South Africa's energy sector is at the crossroads in an uncertain and incoherent policy environment caused by the self-induced chaos of the Jacob Zuma administration, with three ministers of energy in 2017 alone, and further political change likely after the ANC's elective conference in mid-December 2017. By CHRIS YELLAND.
According to Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba, failures of governance, leadership and financial management at the national electricity utility, Eskom, are of grave concern, with contingent liabilities and government guarantees on its debt presenting a significant risk to the entire economy.
The proposed 9.6 GW nuclear new-build programme, so dear to the heart of President Zuma and his new energy minister, threatens what remains of South Africa's economy, with the country's financial position and credit rating hanging in the balance.
The long outstanding integrated energy plan (IEP) and integrated resource plan for electricity (IRP) are expected to be finalised shortly without following due process, with widespread expectations that political interference will artificially constrain renewable energy to force nuclear power into the energy mix.
Techno-economic modelling of various scenarios for the new IRP by National Treasury, the CSIR, the DoE and its IPP Office, the Energy Intensive User Group and Eskom itself, for...