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Ivo Vegter Explains Why He Thinks Solar Power Isn’t the Way to Go

Extreme EnvironmentIvo Vegter, author of Extreme Environment: How environmental exaggeration harms emerging economies, contemplates the possibility of solar energy as main source of electricity for South Africa in his latest column for the Daily Maverick. According to Vegter the global solar power market isn’t all it’s cracked up to be:

With great fanfare, the first municipal-owned solar energy plant has been launched. It serves a handful of low-cost houses near Benoni, producing a whopping 200 kilowatts. Good. Let’s cancel those horrid 4.8-million kilowatt coal-fired monsters.

Whenever you discuss energy in this country, a plaintive cry goes up: “Why don’t we invest in nice, clean, renewable solar power instead? We don’t need this dirty, evil, fossil fuel stuff that we’re running out of anyway.”

For a start, if or when we run out, the price of coal, oil and gas will rise, and finding alternatives will become economically attractive. That day is not today. Sit down.

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