I THINK I have found the answer. Designate solar energy as a national "strategic resource" that African Nationalists should fully exploit for the benefit of the people and domestic economy (and if the Congress invests in the industry through Chancellor House or otherwise, well and good…).

Why are we not utilising and "monetising" our solar resource with even a fraction of the dedication we apply to using what is under the ground to "monetise" our mineral resources (even when they are under wetlands)?

Could the question that has long perplexed or exasperated renewable energy developers be that simply answered? What better response to the prospect of the "Eskom coal supply crisis looming on the horizon" (January 31)?

When will the penny drop that all of South Africa’s coal — including the deep deposits in the Waterberg that might justify enormous infrastructure to extract, at least from a short-term financial perspective — is less than half a percentage point of our annual solar energy resource? When solar is designated as a "strategic resource".

And what is not strategic about reducing the dependence of our economy on Eskom, as well as on locking huge infrastructure investment into carbon-intensive energy supply?

Richard Worthington

Manager: Climate & Energy Programme, Living Planet Unit, WWF SA