WWF urges 50% renewable energy

2010-08-17 15:22
Cape Town - The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has urged the government to generate 50% of electricity from renewable resources by 2030.

"There's more talking and too little doing," WWF South Africa Climate Change Programme Manager Richard Worthington told News24.

"There is much more doing than in the past but we feel it's being done too leisurely," he added.

The WWF released the report titled 50% by 2030: Renewable Energy in a Just Transition to Sustainable Electricity Supply in Johannesburg and features the organisation's own views as well as the conclusions of expert studies.

The report is aimed at encouraging broad participation in the discussion around renewable energy as a viable means to generate electricity.

Critical choices

Recently, there have been moves to "green" South Africa's economy with commentators saying that both business and government sectors need to take responsibility for the effects of climate change.

"Business needs to urgently engage government on major climate change policies as it will directly affect their bottom lines," said head of Deloitte Carbon Management Solutions, Paul Devine.

"South Africa faces critical choices around future power generation," said Worthington.

"The need for increased electricity capacity to meet development objectives coincides with growing awareness of the short- and long-term implications these decisions will have on the economy, society and the environment."

In an address at the Green Economy summit, science and technology minister Naledi Pandor said that her department would like to ensure economic growth and a policy that would create jobs, in line with the government's plan.

"The long-term greening of the economy needs new thinking to fundamentally transform the economy, including addressing deep-seated production and consumption issues," said Pandor.

Eskom

But Worthington said that progress was slow, citing a lack of legislation in driving renewable energy production and the challenge of feed-in tariffs.

"The renewable energy feed-in tariff is R1.20 per kilowatt for wind, but that's a small part of the picture," said Worthington.

He slammed Eskom for dragging their feet on renewable energy. Citing a study by the Energy Research Centre of the University of Cape Town, he said that SA has the potential to rapidly scale up its use of renewable energy.

"When it comes to renewable energy, they (Eskom) have been less than competent," he said


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