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South Africa Prepares to be a Player in Wind Energy
Feasibility studies on the west coast of South Africa suggest that a 5-MW windfarm may be suitable for the Darling area. The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) is working with the country’s utility, Eskom, to negotiate a target for wind energy, which could be as high as 10,000 MW by 2020, supplying 10% of South Africa’s electricity needs. Potential for wind energy is increasing due to the use of coal for power generation, says SAWEA. Although low-cost coal is good for economic growth, concern over GHG makes SAWEA believe that wind is poised to build a foothold as a green energy. The government recently announced support for renewables, and recommended that hybrid wind systems be used to provide power for northern towns that are too remote from the grid.
The cost for wind power will drop by half by 2012, and a wind-energy industry will create up to 40 jobs for every megawatt of turbines installed. South Africa has large hydro capacity, and wind can be used for pumped storage reservoirs. SAWEA says that every kilowatt of wind power displaces one kilogram of carbon dioxide. By that measure, with 4,000 MW of wind, almost 8 million tons of CO2 emissions per year could be avoided.
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ISSUE #26 (855KB) 18 pages (1999-08-01)
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