Proposed Western Cape wind farms all about earning carbon credits
By: Terry Mackenzie-
Published: 10 Feb 12
This is the third article about the proposed wind farms in the Western Cape. For those of you who use the earlier articles to light a braai or those Natal graduates who used it to roll a zol, the story is that the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has completed an environmental-
Specifically, an organisation called InnoWind is proposing to establish four commercial wind energy facilities near the towns of Swellendam, Heidelberg, Albertinia and Mossel Bay, in the Western Cape. The project would consist of about 70 turbines of up to 3 MW capacity each. It is estimated that there would be ten turbines near Swellendam, another ten near Heidelberg, six near Albertinia and 44 near Mossel Bay. The combined generation capacity would be about 210 MW.
You may think this just amounts to a few terribly sweet, twee slightly oversize-
So, in short, the visual effect on the Western Cape landscape will be truly awful.
Take the chimneys at the Athlone power station, in Cape Town – the wind turbines will be half again as high, which is about two-
The CSIR report says the visual impact will be “medium to high”. Really? The tennis player, John McInroe, when one of his strokes was called out, used to say: “You can’t be ****** serious . . . *****.”
In the two earlier instalments of this columns, I explained why we do not need inter-
Is it really worth it? Not on kilowatt hours alone. But the real reason why developers want to stuff up the visual aspects of the Cape is to maintain the right of the US to pollute. It is all about carbon credits. A carbon credit is created when the equivalent of one ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) is prevented from entering the atmosphere. Each carbon credit has a monetary value that is dependent on the type and origin of the emission reduction produced.
Each carbon credit can be traded on the open market, with the current international spot rates averaging R120/t. Now, if an organisation in the US has to reduce its emissions of CO2 by, say, 200 t/y, then all that has to happen is to erect wind turbines in the Western Cape, which, supposedly, prevents Eskom from emitting a few tons of greenhouse gases, allowing the US to just continue polluting after paying the wind turbine operator.
So, effectively, we are selling the US the right to continue polluting by erecting visually appal-