South Africa’s Energy Department and the Clinton Climate Foundation on Friday announced plans for the construction of the country’s first solar park by the end of next year. Speaking at the announcement of the initiative in Centurion on Friday, Clinton Climate Foundation chairman Ira Magaziner said there was a “solar revolution”.
Energy Minister Dipuo Peters on Friday said the foundation would assist government to deploy large solar energy platforms.
“It is a commonly-known fact that our country is well endowed with unique and abundant natural renewable energy resources that still remain largely untapped,” Peters said. She said the memorandum of understanding was a key milestone in the achievement of the government’s target of 10000GWh contribution of renewable energy to final energy consumption by 2013.
Magaziner said the foundation would conduct a pre-feasibility study to identify sites for the solar park analysis of, among others, solar radiation indices, land availability, access to and cost of transmission and assessment of low-cost financing options for the park.
Peters said the pre-feasibility study would lead to the development of a business case upon which the independent power producers would be attracted to SA “and the eventual creation of a sustainable local renewable energy industry”.
Peters and Magaziner said the Northern Cape had a high level of solar radiation.
Magaziner said the abundant solar resource was the country’s “gold in the sun”.