.Tshiamo is, it is no surprise that

.Tshiamo Seforo02/10/2015Projects CommunicationsI confirm that this assignment is my own work. It is not copied from any other person’s work (published or unpublished) and has not previously been submitted for assessment in this or any other module and University. Problem statementWith coal being an exceptional energy source as it is, it is no surprise that it is South Africa’s (and most developing countries’) primary and favourite fuel source. However, what persists as the inevitable bane of coal mining is the very present repercussions for its immediate and extended environments; the scope of which is actually deeply problematic and demands that there is compensation both from coal mining itself, as an industry (and associated legislative conformities) and other viable alternatives to excessive reliance on fossil fuels in general. Upon analysing the resultant problems from coal mining and processing, the more obvious manifestations would include prevailing pollution and the creation of an occupationally hazardous working space for miners (these are known as externalies and are hardly accounted for in the pricing of electricity 1); the former, showing just how much of a nuisance to ecology it can all be.The likes of coal washing 2, for example, and its resultant waste dumps (and associated air pollution, mine-to-ash problems and spontaneous combustion), paired with adulterated waters (from abandoned sites) and sterile land (from open-cast mining) are but a few of the major ecological concerns of mining, even though the selfsame (the mining industry) endeavour a great deal to meet legislative, ecological and public health and safety requirements when it comes to mining implications such as the management of people and systems within the water and electricity reticulation systems, pollution and the actual mining (as per standard operating procedures).It has to be acknowledged, in addition to the aforementioned, that it is because the mining (fossil fuel) industry is the backbone of many economies in the developing world that many of the resultant problems are so tenacious; and this tenacity is driven by the global, capitalistic model/ imperative which emphasizes private-sector led development as the propagator for economic growth, giving rise to both relative economic gain and socio-economic grievances (which may include land degradation and implicit loss of farmlands as well as resettlement of host communities due to inhospitable conditions, to name a few 3).Despite this, the loudest call for sustainability in energy generation is the fact that coal mining (and in the broader sense, fossil fuels) is finite; and that alternatives ought to be sought more fervently (to appease the burden of resource depletion and misuse on future generations) is an understatement.The discussion of alternative energy generally includes the likes of wind and solar (photovoltaic) energy, hydroelectric and hybrid systems, biothermal and (the highly debated and politically charged) nuclear energy. South Africa’s Department of Energy aims to make adequate and cost-effective energy available to developing communities, satisfying their basic needs and simultaneously promoting South Africa’s vast potential to immerse its inclinations in these alternatives. 4However, the flip-side of this upright discussion is the fact that developing countries are burdened by the expenses of initiating and maintaining these alternatives, and only hold on to the prospect of long long-term gains. These, and the fact that these issues are often politically inclined can make even a sustainable solution this murky. 5