In an effort to maintain ‘green status’ and meet renewable energy goals, the City of Cape Town is working towards establishing solar projects aimed at providing residents with solar power systems.

A partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Southern Africa Energy Program (SAEP) has been established to develop economical solutions for the implementation of solar power systems.

The City is dedicated to growing their status as the ‘green economy hub of Africa’ after a State of Environment Report indicated that the energy related carbon emissions in the city reduced by 4,1% between 2012 and 2015.

Three models have been established to allow for economical implementation of solar power and each model calls on the use of private enterprises and the public.

1.The Nelson Mandela Bay municipality model is based on private investors paying for the cost of solar power installation at private homes, with their investment being returned as energy is transmitted into the network.

2. A City investment into the infrastructure costs, charging residents for the implementation via electricity costs and property rates.

3. Utilising community or co-operative funding mechanisms to pay for the solar power infrastructure.

The city is hopeful that the collaboration with USAID and SAEP will provide solutions to increase resident’s access to renewable energy.

Benefits of solar power 

The use of solar power energy has various benefits for residents and the environment, from reducing carbon emissions to being cost-effective in the long run.

1. The production of generating electricity releases harmful carbon emissions into the environment, whereas the use of solar power does not. Solar power is a renewable energy source that helps to reduce carbon emissions which contribute to global warming.

2. Solar power usage is cost effective as it requires less costly electrical supplies.

With the recently confirmed increase in the electricity tariff for April 2019,  Member for informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services and Energy Xanthea Limberg, says that alternative initiatives such as solar power are being investigated to reduce costs and dependency on Eksom.

“We have a number of initiatives under way to release Cape Town from its heavy reliance on Eskom. I am confident that the outcomes of this work will be hugely valuable in our committed drive to building a low carbon, resilient and resource-efficient city,” said Limberg

Picture: Unsplash

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