Biden Commits $8 Billion To Replace Coal Plants With Green Power In South Africa

On Wednesday, President Joe Biden committed “$8 billion in public and private finance to help South Africa replace coal-fired power plants with renewable energy sources and develop cutting-edge energy solutions like clean hydrogen.”

This is just part of the United States’ plan to commit $55 billion to Africa over the next three years, according to White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan.

The announcement brought swift mockery from media hosts who pointed out the unintended consequences of suddenly trying to switch South Africa from coal to green power.

Breitbart reports that 77 percent of South Africa’s power supply is provided by coal. The country’s fossil fuel reserves are sufficient to produce power for the next 200 years. However, South Africa is suffering from pre-planned blackouts called “load shedding” because it lacks the capacity to keep the entire country on the grid at the same time. Some households go without power for up to six hours a day.

The need for load shedding has arisen because of badly maintained facilities and rampant corruption, which has led Eskom, South Africa’s electricity public utility company, into US$24 billion of debt. Power generated by Eskom comes mainly from coal-fired power stations built in the ’60s and ’70s. However, these coal plants are no longer functioning at full capacity and are being pushed harder than they were meant to be to keep up with the growing demand. In June 2022, three major units broke down, causing nationwide power cuts.

Breitbart reports that the country’s options are limited. South Africa signed the Paris Climate Accord, which makes it more difficult for the country to tap into its abundant coal reserves. International investors are also reluctant to invest in coal.

Sky News host Rita Panahi called Biden’s announcement “Weapon-grade lunacy” writing, “As if South Africans haven’t suffered enough with unreliable energy.”

Fox News host Jesse Watters ranted about Biden’s attempt to provide “reparations” to Africa by giving them solar panels. “Sorry about slavery. Here is a solar panel. And, oh, if you work in a coal mine, you’re fired. Is this what Africa needs right now? You can’t run a continent on green. You can’t just skip industrialization and go straight to windmills. Africa is never going to get out of poverty by killing coal. Let’s get the African economy spinning first before we start installing electric car charging stations along the Nile,” Watters said.