South Africans recently woke up to the news that the government is working on a new nuclear build of 2500MW. This, after the not-so-subtle collapse of the much-touted 9600MW Russian nuclear fleet in 2017.
Let’s analyse what the news changes in our lives over the next few years… Nothing. Not a thing, other than years and years of hot air and back-and-forth to meet conditions and requirements, ultimately for the Treasury to decide on whether the investment would, in fact, make sense at all. And as we know, he who holds the purse controls the shopping.
Beyond that, as Chris Yelland explained in a recent Daily Maverick column, the IRP does not make any provision for nuclear power until 2030. If this is to be changed, he explains, it needs to go to the government’s social partners, then be approved by Cabinet, and then be promulgated. Cross off many more months from the calendar.
There was good news this year – private players have been given the nod to produce up to 100MW electricity from renewable sources without having to apply for a license. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, and just how this pans out is unknown, but it is our sincere wish that the process is a huge success because the country needs it, and it is a step in the right direction.
The long and the short of it is that while there may be light at the end of the tunnel – it’s not powered by Eskom! Cynicism aside, there are still years ahead of a highly unstable electricity grid. Those among us who are adrenalin junkies will know what it is like watching the daily balance between what is available in the grid compared to the demand. There have been moments this winter that could turn anyone grey, and before you can blink, the Eskom warnings hit the news about potential load shedding, and then it’s implemented before you get over the main intersection on the way home.
This will be our reality – we must make peace with it. Not because we suddenly accept poor governance and mediocrity, but because we have no choice. Thankfully, there are a myriad of highly skilled installers of renewable power solutions that are working tirelessly to provide installations that can keep critical systems running. Perhaps the most exciting part of this is that over the years we have continually proven with our installer partners that 2nd LiFe batteries are perfect for storing the power generated.
This is what wakes us up in the morning – if we have the technology to harness mother nature’s free energy, how wonderful it is that we have the ability to store it in a way that does not add further stress to the environment. This is why we repurpose EV batteries to create 2nd LiFe storage solutions – if they’re as good, and in many cases better, as 1st LiFe, we believe it is a no-brainer to take the more environmentally friendly route.