Nuclear on the table as energy plans released

African News Agency (ANA)

Nuclear on the table as energy plans released
Gordhan confirmed that Eskom would drive the country’s contested nuclear power procurement programme

Eskom will issue a request for proposals (RFP) to build an additional 9.600 megawatt of nuclear capacity with the first new reactor coming online 2025, its generation head Matshela Koko said on Tuesday as the department of energy released the new draft Integrated Energy Plan and Integrated Resource Plan.

The Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), in contrast, envisions the need for added nuclear power to be online twelve years later, in 2037, but Koko and senior departmental officials said this projection was based on variables, notably a carbon budget, that could force the delivery date forward.

“If you have a carbon budget, then it is 2025,” he told reporters, referring to a target for emission reductions, after Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson released the energy policy blueprint.

Koko said in this case scenario, the country would then need 1.359 megawatt of nuclear power to start feeding into the grid in 2025.

The department of energy’s planned target of 2037 for the same amount of nuclear energy introduces a seven-year delay as government earlier projected it would need to bring a first new reactor online in 2030.

According to the updated plan, the country will see its nuclear energy output soar to 20,385 MW by 2050, while wind and solar energy will add another 55,000 megawatt to the grid.

The department worked on a price of 5.4 million dollars per megawatt for costing the additional nuclear capacity.

Critics of the nuclear procurement plan say it is too expensive and offers vast scope for corruption.

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SOURCEAfrican News Agency (ANA)