Renewable energy and the environment in South Africa: A way forward
The need to mitigate the adverse environmental impacts of fossil fuel usage, the volatility of fuel prices and enhancement of national energy security, have largely driven a phenomenal growth, around the world, in renewable energy (RE) generation (particularly grid-connected), over the past two decades. The necessity to apply policy support instruments to promote the dissemination of these technologies is now a universally accepted norm. Different countries and societies depending on the prevailing socio-economic environment draft and apply their policy frameworks differently and debates abound as to which mechanisms should have been most suitable under which circumstance. Most of these debates, however, assume the existence of an intrinsic political environment in favour of the process. In South Africa the current political environment is not very conducive to the development of a sustainable RE industry. This paper explores some of the anomalies and barriers and suggests possible options for a way forward to a viable RE industry in the country.
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