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Radebe releases draft IRP, nuclear power off table for now

Releasing the long-awaited draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) on Monday, Energy Minister Jeff Radebe announced that, instead, renewable energy will be the key focus over the next decade.

FILE: Energy Minister Jeff Radebe. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - Plans to expand the country’s nuclear capabilities are off the table, at least until 2030.

Releasing the long-awaited draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) on Monday, Energy Minister Jeff Radebe announced that, instead, renewable energy will be the key focus over the next decade.

The draft IRP, which spells out the country’s energy needs, notes that electricity consumption is 30% less than was projected when the first plan was published in 2010.

South Africa’s energy demand is on the decline, currently sitting at volumes similar to 2007.

Eskom’s existing generation is also not at expected levels and below the assumptions of 2010 expectations.

With the cost of new generation technologies having come down significantly, Radebe says the key sources of energy in the coming years will be solar, wind and gas.

The IRP will now be open to public comment for two months before a final version is adopted by Cabinet.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)