While geothermal energy is renewable and can be used for baseload supply, the major challenge surrounding this type of energy in South Africa is that exploration is expensive, which is why it has yet to be undertaken in the country, says Royal Haskoning DHV energy consultant David Johnson.
Speaking at the Power-Gen Africa Conference in Sandton, Gauteng, Johnson said that most of South Africa has very low geothermal potential, owing to the country’s temperate climate. He added, however, that there are potentially suitable resources in South Africa, owing to the presence of hot springs in the country.
“The potential has not yet been established, but there are some structures and faults that come all the way to the surface, with a water source below that is anything between 5km and 20km deep.”
Johnson further said that, recently, a magnetic profile from the south to the north of the country had been undertaken to see how thick the earth’s crust is and to potentially look at the viability of geothermal exploration in the county. “We have just scratched the surface in South Africa at this stage, it is an open field for exploration and we just need the funding to do it.”
Source: Engineering News