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Why be Revolutionary?

 

Leads 2 Business : Alternative Energy

 

I have enjoyed music all my life. There is no doubt that it plays an integral part of who I am. I enjoy anything from classical to rock to indie to reggae to alternative. In my choice alone, some would consider me a little unconventional. But that isn’t where it ends. I enjoy (exceptional) tattoos and consider it wearable art. Perhaps a little nonconformist I hear you say? Not to mention I like the idea of eco houses, container housing and other non standard building methods. Just because it is different, it doesn’t mean it is wrong. In fact, sometimes different can be exceptionally right.

I think most South Africans have gotten a good few picnic dinners with candles of late. Some relish the opportunity to ‘unplug’ from life and make the most of quality time with loved ones, while others lament lost time and money and the effect it is having on the economy.  I am fairly certain that Companies retailing solar panels, solar geysers and lights as well as generators thank Eskom profusely for their increase in revenue. Flipping a switch to only find yourself still standing in the dark, in winter especially, definitely brings you to looking at alternative methods of getting things done and wondering how long we, as a nation, can continue on this (dark) road.

 

We all know that our amazing nation has an abundance of natural resources. So why not utilise them? Enter the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (try say that fast five times over) aka REIPPP.  Say what? Well, the IPP procurement programme has been designed to contribute towards the target of 3725 Megawatts and socio economic and environmentally sustainable growth as well as to stimulate the renewable industry in South Africa.

 

The qualifying technologies in this programme are:

  • onshore wind
  • concentrated solar thermal
  • solar photovoltaic
  • biomass solid
  • biogas
  • landfill gas
  • small hydro

 

According to The Guardian ‘South Africa has been quietly creating one of the world’s most progressive alternative energy plans. Solar, biomass and wind energy systems are popping up all over the country and feeding clean energy into the strained electrical grid’. It seems that South Africa is taking revolutionary leaps forward in implementing clean energy solutions, but it also has the general view that it should be closely monitored.

The REIPP have recently added to their renewable projects currently underway in South Africa.  Some of these include:

 

Wind

  • Construction of the 140MW Roggeveld Wind Farm. The wind farm will be situated on farms surrounding Sutherland, in the Northern Cape. This forms part of the Window 4 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement REIPPP programme.
  • Construction of the 117MW Golden Valley Wind Farm located outside Cookhouse, in the Eastern Cape Province. This forms part of the Window 4 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme.
  • Construction of the Riverbank Wind Energy Facility: Phase 1 entails the construction and operation of a wind energy facility and associated infrastructure. This is also known as the Wesley-Ciskei (33 MW) which forms part of the Window 4 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement REIPPP programme.

 

Biomass

  • Construction of a 25M biomass-to-power plant, known as Ngodwana Biomass Power Project, located at Sappi’s Ngodwana mill, outside Nelspruit in the Mpumalanga Province. This forms part of the Window 4 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement REIPPP programme.

 

Solar Photovoltaic

  •  Construction of the 40MW Aggeneys Solar Photovoltaic (PV) energy facility located outside Aggeneys, in the Northern Cape Province. This forms part of the Window 4 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme.
  • Construction of the 75MW Konkoonsies 2 Solar Photovoltaic (PV) energy facility located near Upington, in the Northern Cape Province. This forms part of the Window 4 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme.
  • Construction of the 75MW Dyason’s Klip 1 Solar Photovoltaic (PV) energy facility located near Upington, in the Northern Cape Province. This forms part of the Window 4 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme.
  • Construction of the 75MW Dyason’s Klip 2 Solar Photovoltaic (PV) energy facility near Upington, in the Northern Cape Province. This forms part of the Window 4 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme.
  • Construction of the 75 MW Droogfontein 2 solar photovoltaic (PV) plant and all associated infrastructure on the Farm Droogfontein, in Kimberley, Northern Cape Province. This forms part of the Window 4 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme.
  • Construction of the 82.5MW Pulida solar photovoltaic park. The planned capacity will be 82.5 MWp DC – 75 mw ac and will be located on remainder portion of farm Klipdrift 20, Letsemeng local municipality, Xhariep district municipality, Free State province. This forms part of the REIPPP – Window 3 Projects.
  • Construction of the 75MW Sirus Solar Photovoltaic (PV) energy facility. The facility will be situated approximately 20km southwest of Upington, in the Northern Cape. This forms part of the Window 4 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme.

 

Hydro

  • Construction of the 5MW Kruisvallei Hydo located near Bethlehem, in the Free State Province. This forms part of the Window 4 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme.

 

I have heard the expression that ‘it’s never too late’ to start something. In the case of Eskom, I am sure some feel like they may be testing the boundaries of this expression. The point though, is that something is being done. Something quite revolutionary at that! So I for one, want to keep an eye on the array of projects to keep up to date with South Africa’s progressive steps toward creating clean energy for our overworked grid. I also think that it is maybe time that I start figuring out how to be part of doing something idiosyncratic in my nation instead of being part of the problem.  #Justsaying

 

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About Carmen Barends

Social media adventurer for Leads 2 Business, exploring new frontiers and taking new ground. “Not all those who wander are lost.” JRR Tolkien

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