Every point made by Dirk de Vos and Nicole Loser for renewable energy and against “base load power” is not only wrong but the inverse of the truth (Need for base load power is a pro-Eskom fabrication, February 24).
Eskom’s “opposition to renewables” is because of the simple fact that the renewable electricity it is forced to buy is ruinously expensive and horribly unreliable. Eskom’s half-year report, ending September 30 2016, shows it is compelled to buy bad wind and solar electricity at R2.18/kWh when its own average selling price is R0.89/kWh. But worse is the huge costs to Eskom to having to deal with the hopeless unreliability of renewables. You can see this in the frightening graphs of South African wind and solar production.
Around the world, including Denmark, Germany, the US, Britain and Australia, solar and wind electricity have proved ruinously expensive, bringing smiles to a few rich energy companies and misery to everybody else. The statement that renewable generators are “decentralised” and “closer to where they are required” is laughable. On the contrary, renewable energy is highly centralised over vast distances, linking gigantic wind turbines and colossal solar arrays with remote customers hundreds or even thousands of kilometres away. Local people don’t get a look-in.
The 50MW solar CSP plant at Bokpoort, Northern Cape, does not deliver much of its electricity to the local town of Groblershoop. It delivers it to centres of demand far, far away, linked in a huge, highly centralised grid. The same is true of the gargantuan but useless wind turbines that are now blighting our lovely countryside.