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South Africa’s total energy capacity of 54.6 GW (excluding imports) should theoretically be sufficient for energy security and spare generating capacity, but it is not - as evidenced by record-level load shedding in 2022 and 2023. This was highlighted in the recently released Africa Energy Review 2023 report by PwC, which noted that the country is trying to remedy the situation by transitioning away from coal-generated power to renewables and gas – and even (to many experts’ dismay) nuclear.
South Africa has experienced severe load shedding (i.e. controlled/scheduled power cuts), almost daily, since September 2022. This recent spike and high frequency of load shedding can be largely attributed to a significant drop in Energy Availability Factor of the coal fleet that has not been optimally maintained due to several factors.
In the past few years, we’ve seen the increase of wind and solar power generation as a cost-effective substitute for fossil fuels. Solar power is notorious as a go-to option and the fastest-growing energy source, playing a critical role to achieving a sustainable carbon free future. However, with renewable energy not available twenty-four hours a day, the need for balanced and flexible power generation is becoming rapidly apparent.
South Africa’s data centre market, the largest in Africa with more than 20 co-location centres, is expected to grow to over $3.23 billion, from just $1.71 billion in 2021. These data centres reflect the rapacious demand for data to deliver our information needs, entertainment, and even our very lives.
Sustainable societies assume natural resources are finite and aim to practice environmental protection that promotes balance between humans and nature. Adapting sustainability measures can save money in addition to environmental impacts.
Can switching to renewable energy solve climate change? More than 90% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are now covered under targets set by countries and corporations, after COP26 last year, and more than 700 of the world’s largest corporations have set Net Zero targets.
Almost any stock with a decent hydrogen angle performed well in 2020. So, what is all the excitement about, and are these stocks in a bubble? Renewable energy can and will decarbonise power generation. Renewable energy and batteries can and will decarbonise the automotive sector.