help us to help the govt to help all of us go solar

Submitted by turbosprout on Tue, 2010-09-07 11:17

join the solar water heating campaignjoin the solar water heating campaignThe sprouts want to go solar and we need your help. In fact we want to help you go solar too. What we really want is for you to help yourselves to go solar. Actually, we need your help to help the government to help us all to go solar!

Project 90x2030, Oxfam, 350.org, urban sprout and Activist! are calling on the government to spend R 60 billion wisely and commit this money to buying South Africa four million solar water heaters instead of spending it on more coal-fired power stations. Sign this online petition to urge the government to supply households with free solar water heating systems.

The country is already locked into the building of the Medupi power station at an estimated cost of R 125-billion and The Mail & Guardian reported in May the likely cost of the Kusile power plant will be R 175-billion.

This huge capital outlay is buying us a lot more coal pollution, increasing our carbon dioxide emissions, putting strain on our water resources, and ultimately contributing to climate change.

Instead R 60 billion could kickstart a green economy by creating thousands of new jobs, avoiding 240 million tons of carbon emissions over 20 years, saving homeowners on their electricity bills and sending a message to the world that we are serious about tackling climate change.

Relative to our size, South Africa contributes far more than most countries to climate change. But SA is also one of the world's sunniest countries. And we have a high unemployment rate.

All of these factors could be harnessed to make use of an incredible opportunity. Instead of building more coal-fired, climate changing power plants, South Africa should dramatically expand the number of domestic solar water heaters.

The government has already committed to increase the number of installed solar water heaters, and has insitituted limited subsidies to support homeowners who want to switch to or supplement with solar.

Let's give government a nudge to help them help ourselves. Sign the online petition and get SA on a cleaner footing.

According to Project90x2030 calculations, backed up by expert assessments, the South African government could buy four million free solar water heaters for R60 billion. Four million solar water heaters would displace 12,000,000 MW hours of electricity per year. Investment in clean energy can cut out the need for Kusile!