15 November 2012

South Africa: North West Making Strides Towards Renewable Energy

press release

The North West Province is registering progress towards removing barriers towards the uptake of renewable energy technologies through the creation of strategic, financial, technical and other enabling environments, the Provincial Executive Council (Exco) concluded in its fortnightly meeting held in Mahikeng on Wednesday.

North West Premier Thandi Modise has expressed appreciation that the Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (IPPPP) which is aimed at stimulating the renewable energy industry across the country also holds substantial potential for the province.

MEC for Economic Development, Environment, Conservation and Tourism, Motlalepula Rosho reported that although fifteen projects are being developed for the province under the IPPPP programme, the project that has thus far been approved is the Rust Mo1 solar PV plant by Momentous Energy planned for Rustenburg. The project has a capacity of up to 7 Mega Watts (MW).

Other solar PV projects ranging from 5-340 MW earmarked for Brits, Christiana, Taung, Rustenburg, Vryburg, Mahikeng, Tswaing and Orkney are at various stages of the bidding and planning process for implementation.

Other initiatives include a platinum-based fuel cell mine locomotive prototype launched by Anglo American Platinum Limited, a prototype modular unit that can convert one ton of agricultural waste into a barrel of diesel and 0.5 megawatt hours of electricity a day developed by Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa (NECSA).

Sixty bamboo trees have been planted in Khayakhulu in a bamboo trees for cash crops bio diesel trial project.

The Provincial Renewable Energy Steering Committee established to develop the Provincial Strategy and Implementation Plan on Renewable Energy has among others identified the application of solar photovoltaic technologies, solar water heaters, fuel cells, municipal solid wastes as renewable energy sources that hold the most potential and a competitive strength for the province.

"Energy efficiency is in the majority of instances the first point of entry and can often be leveraged to result in the implementation and use of renewable energy technologies and cogeneration. The announcement by the Minister of Energy, Dipuo Peters that a renewable cogeneration round will be launched has raised our hope of substantial potential that we could derive through waste heat as our province has large number of smelters and industrial processing plants linked to the local mining sector," highlighted Premier Modise.

She added that the roll out of Eskom solar water heater rebate programme can be greatly increased for the province through development and capacitating of municipalities and local energy service companies.

Meanwhile, a Green Jobs Report released by the Industrial Development Corporation estimates that growing South Africa's green economy could create more than 460 new jobs by 2025 while cutting the country's dependence on carbon-intensive industries.

Issued by: North West Provincial Government

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