Green is the way to go

The expanded public works programme in action in Riverlea, Johannesburg

The expanded public works programme in action in Riverlea, Johannesburg

The ANC government is looking to fundamentally change the way state institutions relate to society. This was the word from Gauteng MEC for Infrastructure Development Nandi Mayathula-Khoza on Tuesday during her budget speech.

“As a department, we are contributing handsomely to creating a smart, and green economy. The Gauteng provincial government has developed the Gauteng Energy Mix Strategy in order to contribute towards renewable energy generation. Our role is to implement the green agenda in Gauteng’s infrastructure,” she said.

In Gauteng hospitals, there are 77 boilers that are fuelled by coal and a programme is under way to replace them with gas and diesel boilers. The province’s existing natural gas infrastructure will provide the backbone for delivering natural gas to the hospitals. Half of Gauteng government buildings will use green technologies by 2019.

The department is also undertaking the following projects:

- The Roof-top Solar PV Rollout Programme, which is the energy efficient project emanating from Gauteng’s integrated demand management plan. “This project will be rolled out in this financial year and a transactional advisor is being appointed to develop the procurement documents by next week,” Mayathula-Khoza said. 

- The Energy Efficiency Retrofit Programme. LED technology has changed the world of lighting forever, delivering major savings in energy. The Gauteng government, in partnership with Eskom, has conducted energy audits for all the province’s 237 clinics with a view to replacing the lighting at all healthcare centres. It has already replaced 105 381 out of 282 333 lighting systems with LEDs across the province, which accounts for 37.3% and these lights are expected to run for three years. It is also installing 37 smart-meters at six hospitals to measure energy usage.

- The Gas Supply Program involves migrating from coal and diesel to gas for 21 hospitals with 24 boilers. The aim is to complete the conversion of all 53 coal powered boilers within this financial year. This will be done through a public-private partnership process.

- The Cogen/Trigen/Quattrogen Programme provides the ability to simultaneously generate power, which is useful for heat and cooling from the combustion of natural gas. Cooling is achieved using a combined-cooling-and-heating system’s heat, carefully matched and closely coupled to an absorption chiller. Six hospitals are earmarked for this programme. The procurement process for these projects is already underway and construction will commence early in this financial year.