South Africa: There Is Life After Eskom - We Just Have to Imagine It

(file photo)

It's time to get serious and creative about our future energy supply. And if that future does not include Eskom, so be it.

The economist Joseph Schumpeter once wrote: "There is certainly no point in trying to conserve obsolescent industries indefinitely; but there is a point in trying to avoid their coming down with a crash and in attempting to turn a rout into an orderly retreat".

It is worth putting it out there that the whole Eskom saga -- whether there is a clean Eskom or not -- can lead to the utility's eventual obsolescence. We do not need to try hard to imagine such a fate, as technological change has a life of its own. It is for this reason that we should open the cognitive space for new ideas, sooner rather than later, so that the shift to a new model of energy services can evolve in an orderly manner, rather than anarchically as more and more people defect from the grid.

Political wrangling and how these issues are resolved will determine whether we put the energy crisis to good use.

Eskom's failures and woes are not that of a single person, no matter what people may...

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