Radebe: Nuclear power will contribute only 4% to SA energy plan

According to the new draft IRP, renewables will be the key focus in the coming years, but coal power will still contribute more than 65% of energy volumes by 2030.

FILE: Energy Minister Jeff Radebe. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - Energy Minister Jeff Radebe says that the country’s energy mix will look vastly different after 2030 when old coal power plants will be at the end of their lifespans.

Radebe released the country’s new draft energy plan on Monday, saying that the pace and scale of new developments needed for the next 12 years will have to be curtailed compared to what was early projected in the 2010 plan.

The Integrated Resources Plan (IRP), which is supposed to be updated every two years, has not been tweaked since the first one was published in 2010.

According to the new draft IRP, renewables will be the key focus in the coming years, but coal power will still contribute more than 65% of energy volumes by 2030.

Nuclear will contribute only 4%, meaning that no new build programme is being considered, at least not in the next decade.

Radebe says the next step in determining the country's energy mix beyond 2030 will be to conduct detailed studies.

“These include levels of participation of the previously marginalised South Africans in the energy sector, and the structure of the industry taking into account that electricity demand is no longer total captive to the national grid.”

The public has two months to comment on the IRP, which Radebe hopes will be finalised before the end of the year.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)