Freedom Front Plus
Freedom Front Plus

Kusile crisis: Move away from coal

The crisis at the Kusile power plant in Mpumalanga confirms the FF Plus's view that there should be a deliberate attempt to move away from coal power plants.

During the recent parliamentary debate on the Energy budget, the ANC repeatedly emphasised that there should be no competition between renewable energy sources and coal, but that the two should complement each other. More than once a rhetorical question was raised: should South Africa leave its valuable coal reserves in the earth?

In the FF Plus's view, coal and renewable sources of energy can in no way be considered equal alternatives. Burning coal contributes significantly to climate change, while solar and wind power only do so during the construction phase.

On the one hand, new methods are being developed to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but on the other hand, tons are being emitted back into the atmosphere with coal combustion.

The problems at Kusile also serve to emphasise the vulnerability of highly concentrated power generation, as is the case in South Africa. The alternative is the decentralised generation of power where nearly every consumer is also a provider of electricity by means of network-connected plants. Eskom's power distribution network can connect all these producers-consumers with one another.

The cost of generating and storing renewable energy is continually decreasing, thus, abolishing coal power plants seems increasingly more like a conceivable possibility.

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