Gauteng government uses solar power to fight load shedding

Gauteng is moving towards renewable energy to take pressure off the struggling national energy grid, the province’s infrastructure development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza said on Tuesday.

“Solar energy and energy for landfill gas are the most obvious short-term [projects] that we have embarked on… It will be implemented at provincial and municipal level,” she said at the Africa Energy Indaba in Sandton.

Solar water heaters were being rolled out to municipalities and solar street and traffic lights were being introduced.

Solar panels were being used by many government buildings in the city centre, she said.

“We have also started a process of ensuring the boilers we use in our hospitals will be run by natural gas and not by coal.”

Mayathula-Khoza was speaking in the place of Energy Minister Joemat-Pettersson who had been billed to speak, but had to be in Cape Town to attend the debate on the state-of-the-nation address in Parliament.

Mayathula-Khoza said government was implementing many initiatives across different sectors and was developing targets for different sources of energy.

She pointed to government’s willingness to enter into power purchase agreements with the private sector.

“These are some of the programs we are embarking on to make that little contribution to the challenge we are facing in this country.

“This country is open for business and equally so we are ready to trade with Africa and the world.”

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Gauteng government uses solar power to fight load shedding