Solar photovoltaic (PV) power gets cheaper every year. Concentrated solar power (CSP) plants can now produce power 24 hours a day. (See Base load electricity below). A recent Price Waterhouse study found that Europe could run on 100% renewables by 2050.
Some Advantages of using Wind and Solar as alternative energy resources
- There is no fuel that needs to be mined, and transported. So it is truly renewable, and so a practical long term plan
- No nasty waste management problem, and no waste from fuel at all
- No fuel required, so it will never run out
- High number of sunshine hours in SA – Highest average daily hours of sunshine, 8,5 sunshine hours per day (compared to 3,8 in London, 6,4 in Rome and 6,9 in new York)
- South Africa has excellent potential fro wind energy – the South coast has a wind power density factor 7 (compared to 2 for much of Europe)
- Widespread, immediately available technology (e.g. already 10 000 wind turbines installed in Germany alone)
- Short construction times – e.g. the turbine at Coega took 3 months to bukd, and nuclear plants are likely to take 15 years
- Renewable plants are not a potential terrorist target – Did you know that Koeberg was attacked by ANC (1982) and AWB (1993)?
GLOBAL INSTALLED WIND POWER INCREASES DRAMATICALLY EVERY YEAR