There is a lot of good news but also much to debate in the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) that was published by energy minister Jeff Radebe on Monday. The IRP is SA’s long-term energy plan. It models projected electricity demand and projected costs of the various energy-generating technologies to guide the commissioning of new generation capacity. A guiding principle is to establish the lowest cost option to meet an economy’s needs. It is an essential planning tool for the government and for industry. The good news is that for the first time since 2011 we have an IRP that is transparent and credible. The relative costs of the technologies are set out: nuclear is the most expensive and renewable energy is the cheapest. Renditions of the plan during the Zuma era were mangled by politics, in particular by the former president’s desire to force new nuclear energy into the model. This IRP, which goes up until 2030, sees no need for new nuclear energy. It assumes that all the capacity tha...

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