With the recent disruptive loadshedding South Africans have experienced and the threat of climate change, it’s a good idea to start looking at alternative energy sources.
The Department of Energy is in the process of finalising the Integrated Resource Plan for Electricity. This provides an estimation of which energy sources we can expect to be using from now until 2030. Coal is still seen as the main player (64%) and nuclear will also supply a small amount of power (4%) during this period, but the aim is to rely more on other resources come 2050. While many other countries also depend on hydropower, as South Africa is a water-scarce country this is not a consideration going forward (unless we learn to harness ocean power!). For now, let’s take a look at the two energy sources South Africa is focusing on for the coming decades: wind and solar.
If you have headed into the country, you’ll no doubt have spotted wind turbines: long poles with blades spinning in the wind. These convert the kinetic (movement) energy in the wind into mechanical power. In turn, that mechanical power can be converted into electricity.