Govt praised for commitment to green energy

BioTherm's Ludwig van Aarde says government has made the energy sector more competitive.

FILE: An aerial view of the Kaxu One solar power plant in Poffader - Northern Cape, Monday 2 March 2015. Picture: Supplied.

CALEDON - A Western Cape-based renewable energy company believes that government has shown its commitment to green energy by opening up the sector for competition.

BioTherm Energy runs a wind farm just outside Caledon as well as solar energy projects in the Northern Cape.

It is among hundreds of renewable energy initiatives contributing about 2% of the electricity to the national power grid.

The BioTherm wind farm has nine turbines each with the capacity to generate three megawatts of electricity.

Its managing director, Ludwig van Aarde, says the Department of Energy has made the industry more competitive.

"In round one, everyone was trying to understand the market and the project was expensive to build because it was the first for local companies."

Van Aarde says Eskom initially struggled to understand the impact that renewable energy projects could have on the national grid.

He adds that the power utility has eventually come around because of its work with independent sustainable power producers.