Water, Sewage & Effluent January-February 2017 - Page 23

fossil fuels for electricity generation .
In the draft policy , the Department of Water and Sanitation maintains that the country has the potential to develop hydropower at existing water infrastructure . “ Instead of dams being constructed … existing reservoirs that are used for other purposes can be fitted with hydropower plants in order to augment electricity supply towards meeting peak electricity demands ,” it states .
Due to the shift towards renewable energy , hydropower projects — such as those that would see technology retrofitted to existing dams — are environmentally and financially attractive as a result of pre-existing suitable water infrastructure .
According to the ministry , it would collaborate with the Department of
Energy , which is running the Independent Power Producer ( IPP ) Procurement Programme , through which government procures electricity generated from solar , wind , biomass , small hydro and landfill gas power plants . Private sector investment in the IPP Procurement Programme , which was launched in 2011 , currently exceeds R194-billion .
The Department of Water and Sanitation owns 316 large dams , which are located across South Africa . To date , 30 dams have been rehabilitated and a further six are currently undergoing rehabilitation , with another 32 projects at various stages of design and tendering .
South Africa ’ s National Development Plan sets a target of 20 000MW of renewable energy capacity , while the updated Integrated Resource Plan for electricity ( released for public
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