The Renewable Energy Transition in South Africa

The Future Depends on The Sustainable Work We Do Today.

As the world evolves, the energy sector is once again experiencing radical transformation, so do the requirements and expertise needed to support it.

Renewable Energy are increasingly displacing ‘dirty’ fossil fuels in the power sector, offering the benefit of lower emissions of carbon and other types of pollution.

Now that we have increasingly innovative and less-expensive ways to capture and retain wind and solar energy, Renewable Energy are becoming a more important power source, accounting for more than one-eighth of U.S. generation. The expansion in Renewable Energy is also happening at scales large and small, from rooftop solar panels on homes that can sell power back to the grid to giant offshore wind farms. Even some entire rural communities rely on renewable energy for heating and lighting. As renewable use continues to grow, a key goal will be to add stability to the electricity grid in South Africa, making it smarter, more secure, and better integrated across provinces.

NPM Geomatics’early adoption of innovative equipment and techniques have enabled us to stay at the forefront of land surveying in South Africa. With a history spanning over 115 years, we are fully committed to helping South Africa transition to Renewable Energy. Being a large survey firm enables us to tackle projects across the country. Our experienced professional land surveyors use cutting edge technology like 3D Laser scanning, UAV, Lidar and Photogrammetry. We will work with you from the initial design and layout, to the final build and deliverables, providing spatial data services in support of the design, legal and safety requirements of your project.

Services Offered for Renewable Energy Projects

The wide range of expertise in the company arises from broad and diverse experience, including working throughout Southern and Central Africa. As a result, the portfolio of services that the company provides is comprehensive and includes the following:

NPM GEOMATICS offers the following services:

  1. Traditional Surveying and Geomatics
    1. Sectional Title Surveys
    2. Topographical Surveys
    3. Road and Pipeline Strip Surveys
    4. 3D Laser Scanning and Data Modeling
    5. Setting Out Surveys
    6. Control, Engineering and Monitoring Surveys
    7. Hydrographic Surveys
    8. Cadastral Surveys
    9. Human Settlements and General Plans
    10. Aerial, Lidar and Drone Surveys
  2. Dispute Resolution and Commercial and Built Environment Mediation
  3. GIS Consulting and Data Capture
  4. Land Reform
  5. Cadastral and Land-Legal Consulting

Renewable Energy in South Africa

For years, South Africa’s transition from coal to renewables has been beset by difficulties, resulting in the country producing very low decarbonisation levels. South Africa is currently the most industrialised economy in Africa and the biggest source of carbon emissions. With 80% of the country’s electricity still sourced from coal, developed countries have courted South Africa as a model for transitioning to renewables (Source: https://mg.co.za/opinion/2021-11-28-south-africas- just-energy-transition-a-balancing-act/)

South African utility Eskom has announced plans to invest $7.3bn in renewable energy over the next nine years.

The move is intended to begin the country’s transition from coal, which presently accounts for 80% of its electricity supply, reports Afrik21. The state-owned company said the money would be used to build concentrated solar power (CSP) and photovoltaic plants, as well as wind farms. The company is already working on a CSP plant near Upington in the northern Cape province. This uses mirrors rather than photovoltaic panels, and directs rays at a central receiving tower which uses molten salt as a thermal storage medium. The plant is intended as a pilot project for future SCP schemes. In the first phase of the plan, which will be implemented over the next two years, relatively small-scale photovoltaic plants will be built on the sites of former coal stations in Arnot, Duvha, Lethabo, Majuba and Tutuka. These will have a total capacity of 246MW. In the second phase, due to be implemented between 2023 and 2025, a 600MW photovoltaic plant will be added to the 100MW Sere wind farm in the Western Cape and a 750MW CSP facility will be built in Olyvenhoutsdrift in the Northern Cape. A number of windfarms will also be developed, with a total output of 750MW. The third phase of Eskom’s plan, which is less detailed, will add 3GW of solar capacity and 3.1GW of wind power between 2025 and 2030. As the renewable energy comes online, Eskom intends to decommission up to 12GW of coal-fired capacity by 2031 (Source: https://www.globalconstructionreview.com/south-africa-kickstarts-energy-transition-with-7bn- renewables-plan/)

NPM Geomatics

About Us

The company has origins dating back to 1905 when the Horne brothers established their practice in Queenstown., and for many years practiced as Horne and Horne, later becoming Horne and Preston. The firm changed its name to Nzelenzele Preston & Medcalf in 2000, becoming NPM Geomatics in 2007. In 2002, the company acquired the East London based firm Parkin, Tomlinson and Partners (PTP). The earliest record in the old leather bound notebook belonging to land surveyor Parkin is dated 1918. This book was used to keep records and notes of all surveys done in the various blocks and sections of old East London.

We specialise in Land, Cadastral, Sectional Title, 3D Laser Scanning, Topographical and Engineering Surveying.

Cover Photo: Photo by Abby Anaday on Unsplash