Consumer choice of ‘green’ or ‘black’ energy a world first
In a global first for environmental protection and Nelson Mandela Bay, residents will soon be able to choose “green” over “black” energy to power their homes.
The groundbreaking development will see prepaid electricity consumers being given the option to buy either electricity derived from coal-based power stations or “clean electricity” generated through renewable sources.
Full details are expected to be unveiled at the launch of the project in Port Elizabeth this week.
Considered a global first by energy exchange company Powerx, which engineered the clean energy initiative, the new energy source option will be available to households without any extra costs or technical changes to their pre-paid meter boxes.
And, according to Marcel Steinberg, founder and chief executive of Clean Energy Africa (CEA) – of which Powerx is a subsidiary – energy is expected to be supplied at lower costs to consumers in the future, as more renewable energy becomes available.
“This is the first time in the world that people are being given an option to purchase either green or black energy through a pre-paid meter platform,” Steinberg said.
“But this is all about the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality whose vision has been to become the green capital of Africa.”
South Africa’s first licensed energy exchange company, Powerx already enjoys an energy supply relationship with the municipality.
Outlining the initiative, Steinberg explained that as a licensed energy trader, Powerx purchased “green” energy from sources such as wind and solar farms and then introduced the power into the municipality via the national grid.
“In practical terms, consumers simply make the choice at their pre-paid electricity purchase point. Nothing else changes,” he said.
“Powerx has had a world-class automated management system developed which measures and verifies both the amount of power generated through independent power producers [like wind farms] and that consumed by customers.
“This is only the beginning, so households cannot yet access 100% renewable energy,” he said.
“Simply put, as renewable energy becomes available on the grid, it gets credited to consumers who selected the green energy option.
“They still enjoy full access to power, regardless of the availability of renewable energy at any given time.”