sahara strengthen ties

first_img28 June 2013 South African International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane hosted her Western Sahara counterpart, Mohamed Salem Ould Salek, for talks in Pretoria on Thursday. The two signed three memorandums of understanding on diplomatic consultations, financial contribution toward the construction of a youth sport development complex, and financial contribution towards the humanitarian landmine assistance programme in Western Sahara. “The signing of these agreements will further solidify the strong relations that already exist between South Africa and Western Sahara,” Nkoana-Mashabane told reporters after the meeting. The two ministers also agreed on the need to increase humanitarian support to the Saharawi refugees, who continue to live in harsh desert conditions due to the non-resolution of the conflict in the Sahel region in north Africa. “The current difficult security situation in the Sahel region may also have a negative impact on Western Sahara, and there is a need to urgently convene a referendum to allow Saharawis to choose their destiny,” Nkoana-Mashabane said. South Africa’s policy on Western Sahara is based on the principles of self-determination, decolonisation, the promotion of human rights and international law. Nkoana-Mashabane reaffirmed South Africa’s view that the issue of Western Sahara was a question of decolonisation and the inalienable right of people to self-determination, in accordance with the United Nations Charter. “We note with concern the deteriorating human rights situation in the Western Sahara occupied territories, where gross atrocities have been committed against the Saharawi human rights activists and prisoners of conscience by the Moroccan occupying security forces. “As such, we reiterate our call that the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara be expanded to incorporate a human rights monitoring mechanism.” Nkoana-Mashabane also deplored the continued illegal exploitation of mineral resources in the Western Sahara occupied territories, which is not permitted by international law, given that Western Sahara has the status of Non-Self-Governing Territory, as per Chapter 11 of the UN Charter. The United Nations has been involved in efforts to find a settlement in Western Sahara since 1976, when fighting broke out between Morocco and the Frente Polisario after the Spanish colonial administration of the territory ended. Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

‘The destiny of Africa is in your hands’ – Brand South Africa CEO Kingsley Makhubela addresses the Junior Chamber International

