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Nov 07, 2008

W Cape sets up CDM office in Cape Town

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The Western Cape provincial government has established a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) office in Cape Town, and is set to work with one of the largest CDM projects in the public transport sector, worth some €60-million, in collaboration with the Italian government.

The CDM office was working closely with the Department of Minerals and Energy’s Designated National Authority, which oversees the CDM registration process in South Africa.

“We have signed a memorandum-of-understanding with the Italian government for the provision of buses. But we are busy working out our carbon baseline now, and we estimate that the value is €60-million, for which we could get about 100 or 150 buses,” explained Western Cape Department of environmental affairs director Mark Gordon.

Speaking at the World Wildlife Fund National Renewable Energy conference in Sandton on Friday, he said that these were the buses that were used at the Beijing Olympics, and they were higher-efficiency diesel engine buses.

Gordon stated that there was a lot of work on the CDM methodology that needed to be done, and consultants were being appointed to do this. This was a project for the Department of Transport, “and we are providing the capacity from the CDM point of view”, confirmed Gordon.

The CDM is a mechanism through which carbon abatement projects can garner funding from developed nations, which have definite carbon reduction targets to adhere to. South Africa lags far behind in the registration of CDM projects (only 11 projects are registered in South Africa, out of 1 197 registered projects in total), when compared with other developing countries like China, India and Brazil.

Strong political support for renewable energy technologies in the Western Cape has ensured that this province moves ahead with implementing plans and programmes and the roll-out of renewable energy generation.

Gordon said that the Western Cape has set broad targets of 15% renewable energy generation by 2014, off the current base of about 5 000 MW. The province also wanted to achieve 10% energy efficiency against the baseline by 2014, as well as realising a 10% reduction in carbon emissions.

It was felt that these targets could be easily reached solely through capitalising on the wind power available in the Western Cape.

“We have also commissioned a grid study with the German government to look at wind development projects, primarily on the West Coast, and to look at coding issues and grid accessibility and grid study. So the study covers all of that quite closely with Eskom,” Gordon explained.

Through providing this wind atlas and resource assessment, the province was trying to offer more certainty for investors.

“On environmental impact assessment (EIA) methodology - this is always a problem for a lot of investors - we said we would provide some sort of certainty on EIA methodology on how we can provide certainty on where to locate wind farms. The kinds of areas we will say are no-go areas, we will say please don’t waste your time going into some areas, as we will not give you an EIA for those areas. And other areas with high wind potential, and we have taken those areas into account,” Gordon noted.

He said that there was a lot of positive information coming out of this.

“We are looking at about 700 MW onshore high capacity at 30% capacity factor; in the medium capacity range about 2 400 MW; and offshore about 1 500 MW."

This, he added, showed that the Western Cape had much more than 2 400 MW of wind potential on the West Coast.


Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter

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