8 August 2013 | ESI Africa
When countries select their electricity generation mix, there is no right or wrong answer, but usually the options and the dynamics in its electricity sector determine the outcome. Eskom communicates it can take up to seven years to build a new coal power station (at least this is how long Medupi is taking) and Nuclear even longer. Both have strong opposition from environmentalists. A new wind or solar plant can take as little as two years − however there are drawbacks to these renewables – no wind or sunshine = no power and the power flows intermittently depending on the weather.
According to the Bloomberg New Energy Finance research group, renewable energy investment in South Africa totalled UYS$5.5 billion in 2012 – more than China, Japan and many other ‘would-be green’ economies. Not bad for the world’s seventh-biggest coal producer. Read article