Search Stafford's blog

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Eskom and Solar - SURPRISE SURPRISE!!

Someone sent me this link a few days ago; "Will South Africa Lead the Solar Revolution?" - I was quite surprised when I read what Eskom is up to and found some interesting clips;

"Northern Cape in South Africa. Every year the province records some of the highest numbers of sunny days worldwide."

"Eskom, one of the biggest power companies in the world, which is building a multi-million dollar solar plant near Upington in the Northern Cape."

"every year a square kilometre of desert receives solar energy equivalent to 1.5 million barrels of oil."

"The main deterrent to solar power has been its cost — estimated at about 22 Rand (US$2.80) per watt. In contrast, with such an abundance of coal, South Africa currently produces the world’s cheapest electricity at about 10 Rand (US$1.30) per watt"

“New coal power is no longer as cheap as we used to think. While Eskom has cited R10/watt, Medupi's [South Africa’s newest coal-powered station] actual price comes in at R16.40/watt”¦ and that's capital cost only.”

"South Africa has its very own contender in the ’thin film’ race. Solar guru Professor Vivian Alberts, a physicist at the University of Johannesburg, has developed a design believed to be the most advanced in the world. His panels are now ready for commercial use, and are expected to cost about 14 rand (US$1.80) per watt. “It will be possible for households in South Africa to afford their own solar generation,” he says."

YES - I will be tracking down Prof Vivian! I'll report back on what I discover...interesting times...and I can't resist...but...I TOLD YOU SO!!!!!



coralf said...

The last I heard was that Prof. Vivian Alberts was to make an anouncement some time in March. The only March news I saw was that they had identified the location for the Cape Town Factory, so it will still be a few years until we see those panels in South Africa. It is good to see CEF and others now supporting Vivian Alberts.

Andre Redelinghuys said...

When the externalities are all taken into account Perhaps that R16.40 per KW will be well over the R22 mark. Factring in carbon emmisions alone should do it but there are so many negative externalities to fossil fuel energy: respiratory diseases, the imapct of mining and drilling etc. Go Solar energy go!!

Mark van Tura said...

This is truly a breath of fresh air as I am a very firm advocate of utilizing natural resources in a way that is much longer sustainable with as little or NO side effects possible. Can't wait to get my own :)