Hydropower

World Summit on Sustainable Development will run on Green Electricity

AGAMA Energy, a green energy services company based in Cape Town, is to coordinate the supply of Green Electricity to the main venues at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) between August 24 and September 4 2002. This is a Department of Environment & Tourism initiative and is supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – July 2, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] “The key to green energy is not only that it is derived from Renewable Energy resources but that the electricity is generated as a sustainable process,” said Glynn Morris, the group’s managing director. “This makes it a very different product to the conventional coal- or nuclear-derived electricity, which is currently the predominant service option in South Africa.” South Africa has excellent renewable resources, and in regions like the Western, Eastern and Northern Cape provinces, which import the bulk of their energy, renewable electricity generation close to the demand makes good sense – including lower transmission costs, greater reliability and, of course, reduced environmental impact. At present there is more than 50 MW of green generation capacity in the Southern African Power Pool, enough energy to fulfill the needs of 20,000 households. South Africa itself presently has a small and uncoordinated installed capacity of green generation plants, including the hydro plants in the Eastern Cape and a number of Independent Power Producers in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga. The National Electricity Regulator (NER), national government’s electricity ‘watchdog’, is developing certification criteria and procedures for any potential green power producer to obtain certification of their electricity production. While there is as yet no mechanism for trading green electricity in a regulated market in southern Africa, a likely mechanism is ‘green power certificates’. A green power producer (certified and monitored by the National Electricity Regulator) will acquire green power certificates for any green power supplied onto the national grid. Any distributor or supplier (also licensed by the NER) that desires to offer a green electricity ‘product’ will be able to buy green power certificates to back up the sales to discerning customers. Green electricity sales will be regulated within a green electricity tariff structure to be established and regulated by the NER. In addition to its environmental, safety, water-saving and health benefits, Green Electricity offers opportunities for small investors and entrepreneurs. “The growth in electricity demand in South Africa is expected to outstrip the existing capacity within the next three to five years,” said Morris, “Then there is the risk of what is known as “rolling blackouts”. ‘It is essential that South Africa creates new electricity capacity, and this means that we have a rare opportunity – to make an informed and considered choice about the sustainability of that electricity supply.”