Water can close South Africa’s electricity gap

Nicola Mawson | 12 July 2013 | M&G Online

Hydropower is a viable alternative to fossil fuels, but South Africa is not realising the benefits of using water to generate energy. South Africa has failed to take advantage of the full potential of using water without depleting it.

In 2011 Cabinet approved the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which sets out a diversification of sources of fuel by 2030. It also stipulates that the future power mix will derive 6% from pumped storage for peak supply and 12% from base-load imported hydropower.

Arthur Melet, senior research analyst for oil and gas at IDC Energy Insights, Middle East and Africa, says that South Africa’s current operational capacity is Gariep (maximum capacity 360MW), Vanderkloof (maximum capacity 240MW), Colley Wobbles (nominal capacity 42MW), First Falls (nominal capacity 6MW), Ncora (nominal capacity 2MW) and Second Falls (nominal capacity 11MW). Continue reading.

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