LYNNE BROWN: SA is not about to turn its back on power from coal
The complex journey to an energy mix combining coal, nuclear, gas and renewable-sourced energy must be undertaken with due consideration for those who rely on coal for a living, writes Lynne Brown
On the day last week that the High Court in Pretoria found that the climate change effects of a proposed new coal-fired power station had been inadequately considered, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) announced its intention to take action to stop job losses in the coal sector. This followed protest action two weeks ago by coal truck drivers who nearly brought Tshwane to a halt. They were protesting against renewable energy because their livelihood depends on transporting coal to coal-fired power stations and they had heard that four such power stations were to be closed. In fact, the reasons for the closures are more complex. Yes, Eskom is obviously cognisant of renewable energy coming on stream. In 2016 Eskom’s board nonetheless approved a fleet renewal strategy for ageing power stations in order to save jobs. Now, however, reduced energy demand has left the regulator no choice but to close down the ageing power stations.Whether or not the drivers were entirely correct in b...