SA’s future growth depends on energy blend with coal at its core
Rob Jeffrey argues renewable sources lack reliability and scope to help country prosper
The choice between a path of economic growth or stagnation over the next decade depends on the energy mix selected for SA and the policy choices that are made for this country. Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown recently gave cause for hope when she said SA was not about to turn its back on coal. However, the debate still rages on how quickly SA will move towards renewables. The criticism of Eskom and its executives for refusing to sign power purchase deals with 37 independent producers selected under the government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) is unjustified and unfair. They were merely carrying out their mandate to provide electricity in an efficient and sustainable manner, as a strategic contributor to the government’s goal of ensuring power security and enabling economic growth and prosperity. The facts strongly suggest that renewable sources of energy — primarily wind and solar — cannot help Eskom achieve its mandate and aim...
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