The South African National Energy Institute (SANERI) will introduce the concept of solar energy for private city transport at the International Solar Energy Society (ISES) Solar World Congress 2009 hosted by the Sustainable Energy Society of South Africa (SESA) in Sandton next week.
The launch forms part of the Green Transport Programme of SANERI managed by Dr Zwanani Mathe.
The conference will concentrate on issues for developing countries who, like South Africa, have an abundance of sun and other renewable energy resources.
The topic, “Renewable Energy Shaping Our Future” is a timely one as the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is a major agenda item for governments, industries and the community to address as climate change is becoming one of the greatest concerns facing humanity.
A small electric utility vehicle, developed together with Global Composites in Pietermaritzburg during the Eskom electric vehicle programme in the early 2000s and exhibited in France on a motor show at the time, will be on display.
Energy from the sun reaches the earth continuously and free of pollution free. One hectare of solar cells can produce 50 000kWh of energy during five hours of sunshine, which translates into 180 000 Megajoules of energy. With this amount of energy, an electric city car can drive about 250 000km – or 50 000 cars can drive 50km daily.
The cost for this energy would be about 40c per kilometrs and, because solar energy is free with the only cost being the installation of solar cells, the cost remains the same for about 20 years.