This article I found pretty interesting - a few interesting little facts - re Ireland's trend towards harnessing more of the wind to generate energy and the associated practical challenges. FYI: "Chalk it up to geography. The island is one of the first landfalls for winds crossing the Atlantic, so wind hits harder and more constantly than most places in continental Europe."
I must admit that I have not really focused on wind as an element of alternative energy capturing cause South Africa has so much irradiance per annum - so this short article was quite an eye opener.
Another clip from it; "In all, the wind blowing over the island contains 8,000 megawatts of power. "There is enough onshore-accessible wind for about 100 percent of our electricity requirements," he said. "In terms of our accessible resources, the biggest and most successful so far is wind.""
So...I wish someone would explain why we don't have a clear and concise alternative energy plan based upon solar power - if Ireland has all that wind and we have all this sun (see note below)...why are we not outlining our plans to capture it? (I have blogged about practical examples of how this being done by state governments in the USA)
I read the recent DME post "National response to South Africa’s electricity shortage" and discovered a presentation done to the municipalities. It mentions solar powered geysers quite often and this is encouraging...especially considering that heating of water is one of the predominant activities related to energy consumption!
I must be honest, this mention of solar energy by DME in their response is PATHETIC;
Use renewable energy as much as possible.
- Install a solar water-heater instead of an electric geyser;
- Do not switch on lights if sunlight is sufficient;
- Use the sun to dry washed clothes instead of a tumble drier;
- Allow the clothes to drip-dry and save on ironing; and
- Buy clothes that do not require ironing.
Note: Click here and you'll find more details re this quote: "Most areas in South Africa average more than 2 500 hours of sunshine per year, and average solar-radiation levels range between 4.5 and 6.5kWh/m2 in one day. The southern African region, and in fact the whole of Africa, has sunshine all year round. The annual 24-hour global solar radiation average is about 220 W/m2 for South Africa, compared with about 150 W/m2 for parts of the USA, and about 100 W/m2 for Europe and the United Kingdom. This makes South Africa's local resource one of the highest in the world."