"Blackout-Beset South Africa May Delay Closing Coal Stations"

"JOHANNESBURG — South Africa may delay shutting down many of its highly polluting coal-fired power stations, President Cyril Ramaphosa said Monday, a move that could stem a crisis of daily electricity blackouts but would slow a shift to greener energy sources.

South Africa is Africa’s most developed economy but is experiencing rolling nationwide blackouts, sometimes for more than 10 hours a day, because of an electricity shortfall. The blackouts, which have become worse over the past year, have been deeply damaging to the economy and to the popularity of Ramaphosa’s government ahead of national elections next year.

Under the new plan, which Ramaphosa outlined only broadly in his weekly letter to the nation, South Africa will consider a delay in the decommissioning of some of its 14 coal plants to help ease the electricity cuts, known as “load-shedding.”

About 80% of South Africa’s electricity is provided by coal. The nation is the world’s 16th-largest emitter of greenhouse gases overall, at about 1.13% of global emissions, and 45th per capita based on 2019 data, according to ClimateWatch."

Mogomotsi Magome reports for the Associated Press April 24, 2023.


Source: AP, 04/26/2023