first_imgRead the full text of the address by the CEO of Brand South Africa, Mr Kingsley Makhubela, at the Africa and Middle East Conference of the Junior Chamber International on Thursday 5 May 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.• Download the speech in PDF formatProgramme DirectorPresident of the Junior Chamber International, Mr Paschal DikeAfrica and the Middle East Executive Vice President and Chairman of the 2016 JCI Africa and the Middle East Area Conference, Mr Tshepo ThlakuSecretary General, Mr Arrey ObensionJunior Chamber International Vice PresidentsAfrica and the Middle East Senate Chair, Ms Angel KgokoloAfrica & Middle East Development Council South (AMDEC) President, Mr Hymmeldat Rudolphe DibakalaAll delegatesMembers of the mediaIt is a pleasure to be amongst such vibrant and motivated young people today. I trust your deliberations since yesterday have been fruitful. As I stand before you, what stands out mostly for me is that despite the decades in between us, young people generations over have similar challenges to overcome. When I was a young man, my peers and I talked about and envisaged bequeathing to future generations a world that was better than the one in which we lived. We have achieved this to some extent but sadly, we have not managed to eradicate all the challenges we ourselves fought against.Today, young people continue to grapple with the pervasive, and sometimes stubborn, challenges of poverty, underdevelopment, job creation, and others. The resistance of these challenges to a durable and holistic solution, directly impacts on our own lives and indeed, on the competitiveness of the nations from which we hail. I say this before national competitiveness – and our nation brands – is ultimately a composite of all that a country has to offer. All citizens, sectors, industries together create a picture of the national competitive identity. This cannot be over-emphasized.The demographic dividendCurrent leaders have the responsibility to leverage the power of young people to become motive agents for change. Young people in both Africa and the Middle East contribute to the demographic dividend that could be a very positive force for growth and development. The World Economic Forum has described Africa’s demographic dividend as the largest in the world saying within 20 years, the number of sub-Saharan citizens reaching working age (15-64) will exceed that of the rest of the world combined. And by 2040, half of the world’s youth will be African.The Middle East has a similar demographic dividend. Michael Hoffman and Amaney Jamal in a paper entitled, “The Youth and the Arab Spring: Cohort Differences and Similarities” observe that “30% of the population is between the ages of 14 and 24.5 and more than half of the people in the Arab world today are under the age of 25.6. Not only is the youth bulge high in the Middle East, it is the second highest in the world – second only to sub-Saharan Africa.”You young leaders must therefore be nurtured and encouraged to use your unlimited drive, passion and potential for the greater good, and to build strong countries and continents.How can we do this?Charles Duhigg, in a book entitled The Power of Habit, talks about turning excellence into a habit. Personal excellence can translate into corporate, social and national excellence. And young people are in an excellent position to develop this habit – your families, communities and indeed, your countries, need this! Excellence must be cultivated and this will increasingly impact positively on national psyche and the reputation of our countries.This also leads me the emerging theory in leadership described as disruptive leadership. Disruptive leadership is about fostering a culture of game-changing innovation that provides the framework and motivation to generate those ideas and execute those solutions that enhance corporate, social and ultimately national competitiveness. It is built around the question, “Why hadn’t we ever thought about our business and culture this way before?”Building this culture of excellence whilst preparing leaders able to conceive of and implement innovative solutions, to national and sometimes international challenges, will require a fair amount of disruption to commonly accepted ways of doing things. There is no sector of society more well placed to do this, than you who are sitting in this room.As the future leaders of the continent in a range of areas, it is this spirit which will move Africa’s Agenda 2063 from the pages of the document on which it is written to a reality. It is this spirit which will drive the global agenda for socio-economic growth and development.That you are no longer defined by race, religion, gender or ethnicity makes it even easier for you to be disruptive leaders. The lack of boundaries enables agility which is important for disruption and innovation.Role of Youth in building nation brandsIn recent times, young citizens in both Africa and the Middle East have risen up against social issues to call on governments and society at large to create the conditions for inclusivity, growth, development and increasingly, sustainability and environmental awareness. Young people are courageously rising to take their places at the forefront of the struggle for equity, development and ultimately democracy and equal opportunities for all.#FeesMustFallIn a few weeks, South Africa will commemorate the 40th anniversary since the 16 June 1976 student uprisings in Soweto. I hope you will have time to visit this dynamic heartland of the South African struggle for democracy.It is a matter of history that these protests, during which many young people lost their lives, changed the course of the South African struggle for liberation. These protests brought international attention to what was happening in our country particularly the just struggle for equal opportunities and rights as well as access to amongst others, education. Many of those who were young activists during this time are now in positions of leadership in many sectors in South Africa.However, the cause for which they fought almost four decades ago, again rose to the forefront when millions of South African youth united across colour and class divides to call for free education in the #FeesMustFall movement. So powerful was this movement that the students were listed amongst the list of the 100 Most Influential Africans released late last year. These brave young people created the conditions for government to declare that there would be no fee increases in the 2016 academic year and commit billions of rands to alleviating the financial pressures on students and their families.In addition, these young people brought business and academia together and students at the University of Johannesburg were able to raise R31 million to support their fellow students while the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), SABC and Vodacom last month launched a fundraising campaign at Fort Hare University’s Alice campus in the Eastern Cape to support students.South African youth demonstrated how they could come together and collectively fight for a cause that would change the conditions for millions of young people in our country. Education is a critical enabler for development and equally for national competitiveness. The youth of South Africa did more than just fight for no increases and additional funds, they are fighting for the country’s very development!In a few years, these young people will be in positions of leadership throughout the country. It remains to be seen whether they will be able to positively respond to the need for socio-economic change so that we will not find the same conditions come to the fore forty years from now?The Arab SpringGlobally we are seeing trends towards the need for greater democratisation and reduction of inequality levels. Young people are playing a critical role in raising levels of awareness about the unsustainability of current frameworks and paradigms.A few years ago, we will remember that young people of North Africa propelled the wave of civil society protests which ushered democracy to Northern Africa, in what is now described as the Arab Spring. Young people became political actors who were able to raise awareness for the need for change in North Africa. The youth led protests have been responsible for bringing political and social revolution to North Africa and these inspired their counterparts in the broader Middle East to also fight for democratic reforms in their own countries.This wave of protests have, unfortunately not created sustainable change or stable democracies. We are instead seeing greater instances of insecurity, terror and militarianism in both Africa and the Middle East. Sadly, no area of the world is immune from such attacks.Young people prove to be very susceptible to such militant activities. As the global community, we need to ask why? What are we doing, or not doing, that forces young people down such a path, risking their lives and their future?Young people can be a powerful force for positive change. It is up to us, as the older generations to ensure we do enough work to change conditions so that they can be encouraged to support positive programmes.Young people help President Obama reach the White HouseAn analysis by the Pew Research Centre shows that 66% of eligible voters under the age of 30 voted for President Obama in 2008. They were an important stakeholder in propelling America’s first black President to the White House because President Obama and his team prioritised communicating to the youth of America in a way that was important to them and on issues that they cared about. There is a lesson to be drawn from his campaign for the 2008 Presidency – understand the power of young people, talk to and engage with them in a way that is meaningful to them and you will gain their support.This is the best way to ensure that the power wielded by young people is harnessed and mobilised for nation building.These examples illustrate the impatience of young people and why leaders must acknowledge the urgency to transform their countries to ensure that there is greater equity, growth and development. Leadership does not refer only to heads of state and government, it is leadership at every level. If leaders do not rise to the occasion and respond to the needs of citizens, then young people have shown their ability to assume this role, and when they do, governments and business will be faced with their anger and impatience.Rights and ResponsibilitiesBefore I conclude, I would like to raise the issue of rights and responsibilities.Many generations of the past could only dream of some of the rights young people have today. You are no longer constrained by the burden of gender, race, class, ethnic or even geographical boundaries. With hard work, the right environment and the right opportunities, each of you really can change the world. However, I would caution that in attempting to build the world you want, do not destroy the world you do not want. Understanding that with every right comes a responsibility is a big part of being an adult.In conclusion, I would like to draw on Africa’s Agenda 2063 – continent’s first long term plan for the growth and development of the continent – which says, “present generations are confident that the destiny of Africa is in their hands, and that we must act now to shape the future we want.Are you ready? How will you play your part to build your country and ultimately your continents? How will history remember this generation of young people?I wish you good deliberations in the next few days. I hope you will have some time to experience and enjoy some of what our country has to offer.I thank you.last_img read more

