Tuesday, 1 May 2012

South Africa still needs coal for energy

Greenpeace has challenged South Africa´s major energy company Eskom in a spoof ad to cancel the building of the coal-fired power plant Kusile. However, Eskom´s reply to the enviro-fundamentalists is quite clear: 

The electricity utility's response to Greenpeace Africa's challenge was a stolid "no".
In its response, Eskom said the demand for power in South Africa justified the building of two coal-fired power plants - Kusile and Medupi.
The Medupi plant is nearing completion and Kusile, according to Eskom spokesman Hilary Joffe, is "on track to start emitting power to the national grid by 2014".
"If we're to support economic growth and job investment, we need to make sure we can electrify households.
"Neither wind farms nor solar plants generate electricity all the time. That's why you need both baseload [sources] and renewables," it said.
According to Bruno Merven, a researcher at the Energy Research Centre at the University of Cape Town, solar, wind and nuclear power can provide only a very limited amount of electricity.
Read the entire article here
What Merven says certainly is true at least about solar and wind power. If South Africa wants to give its citizens a chance to a better life, it needs economic growth . Economic growth is not possible without energy. The best and most economic source of energy in South Africa is king coal, no matter how much  Greenpeace is trying to demonize it. 

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