Hold the Hydro-Powered Wagon!

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hydroelectric power station
by Lampeduza

At the Hydropower Africa Conference in Johannesburg earlier this week it was highlighted that hydropower could save Africa -billion a year in terms of electricity generation and regional power trade. While capital cost and infrastructure propose a current obstacle to developing hydropower, departmental governments attending the conference sat up and noticed.

Nelisiwe Magubane, director-general of South Africa’s Department of Energy, said that the hydropower potential in Africa could not be underestimated at this critical time in the continent’s development. Meanwhile WWF has advocated the construction of Kusile, Eskom’s coal-fired power station to be built after the Medupi power station, be stopped. There has also been recent reports that there will be a electricity supply shortfall which will emerge again during the course of next year. Uganda is starting to look into developing small hydropower plants, while Rwanda’s ministry of infrastructure head of hydropower Emmanuel Kirenga announed at the conference that Rwanda is planning to boost its hydropower generation. Zambia is constructing its hydropower plant by 2011.

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