The recent Western Cape High Court decision setting aside the previous energy minister’s decision to proceed with nuclear procurement and the global agreements signed to initiate the process, is to be welcomed. The judgment was mostly based on several procedural grounds and legality. It did not have to deal with any of the substantive issues. At some point, another determination for the procurement of electricity-generating capacity will have to be issued based on future demand. At present, energy planning and projections of future demand are done in terms of the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). The Department of Energy is now supposed to be compiling its responses to public input on the most recent draft IRP first published in November 2016. It was received with some controversy, including because the least cost option was excluded. But the question of the projected demand received less attention. IRP planning recognises that unserved demand can heavily constrain economic growth, bu...

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