South Africa finds itself at a complicated crossroads of its energy development, and the direction many signals point towards forces … Continue reading South Africa’s Base Load Addiction
Within the context of South African energy development, and less so within the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), I often find myself being misunderstood as to the role coal plays within the energy economy.
I recognize, on the surface, many observers and colleagues alike, may gather an impression I am advocating for the unequivocal closure of all coal assets and the direct economies they support. Nothing could be further from the truth, and although my knowledge and experiences tell me, coal’s impacts on the global climate are negative, with dire human and economic consequences, I have long since passed the days of being an ‘environmental crusader’, motivated by heart, not facts and reality.
Ending all coal fired electric generation tomorrow, if this was my position, would be pushing for the closure of currently operational power stations and ceasing the capital flow of hemorrhaging new builds under construction, struggling to meet project deadlines and cost projections. My pragmatism steers me clear of any designs that risk a near certain economic collapse regardless some “ideal energy world” I may dream up.
Valentine’s Day can bring out the best and the worst in people.
In this new “love ballad” by the Energy Policy Alliance, we see how the inherent need to be loved is not just a human trait anymore. How certain sectors of the energy industry can take on human emotions of neglect, rejection and the wear and tear of getting older.
Unfortunately, this can bring out the worst in not only humans, but industry as well, and desperation can set in. Such is the case with all relationships, and the choice is ours to decide whether we want to see the glass half-full, or half-empty. To appreciate what we have, or lament what we are lacking.
It looks as though Mrs. Oil has a half-empty attitude, but can you blame her given her long run at the top and being the most universally adored and fought over energy for decades? Changes are bound to happen as nothing lasts forever, and the global energy environment is at its most dynamic position shy Ms. Black Gold’s storming the stage not more than a hundred years ago to claim the spotlight.
Is Mrs. Oil starting to get desperate? Is she seeing the writing on the wall? Is she trying to steal the noteworthy fame of her fellow energy divas knowing full well they frequented the same clubs, but rarely socialized directly with each other all through their history?
Legacy electrical generation technologies; coal, large hydro & nuclear, are falling under their own weight of inflexibility in demand response, costly and time sensitive project delays and a growing public and financial understanding of their long standing dependence on subsidies, an once accepted necessity in meeting “developed world” baseload needs to fuel strong economies. Continue reading Keystone XL, a positive statement to changing global energy dynamics?
I will be traveling around Europe for 3 months starting August 6th. So it is not all “fun and games”, I plan to dedicate substantial time to a personal project focused on energy supply and need, Europe as a case study.
It centers around a theory linking the successes [and shortcomings] in the transition towards more balanced energy portfolios; including renewable sources, as fueled by a home grown cultural “energy awareness”.
This may seem a “no-brainer” to Europeans experiencing it, however it is a significant departure from the realities present in the US and struggling to be realized around the globe.
I also see commonalities in regional scarcities experienced historically throughout the EU, as significant limitations & realities to developing/under developed nations worldwide.