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South Africa’s new energy plan needs a mix of nuclear, gas, renewables and coal – expert

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Conversation or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: South Africa is grappling with a significant energy crisis, characterized by 15 years of rolling blackouts due to aging coal-fired power plants
• The draft Integrated Resource Plan outlines a vision for transitioning to a more diversified and sustainable energy mix by 2050, amidst ongoing public consultation

🔭 The context: The plan is divided into two "horizons," with the immediate focus (Horizon One) on stabilizing the current power system and addressing a significant electricity shortfall predicted for 2024
• Horizon Two outlines a longer-term strategy to reduce reliance on coal and shift towards cleaner energy sources, including renewables, nuclear, and "clean coal."

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: South Africa's transition from coal to a more sustainable energy mix is crucial for reducing carbon emissions and combating climate change
• However, the plan also emphasizes the need for this transition to be affordable and inclusive, given the country's high levels of inequality and the importance of electricity access for all

⏭️ What's next: The final Integrated Resource Plan must accelerate the adoption of a diverse range of energy technologies, including gas, nuclear, and renewable sources, to ensure reliable and sustainable electricity supply
• This transition will require significant investment and a concerted effort to develop local manufacturing capabilities for renewable energy components

💬 One quote: "The transition to renewable energy must be inclusive," underlining the importance of creating jobs and ensuring affordability as South Africa shifts towards a low-carbon energy future.

📈 One stat: The shortfall in electricity supply is predicted to exceed 2,001 megawatts weekly by 2024, highlighting the urgency of implementing the Integrated Resource Plan's proposals.

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