Southern Africa Energy – Advancing Forward or Stumbling Back?

Southern Africa Energy – Advancing Forward or Stumbling Back?


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.

Continue reading “Southern Africa Energy – Advancing Forward or Stumbling Back?”

Residential PV’s Inherent Limitations


Author’s note: This is a beta format, temporary post. 7/23/14 I find myself needlessly having to explain these limitations countless times, effectively wasting time explaining the reality of PV to those unfamiliar with these real world limitations. Under current implementation trends, and infinite variability, residential solar rarely breaks a threshold of 30% nameplate capacity (adjust for region and day of the year) that can be considered baseload, reliable input to the grid.

Current trends, especially in the U.S., of PV’s effective implementation, are proceeding down a pathway that are counterproductive to maximizing our investments with the overall goal being to significantly reduce our release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Typical Colorado Neighborhood
Is a focus on residential the wisest, when existing construction, layout and shading magnifies the reductions in the overall effectiveness of the systems?

If we do not do this second part with an altruistic twist, those less fortunate will attempt to come up to our standards through whatever means possible. As seen in China, those “whatever” means will be through “cheaper” means, most likely conventional fossils fuels or enormously expensive large scale hydro.

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What could Government Welfare to the Nuclear Industry Buy Us?


My commentary on an article published in CommonDreams on the Nuclear “Welfare” Handout.

Here’s a little music to get you into the mood of what follows and it is key to understanding the reality of what is being sold you by the Nuclear Power Industry & Lobbyists. Thanks to youtube and especially Royksopp as I love this song!

Published on Thursday, May 29, 2008 by CommonDreams.org
Half-Trillion Dollars for Nukes!
by Karl Grossman

“With Wall Street unwilling to finance new nuclear plants, U.S. Senators Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut and John Warner of Virginia have cooked up a scheme to provide $544 billion –­ yes, with a “b” — in subsidies for new nuclear power plant development.

Their move will be debated on the floor of the Senate Tuesday, June 3.

A Lieberman aide describes the plan as “the most historic incentive for nuclear in the history of the United States.”

The Lieberman-Warner scheme is cloaked in a climate change bill — the claim being that nuclear power plants don’t emit greenhouse gases and thus don’t contribute to global warming. However, the overall “nuclear cycle” ­– which includes mining, milling, fuel enrichment Continue reading “What could Government Welfare to the Nuclear Industry Buy Us?”