Jeff Radebe, the minister of energy, reiterated government’s intention to proceed with the procurement of electricity from two independent coal power plants – despite compelling evidence about the disastrous impacts these plants would have for South Africa.
Last week, the Energy Research Centre (ERC) released a report which shows that the two new coal plants, Thabametsi and Khanyisa, would cost South Africa an additional R20-billion, and increase greenhouse gas emissions by so much that they would negate government’s key plans to mitigate climate change. Credible modelling shows that, given the large surplus generation capacity, the coal IPPs are unnecessary to meet demand or ensure security of electricity supply.
Moreover, both plants would have significant impacts on air quality and health in areas which are already heavily polluted, and would use enormous amounts of precious water resources. It is for these reasons that the Life After Coal Campaign has challenged – and will continue to challenge – all authorisations for these plants, including in High Court proceedings still underway.
We call on the minister to cancel the plans to build the coal IPPs, and not to include any new coal in the updated Integrated Resource Plan for electricity (IRP). It is imperative for South Africa’s prosperity that we adopt a least-cost IRP that also takes into account the costs of energy options on water, health, and climate.
Contact Annette Gibbs, Centre for Environmental Rights, Tel 021 447-1647, firstname.lastname@example.org
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