NPC warns SA on cost of nuclear power

2012-08-15 14:36
The National Planning Commission in its revised plan has repeated a warning on the cost of nuclear power.  (Mary Ann Chastain, AP)

The National Planning Commission in its revised plan has repeated a warning on the cost of nuclear power. (Mary Ann Chastain, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Environment
    This volume of "The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture" surveys the dynamic environmental forces... Now R886.00
    buy now

Cape Town - The National Planning Commission in its revised plan repeats a warning on the cost of nuclear power, government's preferred alternative to fossil fuels, and instead advocates a diverse mix of energy sources.

The plan, handed to President Jacob Zuma in Parliament on Wednesday, advocates investigating shale and coal bed methane reserves as a cheaper alternative.

"If gas reserves are proven, and environmental concerns alleviated, then development of these resources and gas-to-power projects should be fast-tracked," it states.

"Even if economically recoverable resources are much lower than currently estimated, shale gas as a transitional fuel has the potential to contribute a very large proportion of South Africa's electricity needs."

The commission also calls for building the necessary infrastructure to import liquefied natural gas, and for an increase in hydro-power imports from the region.

Renewable energy

The update of the original plan released in November, largely confirms its original predictions of the energy targets the country needs to meet by 2030. This includes acquiring at least 20 000MW of renewable energy, and decommissioning 11 000MW of ageing coal-fired power stations.

It says the renewable component, which will supplement Eskom's added generation capacity of 10 000MW, should include gas, wind, solar, imported hydro-electricity and lastly, "possibly a nuclear programme from about 2023".

In response to widening concern about the country's ageing distribution network, and a maintenance backlog of some R35bn, the commission proposes ring-fencing the distribution business of the country's 12 largest municipalities and developing a finance plan to tackle refurbishment gaps.

It further proposes that Eskom take over the electricity distribution functions of poor, struggling municipalities, but allow medium-sized municipalities that are doing reasonably well to continue distributing.

The commission concedes that electricity prices will have to continue to rise to enable Eskom to service its debt and expand its operations. Government, it says, is close to the limits of fiscal support it can give the utility.

To protect economic growth, the commission calls on the national regulator Nersa to "create a smooth path over a longer term" so that consumers face more predictable and manageable tariff hikes.

It maintains its call for an economy-wide carbon tax, but acknowledges that Eskom and Nersa will have no option but to pass the cost of such a measure on to captive consumers.

Jobs

It says a carbon tax will have to go hand in hand with exemptions in some sectors, including a conditional reprieve to the electricity sector provided it progressively moves to a lower fossil fuel mix.

The plan also turns its attention to electricity use in the mining sector, which has seen its contribution to GDP drop to only 6% in 2010.

It cites research that shows mining output can be increased, while, at the same time, be made less electricity intensive.

It warns that beneficiation of mineral resources is highly energy intensive and therefore not necessarily a panacea for the economy.

"As long as electricity is scarce, there will be a trade-off between beneficiation and other more labour-absorbing activities."

The commission forecasts that despite difficulties surrounding the sector, it should be able to create about 300 000 new jobs, including indirect jobs.

- SAPA

Read more on:    nersa  |  eskom  |  environment  |  nuclear
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

SAPS waited too long to complain about ad - DA

The DA has told a public hearing that the SA Police Service was "hopelessly out of time" to lodge a complaint against its election advert.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

13 days to elections - news you need to know
11 Julius Malema quotes you'll never forget
DA won't get 30% - Zille
The EFF's ad was banned, see why
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Cape Town - 13:33 PM
    Road name: Airport Approach Road Northbound
    ROADWORKS - left lane closed towards the Airport
  • Thursday Delft - 13:24 PM
    Road name: R300 Southbound
    ROADWORKS - right lane closed at the Hindle Road exit
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

24 hour sale- 30% off beauty products

Today only, get 30% on all hair care, skincare, selected cosmetics and fragrances. Offer expires midnight 24 April. While stocks last. Shop now!

Mother’s Day special offers!

Spoil mom with these awesome specials that will warm her heart. Shop now!

Twisp – the smoking alternative

Buy any 2 refills for R250 and save R149. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Mother’s Day specials on appliances

Browse our range of Mother’s Day appliances to spoil and pamper mom. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Canon EOS 600D

The Canon EOS 600D Digital Camera puts the widely respected...

From R5389.95

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be more sensitive today and can be influenced easily by the energies around you. Try not to be swayed too much by the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.