Eskom Set to Become Key Player in South Africa’s Transition to Renewable Energy
As renewable energy becomes cheaper, South African cities aim to find their own energy sources and lessen their reliance on the country’s undependable electricity grid. State-owned utility Eskom relies on ageing coal-fired power stations, and used more than 90 million tons of coal in 2019. South Africa’s power utility has been marred by poor maintenance, ailing power stations and corruption which has led to rolling blackouts – known as load shedding – that has plagued the country since 2014.
In light of Eskom’s inability to provide a stable source of electricity to the country, the government is looking at transitional energy as a solution to its power woes. A new report entitled Power by All: Alternatives to a Privately Owned Future for Renewable Energy in South Africa from the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), suggests that certain policy shifts may help South Africa move faster toward transitioning away from fossil fuels. The report examines four international case studies including Germany, Denmark, Morocco and the United Kingdom, which are shifting away from fossil fuel operations to using renewable energy.
According to the report, the Ørsted, Denmark case study demonstrates that committed leadership and support from the government has the potential to transform the energy sector of a country and transition from fossil fuels to renewables.
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