Stellenbosch, South Africa — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 29 June 2011 – Upington’s sources of solar irradiation for solar power generation are 20% better than those for areas in United States where some of the largest solar power plants are currently under construction, and 40% to 50% above those of Spain.
Revealing this here, Professor Wikus van Niekerk ‒ director of the University of Stellenbosch Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES) ‒ said these figures were based on analysis of solar irradiation data provided to the centre by Eskom. The analysis indicated that areas west of Upington had even better sources of solar irradiation.
According to Van Niekerk, figures show that solar plants built in these areas would generate more power than plants elsewhere for the same capital outlay. They would give power providers a better yield, enabling loans to be paid off more quickly.
With funding from the United Nations Environment Programme, the CRSES handed the solar irradiation data to a firm in Slovakia for analysis. The firm, GeoModel Solar, analysed the data together with 17 years of satellite data.