Nuclear too costly and SA does not even need it
IT IS time for the gloves to come off. The onus is on those who support the procurement of nuclear power stations to demonstrate that this initiative is not corrupt and will not be ruinous for the economy.We face a possible credit rating downgrade to junk, which will make us all poorer: it will cost a lot more to service our debt, there will be less money for social programmes, the rand will fall even further, and inflation will rise.Yet some still promote a huge nuclear programme that is not needed, that is more expensive and risky than alternative energy sources, that is hard to finance, and that will create contingent liabilities for the Treasury when we can least afford them.SA does not need to procure large chunks of new power now. Electricity demand is not growing: it’s falling, and is lower than it was a decade ago. Depressed economic activity is partly the reason, but it’s not the most important one.Electricity and economic growth data no longer track each other. The size of...
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