South Africa leading the way in solar energy


South Africa’s power utility Eskom announced that is has secured a 75 million euro loan from the European Investment Bank to support its CSP plant located in Upington.

“It is quite exciting to be part of a new journey that South Africa is undergoing, implementing renewable energy and taking advantage of the free sun that we have and the wind that is available,” Ayanda Nakedi, senior general manager of renewable energy at Eskom told CNBC Africa. 

(READ MORE: S.Africa well-positioned to light the way for solar)


“We have got one of the highest solar radiation levels in South Africa and we have not even begun to tap into this resource that we have.”

According to Eskom, the CSP uses a number of innovative technologies to concentrate the sun’s energy through large mirrors. This produces concentrated thermal energy which is then turned into steam for electricity generation.

The steam however is non-polluting solar energy, unlike the fossil fuel combustion steam that is produced from conventional power plants.

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“This particular technology allows us to store power and it is available in the evening, when the sun isn’t shining. That’s the beauty of it,” explained Nakedi.

She added that with the assistance of the private sector, South Africa is diversifying its energy mix in order to move towards a low carbon economy.

“South Africa has allocated 42 per cent of new generation capacity to renewables so you can really see the commitment the country has made.”

(READ MORE: S.Africa’s transition to renewable energy resources)