South African government pledges to more renewable energy in 2019 manifesto

The African National Congress (ANC) has promised to focus on the development of renewable energy in South Africa, in its 2019 election manifesto.

The manifesto made no mention of South Africa’s nuclear energy plans, in a further sign that government is turning away from the sector after it dropped plans to expand nuclear capacity in its 2018 Integrated Resource Plan.

Under former President Jacob Zuma, South Africa planned to build up to eight new nuclear reactors to generate 9,600MW of energy, but is now pushing for greater renewable energy in its place under President Cyril Ramaphosa.

In the manifesto, the ANC pledged to continue supporting the use of renewable technologies in the country’s energy mix to reduce the cost of energy and decrease greenhouse emissions, while also bringing Eskom into the market as a key player in the renewables sector.

Meanwhile, Energy Minister Jeff Radebe told Reuters that South Africa is aiming to finalise a long-term plan for the country’s energy mix next month. “We are aiming for February,” said Radebe. “Straight away after that we will launch more renewable energy contracts,” he added.