Nuclear, renewables and customer solutions

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To advocate for nuclear as a key to South Africa’s energy security, André Pienaar, CEO and founder of C5 Capital, said: “Nuclear energy is not able to contribute quickly to the resolution of the energy crisis in South Africa, but is a long-term source that can play a valuable part.”

As a low-carbon energy source, both Pienaar and Oberholzer agreed that nuclear has an important role to play, not to replace renewables in the energy transition, but rather as a complementary source. As nuclear physicist Kelvin Kemm phrased it: “solar and renewables are all well and good for certain purposes, but they are not going to solve the problem,” and the country should be realistic.

Both Pienaar and Kemm advocated for small modular reactors to meet the energy needs of smaller communities and fulfil the need for flexibility – Pienaar even hinted that he “can see a small modular reactor in Cape Town’s future.”