ACDP Member of Parliament Cheryllyn Dudley, responding to an engineering study prepared for the South African Department of Energy and Eskom, today said that "the ACDP is calling for an inquiry into the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation SOC Limited."

NECSA is the state-owned public company responsible for undertaking and promoting research and development in the field of nuclear energy and radiation sciences.

"This study," Dudley says, "vindicates what many have been saying for decades and has disproved 'myths' credited to former Eskom executives about the limits and costs of renewable energy capacity in South Africa."

The study was commissioned by the Deutsche Gesellschaft Für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) - under the department's South African-German Energy programme.

The study contains solid research that confirms the South African power system is sufficiently flexible to handle large amounts of variable wind and solar PV generation. In addition combined cycle gas turbines (CCGTs) and open cycle gas turbines proposed in the Draft IRP 2016 Base Case can be factored in.

"The ACDP is calling on Parliamentary Committees to seriously consider the implications of the study especially in light of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa's statements in Davos that South Africa cannot afford nuclear expansion.

We call on the Minister to discard the 2008 Nuclear Energy Policy Framework, approved by Cabinet and Gazetted without any adequate public or Parliamentary participation. We further call for a full and dedicated inquiry into the billions of rands that have been spent by Eskom and at NECSA on nuclear development and the role of nuclear in the massive corruption scandals at Eskom and other SOEs - especially NECSA."

The report states that up to 2030, the operating and emergency reserve will still be sufficient to balance the increased variability of wind and solar PV generation capacities proposed in the draft IRP 2016 Base Case and confirms that large penetration levels of wind and solar PV can be handled by the South African power system from an active power balancing point of view, at moderate additional costs.

Dudley further said that "civil society has long argued for decentralised Renewable Energy (RE), owned and operated at regional or local level as a means of ensuring energy security, providing employment (local jobs) and cutting down on reliance on the failing grid run by a monopoly.

The ACDP urges the department to take note of the recommendations in the report and to ensure the secure and cost-efficient operation of the power system."

2 February 2018