Renewable energy can provide 5 % of South Africa's needs

Mar 27, 2008 01:00 AM

Renewable energy has the potential to account for 5 % of the electricity demand "in the short to medium term," an official of the Energy Development Corporation, a division of the Central Energy Fund (CEF) said.
Electricity shortages have revitalised initiatives to diversify the energy mix -- shifting from an over-reliance on coal. In a bid to encourage multiple players in the generation of electricity, the white paper on renewable energy set a 2013 target of 4 % of electricity demand from renewable energy sources, equivalent to 10,000 GWh.

CEF projects manager Raoul Goosen said at a renewable energy conference that renewable energy sources -- including wind power, hydro power, solar energy and biomass energy -- could add 5 % to present capacity. The potential to make a significant contribution was good, Goosen said.
He said hydropower remained small in South Africa and implementation of such projects had been slow because of water rights and licensing. He said South Africa's relatively low annual rainfall had further slowed growth of the hydropower industry.

Goosen said environmental impact assessments had delayed implementation of wind power projects. He cited the Darling Wind Farm, which was initiated in 1998 but commissioned only recently.
Nadia Moosa, a project manager at the Energy Development Fund, said the company had wrapped up its six-month pilot project to create awareness of solar technology. The project targeted 500 households in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape.

Source / Business Day
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