There is light before the end of the tunnel

by | Mar 31, 2023 | 0 comments


Conundrum of electricity supply in South Africa

Imagine a world without electricity. 

Just over a century ago the world started to produce electricity on a large scale. South Africa followed suit. In 1923 the Electricity Supply Commission was founded with its main purpose to deliver affordable electricity to the mines and railways.

Now, known as Eskom, this state-owned electrical network, has become South Africa’s main supplier of electricity. Unfortunately, a once flourishing and world-class electrical infrastructure has, for various reasons, deteriorated into a failing system, not only damaging the economy of the country, but affecting the livelihood and well-being of people from all walks of life in South Africa.

Coal: friend or foe in the generation of electricity

Environmental management and assessment programmes are scrutinising the generation of electricity from fossil fuels, as the curtailment and retarding of global warming, mainly due to the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, is taking center stage. 

The use of coal in power stations to generate electricity is one of the major contributing factors to the global warming problem but, alas, practically all the electricity generated in South Africa is from the use of coal. Not only do we have an acute shortage of electricity in South Africa, but practically all electricity is generated from coal in antiquated power stations which are costly to maintain and not readily adaptable to ‘clean’ air production processes.

Clean energy is begging with an answer

Worldwide, the trend is to switch to clean energy utilising mainly wind, sun, nuclear and water. South Africa is already generating some nuclear energy, the initial cost of which is prohibitively expensive, and the risk of accidental pollution (which can be catastrophic), is always present. Whilst South Africa can be classified as an arid country, the other side of the coin is the abundance of sunshine we enjoy.

For centuries, the sun has been used to provide heat and comfort, however with the advancement of science and technology, humankind has succeeded to harness and convert this natural resource of energy into electricity. A further advancement of science and technology is that of battery energy storage, which can be released whenever needed. 

Whilst the sun remains a free source of energy which has the potential to serve South Africa well, wind energy has been successfully introduced, especially in the Eastern Cape, and will meaningfully contribute to our future electricity needs.

Eskom’s unreliability sets us free from a monopoly

Up until not so long ago, the Government protected their monopoly, which prevented consumers from generating and freely selling their own electricity. Fortunately, due to the unreliability of Eskom, the Government has eventually capitulated and agreed to the installation of renewable energy not only for domestic consumption, but also for commercial and industrial use.

Consort offers support for the Solar PV Market

Approximately two years ago, Consort successfully launched a seamless renewable energy product, which has been very beneficial for the commercial segment of the Solar PV Market. The concept of the product is more commonly referred to as ‘cradle-to-grave’, considering impacts at each stage of the installation’s life cycle.  Consort will not only look at the major installations (commercial and utility scale), but we also accommodate the smaller contractor installing domestic solar and battery installations.

We foresee that the business and private sector will progressively rely more on their own supply of electricity to avoid and prevent discomfort, monetary loss, and frustration due to the unreliable and unstable state-owned electrical supply.

Consort will assist you to make light.

“Nothing is so fatal to the progress of the human mind as to suppose our views of science are ultimate; that there are no new mysteries in nature; that our triumphs are complete; and that there are no new worlds to conquer.”

Sir Humphry Davy, British Chemist  

Please contact your Broker directly to approach Consort in assisting with your requirements.Consort Technical Underwriting Managers (Pty) Ltd (FSP 2273) underwritten by Lombard Insurance Company Limited (FSP 1596) an Insurer licensed to conduct non-life insurance business.