Rural water scheme wins design accolade

first_img18 February 2014 An innovative municipal water project in Oudtshoorn has been selected as part of World Design Capital 2014, a prestigious designation bestowed on Cape Town by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design. The Oudtshoorn project is one of 450 selected to be part of the WDC2014 programme. It was chosen via rigorously adjudicated public submission processes that drew 1 253 entries. All projects were selected on the basis of how well they use design as a tool for social, cultural and economic development. The Klein Karoo Rural Water Supply Scheme (KKRWSS) was implemented by the Department of Water Affairs in the early 1990s. It supplies drinking water from groundwater sources to a wide area that stretches from De Rust in the east to Calitzdorp in the west, including the town of Dysselsdorp. The scheme was a brainchild of a “visionary councillor” Issy Baron, who dreamed of turning the arid Klein Karroo into an oasis to ensure water security for all the communities in the region, said Paul Muller, acting director: technical services at Oudtshoorn Municipality. It was transferred to the municipality in 2005. The rural component of the scheme accounts for about 50% of the total supply of drinking water. Its main beneficiaries are farm workers and previously disadvantaged people living in the rural area between De Rust and Calitzdorp. But the present supply from the groundwater source was insufficient to meet demand, so augmentation of the source was urgent, said Muller. A pipeline from the nearby Blossoms groundwater well field will alleviate the shortage. Dr Chris Hartnady of Umvoto Africa, a consultancy that has been working with the municipality, said they would use groundwater from the deep fractured-rock aquifer in the Table Mountain Group (TMG) to augment the Melville and Raubenheimer reservoirs in the foothills of the Swartberg range. It would also augment other groundwater sources, providing additional assurance of supply to communities like Dysseldorp and De Rust. The scheme will manage the combined ground- and surface-water sources to ensure that yield is optimised and losses are minimised. The proposed bulk water scheme will be designed by WorleyParsons, which has been involved with the feasibility studies to date. Partners have included the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, the Water Research Commission, the Department of Water Affairs, the Development Bank of South Africa, local stakeholders, landowners and farming organisations and drilling specialists. The municipal cost to date has been R24-million and an additional R27-million has been allocated by the Department of Water Affairs. The total cost of the project is estimated at R200-million. Rowena Hay, the MD of Umvoto Africa, said the project area also had potential as a geoheritage site – a tourist destination that would provide local and regional economic benefits throughout the year. This would create more income for the community and help ensure greater buy-in to the project. Source: Umvoto Africalast_img read more

Haitian workers in TCI closer to being treated at home

first_img Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 10 Sept 2015 – Thursday ends a five-day mission to Haiti by a team of health officials from the National Health Insurance Board, which hopes to explore a patient care program with the Haitian government. The program would allow TCI authorities to send Haitian patients to Haiti for care in extreme medical situations.The trip, which ran from September 6th-10th, saw NHIP officials speak with government health agencies and conduct hospital tours as both countries discuss the best plan going forward. It is no secret that the healthcare system has been overwhelmed by migrants. If successful, this agreement would eliminate the need to send Haitians to countries like The Bahamas or Jamaica; a process that can be challenging when dealing with clearance for migrant workers whose status is questionable. last_img read more