Live from Parliament on Tuesday, presenting the Eskom Inquiry booklet, Professor Anton Eberhard said South Africa cannot afford to build a new nuclear fleet.Professor Eberhard said: “From my research, a new nuclear fleet would be extremely difficult to finance with our current fiscus status.”
This comes just after the national power utility having obtained environmental approval to construct the Nuclear-1 Power Station and associated infrastructure at the Duynefontein site in the Western Cape.
Last week, the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) granted Eskom permission to proceed with the nuclear installation at Duynefontein.
Nuclear energy deal
ESI Africa previously reported that the former energy minister, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, said the expansion of the nuclear energy programme remains a central feature of the country’s future energy mix, linking it to the need to provide base load electricity and also to meet the significant greenhouse gas emissions reduction target that South Africa has set.
On the other hand, Eberhard argued another point regarding sky rocketing tariffs. He said there has been a 400% electricity price increase over the last 10 years, which is highly unusual. “This has had a serious impact on the economy,” he said.
The sentiments were also shared by the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) in their plea to the National Energy Regulator (NERSA) urging the regulator to prioritise the country’s economy and reject Eskom’s tariff increase. Read more...
Eskom’s tariff increase
Eskom has requested Nersa to allow the utility a 19.9% price increase to fund a 7% revenue increase.
“The increases are mostly due to Medupi and Kusile, which has added massively to Eskom’s finance costs. An increase in coal costs are also contributing to this," Eberhard argued.
He added: “The price should not have been much more than inflation. If you look at renewable IPPs, there has been a 78% decrease in solar PV prices in last five years. This points to the fact that Eskom’s price increases are out of synch.”
For more information, access the booklet here
Featured image source: Stock