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Johannesburg shows green credentials

City prepares to host African Utility Week
 Johannesburg skyline
 
 

The City of Johannesburg will welcome some 5,000 power professionals from more than 60 countries for the annual African Utility Week, the continent’s largest utility services conference and exhibition, taking place from 21-24 May at Nasrec Expo Centre.

Johannesburg’s 2040 vision is to create a world class African city of the future – a vibrant equitable African city, strengthened through its diversity, a city that provides real quality of life; a city that provides sustainability for all its citizens; a resilient and adaptive society.

The city’s sustainability cluster is responsible for implementing energy solutions that are supportive of a low carbon infrastructure. The city’s flagship projects in waste management and energy conservation solutions will be on display during African Utility Week.

The city’s Energy Sector Director in the Infrastructure and Services Department, Thabo Mahlatsi,says the city is serious about diversifying its energy mix to provide total household energy solutions. “Watch this space, we are coming with alternative energy sources that will make Joburg the benchmark to show how best energy resources can be utilised to benefit citizens.

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"Joburg will be the centre of excellence in terms of policy framework, and practical implementation of low carbon economic infrastructure that will be the benchmark for all municipalities in the country and even internationally,” he said.

Johannesburg has embarked on a first for the country, setting up a waste to energy facility through a private partnership project, which should be operational by 2015. Palesa Mathibeli, Senior Project Manager, Alternative Waste Treatment Technology Projects for the city, will explain at African Utility Week how easy it was to get institutional support for the project.  

“There are various benefits for the city”, says Palesa, “We will be reducing a lot of waste going to landfills which are under a lot of pressure. We envisage that 500,000 tonnes of waste per year will be processed this way. The facility will produce 60-75 megawatts of renewable energy per day,” she said. Revenue from the sale of by-products such as recyclable waste, heat and bioenergy will be generated while there is the potential for the City of Johannesburg to earn carbon credits.

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