“Renewable energy will help us, but not save us”- Philip Lloyd

17 July 2015

South Africa needs an additional 5 TWh of energy a year to keep up with its growing population and meet energy shortage, states Professor Philip Lloyd of the Energy Institute at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.

“Renewable energy will help us, but not save us. We need nuclear,” he told delegates at the PowerGen Africa conference on Thursday, adding that shortage of energy capacity was ‘disastrous’ for the economy.

Current plans for the energy mix were also discouraging. “Medupi, Kusile and Ingula have slipped seriously. The capacity factors of the coal plant have slipped. The Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme has been a success. But we have a shortfall. Nuclear is a must,” he told a workshop hosted by Russian State nuclear corporation Rosatom.

Lloyd expected South Africa to go through a hard time for the next three to four years, with a fairly reliable power supply by 2020.

“If we are to survive beyond 2020, we need to start finding gas and building gas infrastructure soon. We need to increase our wind and PV significantly. We need to find some sources of hydropower that can be brought on stream by early 2020 and plan for a significant nuclear fleet.”

Lloyd said he believed concerns about costs for nuclear were ill-founded and that the power source provided good value.

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