Big plans – bear in mind that this step establishes the infrastructure to support a large amount of solar generation – but doesn’t necessarily populate the ‘park’ with actual panels and solar plants. Government continues instead to promise far more money into nuclear energy – which comes with far greater cost and logistical risk.
South Africa is to unveil plans this week for what it claims will be the world’s biggest solar power plant – a radical step in a coal-dependent country where one in six people still lacks electricity.
The project, expected to cost up to 200bn rand (£18.42bn), would aim by the end of its first decade to achieve an annual output of five gigawatts (GW) of electricity – currently one-tenth of South Africa’s energy needs.
Giant mirrors and solar panels would be spread across the Northern Cape province, which the government says is among the sunniest 3% of regions in the world with minimal cloud or rain.