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Wind energy more viable for S.Africa than nuclear

‘Renewable energy is viable’ Times LIVE (Africa) Feb 21, 2010  By ZWELI MOKGATA Eddie O’Connor is adamant that 90% of the world’s electricity could easily come from renewable sources by 2050 if only world governments would commit to key energy policies in time.

The energy department recently set a March deadline for the development of a legal framework for an Independent System Operator to replace Eskom. The idea is to have a completely objective entity that would interact with power producers rather than the current situation in which the country’s electricity projects are largely driven by political motives.

O’Connor, chief executive of Ireland-based Mainstream Renewable Power, flew to South Africa this week to review an 18-month wind study in the Cape that would determine the quality of South African winds.

“Contrary to what Eskom says, South African winds are constant and predictable. South Africa has an almost perfect wind regime,” he said.

“We’ve monitored eight sites scattered across the Western, Eastern and Northern Cape. The Jeffreys Bay project alone could power 8000 households.”……

“Another critical difference is that wind uses no water while thermal stations are so water-intensive they deny water to 12400 households annually.

“Climate change is real,” O’Connor said. “The Sahara desert is advancing at a rate four times faster than in the 1970s and South Africa is becoming increasingly water constrained.”

During last year’s UN Summit on climate change, South Africa was the only country to commit to definite reductions in carbon emissions.

‘Renewable energy is viable’ – Times LIVE

February 22, 2010 - Posted by | South Africa, spinbuster | , , , ,

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