South Africa is currently being gripped by an Energy crisis. Eskom, the country’s main public utility (and seventh largest in the world), which provides 95 per cent of South Africa’s electricity has been conducting a controlled rolling blackout policy known as ‘load shedding’ since November 1st, when a major coal power station’s coal storage silo collapsed, and another one was found to be cracking. Shortages of backup diesel supplies have also contributed to the electricity shortages.
The South African government is working on putting together a bailout plan to keep Eskom operational, and the country’s lights on, and The Financial Times reports that the electricity crisis is having a major negative effect on the nation’s economy.
A Former managing director of the South African Independent Power Producers Association commented that South Africans should buy generators and stock up on candles because they are going to need them for the next five to ten years.
Writing for South Africa’s Independent Online (IOL) news service, Keith Bryer proposes that cold fusion could present a solution to the problem. In an article titled “SA should pray for fusion power to come to the rescue”, Byer covers recent news about fusion power, mentioning the Lockheed Martin project, and Andrea Rossi’s E-Cat, and looks at how a new form of energy could help solve the current problems. He writes:
So let us change the subject, away from the appalling mismanagement of the national electricity grid and instead dream of living to see a better future – one that will sweep aside the overpaid bureaucrats that have taken over Eskom in the last two decades . . .
One recent alleged method for creating fusion that got some physicists’ blood boiling comes from Italy. It is the child of a self-taught engineer called Andrea Rossi.
Rossi claims his method is produced in a low-energy nuclear reactor he has designed. Rossi also claims his method has been independently verified . . .
The reactor is small. It fits on a tabletop. Fine granules of nickel plus hydrogen and a catalyst produce a reaction. The heat generated turns water into steam that drives a generator. The fuel allegedly produces 1 million times more energy than petrol.
Sounds like the answer to every Green person’s dream. Sounds like the answer to every South African’s prayer as well.
Meanwhile, until fusion is mastered to everyone’s satisfaction, our national and monopolistic electricity company will continue to be run by top managers with little or no experience, and “manned” by too many people who are there for reasons other than their qualifications.
We know that the work that Rossi and others in the cold fusion/LENR field are doing is currently at a very early stage, and unfortunately cannot be deployed at a moment’s notice to solve an energy crisis like the one in South Africa — but there is a growing awareness of the potential of this technology, and as interest grows we may see more funds and expertise applied to help get it to a stage where it can be deployed to solve real-world problems. For some situations, that time can’t come soon enough.