“In our opinion, the entire process reeks of reverse engineering to try and accommodate the introduction of nuclear energy”, said Ted Blom, OUTA’s Portfolio Director for Energy. “A series of methodological decisions have been introduced, to keep a window open to justify a false need nuclear power.”
The first dubious decision in the chain was not to select a zero-base model. The rational approach would dictate that every IRP update is to run a lowest cost model, as was advised by the Ministerial Advisory Commission on Energy (MACE). Had this been done, the base case IRP model would have shown zero nuclear and the entire nuclear debate would have been over. Instead, Ministerial determinations made until December 2015 were assumed to be cast in stone and the model was never asked whether we should be building nuclear or not, but rather when.
This draft IRP for 2016 indicates that nuclear is not required before 2037, indicating that the nuclear debate should not be entertained for another eight years or so. Instead, in a stunning exhibition of how a deeply conflicted state owned monopoly can manipulate government policy, the Head of Eskom Generation, Mr Matshela Koko, was inexplicably allowed to sit on a panel with the Minister of Energy and pronounce on the future energy mix of the country. Moreover, Mr Koko proceeded to implicitly defy the outcome of the draft IRP 2016, by selecting the one scenario amongst many that possibly requires some nuclear by 2025. He has taken this option to justify his hasty plan for a nuclear rollout Request for Information (RFI) in the next month, thereby keeping Eskom’s nuclear pipedream alive.
OUTA pointed out several other inconsistencies that point to reverse engineered outcome:
“OUTA is assessing a possible judicial challenge of the IRP and IEP base case methodology, assumptions and rationality, to halt the Department’s flawed process which could have extremely expensive and adverse decisions for South Africa,” says Wayne Duvenage, OUTA’s chairperson.