SA’s Power Situtation

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Slowing coal-fired power station decommissioning: Sheer lunacy or a smart move? – Ivo Vegter

The South African government has discussed slowing down the decommissioning of old coal-fired power stations due to a severe electricity shortage that is causing rolling blackouts. Eskom, the state-owned electricity supplier, currently uses only half of its installed generation capacity of 48GW. The Integrated Resource Plan of 2019 had projected the decommissioning of up to 35GW worth of coal-fired power stations by 2050. However, more than 10GW of that was due by 2030, and 6GW by 2023. Vegter argues that the move towards renewable energy sources in South Africa is being rushed and that the high cost and technical difficulties involved in renewable energy need to be considered. The article also notes that indoor air pollution, particularly in rural and township kitchens, is a far greater threat to the health of South Africans than air pollution caused by coal-fired power plants.

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