Cape wind optimal for electricity

2012-03-13 22:24

Cape Town - The Cape region of South Africa is a potential hot-spot for wind farms as the country explores alternatives to coal-based energy, the energy department said on Tuesday.

Deputy Minister for Energy, Barbara Thompson said: "Wind is one of many resources our country is endowed with... It's our quest to ensure energy security for this country."

The Western Cape and parts of the Northern and Eastern Cape, had ideal wind speeds of 4m/s or more, according to the just-launched verified numerical wind atlas.

"Within three to six months of operation, a wind turbine is able to offset all emissions caused by its construction, and can run virtually carbon-free for the remainder of its 20-year life," said Thompson.

She encouraged "green economy" investment, which would not only yield profit, but also create jobs in the manufacturing of turbines.

As part of wind studies, the department erected 10 60m masts and collected wind data over a year.

It cross-referenced this data with global wind maps to get a reliable indication of wind conditions in places like Sutherland, Beaufort West and Vredenburg.

The Western Cape village of Napier registered the highest wind speeds.

The R22m project, which will collect data for another two years, is funded by the United Nations Development Programme and the Danish embassy.

The online data is available to the public from Tuesday at no cost and could be used with commercial wind resource software.

Danish embassy commercial adviser Jacques Pretorius said the data was not only for people looking to set up wind farms.

It could also used by authorities, planners, developers and academics, he said at the Cape Town launch.

Renewable energy will make up 42% of new power projects in South Africa by 2030, of which wind energy would account for about half of that.

  • Trevor - 2012-03-19 07:32

    The national grid is a major component in renewable energy allowing wind energy to be spread. We have a massive country with two coasts, at some point there will be wind (e.g. CT, PE) so why are we not benefiting from this recource. Does ESKOM 'own' the grid or is it the people of SA?

      Trevor - 2012-03-19 07:34

      excuse my spelling. i meant resource

  • Alex Richards - 2013-05-18 09:02

    And the question is... will our tariffs come down? Will initial cost be higher than in the rest of the world, because of kicknacks?

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