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Energy crisis in South Africa paves the way for solar

The way towards cleaner energy production The recent developments in the energy sector in South Africa are mainly characterised by regular load shedding and power outage. Furthermore, non-renewable energy is known as a main source of carbon emissions. Experts agree that a shift in energy production is needed quickly as prices rise and South Africa wouldn’t reach its climate goals at this current pace.

A new energy plan

In the Integrated Resource Plan of the Department of Energy (DoE), released on october 29th, it is stated that solar energy is one of the main solutions in combatting the energy crisis. DoE recognises the importance of solar energy and forecasts an increase of its production around 560% by 2030. Coal (non-renewable) production would plummet from 71% to 43% by the same horizon. However, analysts point out that despite its decrease, the projected coal production is still too high to make a meaningful contribution to combating climate change.

Furthermore, a recent research from Harvard University and the University of Leicester (2019) concludes that the shift towards clean energy sources in South Africa would greatly impact the health of its inhabitants and even people abroad. Polluted air from power plants in South Africa travels as far as northern Angola because of winds and air circulation. The construction of new coal plants in South Africa will be detrimental to the health of tens of thousands in the southern part of the African continent. Joe Schwartz, co-autor of the study, states: “Africa has the opportunity to avoid the mistakes that much of the rest of the world has made in electricity generation and transportation.”

What does this signify for energy consumers?

Despite the various negative consequences that the current energy system presents in South Africa, a clear reticence is still observed in regard to abandoning fossil sources of energy. In the new energy plan, coal is projected to remain the main source of energy and the share of energy from natural gas will increase. However, as alternatives for fossil energy sources become viable, environmentally conscious energy consumers are beginning to have an impact in shaping the South African energy mix. Solar energy is proving to be a cleaner, more stable and cheaper source of energy.

By a mass adoption of clean energy sources like solar, the part of solar in the energy mix would skyrocket, surpassing the forecasts and starting to take over fossil sources. Leveraging the recent better attitude of the South African government in regard renewable energies, a substantial number of private and corporate consumers have been following the “Green Path”.

Don’t hesitate and join the movement. Help reshaping the energy mix for the better and guarantee yourself of a positive environmental legacy.

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