“Civil society organisations under the Break Free banner reject the IRP current plans as nothing more than renewed attempts by the Department of Energy and Eskom to promote vested interests in nuclear and coal. The long awaited IRP 2016 is a rigged model that forces nuclear energy and coal into the mix, even though it is clearly not cost competitive. The base case proposes a ridiculous scenario for 20 GW of nuclear and 15 GW of new coal by 2050”, stated NhlanhlaSibisi – Climate and Energy Campaigner for Greenpeace Africa.
The purpose of the Integrated Resource Plan, in the DoE’s own words, is to identify investments in the electricity sector that allow the country to meet forecasted demand with the minimum cost to the country. As such coal and nuclear have no place in the IRP base case as renewable energy is by far the cheapest technology and should form the backbone of South Africa’s energy mix going forward.
“What government and the majority of South Africans don’t see are the real costs associated with living with coal on a daily basis. We need to break from coal dependency that has resulted in SA communities living with some of the worst air quality in the world. Children are ill, water resources are polluted, agricultural land is sterilized, all at a time when there are better solutions available through renewable energy”, stated Makoma Lekalakala – Senior Programmes Officer, Earthlife Africa Johannesburg.
Droughts, sporadic rainfall and erratic weather patterns are all indicators that governments should take immediate action to safeguard a future that will sustain future generations.