Clean and Safe Energy Future

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Feature story - September 19, 2011
At present 90% of South Africa’s electricity comes from coal. It’s why we’re ranked as the world’s 12th largest emitter of CO2 – and by far the largest emitter on the African continent.

Student Plays Vuvuzela in South Africa

A student plays a vuvuzela on the roof of his school. Just two days before the kick-off of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa, students of the Madiba-a-Toloane High School install 26 120W solar panels on the roof of the school hall. These panels will supply a public viewing area in the hall where 600 people of the rural village of Jericho can watch the World Cup games. © Greenpeace / Nicolas Fojtu

But there is good news!

South Africa has some of the best renewable energy sources in the world, and investing in them would mean we’d drastically reduce our reliance on coal, and we wouldn’t need a single electron from dangerous nuclear energy.

Greenpeace Africa has a very practical blueprint for how South Africa can take advantage of renewable energy sources. Doing so would allow us to greatly reduce our reliance on dirty fossil fuels and dangerous nuclear energy.

We call this blueprint the ‘Advanced Energy [R]evolution’ scenario, and it shows that 50% of South Africa’s electricity can be generated from renewable energy by 2030 – increasing to 94% by 2050.

It shows that a clean energy future is easily in our grasp – if our government finds the political will to act.

What does a clean energy future look like?

A clean and safe energy future is one in which South Africa can wave good-bye to the six nuclear reactors the government is planning, and we also wouldn’t need the Kusile coal-fired power plant!

It’s a future where South Africans aren’t forced to pay rocketing energy bills as the price of fossil fuels continues to balloon.

It’s a picture of South African people benefitting from renewable energy; safe from the types of images we’ve seen from Chernobyl and Fukushima.

Using the sun and wind more – in line with the Advanced Energy [R]evolution scenario – would mean:

  • South Africa’s CO2 emissions would plummet to 15% of 1990 levels by 2050.
  • It would mean giant leaps in terms of tackling climate change
  • We’d create thousands of new jobs.
  • Our energy would come from a range of energy sources, meaning enhanced energy security.

What you can do now

The sun and wind are practically begging us to use them more. Sign our petition and join our call for the government to increase its renewable energy ambitions.