Why South Africa’s Affordable Energy Dream Is Still Far From Reality

South Africa will have to wait for more months in order to relaunch its affordable energy programme. Formalised in 2010, the project for the construction of about six to eight reactors with a capacity of 9,600 megawatts is now being considered as an expected yet difficult to be achieved dream.

South Africa’s energy minister Tina Joemat Petterson had promised that the call for tender will be launched on September 30, but this was not done as promised. The energy minister’s office has said it needs to complete information gathering on the project, but environmental experts are against the move.

“Nuclear is never safe, but it’s also hugely expensive and takes a very long time to deliver. What South Africa needs is electricity that is affordable but also that can deliver in very short time frame. So, as far as Greenpeace is concerned, the decision to invest in nuclear is not a rational one. And it’s not based on providing affordable, accessible electricity either,” Green Peace energy official, Melita Steele said.

South Africa’s Association of Nuclear Industry says the country needs more electric power to develop its industry and create jobs as fear looms over the country’s aging coal fired power plants.

The cost of the project is estimated at about $73 billion dollars. Read the full story.