SA plans to generate 42% of power needs through renewable energy sources by 2030

South Africa has a high level of Renewable Energy potential and presently has in place a target of generating 42% of its power needs through Renewable Energy sources by 2030‚ says Transport Minister Dipuo Peters.

She was speaking at the opening of a solar plant at the George Airport along the Western Cape Garden Route.

Peters said that sources of renewable energy that hade been identified to meet this target included: On Shore Wind‚ Concentrated Solar Thermal‚ Biomass Solid‚ Biogas‚ Landfill Gas‚ Small Hydro‚ and more significantly for the purposes of Friday’s engagement — Solar Photovoltaic.

This was in line with the government’s 2010 integrated resource plan.

The George Airport Photovoltaic (PV) Power Plant was initiated by the Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) as part of its commitment to reduce the load on the country’s constrained power grid and to contribute towards sustainable development‚ Peters added.

“The activation of the 75 kilowatts (KW) solar plant represents the first phase in generating independent power for George Airport.

“Built at a reported cost of R16 million and commissioned in September 2015‚ the plant generated 47 megawatt hours of power within the first month of its existence and is reliably expected to save in excess of 1.2 million litres of water per year.

“With South Africa currently grappling with its worst drought in decades‚ this is a phenomenal achievement of note‚ which I believe must be applauded‚” Peters said.

Furthermore‚ she said she had been informed by ACSA CEO Bongani Maseko that the completion of the plant formed part of ACSA’s broader plan to install solar energy panels at all six regional airports over the next three years to make them more self-sufficient.

The remaining five regional airports included: Port Elizabeth International Airport‚ East London Airport‚ Bram Fischer International Airport‚ Kimberley Airport and Upington Airport.

“All the aforementioned projects align with the entity’s vision to be a world leading airport business that uses advanced technologies to run its operations‚” Peters added.