South Africa may still get most of its energy from coal, but in the country’s sunny Northern Cape province, a different electricity source is taking hold: solar steam.
A Spanish renewable energy company has opened three thermal solar plants – which use the sun’s heat to create electricity – in the province.
The plants–which use sun-heated salt to drive turbines – produce enough electricity to provide power to just short of a million people, or almost the province’s entire population, according its operators.
From Reuters. Story by Munyaradzi Makoni.
That represents an important shift in a country that suffered power shortages as recently as 2015, but that now has excess power to sell to neighboring southern African countries.
Just as important, the plants have provided new jobs in a province with one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the country, at more than 40 percent, according to U.N. officials.
They recognized the clean-energy project at climate change talks in Bonn in November as a creative model for bringing scarce private cash into renewable energy projects in Africa.
Read more at Reuters.
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