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CSA Releases Renewable Energy Handbook

On the 19th of February 2013, Conservation South Africa launched its renewable energy handbook in Johannesburg, at a ceremony attended by various stakeholders, including the German Ambassador to South Africa. The handbook, titled “Wind and the Triple Bottom Line” developed in partnership with the Endangered Wildlife Trust and the German government, is great news for wind energy developers as it turns a whirlwind of complicated legislation and regulations into a breeze, covering practices for all phases in the life of a wind farm.

Developing wind energy in South Africa will not come without challenges. The locations most favored and appropriate for wind energy developments tend to be in isolated areas that often lack basic infrastructure. The social dynamics in these places are complex, and it can be difficult for outsiders to gain a foothold in local communities. In addition, many people have concerns about the visual and acoustic impacts of wind power production, as well as its impact on bird and bat populations.

'Finding a happy medium for all these stakeholders is critical, as the wind energy sector has the potential to create thousands of direct and indirect jobs in the rural areas of the Northern, Western and Eastern Cape provinces. This injection of capital to our economy is essential if we are to address unemployment, which currently sits at 24.9%.'

The guidelines document recommends the use of environmental and social impact assessments to determine that new wind farms are built in the most strategic locations and as sustainably as possible.

Posted: 4/15/2013 (3:29:07 AM)

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