SA’s energy ladder will (finally) be stood against a future proofed wall

Recent political pronouncements around Eskom bring to mind advice from Stephen Covey’s masterful Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. In it the late leadership guru writes that life is like climbing a ladder, but warns: “If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster.”

We live in an era of explosive innovation. Not least in electricity generation, where human ingenuity is proving more than equal to the challenge of replacing planet-choking fossil fuels. Last week Biznews business partner Kevin Shames exposed me to Energy Vault, a Swiss start-up that uses gravity and kinetic energy to store and deliver electricity.

Then over the weekend, Biznews community member Barry Solomon pointed me towards US renewable technology business Lucid Energy which generates power from putting turbines into large water pipes. Google the subject and it’s soon apparent these are some of many ideas that promise to transform our world – and break through the concrete dogma built over decades.

The best news in SONA – and from energy minister Gwede Mantashe ahead of it – was a commitment to ending Eskom’s electricity monopoly. What a shame it required another self-inflicted crisis for the Blue Light elites to accept the obvious. No matter. Let’s celebrate that SA’s energy ladder is going to be stood up against a different, future-proofed wall. Not before time.