Over 90% of our electricity is coal powered – and it comes at a massive cost to the country. Eskom is choosing to stick with dirty coal power at a time when greener, less water-intensive, renewable energy options are ready to go. Eskom’s power is not people’s power. 18 years into democracy, 12.3 million South Africans still have no access to electricity. And many who do have access, can’t afford it, while around the corner industrial users pay almost half the price.
Eskom is currently building two of the world’s biggest coal fired power plants. While they will use less water per unit of electricity than traditional coal plants would use, the sheer size of Kusile and Medupi means they will still swallow up monstrous amounts of scarce water. Include the effect that coal mining has on local water systems, and we have a recipe for disaster – with Eskom at its center.
Using water in one place means it can’t be used in another. Using huge amounts of scarce water in thirsty coal plants means less water for agriculture and residential use. By sticking with coal power, Eskom is sentencing South Africa to a future of water scarcity and constrained choices. Switching to reliable renewable energy would power our homes and save our precious water reserves.
We need our government to quit dirty coal and embrace our contry’s incredible renewable energy potential. Take action by telling the Government to quit coal and start using the Sun and Wind more! www.greenpeace.org/africa/en/use-me-more/