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As business and the state lean towards gas as an intermediate fuel between our current dependence on coal and our future commitment to renewable energy, some voices are being raised about the futility of inventing, building and paying for an entirely new energy infrastructure to power SA, only for it to be abandoned for renewables.

In other words, natural gas, by the time we are burning it for electricity, will be obsolete and hideously expensive.

Listen as Peter Bruce quizzes amaBhungane veteran Susan Comrie on her pioneering recent reporting on the “burning” question of the moment. How much gas will we actually need?As it turns out, very little, if any. So why bother?

Should we not be moving directly from coal to renewables, asks Bruce: “In SA,” says Comrie, “we have this idea that resources are the things that we mine out of the ground. But we have incredible resources around us like solar and wind, and for a country with such an endowment to not be using that is a kind of moral and economic madness.”​

Podcasts from the Edge is a production of TimesLIVE Podcasts.

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