Nuclear energy – a good competitor in a new IPP bid-window |
*EGSA Ed. note: *An interesting article which aims to prove that nuclear new builds are cheaper than renewable energy. However, several factors are missing from this analysis:
– If nuclear is more cost-effective for SA, why then has the modelling done by the DOE, Eskom, CSIR and universities always chosen to reject nuclear energy from the energy mix? And, as soon as nuclear is forced in, the total costs go up. – What would a Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCOE) show using the author’s figures? – The waste disposal, decommissioning and insurance costs are not included.
Nuclear energy – a good competitor in a new IPP bid-window June 6, 2018 0 <>
*Dr Anthonie Cilliers *
* South African Network for Nuclear Education, Science and Technology *
*On Friday 1 June 2018, the Minister of Energy, Jeff Radebe, hosted an Energy Sector Round Table Stakeholders Engagement. I followed the discussions intently, and especially the opening remarks from the honourable Minister was forward thinking and optimistic.*
In terms of nuclear energy, the Koeberg nuclear power plant was praised for its contribution of electricity to the national grid (around 5%) as well as the SAFARI-1 research reactor for being one of the world’s largest contributors of medical isotopes used for cancer treatments.
The opportunity for exploring shale gas in South Africa as a resource to support economic growth as well as contribute energy to our energy sector has been highlighted. Another bid window (bid window 5) was also announced, with a total installed capacity of 1,800MW at an estimated cost of R50 billion. A commitment has also been made to finalise the Integrated Resource Plan by August 2018, as well as to make a draft available for public consultation well before this date.
In reality, our single biggest challenge moving into the future is to mitigate carbon emissions in a cost-effective way, shale gas, however cleaner than burning coal, does not fit into that picture.
As someone who is working with nuclear energy and has quantified the potential it holds for industrialising economies, I believe that nuclear energy will feature in the new Integrated Resource Plan. However, during the engagement, Prof Anton Eberhard eluded to the fact that the energy sector is a highly contested space.
On the other hand, I believe that all energy sources shoul