Essay about Is Renewable Energy Viable to South Africa?

Essay about Is Renewable Energy Viable to South Africa?

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In this essay I will be discussing whether renewable energy is economically viable in South Africa. Many factors need to be taken into account when discussing this topic, for example, the cost of building the sources and how much it would cost to run the source. We also need to take into account how much electric energy can be produced from these sources and whether that will be enough to support the energy usage of South Africa. The one of the two main problems with renewable energy is the amount of usable energy generated from them in comparison to other forms of non-renewable energy. With our energy grid already under strain, is using renewable energy worth getting into, and if it is, how will we manage to cope with the nations demand for energy? The other main problem with renewable energy is the cost of building the power station. The new coal powered power station, Medupi, being built in Limpopo, is expected to cost R170 billion. That is a not lot of money considering the station will run for 50 years. But can we create power stations run on renewable energy that will be cheaper than the cost of Medupi, but be able to run for longer? This is what I will be discussing.

But before delving into forms of alternate energy, I will elaborate on Eskoms Medupi coal-powered power station. When completed in late 2014, Medupi will be the largest dry-cooled coal-fired power station in the world. The power station will consist of 6 coal boilers, each with a capacity of 800 MW, giving a total capacity of 4 800MW. This is being built in Lephalale, Limpopo. The reason for this is mainly the accesibility to coal mines and water. The coal will be obtained from the Grootegeluk coal mine owned by Exxaro just north of the station. This means tha...


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...form of renewable energy, accounting for 16 percent of global electricity generation – 3,427 terawatt-hours of electricity production in 2010”. South Africa already makes use of several sources of hydroelectricity. Our biggest ones are the located in the Gariep Dam and the Drakensberg, with capacities of 360 MW and 1000 MW respectively. The largest hydroelectricity source in South Africa is currently, being built in Ingula, Kwa-Zulu Natal, with a capacity of 1332 MW. I do not believe hydroelectricity can be the main contributor of energy to our national grid. Even though there are more sources that can contribute to hydroelectricity like the Vaal Dam, I don’t believe we have a source big enough to have a capacity that will have an instrumental effect on our energy grid. But this source of energy can have an effect on our energy capacity, even if it is not a huge one.

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