Companies debate over alternative energy sources for SA

Companies offering alternatives to coal-fuelled power are hoping to fill the gap created by Eskom.

FILE: South African mining companies are bracing for massive losses this year due to the impact of rolling blackouts. Picture: Free Images

CAPE TOWN - South African mining companies are bracing for massive losses this year due to the impact of rolling blackouts.

Companies offering alternatives to coal-fuelled power are hoping to fill the gap created by Eskom's inability to keep up with electricity demand.

At the 2015 Annual African Mining Indaba Conference being held in Cape Town, some delegates are debating the viability of solar power to help mines.

A German mining firm says it's already seeing successes in this regard in Namibia.

Cronimet's Riley Armstrong says NamPower has allowed it to join the country's grid by supplying solar power.

"Southern Africa has probably some of the best solar resources on the planet. We know that the mining resources are some of the richest on the planet, combine those two and you have the opportunity to create renewable energy."

At the same time, the risk of load shedding today and for the rest of the week remains high as Eskom battles to keep up with electricity demand.

Several generators are out on maintenance and there've been technical faults which have further crippled supply.

The power utility continues to ask that South Africans use electricity sparingly.