Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) on track

29 Mar 2019

The energy minister, Jeff Radebe, has confirmed that the finalization of the Integrated Resource Plan is imminent.

The minister was speaking at the DLO Africa Power Roundtable in Johannesburg.

The Draft IRP, South Africa’s policy blueprint for the power sector, was drawn up in conjunction with experts from industry and academia.

It was published for comment at the end of August 2018.

During a media briefing at the release of the revised plan, the minister indicated that a number of policy adjustments had been made including the retention of annual build limits for the period up to 2030, the inclusion of 1000MW of coal-to-power in 2023–2024, based on two already procured and announced projects, the inclusion of 2500MW of hydro power in 2030 to facilitate the RSA-DRC treaty on the Inga Hydro Power Project and the utilization of existing PV, Wind and Gas allocations in the plan.

The following new additional capacity by 2030 was included in the Draft IRP: 1000 MW of generation from Coal, 2 500 MW from Hydro, 5 670 MW from PV, 8 100 MW from Wind and 8 100 MW from Gas.

The envisaged energy mix by 2030 will consist of 34 000 MW of coal (46%); 1 860 MW of nuclear (2.5%); 4 696 MW of hydro (6%); 2 912 MW of pumped storage (4%); 7 958 MW of solar PV (10%); 11 442 MW of wind (15%); 11 930 MW of gas (16%) and 600 MW of concentrated solar power (1%).
As part of the consultation process, roadshows were held in Gauteng, Eastern Cape, Kwazulu Natal, Limpopo, North West, Western Cape and Northern Cape.

The Draft IRP is presently before Nedlac for discussion with the social partners.

According to the minister, Cabinet approval of the IRP for South Africa will “define a tangible plan for energy security that also secures the participation of Independent Power Producers (IPP) side by side with Eskom and municipalities”.

He estimated that capacity extension in terms of the IRP will cost in excess of R1 trillion up to 2030 including new power plants and transmission and distribution infrastructure.

The minister called on municipalities with old power stations to resuscitate them as they “represent an opportunity for municipalities to increase revenues at the same time as improving the country’s electricity system reserve margin”.

As regards Eskom tariffs, the minister indicated that government supports a “stance based on tariffs that rise steadily as we build more generation and wires infrastructure”.

See also: Draft bill to govern oil and gas sectors in the pipeline

(This article is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. For more information on the topic, please contact the author/s or the relevant provider.)
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