(MENAFN – The Conversation) There’s a lively debate raging in South Africa about the extent to which renewables should replace coal, particularly given the threat of climate change. The country’s electricity supply is currently highly dependent on coal. While it’s clear that coal power won’t disappear any time soon, is a 100% renewables-driven electricity generation scenario feasible – and desirable – in a generation from now.
A major global energy transition is redefining the way electricity is generated and supplied. In the past, electricity production was dominated by large and often polluting power mega-plants distributed through big power lines. But the trend is now towards small-scale units primarily feeding localised electricity networks.
These changes are being been driven by powerful factors. Firstly, there’s the grave threat of climate change which is being caused, to a significant degree, by the emission from coal power stations.