South Africa to prioritise efficient energy use

Jul 17, 2001 02:00 AM

The South African government intends to prioritise efficient energy use across the board at industry and household levels, said Minerals and Energy Minister Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. "Access, affordability and quality of energy sources determine the quality of life and the level of growth of nations," she said at the opening of a workshop on energy efficiency.
Efficient energy use will create sensitive consumption patterns that take into account environmental sustainability, health and cost factors, the minister said. "Therefore energy planning and management can not be left to chance, energy efficiency is an essential component of this process," she added. She called for efforts at national, communal and institutional levels to ensure efficiency use of energy.

High use of coal which meets 75 % of South Africa's needs poses a big challenge to the country's environment. Other local problems are a limited access to natural gas, management of nuclear waste and unmanaged use of biomass.
South Africa has committed itself to the Kyoto Protocol whose aim is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. There have been calls for a move towards more use of renewable energy which is environmentally friendly and inexpensive.
"Our solution therefore have to be a comprehensive package across the energy landscape," Mlambo-Ngcuka said. She stressed that solutions to the energy problem must also be coupled with socio-economic benefits and growth in the manufacturing economy.

Source: Xinhua via Newspage
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