Posted by: barrmar on Mar 16, 2011
Eskom has never really viewed renewable energy as a real alternative to coal and nuclear power. To Eskom, these renewable sources are "Mickey Mouse" solutions.
Yes, Eskom has invested funds towards experiments in renewable energy. The company has even provided subsidies to encourage its customers to switch to solar water heating systems. These are commendable.
But it is obvious that Eskom has never really viewed renewable sources as a real alternative. For some reason, Eskom sees coal and nuclear power as the only way to provide a proper power supply into the future.
For that reason we are building the world's largest coal powered generators to increase the supply of electricity to the nation. Other Eskom plans include nuclear plants.
Nuclear power is considered to be relatively clean and safe. This is true as long as everything keeps working fine. But there is always a risk that something can go wrong. Koeberg faced a problem a while ago that stopped it from generating power and had the potential to put us at risk.
There have been many accidents at nuclear reactors around the world. Most of them have been kept very quiet by the governments concerned. Occasionally, the extent of the disaster is just too big to keep under wraps. Chernobyl is the biggest such case.
Renewable energy is viable. Technology is readily available to produce electricity from solar power using thermal solar energy. Why are we not implementing this type of solution?
Eskom has committed to ensure that South Africa produces one of the world's largest carbon footprints. But is anyone interested?