International experience has shown that without sufficient, affordable electricity, there can be no prosperity. The Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2018 will determine how electricity is generated, and whether South Africa will have enough reliable energy, at low enough prices, to facilitate investment, economic growth, job creation, transformation and poverty alleviation.

As its contribution to the achievement of an optimal “energy mix”, the Free Market Foundation (FMF) will tomorrow (December 5) host several presentations and debates, with speakers representing opposing views.

According to the FMF, the Draft IRP 2018 has split the energy community apart in an ugly acrimonious debate, including personal attacks and accusations of malicious dishonesty.

The FMF argues that the “blueprint” for South Africa’s energy security is profoundly flawed. It is based on faulty assumptions that will make prosperity impossible. As such, whether or not to adopt the Draft IRP 2018 could be the most important decision of the decade.

Anthonie Celliers is a specialist in nuclear technology, safety and economics and a widely published author on the future of South Africa’s electricity supply. He is a professional engineer and nuclear instrumentation and control specialist with a PhD in Nuclear Engineering and M.Eng (Computer and Electronic) degree.

At the briefing Celliers will argue that the IRP 2018 is based on faulty assumptions about, inter alia: the levelised cost of electricity (LCOE), the cost of finance, and the environmental impact of “renewables”.

According to Celliers, other issues with the IRP 2018 include:

  • Its call on the government to put all its energy eggs in a single, highly dubious energy basket in an uncertain world, instead of a rationally balanced energy mix.
  • Its vision of permanent economic stagnation and unemployment, instead of prosperity for all.
  • Its rendering of our immense coal and nuclear wealth valueless, and reliance instead on inefficient, costly and unreliable imported technology, gas and hydropower.

Leon Louw, executive director of FMF, will outline the case for free, or relatively free energy markets. He will distinguish between support for private independent power producers (IPPs), on one hand, and unpatriotic government-driven, heavily subsidised, environmentally unfriendly procurement deals on the other.

Louw says: “For South Africa to achieve sufficient economic growth and prosperity will require huge amounts of extra electricity. Without that, we are doomed to perpetual economic stagnation, poverty, inequality and unemployment.”

The energy briefing is free to attend and will take place at the FMF, Block 5 Bryanston Gate, 170 Curzon Road, Bryanston. Registration begins at 11:00 and the event concludes at 13:30.

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