Evaluating the energy potential of solar PV located on mining properties in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa
journal contributionposted on 16.08.2021, 08:52 by W van der Merwe, Alan BrentAlan Brent
The lauded Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program (REIPPPP) has achieved much in stimulating private sector investment in the renewable energy market in South Africa. Yet, 95% of electricity generated is still from a single source, the state-owned utility Eskom. This paper set out to explore the policy sphere governing electricity generation and identifying possible avenues that can contribute to a more vibrant solar energy market in the most solar abundant province of South Africa, the Northern Cape Province. Licensed mines were identified as low hanging fruit due to a large policy overlap and leeway within existing mining policy. A solar audit of these areas was performed, based on accepted multi-criteria decision analysis techniques, and found that a potential 369 TWh to 679 TWh per annum can be generated, exceeding South Africa's current electricity usage.