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FEASIBILITY OF WIND FARM AS PART OF SA'S ENERGY MIX

Wind energy is a thoroughly proven technology, yet we continue to delay its integration into the energy mix in this country. Parts of South Africa, particularly in the Western Cape, are ideally suited to harnessing wind energy because of their long windy coastlines and vast tracts of non-arable land.

People criticise wind energy as being expensive. We aim to produce at 6oc/KWh, which is currently about double the cost of conventional coal-fired production. But Eskom is likely to hike costs considerably in the coming years to bring new infrastructure on stream. What is more, the cost of conventional electricity does not account for the "externality" costs borne by society through atmospheric pollution and climate change. Nor does the comparison include the job creation potential of renewables, or the fact that within three months of erection a wind turbine, the energy cost associated with that process is paid back in full. Eskom's two kerosene-fired power stations being built in Atlantis,as a stop-gap measure to deal with projected peak electricity demand, will produce electricity at around R4.00/KWh.

(c)Darlipp2010