Solar right for SA, even in winter - WWF

2013-06-12 14:42
The WWF has said that solar energy could contribute to the supply of electricity in SA. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

The WWF has said that solar energy could contribute to the supply of electricity in SA. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - Despite the seasonal weather, South Africa should move toward renewable energy solutions like solar power, an environmental organisation has said.

"Despite winter South Africa is still a solar rich country compared to Europe. Our average solar radiation figures are still one of the highest in the world," Saliem Fakir, head of the Living Planet Unit at the World Wide Fund for Nature SA (WWF) told News24.

"The issue is less about the fact that we shouldn’t use solar but finding ways to store this or be able to send surplus energy back to the grid," he added, hinting at the limitation for users to send excess energy back into the grid and use it when conditions for solar energy are not ideal.

Industry players have long lamented the policy that limits the feed-in of energy that could see users make further savings on the energy expenditure.

"First of all, you're not allowed in general to generate electricity yourself and feed it back into the grid so the main hurdle is to convince the municipality to accept a system like this to be connected to the grid," Gregor Küpper, managing director for SolarWorld Africa told News24.

Maintenance

This winter, Eskom warned that electricity supply will be under strain as maintenance schedules take supply units off the grid and load shedding puts users in the dark.

"This will put pressure on an already tight system and we must deal with peak demands, specifically try and deal with the afternoon," said Eskom Free State general manager Lindi Mthombeni about the pressure the utility faced during winter.

Two new coal-fired power stations, Medupiu and Kusile are under construction, but the projects have been hit by delays and criticised for poor delivery.

In March, Eskom CEO Brian Dames said the utility was considering sacking the contractors at the Kusile plant for sub-standard work and delays.

Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba revealed in parliament that "strong measures" were taken against Hitachi, boiler supplier for the Medupi power station.

The WWF is in favour of an energy mix that does not include more nuclear or coal-fired plants.

Wind power

"Our general position is not to support more coal-fired power stations. But the reality is that decisions have been taken that the public is forced to live with," said Fakir.

"If, they exist every effort should be made for the plants to meet emissions standards of the Air Quality Act which as we understand has not been done yet."

Eskom is building a 100MW wind power plant in Vredendal, but Fakir said that it was not enough of a commitment, given that need for energy in SA.

"What Eskom has proven that it can secure soft loans at better rates than private firms or at least given that it is a public institution it would not demand high rates of return for its projects. It can build these plants at much cheaper costs. Eskom should really be doing much more than 100MW. Wind is a no brainer."


- Follow Duncan on Twitter
- News24
Read more on:    wwf  |  eskom  |  renewable energy
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
15 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

Goalkeeper saves five penalties with his FACE!

Nothing, and we mean nothing, will keep goalkeeper Scott Stirling from stopping the ball!

 
 

Men24.com

This invention makes farts smell like chocolate!
11 things men don’t know about their clothes
Hilarious mortal kombat elevator prank!
Hottie of the day: Nicole Meyer!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The Moon has moved into your sign, emphasizing the need to connect things to work together. There is a tendency to focus too far...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.