“High efficiency and low-emission coal-fired power stations and nuclear power stations are the best and most efficient sources of generating electricity for base load because they are more reliable, efficient and have a far lower cost.
“Coal and nuclear are the best sources of energy that can be produced most of the time. At the moment, they are not being produced efficiently, [so] you need to upgrade coal plants.
“Some of the major power economies such as India, China and Indonesia have their attention on coal and nuclear, based on what we call base load power, that is, power required on a permanent basis.
“Renewables are not able to do that. Solar may not be there at night. You need 100% backup, I’m afraid. What is needed are high-efficiency, low-emission coal plants. They are the ones that must be used in the future.”
His work on the economy, energy and business has convinced him that South Africa should have three main objectives: a reduction in poverty, an increase in employment and a reduction in inequality.
Jeffrey believes this can be achieved by improving the economic growth of the country through increasing the amount of electricity for mining, manufacturing and other sectors.
re posted from UNIVERSITY WORLD NEWS: AFRICA EDITION
80-year-old energy expert and economist graduates with PhD
When Rob Jeffrey set out doing analyses of energy sources as a consultant in South Africa, obtaining a PhD at the age of 80 was not what he had planned. But, as he delved into the literature on energy sources and how they interface with the economy, a PhD came as an unbudgeted-for bonus.
On 23 March, Jeffrey graduated with his PhD from the University of Johannesburg (UJ) which described his research as “an independent economic analysis of the electricity generation industry in South Africa and an assessment of the best course of action that the country can take to develop its electricity generation resources”.
His study, over four years, considered the impact of the reliability of power supply – be it fossil fuel or renewable – on the development of a country’s economy. It was done at a time when load-shedding has caused economic destruction in South Africa and Jeffrey hopes his insights can make societal impact.
The doctorate is titled, ‘Assessing the actual costs of alternative electricity-generating technologies in South Africa in line with its economic development requirements’.
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