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SA can learn from EU: How it’s dealing with an extreme, unforeseen energy crisis

18 May 2022 3:03 PM
Tags:
Eskom
Loadshedding
Electricity
Renewable energy
Europe
Energy crisis
John Maytham
Afternoon Drive with John Maytham
Nick Hedley

John Maytham interviews Nick Hedley about an article he wrote for News24.

South Africa should study Europe’s response to its unexpected energy crisis, writes Nick Hedley in News24.

It wants to cut gas imports from Russia by 66% before the end of the year, and most of the replacement energy will come from solar PV.

The EU aims to have 300 GW of solar power by 2025 and 500 GW by 2030.

Some European countries are aiming for 1,000 GW by the end of the decade.

© zhaojiankangphoto/123rf.com

RELATED: Cape Town aims to soon be 1st city in South Africa without loadshedding


In addition to utility-scale solutions, countries in Europe are pushing for the mass adoption of large-scale rooftop solar.

The continent is changing its regulations to allow issuing of generation permits in fewer than three months.

South Africa has a lot of sun and wind, renewables have become cheap and, most importantly, they are the fastest way to add new capacity.

A large solar plant can produce electricity in a bit more than a year while a wind farm can take two years. Battery storage can be built in 100 days.

Medupi and Kusile – Eskom’s newest coal-fired power stations – have been under construction for almost 15 years.

Eskom spends R800 million a month on diesel for emergency power to keep load shedding at a lower stage, or to prevent it altogether.

It’s been three years since the government announced the emergency power procurement programme, but nobody has been given permission to start producing.


RELATED: 'Renewables now half the price of coal – that’s where the money’s at'


Load shedding has been around for 15 years, and we still haven’t sorted it out! Europe’s crisis is brand-new, it comes from shifting away from Russian oil and gas very quickly. They plan to be on top of it within months…

Nick Hedley, freelance journalist

… it [renewables] has been extremely competitive in terms of pricing and efficiency… South Africa has much better solar resources than most European countries.

Nick Hedley, freelance journalist

Local content requirements make sense but our number one priority right now, is having a stable electricity supply… it only really makes sense to pursue mostly solar and wind energy from now on, because it is the cheapest energy in the world.

Nick Hedley, freelance journalist



18 May 2022 3:03 PM
Tags:
Eskom
Loadshedding
Electricity
Renewable energy
Europe
Energy crisis
John Maytham
Afternoon Drive with John Maytham
Nick Hedley

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