SA’s new energy plan has sparked strong emotions because of the high cost and fears about corruption in the nuclear-build programme. This is evident from the political fallout from the recent decision by the High Court in Cape Town setting aside international agreements arising from the proposed 9.6GW nuclear-build programme. The deadline for submissions on the draft  Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2016 was March31. The IRP sets out the strategy to meet electricity demand to 2050, but the crucial debate centres on the competing role of nuclear and renewable energy. A report in April by the US department of energy set out a doable path to a world solar energy capability in 2030 of 5,000GW-10,000GW (compared to Medupi’s 5GW), from a 2015 base of less than 153GW. This represents at least a 50-fold increase for solar energy output worldwide. By way of comparison, the world’s total electricity capability in 2015 was 15,000GW. This possible worldwide solar capacity increase by 2030 is dee...

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