The renewable energy lobby is becoming the victim of overoptimism (Utility distorts facts about renewable energy, January 16). Eskom has accepted that renewables made a positive contribution during 2015 when we were really short of energy; but in 2016 it became a cost. The latest quarterly Eskom report showed Eskom being required to pay renewable energy producers an average of R2.16/kWh, versus own generation average costs of R0.61/kWh. Worse is the relentless message from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research on how we could be fully reliant on renewable energy in only a few years’ time, so the latest Integrated Resource Plan is too conservative and the floodgates should open for renewables. Unfortunately, there is an ongoing test of how far you can go, and it has shown the limits. Recently the German economist Heiner Flassbeck, former director of macroeconomics at Unctad and a former state secretary of finance, said Germany will never be able to rely on renewable ener...

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