People have a misconception that power stations generate "base load" and that nuclear and coal and gas power stations are up 100% of the time and renewables are "intermittent." I hope to dispel these myths here and show how we can get started.
- Base load is something large users need so that big power stations can be built, with low cost of electricity, but this isn't working anymore;
- Worldwide big power stations supply intermittent electricity!! They are assumed to up only 85% of the time. Eskom admit that, even with their 90 years of experience, their power system is up under 80% of the time.
On a particular day in November, 2013, only 28 GW was available. 1/3rd of their capability was down.
I wish to propose:
- We urgently look at alternatives. Smaller coal powered power stations that can service the needs of homeowners and SMME's should be built and paid for by the voters, and by unemployed people who want jobs, at less than half what Eskom are spending;
- Renewable energy should be installed in private houses and SMME's as quickly as possible. We can make electricity for ourselves between 6am and 10pm at our own cost, but like the big guys we should be allowed to invest before VAT and before tax;
- The big guys who need big power should plan and pay for it themselves. Taxpayers should not be on the hook for them anymore. It started with the gold mines in the early 20th century and it stops in the early 21st century. They have amassed more than enough wealth to pay for it themselves.
At exactly the time we should be turning our raw materials into finished products, using South African skill, ingenuity, capital and labour, our leaders have sold our land to the highest bidder, undermining our exchange rate, lining their pockets at our expense, selling our raw materials so that foreign countries can turn them into finished goods, for us to import!
We are in the 21st Century. Our costs, financial, and especially, on our environment, which has been carefully crafted to sustain life, must be brought under control and must not go up anymore.
How will we achieve this? Who will take charge? The big political parties are all the same. They all want to frack. They all want nuclear. None of them care that South Africa is a water scarce country. All of them make promises they don't keep which costs investors dearly, and puts jobs as risk.
Are we voting for leaders, for their pockets, for their new cars, or do we want public servants, who have the greater good in mind?
South Africa can grow like China and many other countries grow, but it cannot do it with the current leadership..
I don't have the answers. I just know that South Africa only has 35% of its current electricity requirement, and in the 21st Century, water and electricity are two core things we need for human life.
What will we do? Fight each other? Or trust and share with each other to bring our costs down?
It is up to us.