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ENERGY and POWERSouth AfricaTami HawkerEnergy and power in the form of operational and living conditions in the recent modernised age have long been the pinnacle of the third industrialisation. The advancement of technology and engineering has been instrumental to the development of automation, digitisation, electronics, and computerisation, as well as nuclear energy discovery. Dependence on this energy and power has brought with it many guidelines, rules and regulations, as well as Terms and Conditions that have been available only to a very few who had access to means of supplying the needed energy and power. To understand in depth the impact and benefit this resource has on our everyday lives, we must understand what energy and power as a concept entail in daily living. The forms of energy that exist predominantly in the world are hydropower, windmill generated power and energy through Fossil Fuels. Every day communities receive power and energy from electrical and combustion sources in various forms, such as grid power to buildings and machinery.
In South Africa, the predominant sources used to generate energy and power are hydropower from utilised running streams and rivers, and Fossil Fuel, of which South Africa is the world's 7th highest producer of coal, a form of Fossil Fuel.
Power Struggles The energy industry in the country is highly dependent on Fossil Fuels to generate power. In Southern Africa, Eskom is the major energy company supplying electrical power to municipalities and is currently the sole supplier.
Eskom operates through other subsidiaries in the country and abroad, through organisations such as Eskom Rocket Industries, which assists in meeting and circumventing the exceeding demand for electrical power in South Africa, and Eskom Uganda Limited. This initiative is focused on Uganda, where it works in managing electrical power usage through its expertise in Hydropower. Photo Credit: Riccardo Annandale However, within the borders of South Africa, Eskom has its own challenges in supplying clean and efficient electrical power to the country's masses, whether in commercial trade or municipal supply to the communities that depend on the electrical supply for daily living. This lack of supply has created a need for other power generators to step in and provide electricity where Eskom may need assistance.
One such organisation is City Power, which supplies a relevant share of the population of the city of Johannesburg with electrical power. Though City Power is mainly a distributor of electrical power, its primary source is derived from Eskom. It is, therefore, an independent subsidiary in terms of power distribution and management but not a stand-alone electrical power generator. Photo by Eyasu Etsub In conclusion, with Eskom and its various subsidiaries in the power struggles in South Africa and abroad, the demand and management along with distribution have led the country to suffer various power outages as well as scheduled power outages termed "Load Shedding" this has caused a growing concern and strain to the population as a whole from commercial trade to civilians. With this in mind and considering that South Africa is currently the largest emitter of carbon on the African continent, the need for alternative and sustainable energy solutions is critical, not only for the people but also for the planet we inhabit.