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Essay/Term paper: South africa

Essay, term paper, research paper:  World History

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South Africa


Energy is defined as something that creates action. Energy has always
been a necessity, because everything requires it in one way or another to work.
Without energy, there could bo no electricity, no modern convieniences, or
industrialization. Unfortunatly, energy usually means that are negative impacts
on the environment. Some of the environmental impacts include, air pollution,
land pollution, water pollution, noise pollution, and general aesthetic problems.
I plan to come up with a plan to make South Africa's resources last, with
minimal effects on the environment, which is cost effective, as well as

Current Energy Profile

South Africa is a nation with many reasources. It has many mines, that
mine many different minerals, including coal, uranium, and diamonds. South
Africa only has six-percent of the total population in Africa, but it produces
sixty-percent of it's energy.
Coal mines fill the country. It currently has more than sixty open mines
open. In total, the country has 121,218 million tons of coal, and 55,333 million
tons of that are projected reserves. Coal currently supplies 84% of South
Africa's electricity.
Suth Africa has been looking to develop and find more sources of
natural gas, and oil. Large amounts of gas were recently found at Mossel Bay on
the south coast. The reserves are large enough to produce 25,000 of diesel and
petrol a day for thirty years.
South Africa has one nuclear power plant. It also has a large supply of
Uranuim, which is a by product of copper mining. It has 247,600 metric tons of
recoverable uranium with a cost of less than $80.00 per ton. It has 96,800 at a
cost of less than $130.00 per ton, and provides 14% of the western world's
Renewable resources only supply 5% of the total energy. It has three
hydro-electric plants. More aren't being developed, because there would have to
be many dams, and resivoirs built. It also lies in a dry area of Africa.
South Africa's currently uses 3,756 miilion GJ of energy a year. It is
broken up by, 48% for industry, 24% for transportation, 17% by households, 8%
by the mining industry, and 3% for agriculture.
91% of South Africa's energy is produced by the Escom Company. It uses
the following sources.

- 20 coal fired plants -
- 3 hydro-electric plants -
- 2 gas turbine plants -
- 1 nuclear power station -

The southern, and eastern coastlines have much more water than the
interior. 33,000 million m3 of water is available in storage dams. It has been
estimated that there is 5,400 million cubic meters of groundwater. Current
project say that by 2010 only 3.5% of total energy production will be hydro-
electric. If the system was made more efficient, it would be easy to make more
power. A return flow system needs to be installed in urban areas, so that the
water can be used again. South Africa could easily rely on their hydro-electric
capacity to be 5% by the year 2025.

Nuclear Power:
South Africa's nuclear possibilities are limitless. It has all the
supplies to make more plants easily. But, it has a past that includes many
conflicts. The initail cost of building the plants is very expensive, and there
is also the costs of having to constantly retrain employees. If a commision is
started to make sure that if more plants are built they are clean, and wastes
are being disposed of properly, thing could work. By 2025, it should also supply
5% of total enegy.

Oil and Natural Gas:
Currently these two combined supply less than 10%. This should be
redused. There needs to be a way to save the resources, because these will be
gone in less than 30 years.

This is one way they can make up for the saving of oil and natuarl gas.
They don't have any biomass production now, so anything would be better. With
34,000,000 people, the option is obviously there. It also has a 2/1 yield/cost
ratio. Some of the forst would have to be cut to supply a space for the biomass,
and that is a potential problem, but if planned properly it isn't. 5% of the
country's total energy production should be biomass by 2025.

Wind Power:
This is what is really going to do it for South Africa. In the eastern
transvaal, winds are eastern. In the central, winds are north-easterly. In the
western and southern interior, winds are westerly. There are always winds on the
coasts. Large spaces between urban ares are good places for wind powered
generators. As with all wind powered generators, there will be problems with
birds dying, but these are minimal. Wind generators don't require many workers
to run them. I propose that 20% of the electricity should come from wind by 2025.

Solar Power:
South Africa also has a good potential for solatr power. It has a high
average tempertaure, and is a dry country, which means it is usually sunny. The
cost are more expensive than other power sources, but there are no environmental
costs, and it will never run out. The only pollution it has is the dicarding of
batteries, and that isn't very often, and with new ways of disposing batteries
it is very safe. I propose 25% of the power to be supplied from the sun.

Coal needs to be discontinued slowly. The expotation of coal, is
extremely important to the economy. It would have to be dicontinued slow enough,
so that all the people working in all the aspects that relate to coal could find
new jobs. Coal still needs to provide a large part of electricity production.
The coal the country has is the cleanest burning, and supplies the most heat,
this is good. Mainly coal just needs to be used less, so that it will last
longer. I would like to see that by 2025, only 30% of the power be from coal.


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