6 Weslander ’n Skoon blaadjie vir Thusong-dienssentrum 21 Februarie, 2013
Die voormalige bestuurskomitee van die Thusong-dienssentum het ’n skoon ouditverslag aan die Saldanhabaaimunisipaliteit oorhandig. Dié veeldoelige sentrum, wie se missie is om allerlei dienste na die gemeenskap te bring, is die afgelope tien jaar deur ’n verkose komitee en drie voltydse personeellede bestuur. Volgens Hannes Vermeulen, Thusongdienssentrum se tesourier, is dié sentrum op 1 November 2012 onder die Saldanhabaai-munisipaliteit se vleuels geneem en is die komitee ontbind. Die sentrum se operasionele fondse, wat deur die provinsiale regering voorsien word, moes dikwels deur die verhuring van fasiliteite en ander geldinsamelingsprojekte aangevul word. Vermeulen sê hy kon nie soos die ander komiteelede net onttrek voor alle finansiele sake nie eers afgehandel is nie. Hy het Vrydag 1 Februarie ’n skoon ouditverslag aan raadslid Ryan Don van Saldanhabaai-munisipaliteit oorhandig.
Van links is rdl. André Kruger, rdl. Ryan Don, Hannes Vermeulen, Jaco Kotze, Salome Adams, Wilna Thys, Charlton Nieuwhoutd en Koos Valentyn. FOTO: VERSKAF
Concerns over wind power ‘fabricated’ Dr Kilian Hageman, a director of G7 Renewables, revealed the latest version of the Wind Atlas of South Africa (WASA) to a full assembly in Cape Town last week (13 February). “South Africa has a very good wind potential, better than most countries with substantial wind power,” said Hageman. He based this on the WASA Project, which measured wind speeds over South Africa from 10 wind masts. “The wind always blows somewhere,” Hageman said and he predicted that the minimum production will not fall below 10% of the total nameplate capacity*. This figure is revolutionary considering the fact that this number is much lower in Europe and the US. Hageman said South Africa should get 100% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2030. To achieve this, wind turbines need to be distributed widely in the best areas of wind intensity, which WASA revealed to be mainly aligned with mountainous areas. It would require an area of approximately 25 000 000 hectares to accommodate the 250 000 turbines and road facilities for construction and maintenance, plus the additional kilometres of overhead power lines to connect these facilities to the national grid. The 2006 Western Cape provincial government guidelines on wind farms clearly stipulate that no wind turbines should be placed on mountains, ridges and conservation areas. According to the environmental group, Save The Eagles International South Africa, until now only a few local pressure groups have been able to save some of the areas earmarked for industrial wind developments. When Hageman was asked about environmental concerns about wind power and the many anti-wind organisations (in Europe 575 organisations joined the European Platform Against WindFarms), the question was
promptly brushed aside. He said concerns about noise and bird mortality were “fabricated”. “There are people on the West Coast that don’t want turbines near them … that is Nimbyism* … Nimbies make up all kinds of things!” Save The Eagles says at present renewable energy costs five times more than Eskom’s own generated energy, 3% of the 16% proposed annual tariff increase over the next 5 years will be used to fund the cost of new renewable energy initiatives. The inclusion of more than 1 GW of renewable power will also be a costly exercise since the grid has to be made more flexible and smart to handle the phasing in and out of renewable energy suppliers. Fossil fuel power generators will be needed to back up these renewables and will be forced to run less economically with high maintenance costs. The wind industry has until now been reluctant to address the growing evidence of adverse health effects of turbine noise on human populations living in close proximity to turbines. Tests to determine the adverse health effects are just starting in Australia. The outcome of these tests could have a serious impact on planning regulations for wind farms and existing wind farms globally. Save The Eagles wrote “It is our public duty as responsible citizens to prevent decisions from being made that can favour the greed and selfish needs of a private industry and will harm our economy, nature and society for decades to come.” * Nameplate Capacity: The maximum output of a generating source. The load factor is the average expected output of a generator, usually over an annual period. For wind that is around 20 to 30% of the nameplate capacity. *Nimby: An acronym for the phrase “Not In My Back Yard”. It refers to residents opposed to a new development simply because it is close to them.