Planners hope to use wind to try to find balance from the area’s over-dependency on coal mining.
eMalahleni has finally found the path leading to renewable energy.
The SA wind energy association (SAWEA) said that said for some time now experts have been investigating potential wind energy development in eMalahleni to answer to problems of saving the planet.
Already what is called REDZ or renewable energy zones have been identified in the area.
The REDZ are just portions of land where the wind turbine generators and solar panels are placed, effectively a new power station.
The wind energy association said experts once pondered on the issue of Mpumalanga not being known for high levels of wind but the height of the turbine hubs will overcome this type of challenge.
“Industry players believe the region can be positioned as a component manufacturing hub of renewable energy which will further entrench the positive impact on job creation by the wind industry.
“It is recognised that engagement with the relevant government stakeholders is critical,” the organisation said
“The new eMalahleni REDZ is a huge step toward accelerated economic development in Mpumalanga,” it said.
“As we move to implement the requirements of the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2019, it would appear natural that a portion of the 1 600 MW a year should be allocated to the northern region of the country and research has dispelled the myth that wind is not an economically viable option in this region,” association chair Mercia Grimbeek said.
He said by this they hope to reduce the almost complete reliance of the area on a mining-driven economy.
Grimbeek said the wind and solar power plants are installed quite easier and quicker than other large infrastructures.
He said it will allow “the economic benefits to flow through to communities in a relatively short period of time”.
“It will not only create jobs directly but also indirectly through manufacturing and supply chain management,” Grimbeek said.
(edited by MLM)
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