The only answer can be a mix as all, without exception, constitute a compromise in one way or another. Wind farms are criticized by some on aesthetic grounds and can be harmful to bird and bat populations if sited incorrectly. Photovoltaic power plants only produce power during the day and have no storage capacity. Concentrated solar thermal power plants do have storage capabilities, but certain configurations may be harmful to birds and the plants, usually sited in arid areas, are reliant on large quantities of water to produce the super-heated steam which drives the turbines to produce power. Bioenergy, if not produced from waste, has the potential to compete with other land uses such as food production. The options for large scale hydro are limited in South Africa and dam-building has negative effects on communities and ecosystems. Geothermal which is being developed in much of the East African rift valley region, is not an option in South Africa. However, all these renewable energy technologies together can contribute to a cleaner, safer and more secure future.
End-user renewables, where the commercial and domestic end user effectively becomes a mini power station in their own right, either by heating water and storing it, or through solar electric generation on their rooftops, has an important role to play. A major benefit is that the end-user stands to benefit directly from these technologies in terms of cost and security of supply.