Archive: Greenhouse gases


Explainer Photo of Gwede Mantaste, Soutb Africa's Minister for the Department Minerals and Energy Resources

The mission of the Department of Energy is to “regulate and transform the sector for the provision of secure, sustainable and affordable energy”.

Explainer Field of wheat crop in front of mountain

Agriculture is both a victim and culprit of climate change. The sector is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions and is acutely vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

Explainer Photograph of an intricately patterned glass dome, taken from underneath

The main greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide (CO2), produced by burning fossil fuels. South Africa is the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases on the African continent.

Explainer Young crops growing from soil in a field

Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a greenhouse gas (GHG), more commonly known as laughing gas. While N2O rarely makes headlines, it is a dangerous driver of climate change.

Explainer Offshore oil rig at dusk

South Africa is no stranger to companies wanting to use offshore drilling to search its coastal waters for oil and gas deposits.

Explainer Various glass tubes and bottles with liquids

Transportation has a significant impact on climate change, and biofuel could be one of the solutions.

Explainer Engineer in industrial facility wearing high visibility jacket and safety helmet

Experts say that hydrogen is one answer to South Africa’s greenhouse gas emissions problem.

Explainer Blue and white infographic showing how hydrogen (H2) can power transportation and buildings

South Africa’s Low Emission Development Strategy 2050 is the country’s most recent emissions reductions plan.

Explainer Photo of a gas turbine power plant

South Africa’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) is the country’s long-term energy plan until 2030. It became official government policy in October 2019.

Explainer Hydrogen recharging station

A fuel cell uses chemical energy from fuels, like hydrogen, propane or diesel, to produce electricity. Fuel cells can use a wide range of fuels and have a wide range of applications.

Explainer Lorry body containing compressed methane

Hydrogen is a fuel source that is a possible alternative to fossil fuels. It can be used in fuel cells and to create heat, and its only by-product is water, meaning it does not release any greenhouse gases when burned.

Explainer Gas carriers transporting gas.

Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is the gaseous form of two kinds of natural gases: butane and propane. It can also be a mix of the two gases. Butane and propane are similar but have different properties, making them suitable for different things.

Explainer Wind turbines in South Africa

A wind turbine works by harnessing the power of the wind to create wind energy. The wind turns large blades around a rotor. This, in turn, powers a generator, which creates electricity.

Explainer The tallest building in Africa, The Leonardo. Based in Sandton, South Africa

A carbon footprint is the number of greenhouse gases emitted through a person, business or even a country’s activities. These greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide and methane.

Explainer Bulldozer pushing Indonesian coal at coal mine

A carbon tax is a fee paid to the government by carbon dioxide (or carbon dioxide equivalent) emitters for every tonne of carbon emitted.

Explainer Yellow digger mining coal in large open cast coal mine

South Africa is a coal-dependent country. Coal makes up 74 per cent of the country’s total electricity supply. In the first quarter of 2021, 81.8 per cent of South Africa’s electricity came from coal.

Explainer Power station emitting clouds of smoke and pollutants into the air

Carbon dioxide is a chemical compound that presents as a gas in the Earth’s atmosphere. It consists of one carbon atom and two oxygen atoms.

Explainer NASA photo of the Earth at night as seen from space

Greenhouse gases are gases that trap heat in the atmosphere. This can be any gas that absorbs infrared radiation and contributes to the Earth’s warming or the greenhouse effect.

Explainer Power station emitting pollutants and smoke into the air

Load shedding happens when selected sections of South Africa’s electricity grid are shut down. In literal terms, Eskom, the country’s power utility, “sheds” a certain “load” – or amount – of electricity from the national grid.

Explainer The Many Uses of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)

Compressed natural gas (CNG) is natural gas that has been compressed to less than one per cent of its volume. The gas is compressed when it is stored at very high pressures.