Govt, energy regulator challenged over plans for new coal-fired power plants

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South Africa's energy regulator and energy department have are facing a demand from some of the country’s leading environmental groups to halt plans to allow the construction of new coal-fired power plants or face legal action.

Plans for the construction of 1 500 megawatts of coal generation capacity are included in the 2019 Integrated Resource Plan for Electricity and a so-called ministerial determination passed on 25 September last year.

"Our clients’ instructions are to oppose the 1 500 megawatts of new coal in the determination and the IRP 2019 in the event it is to proceed," the Centre For Environmental Rights, a legal organisation, said in a statement on behalf of its clients on Tuesday.

The CER is representing groundWork, Vukani Environmental Justice Movement in Action and the African Climate Alliance.

The groups argue that the recent decision by the government to allow private companies to build power plants of up to 100 megawatts to be built without a generation license negates the need for more coal.

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