The South African Department of Energy this week announced that the Cabinet has approved the draft updated Integrated Resources Plan (IRP 2018) which will see increased renewable energy generation in place of planned nuclear expansion. For a long time, former president Jacob Zuma wanted to expand South Africa’s nuclear power sector by adding new nuclear capacity in excess of 9 GW and including eight new nuclear power plants. However, after his ignominious resignation in February earlier this year following a vote of no-confidence in Parliament, the push for nuclear power has been replaced by a desire to increase the country’s renewable energy capacity. Specifically, the country’s Energy Minister Jeff Radebe announced this week in a press briefing to journalists that the Cabinet had approved the updated IRP 2018 which would increase renewable energy capacity and add only a minimal amount of new coal. According to Radebe, the country needs to “invest in a strong network of economic infrastructure designed to support the country’s medium- and long-term economic and social objectives.” This does not include nuclear power, and according to the revised draft, there will be no new nuclear capacity until at least 2030, and then the Government will conduct […]

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