Recently, nuclear power appeared on the radar screens of South Africans when words such as “nuclear,” “Russia,” and “Guptas” were said in the same breath. Not to mention the little case of the government being prepared to lie to the public about the estimated costs of their nuclear deal. But while there are those who want to see nuclear power take a hold of South Africa, I believe that we should move away from nuclear power as much as possible. Not only is nuclear power a terrible idea for the environment, but there are the other factors that need to be considered.
The Time It Takes To Implement
In theory, nuclear power can help supply the demanded energy levels… but only if you are willing to wait 7.5 years for it to be operational. It should go without saying that much can change in a year… let alone 7 years. By that time, the energy demand could be provided by renewable energy, which leaves us with an outdated energy plant that is not even good for the environment. Solar power does not have this major drawback. As soon as the solution is installed, the sun provides your business with energy generated from your own roof or property when it matters the most – right away.
The South African government already proved to us that electricity generation build projects using coal can run over budget. How much worse off would we be with a nuclear power project if, like the more efficient United States of America, we spent billions more on the construction phase than anticipated? Unfortunately, these are not isolated cases. In comparison, clean and green solar power can be installed for a fraction of the price and, better yet, at the location where it is needed. This means that you do not even need to factor in building and maintaining of the infrastructure to obtain your power from the other side of the country, instead you can obtain your power generation from your own roof or property.
We have seen in recent years that countries are cancelling their nuclear power projects, so I ask you this: Why should we become the dumping ground for this outdated technology? With alternatives such as battery storage to take care of base-load, I would strongly recommend that South Africa instead establishes local manufacturing capability for storage since most of the raw material is available here. And if you really need a reason for this move, I can sum it up in two words that are sure to catch anyone’s eye in our country: Job Creation.
The rest of Africa’s need for storage will ensure that this initiative can be a major and long-term job creation initiative.
If you want to get in touch with me so that I can help you switch your business to solar and get off the grid so that you don’t have to rely on the government’s schemes to support you any longer, then contact me by filling in the form on the Contact page.
Photo Credit: Gregor Fischer on Flickr.