Sustainable Energy to the Summit
Attempts are being made to ensure that all renewable energy "Green energy" power
plants in South Africa are linked to the national electricity grid, ahead
of the WSSD.
The "Greening the WSSD" initiative is collaborating with renewable energy
projects and programmes to identify all significant sustainable electricity
generators around South Africa. The intention is to work with state power
company, Eskom, to ensure that, where possible, these generators are
operational at the time of the WSSDand linked to the power grid that
will supply theConference. Sustainable energy is power that can be generated
continuously without the burning of fossils fuels, it is the utilisation
of renewable energy sources.Green electricity costs more for consumers
than "ordinary" electricity, and the associated projects and programmes
have secured funding to cover this premium. Summit venues that purchase
green electricity will be reimbursed in full for the additional cost
and the whole exercise will have no effect on the price they pay for
If the Greening the WSSD is successful it will have established a precedent
for supplying sustainable energy to consumers who wish to purchase
it. The financial subsidy will not last forever, but as consumers become
used to supporting green energy generation, it will become cheaper.
While South Africa produces some of the cheapest energy in the world,
it is generated by power stations fired by coal - when coal, a fossil
fuel, is burned it emits large amounts of carbon, in various compound
together with sulfur compounds into the atmosphere which contribute
to acid rain and green house gasses. SA is one of the biggest producers
of carbon emissions in the developing world.
Less than one percent of the country's electricity is currently generated
from renewable energy resources - these include a couple of small hydroelectric
power stations, several small solar systems and some bio-fuel plants.
Wind-power plants, near the towns of Darling and Klipheuwel, are expected
to join the national grid shortly.
The demand for electricity in Southern Africa will continue to increase
in the future. A significant proportion of this demand should be supplied
from sustainable energy sources -- that can replace coal and nuclear
plants, as they become out-dated.
Some European countries have set the target of having 25 percent of their
national electricity production shifted to sustainable sources within