Monday, June 11, 2007

South Africa Places its Bets on Nuclear Energy

Columnist Melanie Gosling has taken a look at South Africa's energy budget, and she doesn't like what she sees:

Eskom has a budget of R6-billion for nuclear energy, but a mere R4,5-million for renewable energy.

This vast difference in South Africa's energy spending was highlighted at the Renewable Energy and Climate Change conference on Thursday, hosted by the Western Cape's department of environmental affairs and development planning.

Yaw Afrane-Okese, renewable energy specialist at the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa), told delegates that part of Nersa's job was to review Eskom's budget.

He said anyone who compared the amount Eskom spent on nuclear energy with the amount it spent on renewable energy, would be "amazed".

"If you compare this (R4,5m on renewables) to the billions on nuclear energy, really, there is nothing green here, far from green," Afrane-Okese said.
On the contrary, I think there's plenty of green in South Africa's plan, and I hope more local supporters of the industry stand up to counter this kind of propaganda.

To paraphrase a quote wrongly attributed to the late Willie Sutton, South Africa is betting on nuclear because that's where the clean air energy is.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yet renewable energy would provide a solution to another of South Africa's major problems, unemployment, or am I mistaken in my belief that renewable energy will create more jobs than nuclear.