Searching for reliable options

Just this week, the G7 called on Africa to massively scale up investment in renewable energy acrossEskom-broken-2 our continent and pledged to mobilise resources. This encouragement “… to accelerate the creation of a low carbon energy system in the region could be a game changer, helping Africa grow and leapfrog to a sustainable low carbon future,” said Africa Progress Panel Chairman Kofi Annan.

Considering that, “19 million inhabitants of New York State alone consume more energy than the 900 million inhabitants of sub-Saharan Africa” (John Gray in the Guardian) a call for more renewables’ investment is not a big ask.

Prices of renewables are reducing as demand increases and developments such as the recent by South African Elon Musk’s “powerwall” are encouraging. But we still have a long way to go and I am still searching for reliable and affordable products for my own household.

Gas heaters provide winter warmth, but the price of gas is high and lugging heavy bottles around to regularly replace them is not easy. Effective electrically rechargeable lights are on sale in some stores, though a major outlet had sold out last week. Solar panels for geysers reduce costs and give you a warm shower when darkness reigns, but to get one’s house off the grid is a still a major investment and a long way off for most of us.

So I light the candles and get into bed with an old fashioned hot water bottle and a previously charged laptop to share this, hoping for a brighter tomorrow and looking forward to hearing some innovative ideas on how you are handling South Africa’s energy crisis.

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