World Geothermal Congress 2020+1
March - October, 2021

South Africa Geothermal Country Update (2020)


[UNISA, South Africa]

Coal is abundant and relatively cheap in South Africa and thus coal burning power stations are the major suppliers of South Africa’s electrical energy requirements. In the past, very little attention was devoted to research on renewable energy. This is changing slowly with some attention being given to wind and solar energy. None has been devoted to geothermal energy production. This is probably due to the fact that the region is considered to be tectonically stable. Despite this, however, the country is well-endowed with thermal springs. More than 80 thermal springs with water temperatures ranging from 25ºC to 71ºC have been reported. All the thermal springs are of meteoric origin. Around 29 of the thermal springs have been developed for direct use, mainly as leisure and recreational resorts. The (South African) Water Research Commission funded a research project in 2010 that focused on investigating the potential uses of thermal springs. This paper gives an overview of energy production in South Africa, government policies on renewable energy, and the latest research on the geology, geophysics, chemical and biological properties of thermal spring resources and potential uses other than energy production.

        Topic: Country Updates Paper Number: 01002

         Session 1A: Country Updates 1 -- New Areas [Tuesday 13th April 2021, 12:00 am] (UTC-8)
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