WWF South Africa welcomes the release of the long-awaited draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), and the proposed delay on the nuclear build. However, we echo the sentiment of others that the proposed nuclear build should be taken off the table altogether and more renewable energy should be added into the mix.
It is of concern that on the back of the release of the IRP, state utility Eskom has announced that it will be putting out a Request for Proposals for the proposed nuclear build for submission before the end of 2016.
The draft IRP contains several scenarios which still need to be debated and interrogated through public consultation. For Eskom to pursue a call for proposals at this time, without further consultation and a cabinet-approved IRP in place, is both misplaced and premature.
Saliem Fakir, head of WWF SA’s Policy and Futures Unit, commented: “South Africa has made commitments both internationally and nationally to reduce our carbon emissions, and in order to meet these commitments, we need to install as much clean energy as possible at the most affordable price.
“Nuclear is not the answer. In our view, an unconstrained renewable energy scenario as the base-case would be the most appropriate to meet South Africa’s developmental needs – therefore there should be no cap on this source of energy. The excuse that there is insufficient grid capacity to meet this surge in installations for renewables is true for all other options and part of the plan should be to strengthen the grid to overcome these obstacles.”