The Minister of Energy on Friday reiterated government’s intention to proceed with the procurement of expensive, dirty electricity from two independent coal power plants – despite compelling evidence about the disastrous impacts these plants would have for South Africa.
Last week, the Energy Research Centre (ERC) released a report proving that the two new coal plants, Thabametsi and Khanyisa, would cost South Africa an additional R20 billion, and increase greenhouse gas emissions by so much that they would negate government’s key plans to mitigate climate change. Credible modelling shows that, given the large surplus generation capacity, the coal IPPs are unnecessary to meet demand, and ensure security of electricity supply.
Moreover, both plants would have significant impacts on air quality and health in areas that are already heavily polluted, and would use enormous amounts of precious water resources. It is for these reasons that the Life After Coal Campaign has challenged - and will continue to challenge - all authorisations for these plants, including in High Court proceedings still underway.
We call on the Minister to cancel the plans to build the coal IPPs, and not to include any new coal in the updated Integrated Resource Plan for Electricity (IRP). It is imperative for South Africa’s prosperity that we adopt a least-cost IRP that also takes into account the costs of energy options on water, health, and climate.
We reiterate the Life After Coal Campaign and Greenpeace Africa’s request for an urgent meeting with the Minister to discuss these issues. We will invite community representatives from the areas that will be impacted by these coal IPPs to join us at this meeting.
Centre for Environmental Rights NPC