Durban in plans to harness sea power

2012-05-02 08:54

Durban - Plans are under way for Durban to be the first South African city to generate electricity from the sea, The Mercury reported on Wednesday.

The project involves using the fast flowing Agulhas current to power floating generators.

Durban Investment Promotion Agency acting head Russell Curtis told The Mercury environmental impact studies still needed to be scrutinised.

"If everyone is happy from the environmental point of view, Durban will be the first customer to get electricity from the project," he was quoted as saying.

Ratepayers would not fund the development, which would cost R155m.

The project, set to be installed next year, was being driven by the city and business.


  • Fredster - 2012-05-02 09:13

    just build toll roads..there's your funding

      colin.dovey - 2012-05-02 09:44

      We NEED innovation in SA - in parallel with power production they should look at de-salination to produce potable water, and the SALT from that can be used to generate Power as well (it is being done elsewhere already) Then they, and ALL coastal cities should look at the same process, and from the coast, start excavating canals to carry water, and for barge traffic in 50 Km at first, to a settlement. At this settlement, they then plant Bamboo - for furniture making, homes, and CLOTHING (I have socks I bought from Woolworths made from Bamboo Fibre). They can then also plant Salicornia (a plant which looks like Asparagus, and grows well in "Brak" soils. This product can be dried out to produce flour for bread-making, it can be sold as is, as a delicacy. The oils extracted can be used for Cosmetics, and also for JET FUEL. The research has already been done for the last named, by Prof Hodges in Ethiopia a LONG time ago. We MUST become more positive as a nation, and do BRAIN-STORMING to generate Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, Jobs - this ANC lot will not change anything - WE, the people must work to find ideas how WE can make this WORK....the alternative at the moment is scary....all the ANC is giving is PROMISES, action! We did with stopping the useless E-tolling - surely there are South Africans who can stand up and be counted? Black, White, Coloured, Indian, Chinese....COME on!!!

      Benjaminiankemp - 2012-05-02 10:06

      Its the Mozambicque current. Thats why Durban has fair weather.

      Themba - 2012-05-30 18:56

      Colin.dovey - once I have finished my website I'll send you a link to comment. This is exactly what SA needs, nothing else. Your email is very inspiring, just look at the positive ticks-well done!

      Themba - 2012-05-30 18:56

      Colin.dovey - once I have finished my website I'll send you a link to comment. This is exactly what SA needs, nothing else. Your email is very inspiring, just look at the positive ticks-well done!

  • Jacques - 2012-05-02 09:20

    155 mil is a bargain if one is to consider what coal power stations, plus coal mining and transport and maintenance cost. I hope this works out, beats the hell out of waiting 10 more years for yet another coal plant.

      andynct - 2012-05-02 10:38

      How is it a bargin? You don't even know how much electricity it will produce. If anything.\r\nThis is an experiment. Nobody else has done it yet.

      Thando - 2012-05-02 14:10

      @ andynct They've done this in the UK somewhere

      andynct - 2012-05-02 16:20

      @Thando\r\nIn the UK is a small Tidal power station which gives intermittent power.\r\nNo Ocean current power stations exist as far as I can tell. That's why I say its experimental.

  • Christopher - 2012-05-02 09:20

    A step in the right direction...

  • Stephen - 2012-05-02 09:25

    Another shortsighted, useless waste of taxpayers money. Just like the, now defunct, electric car this "project" is once again a case of "we know that other nations have tried this and failed miserably but we think we can make it work". Tide power is ridiculously expensive on a cost per kilowatt basis and even in countries like the United Kingdom, where there is money a-plenty to spend, does not work efficiently. For heavens sake stop chasing these silly green inititaves and build some nuclear stations which do work. See Koeberg for an example

      thepatrickwinter - 2012-05-02 10:00

      I hope the conditions are right along Natal's coast for this sort of initiative. If business is funding it, it should have a better chance than a government project gone wrong.

      Stephen - 2012-05-02 10:02

      Err, read the article carefully, not tidal but using the Agulhas current. Research in this area is positive.

      stefan.vanderspuy - 2012-05-02 10:49

      Another 6 Koebergs will come in handy. Create jobs and enough electricity so we don't have to live with black-and brownouts.

      Stephen - 2012-05-02 10:58

      S.A. needs to become a tertiary based economy to survive. To do this, we need to push and motivate our scientists with projects like this and the electric car project. The UK does not have money a-plenty. Koeberg has broken down down twice in the last couple of years. Unfounded and short sighted comment.

  • ludlowdj - 2012-05-02 09:28

    Nice to see the ratepayer of Durban for once not being forced to fund a project they will have to pay for the services of for once. Hope this project becomes a reality, its a step in the right "green" direction.

      Mike - 2012-05-02 09:35

      where do you think the municipality get the money from - money does not fall from heaven - the money comes from the citizens of Natal. Even if the money came from central government - where does central government get the money from - the people of the country - so the people are paying for the project - like it or not

  • Andile - 2012-05-02 10:14

    Excellent news for us Durbanites, and SA as a whole. But with the demographics of Dbn having majority of Blacks and Indians, Mr Mpisane and Panday are smilling from ear to ear, rubbing their hands with pockets wide open. They say the Municipality (to me, that is Rate payers) and Business are funding the project.

  • djozmo - 2012-05-02 12:47

    What the hell are you on about Stephen, "stop chasing these silly green inititaves and build some nuclear stations which do work" why the hell can't people go green in search for a cleaner sollution??? nuke plants are cool, ye, they produce mamoth energy at with tiny amounts of uranium but they leave a DEADLY mess whcih will only be buried for the next generations to come. My vote is on Wind power, its working in other countries it sure as hell can work in SA. and it will! and if the farming the currents of the oceans is an option for clean energy i say go for it!

      Stephen - 2012-05-02 13:37

      "Wind power working in other countries" Denmark can generate up to 19% of its totsl requirement but due to the uncertainty of the wind and the fact that a conventional power station cannot just be taken off line and put back on line willy nilly Denmark runs all its conventional power stations all the time! if we could harness the energy from the hot air spoken about "the wind like man and the waves like man" we may be able to run Durbans beach front. I frankly doubt it though

  • Zighom - 2012-05-02 13:57

    If the city is behind this then taxpayers are paying for it, duh! And of course a few cpnnected business will smile all the way to the bank

  • djozmo - 2012-05-02 14:31

    @Stephan - I can agree there I know it is not possible to do without coal or nuclear power etc - without the grid collapsing, be it in the EU or Africa...But it does not mean nuclear or coal can't be reduced and PERHAPS oneday exchanged entirely to solar or green energy...the technlogy is there, its just the SCUM of the earth that prevent us from using it. Are you 100% against wind energy, or alternative energy?? why be anti people wanting to try other sollutions?? Do ou support the decline in the world also?

  • Derek Gerber - 2012-05-02 16:53

    Last time I checked the Agulhas current was on the West Coast, nice job reporter!

  • Ivan - 2012-05-02 19:25

    And pigs will fly! Feasibility studies are written to support how ever is paying the bill. Vetchies is the case in point.

      alansmartSnr - 2012-05-02 23:41

      Desalination of sea water has been a fact for the last 20 years in the Arab Emirates. Where the heck do you think they get all their fresh water from. They are also leaders in science / technology of generating electricity by means of wave action. This is a fact as every well travelled person would know. Admittedly it's not all that effective and maintenance is exorbit ant. Wind turbines in the North Sea supply the whole of Holland and they export power to neighbouring countries. There are so many options but not the will to go for it..Not with this pathetic government. Congrats to Durban for at least "Thinking gree"

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