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When President Cyril Ramaphosa is called to the podium to deliver his second state of the nation address on Thursday, two major issues will be uppermost in the SA energy sector: the future of renewable energy independent power producers (IPPs) and that of Eskom, the troubled state-owned utility that supplies more than 90% of the nation’s power. Ramaphosa’s address provides him with the perfect opportunity to provide much-needed policy certainty in the sector and to clarify his vision for renewables in terms of energy security and boosting SA’s struggling economy, which continues to shed jobs. Energy security is, of course, key to the country’s economic health, so how does the government plan to secure it? According to the latest draft update of the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), the government’s long-term energy plan, there is no need for any new nuclear power to be added to the grid. And the plan envisages an overall reduction in coal-generated energy by 2030, with an energy mix c...

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