October 7 2015 at 05:08pm
By Nicolette Dirk
Eco-mobility and the shift to public transport was one of the key topics discussed during a session on transport and eco-mobility at the South African International Renewable Energy Conference (Sairec).
Sustainable Low Carbon Transport (Slocat) secretary-general Cornie Huizenga said on Tuesday
countries and cities are starting to regulate the use of cars.
“I live in Xinhua in China where since 1998 you need to bid for the right to drive
a car. China is one of the larger countries implementing this regulation,” he said.
With a car licence in Xinhua costing between $7 000 and $8 000 (R105 000), Huizenga said that annually generates close to a billion dollars a year.
He said this type of income generated would be especially useful to further develop the
Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system in Cape Town.
Huizenga added that another issue to focus on was how to sustain the model of public transport in countries that is often under pressure.
“When it come to creating more public transport, there must also be a focus on
reducing the environmental footprint and making it as clean as possible.”
While electric vehicles are being looked at as an environmentally friendlier mode of transport, Huizenga said it was not the only solution.
Transport contributes more than a quarter of CO2 emissions, which Huizenga said proved that more needed to be done when it comes to using renewable energy for transport.
South African National Energy Development Institute (Sanedi) Green Transport senior manager Carel Snyman said South Africa is still busy catching up to the rest of the world when it comes to transport.
“The idea is still that vehicles need to be powered by oil. I know with new programmes like the BRT systems, it is a way of looking at alternative fuels.
But this does not address alternative energy use,” he said.
Snyman said that while gas may be the cleanest fuel, when it comes to burning energy inside an engine, you have major losses in terms of heat.
“In normal petrol-driven cars 64 percent of fuel is used for heat and only 20
percent goes into the kilometres. The change in South Africa is not being
pushed as it should be. “But this is why I am happy that we have the first session Sairec session in South Africa that focuses on renewable energy in
He added that alternative transport using gas and electricity has been discussed
with their partners. So the seed to grow renewable energy in transport in South
Africa has been started.