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Technology to reduce carbon footprint comes to South Africa

Due to its heavy reliance on coal-fired power, South Africa is listed as the world’s 14th largest emitter of greenhouse gases—but through new technology, South Africans can now reduce their individual carbon emissions.  

Despite South Africa pledging a 34% reduction in its business-as-usual (BAU) emissions by 2020 and 42% by 2025, Climate Action Tracker, an independent scientific analysis produced by three research organisations tracking climate action, has found that this is highly insufficient to keep global warming below 1.5°C.

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“All South Africans need to get involved to help save the planet. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on Global Warming, keeping global warming below 1.5°C can help to reduce the risk of droughts, slow the rate of sea-level rise and decrease species loss and extinction, amongst others,” says Devin Osborne, CEO of Thula Moya, a family-run business focused on the renewable energy sector and the exclusive dealer of the Archimedes Windmill (AWM), a silent wind turbine suitable for residential use.

He continues: “One of the ways that South Africans can help is by switching [their energy source] from traditional coal power to renewable energy. With the country having good wind potential and our coastal areas being particularly windy, harnessing this free, non-depletable renewable energy source is the way to go. That is why we have brought the AWM into the country.”

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Unique shape for optimal wind direction

According to Osborne, the AWM is both bird and bat-friendly, thanks to its design, which resembles a rose. This also ensures that it emits very low noise levels (<42 dBA). Additionally, the unique shape finds the optimal wind direction and even functions in turbulent wind conditions.

A single AWM will reportedly produce 95kWh on average per month, accounting for roughly 25% of electricity needs for an average household in South Africa.

According to predictions, the turbine will produce approximately 1,000kWh per year, depending on the geographic location, with some predictions exceeding 1,700kWh per annum. Additionally, this will enable households to reduce their CO2 emissions by over a tonne per year.

To maximise energy production, Osborne recommends that the turbines be linked to solar PV systems. “This would help take households off the grid or at least save them 95% of their electricity costs,” says Osborne. 

To cut down carbon emissions even further, South Africans should consider the installation of solar geysers and heat pumps in addition to the rooftop solar PV and wind systems.

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The company advises that the AWM can be connected to existing solar PV systems. Thula Moya conducts site and land suitability assessments, along with environmental impact assessments and can produce detailed return on investment (ROI) projections.

“We want to beat the race of climate change and global warming by supplying innovative solutions that turn environmental elements into lifelong suppliers of energy,” concludes Osborne.

Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl
Nicolette is the Editor of ESI Africa print journal, ESI-Africa.com and the annual African Power & Energy Elites. She is passionate about placing African countries on the international stage and is driven by the motto "The only way to predict the future is to create it". Join her in creating a sustainable future through articles and multimedia content.