South Africa Reveals Big Plans for Solar

27 October 2010 (Last Updated October 27th, 2010 18:30)

South Africa has unveiled plans for one of the world's biggest solar power plants worth R200bn (£18.42bn) in the Northern Cape province. The project aims to achieve an annual output of 5GW of electricity by the end of its first decade, which is equivalent to a tenth of South Africa&

South Africa has unveiled plans for one of the world's biggest solar power plants worth R200bn (£18.42bn) in the Northern Cape province.

The project aims to achieve an annual output of 5GW of electricity by the end of its first decade, which is equivalent to a tenth of South Africa's current energy needs, according to the Guardian.

Jonathan de Vries, the project manager, said the project's aim would be to contribute to the national grid by the end of 2012 and to produce 1,000MW in the initial phase using a mix of the latest solar technologies.

An initial 9,000ha of state-owned land has been assigned for the park, while further sites are being explored.

The government expects the solar park will help reduce carbon emissions, which is still 90% dependent on coal-fired power stations.

About 200 foreign and domestic investors will meet to discuss the funding of the project and US construction group Fluor will set out a master plan.

South Africa currently consumes 45GW-48GW of power a year, which is estimated to double over the next 25 years.