Carol Paton Editor at Large

Parliament’s portfolio committee on energy on Tuesday finalised its recommendations on government’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), resolving that government should make it clear that both coal and nuclear energy will remain part of SA’s future energy mix. The IRP is government’s long-term energy plan, which models the expected demand for energy and best-cost scenario on how to supply that energy. The latest IRP, which was published for comment by energy minister Jeff Radebe in September, models supply and demand only up to 2030. It does not allow for any new nuclear energy, but assumes 1000MW of new coal plants, which are to be built by independent power producers (IPPs). The plan assumes that Eskom’s existing coal fleet will remain in commission for the duration of its full 30-year life. The committee’s report says: “The IRP should make it explicit that both coal and nuclear will remain important elements of SA's energy mix. In the case of coal, new clean coal technologies should ...

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