South Africa hopes carbon capture will make coal a clean energy source

Engineering News 3 July 2012.

South Africa’s support for the outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, held in Rio de Janeiro from June 20 to June 22, and known as Rio+20 for short, does not mean the country is going to turn its back on coal.

“As South Africa, we are not about to abandon our coal reserves,” assured Water Affairs and Environment Minister Edna Molewa in Pretoria on Monday. She was briefing the media on the outcomes of the conference.

(Editorial note: This must be a first – A Water affairs and Environment minister promoting coal mining and coal burning! I would have thought that a better strategy is to wait for the richer and more technologically advanced countries to pioneer carbon capture and then, if it works, we can piggy-back on their good work.
We can’t afford another PBMR.)


3 thoughts on “South Africa hopes carbon capture will make coal a clean energy source

  1. wonderful points altogether, you simply gained a new reader.
    What would you recommend about your post that you made some days ago?
    Any positive?

    • Hi Nicki, thanks for your comment. I presume you were referring to the carbon capture and storage comment post.
      I would recommend that our government, through SANEDI, keeps in touch with CCS progress, but doesn’t our any money into it until we are forced to (through local or global carbon taxes on our exports), meanwhile we should spend our money on accelerating energy efficiency (which gives the highest CO2 reduction return as well as being a profitable investment anyway), pushing the roll-out of renewable energy and its localisation, investing in natural gas infra-structure, not fracking, that can wait, but on liquefied natural gas importation and then using it for electricity generation so as to avoid any further coal and nuclear power plants, and lastly, to invest in our electricity transmission and distribution grid and energy storage facilities (e.g.pumped water) to help with the integration of significant amounts of renewable energy in to our grid.
      But, I fear that the coal lobby and Sasol will be too strong and we will land up diverting money into CCS instead.

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