Study pours cold water on SA’s nuclear build plan

NEW National Planning Commission (NPC) modelling of South Africa’s energy demands says nuclear power should be delayed by years, and an immediate commissioning of new gas-generation capacity should take place to avoid rolling blackouts in the near future.

The remodelling commissioned by the NPC signals the start in earnest of what will be a highly contested policy debate: whether South Africa needs and can afford nuclear power or not, and by when.

The implication of the modelling is that no new nuclear power would be required before at least 2029, but more likely as far away as 2040 if demand grows as expected. It had been envisaged that new nuclear power would come on line in 2023.

It also means the Department of Energy should act promptly to procure imported liquefied gas and gas power stations to avoid blackouts in the highly likely event of delays to the completion of Eskom’s Medupi and Kusile coal-fired power stations. Continue reading


WWF South Africa Energy Planning Workshop, 20 March 2013, 08h30 – 16h30

WWF 12 March 2013.

WWF South Africa will table a draft proposition for renewable energy development in South Africa, at this workshop to inform and discuss stakeholder engagement with energy planning processes, including the second Integrated Energy Plan (IEP2) currently in progress, and revision of the electricity generation plan (IRP2010) in the second half of 2013, as well as climate change response policy implementation.

Relevant government officials have been invited to present progress and reflect on challenges; presenters will include the Electricity Governance Initiative (EGI); Million Climate Jobs Campaign and the NUMSA initiative for social ownership in the renewable energy sector.

This is a participatory event to encourage civil society actions to advance low-carbon and labour-intensive energy development options, including energy access initiatives. Support is available to cover travel costs of key stakeholder representatives: Motivation for payment of specified travel costs should be sent to – a.s.a.p.; latest end 14 March.


Nuclear, shale gas should be part of SA’s future power mix – Peters

Engineering News 19 February 2013.

Energy Minister Dipuo Peters has reiterated her support for the development of new nuclear capacity in South Africa, which she says is necessary to meet the country’s commitment to lowering its carbon footprint, while ensuring sufficient baseload capacity to support economic growth…

But many questions had been raised about the affordability of the programme and whether or not it was prudent to invest in large generating plants ahead of smaller, more modular solutions that could be more responsive to changes in demand-growth patterns…


Eskom lowers full-year sales forecast as flows to industry taper

Engineering News 20 November 2012.

State-owned electricity utility Eskom reported sales of only 110 766 GWh in the six months to September 30, 2012, a decline of 2.9% when compared with the 114 043 GWh recorded during the same period in 2011.

The utility also lowered its full-year sales forecast to 219 342 GWh from 222 083 GWh, owing to the prevailing low-growth environment in South Africa. In the year to March 31, 2012, Eskom sold 224 785 GWh, which itself was only 0.2% higher than that recorded in the previous year…

More …

Eskom in power at all costs

Mail and Guardian 9 November 2012.

Independent power producers could provide more than 60000MW of conventionally produced electricity, according to the department of energy.

This is nearly twice the total capacity now produced by Eskom – and it could be brought to market for far less than what Eskom charges, according to its critics.

But consumers are bearing the brunt of what appears to be the state’s determined policy to maintain Eskom’s role as the primary source of electricity-generation. This is clear from Eskom’s latest tariff application, the third multiyear price determination. It outlines the painful tariff increases in store for the country if Eskom remains the dominant source of electricity…

(Editor’s note: Well, Eskom is owned by our government … Note the comment that the IRP2010 did not need to be reviewed now because the assumptions are unchanged. I beg your pardon DOE – a lot has changed: Gas is cheaper, nuclear is more expensive, all renewable energy is cheaper, the demand forecasts are lower, economic growth forecasts are lower, etc, etc!!!)

More …

IDC concludes R5bn ‘green bond’ with PIC

Engineering News 7 November 2012.

The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has concluded a R5-billion private placement with the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) for a ‘green bond’, established to facilitate funding for businesses looking to invest in clean-energy infrastructure developments.

The partnership was in line with the Integrated Resource Plan 2010, which envisages renewable energy contributing 42% of the total new generation added to South Africa’s electricity mix between 2010 and 2030…

More …

SA moves to procure 7 761 MW of baseload IPP power by 2025 29 October 2012.

Energy Minister Dipuo Peters reported on Monday that the Department of Energy (DoE) had received “concurrence” from the National Energy Regulator of South Africa for a Ministerial determination opening the way for the procurement of 7 761 MW of baseload capacity from independent power producers (IPPs) between now and 2025.

The baseload determination included the prospect of increased power imports, primarily from hydropower schemes in the Southern Africa region…

(Editor’s note: By a simple decree, our Minister of Energy can and has “determined” what we need. This is where we desperately need the Integrated Energy Plan which would inform these sort of ad hoc decisions. I previously said this determination was not in lline with the IRP 2012, however it is in line with the “policy-adjusted” IRP 2010. My apologies. However, I hope sense will prevail as I don;t think we need more coal powered power stations.)

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