Cape to be SA's 'green hub'
THE Western Cape government seeks to make the region the "green economic hub" of South Africa, Premier Helen Zille said
Opening the first Southern African Solar Energy Conference in Stellenbosch yesterday, she told delegates that the province aimed to draw at least a 10th of its power from renewable sources within two years.
"We intend by 2014 ... that at least 10% of electricity use in the province will be generated from renewable energy (sources)," Zille said.
The plentiful sunshine in the province means "we will see many solar energy power plants built in the Western Cape and an attendant manufacturing industry with upstream and downstream linkages".
Zille said by 2020 the energy system of the Western Cape would be highly efficient and (its) fossil fuel energy use greatly reduced.
She stressed the importance of partnerships with the private and academic sectors to achieve this. Migration into the region meant energy demand would rise sharply.
However, over time, economies of scale would see the use of such energy move from marginal to mainstream use.
Zille said there were plans to turn the West Coast industrial town of Atlantis into "the heart of green economy manufacturing".
This would contribute greatly to the creation of jobs and move the region closer to a carbon-free economy.