Lights Out: South Africa’s Subsidised Wind & Solar Obsession Delivers New Dark Age

Pin your energy hopes on the weather and you’d better have candles and torches at the ready. Reliable and affordable electricity supplies are the cornerstone of economic development, around the globe. And, whereas, until recently at least, the wealthy West has tended to take 24 x 365 power for granted, developing economies are not so blasé.

Dragging the rural poor out of abject poverty generally starts with a diesel generator providing power to villagers. Then, as finances improve, a grid is laid out to deliver coal-fired power, cheaply and reliably.

South Africa was a case in point. Until, that is, renewable energy rent-seekers took over.

Vijay Jayataj explains why South Africans are enjoying a very dark ages renaissance.

South Africa: Warmism creates blackouts
American Thinker
Vijay Jayataj
6 June 2022

South Africa — supposedly one of Africa’s advanced economies — is reeling under severe power shortages and daily rolling blackouts, some for as long as eight hours.

In May, most households, commercial buildings, and industries experienced hours of blackouts.  The South African state-run power utility ESKOM supplied no power between 5 P.M. and 10 P.M. due to a loss of generation capacity.”

Last month, social unrest was reported in parts of the country after frustrated citizens took to the streets to protest power failures, cable theft, and years of inefficiency at Eskom.

The utility has been notorious for corruption, poor maintenance, and failure to increase generation capacity.

Reports indicate that South Africa is poised for 101 days of power outages this year.”  In 2021, only 65 days had power outages.  But the current situation is only set to get worse, thanks to a woke climate agenda that Eskom and the South African government have embraced.

According to the 2019 Integrated Resource Plan, 24,100 megawatts of conventional thermal power sources (mainly coal) will be decommissioned by 2050 and be replaced with renewable technology.

As a part of the plan to reduce reliance on conventional energy sources, South Africa is likely to accept money from a climate fund offered by a consortium of countries.  Bloomberg reportedThe arrangement (climate fund) would enable Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. to access the $8.5 billion pledged by the U.S., U.K., Germany, France and the European Union. … The company wants to use the money to fund the closing of some coal-fired power plants and the construction of renewable-energy facilities to replace them.”

Eskom is also poised to receive $2.8 billion from the African Development Bank, some of which would be used to help the utility transition to a low-carbon” system over the next five years — a move that would make Eskom even more inefficient.  The bank has stopped funding fossil fuel projects in Africa and is engaged in decreasing the continent’s conventional energy capacity.

This transition makes no sense whatsoever.  In 2021, 84% of all electricity produced in South Africa came from coal.  Only five percent was produced by wind and solar, and increasing their share will only exacerbate South Africas power shortages.

This is because both wind and solar provide only intermittent power, with no non-conventional backup solution available at a commercial scale.  Globally, renewable intensive power networks rely on backup support from conventional energy sources like coal, gas, and nuclear.

In South Africas case, the conventional coal infrastructure is already in a dismal state, suffering from outdated facilities and lack of investment.  If funds are further diverted toward renewable infrastructure, the prospect for the entire power network is bleak indeed.

It takes decades of development to make a power sector efficient and effective.  South Africa is illustrating that an electricity system can be destroyed more quickly.

Access to electricity in rural South Africa was at an all-time high of 82 percent in 2014.  By 2020, the inefficiency of Eskom coupled with its woke climate agenda had pushed the rural electrification rate down to 75 percent.  The overall electrification rate (urban and rural) has plateaued since 2014, showing no marked improvement.

Eskoms promise to reduce coal-fired generation over the next 30 years threatens to drive South Africa’s 62 million people further into an abyss of rolling blackouts and attendant economic damage.
American Thinker

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.


  1. An excellent presentation by Lars Schernikau explains why solar and wind cannot possibly work as the backbone of any useable system. The most useful 48 minutes I have spent so far this year. Enormously informative. But rapid-fire, like getting a drink of water from a fire hose.

  2. Reblogged this on whatyareckon and commented:
    Shutting off the lights via renewables!

  3. catweazle666 says:

    It will all end in tears – bloody ones.

  4. If 95% of of electricity comes from natural fuel sources (coal,petroleum,natural gas,water dams,nuclear) this is not “backup power” it is primary power. Have we seen a simple cost table showing very simply to the public say a 50 year power plant lifetime total cost and output of constant flow of energy to the wind and solar that acts like someone who is clueless how to drive a stick shift transmission and who then when you methodically try to teach them they say they have it handled as they cause car to keep jerking around. It’s like that person can never figure out how to drive it but because since it gets better gas mileage they are stuck on “saving the planet” so it does not matter how jerky their driving is even on the highway, and that their method of forcing everyone whether they can learn to drive it non-intermittently or not does not matter all that matters is the gas savings that subsequently saves the planet while the auto wrecks pile up all the way to the Sun which is the only place any of these intermittent jerky systems should be built.

  5. Partially correct. An important reason for going wind and solar is that Eskom cannot get finance for conventional generators. Thanks to the international green activists – and of course their local proxies.

  6. Peter Pronczak says:

    South Africa (2nd oldest nuclear country) took over HT nuclear reactor technology when Germany shut it down. It then developed the pebble-bed reactor before shutting down most of its nuclear industry. China developed the small helium cooled pebble-bed reactor further.
    SA is still the 2nd largest exporter of medical isotopes & was going to restart its full industry; its years of nuclear waste was about half a tennis court & about 1.6 metres high.

    During its 2015+ severe drought there was some lament that Britain would not lend an aircraft carrier with high desalination ability to alleviate the effects that they struggled through.
    It is ridiculous such technology exists yet as with Madagascar’s current drought, there is begging for money to save lives, but the simple act of providing a floating desalination plant is ignored by world powers.

    A spreadsheet of UN members, alliances & which countries are financially controlled by others, reveals why the organisation is hamstrung to operate in a united manner. Although there are more member countries since its inception, its rules do not reflect its potential function.
    Which is a great pity & an indictment on humanity.
    A 2nd UN vote against the glorification of Nazism was eventually passed last year with only USA & Ukraine voting against it. Fifty-five countries abstained in the 2014 vote including AU and Japan.
    Make of that what you will.

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