• Nation needs 17 gigawatts by '30, contracts up to 25 gigawatts
  • Government plans 9,600 megawatts of nuclear power by 2030

Falling electricity demand means South Africa no longer needs nuclear power, said Anton Eberhard, a professor at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business.

The country requires about 17 gigawatts of new electricity generating capacity by 2030, less than the 22 to 25 gigawatts already contracted, Eberhard wrote in Johannesburg-based Business Day newspaper Tuesday. Even so, the government wants to add 9.6 gigawatts of nuclear power by 2030.

Electricity demand is lower than a decade ago due to less energy-intensive industries and a faltering economy, Eberhard said. Even if demand were to increase, it would rise more slowly from a lower base, rendering obsolete estimates made in 2010, on which the nuclear plans were based, he said.

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