SA must do more with the same for its future electricity supply

SOUTH Africa must fast-track its transition to a reliable, modern and affordable electricity supply for all, the Electricity Governance Initiative of South Africa says in its recent Smart Electricity Planning report.

The report recognises the need to meet the country’s electricity demand to fulfil its developmental goals despite uncertain global and local economic growth.

Traditionally, electricity planning aims to supply whatever demand arises in the cheapest possible way. Unrestricted access to cheap coal has grown the South African economy, albeit for a restricted part of the population. Such an approach is unsustainable and has a tremendous impact on our natural systems, resulting in threats such as runaway climate change.

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Smarter electricity planning will save South Africa R162 billion in electricity investment says report

Urban Earth 3 June 2013.

Smarter electricity planning will save South Africa R162 billion in electricity investment says report

A study by the Electricity Governance Initiative shows that South Africa’s current expenditure in electricity infrastructure could be significantly reduced (Image credit:danicek / 123RF Stock Photo)
A new report, ‘Smart Electricity Planning’ by the Electricity Governance Initiative of South Africa shows that with ’smarter electricity planning’, South Africa could save in the region of R162 billion if smarter expenditure in energy infrastructure was made. The figure comes from a comparison with the country’s current energy future as outlined in the Integrated Resource Plan2010 (IRP2010), a plan that proposes the country’s energy mix for the next two decades. According to the report, the saving would result from a combination of higher levels of energy efficiency; exclusion of nuclear investment; reduction in fossil fuel-based energy investment and; greater investment in renewable energy than that currently allocated in the IRP2010…

‘We are nowhere near advertising the nuclear tender’

Engineering News 9 May 2013.

South Africa’s Energy Minister Dipuo Peters has again stressed South Africa’s phased approach to making a decision on new nuclear capacity – an approach guided by a desire to mitigate the risks and maximise benefits to the country.

Her director-general Nelisiwe Magubane added that the country, was, thus, “nowhere near advertising the tender”.

Speaking at the signing of procurement and implementation agreements for 19 more renewable-energy projects on Thursday, Peters said the nuclear plan would be presented for Cabinet approval in digestible components.

The first component had been Cabinet’s endorsement of Eskom as the owner/operator of any new nuclear facilities that might be constructed.

The current version of the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for electricity stated that South Africa would build 9 600 MW of new nuclear capacity by 2030. However, it had been acknowledged that that schedule could not be met, owing to delays in finalising the plan.

In addition, a new IRP would be published before the end of the year, which would probably take account of the lower-than-anticipated growth in demand for electricity since the publication of the 2010 to 2030 version, as well as the broad-based appeal for more gas to be added into the generation road map’s mix…

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Cabinet set on nuclear plan, with Eskom at the helm

THE Cabinet remained “resolute” about developing South Africa’s nuclear energy capacity, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Wednesday, and Eskom would be the operator of the government’s nuclear programme.

The minister’s unequivocal statement may help clear up confusion over the government’s intentions on nuclear energy, confusion that stemmed from conflicting signals given in recent times by various political leaders, officials and energy experts.

However, Mr Gigaba’s insistence that Eskom would be the operator of the programme will raise yet more questions…

(Contributor’s note: And on they go… Why doesn’t the Cabinet listen to some outside views  – have they forgotten about the PBMR and the Arms Deal?)

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Electricity plan ‘out of date’

Melanie Gosling | 07 May 2013 | Cape Times

SOUTH Africa’s electricity plan is out of date and could lead to the building of unneeded power stations at great cost – and higher electricity prices.

The proposed expansion of nuclear power stations should be delayed because more nuclear power would not be needed before at least 2029, and perhaps not until 2040.

These are some of the findings of a study, “Towards a New Power Plan”, commissioned by the National Planning Commission and compiled by UCT’s Energy Research Centre. Continue reading

State stands ground on SA’s nuclear ambitions

Business Day Live 25 April 2013.

THE Department of Energy, which is responsible for South Africa’s energy planning, says it still sees nuclear power as an essential part of its plans — without it targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would not be met.

A statement on the matter follows an initiative by the National Planning Commission to put the nuclear energy issue up for public debate by commissioning new modelling on South Africa’s energy needs…

(Contributor’s note: It would be good if these guys talked to each other – and listened.)

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SA to reach nuclear ‘point of no return’ by June

South Africa is likely to reach a “point of no return” with regard to a proposed new nuclear energy build programme by June this year, Department of Energy (DoE) director-general Nelisiwe Magubane revealed on Friday.

She was speaking at the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation’s (Necsa’s) Pelindaba site, west of Pretoria, following a meeting with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA’s) director-general Yukiya Amano, who is in South Africa as part of the agency’s infrastructure assessment mission.

Magubane said the country was progressing through the various milestones endorsed by Cabinet ahead of any nuclear decision and indicated that that government still considered the solution as central to meeting the policy objectives of supply security and reducing the country’s carbon footprint.

South Africa’s current Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for the period 2010 to 2030 envisaged the deployment of 9 600 MW of new nuclear capacity between 2023 and 2030. However, delays to the process meant that the first new nuclear capacity was unlikely to enter the system by 2023 as initially envisaged. Continue reading