Can renewables solve the Eskom problem?

With the power utility failing to keep the lights on as its traditional power plants show more frequent signs of ageing and disrepair, focus has now shifted to the power of renewable energy.

16 July 2021

South Africa’s power utility Eskom supplies about 95% of the country’s electricity needs. Well, it’s supposed to. But time and again, it’s found wanting, with the dreaded loadshedding becoming an all-too-regular burden to our daily lives. With government finally recognising that other options do exist, and many of Eskom’s coal-fired power plants nearing end-of-life, focus has now shifted to the power of renewable energy provided by independent power producers (IPPs).

Another case for renewables is that the South African government says it remains committed to addressing climate change based on science, equity and sustainable development. In February this year, the Presidential Climate Change Commission representing government, business, civil society and organised labour met for the first time to discuss how the country develops a just transition from the current high emission economy to a low carbon economy and society.

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