South African Minister of Energy, Jeff Radebe, released the long awaited draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) on 27 August 2018. Public submissions can be made to the Department of Energy by 26 October 2018, and to the Portfolio Committee on Energy by 5 October 2018, who are also calling for expressions of interest in making a verbal presentation at public hearings expected to take place in mid-October.
Submissions allow the public to present their views on a proposed policy.This is an important way to influence decision-making by the Government.
As per the Separation of Powers, Parliament is mandated to scrutinize the Department of Energy’s work and hold it accountable. By submitting comments to both the Portfolio Committee on Energy and the Department of Energy, the public ensures that the Committee is able to monitor whether the Department’s draft IRP takes the public’s input into consideration, and that ultimately it serves the best interest of the people.
Submit your comments
Make your public submission to both the Portfolio Committee on Energy and the Department of Energy.
Portfolio Committee on Energy:
Please note that submissions closed on 5 October 2018
Department of Energy:
Please note that submissions closed on 26 October 2018
Why is the IRP important?
The IRP serves to identify the preferred generation technology required to meet expected demand growth in South Africa to 2050, and outlines the proposed generation of new build in that period. It is meant to be a “living plan”.
This roadmap is critical because, in planning the country’s energy path, the IRP ought to ensure energy affordability to its citizens, many of whom still do not have access to what many of us take for granted. Affordable electricity is a critical lever for economic progression. New electricity generation capacity must be planned and provided at least cost, while meeting existing ministerial determinations and contractual commitments for any existing new-build, as well as government’s policy objectives – including universal access to electricity, economic growth and jobs, environmental compliance and sustainability, and increasing the diversity of both primary energy sources and generators within the electricity supply industry in order to manage risk.
What has changed since 2010?
Since the promulgation of the IRP 2010-2030, there have been a number of developments in the energy sector in South Africa and a number of assumptions have since changed, which emphasises the necessity of this review.
As outlined in the draft IRP, key assumptions that have changed include:
Electricity demand projection that did not increase as envisaged
Existing Eskom plant performance that is way below the 80% availability factor
Additional capacity committed to and commissioned
Technology costs that have declined significantly
New installed capacity & resultant installed capacity
New installed capacity to 2030 includes:
1000 MW coal
8100 MW wind
5670 MW solar PV
2500 MW hydro
8100 MW gas/diesel
The resultant installed capacity mix in 2030:
Coal with 34,000MW (46%)
Wind with 11,442MW (15%)
Solar PV with 7,958MW (10%)
Nuclear with 1,860MW (2.5%)
Hydro with 4,696MW (6%)
Pumped Storage with 2,912MW (4%)
Concentrated Solar Power with 600MW (1%)
Gas with 11,930MW (16%)
The IRP Executive Summary begins by making reference to the National Development Plan (NDP), which envisages that by 2030, South Africa will have an energy sector that provides reliable and efficient energy service at competitive rates, is socially equitable through expanded access to energy at affordable tariffs, and that is environmentally sustainable.
Currently, South Africa is not on track to reach its Nationally Determined Contributionto address climate change, and as such is falling behind in fulfilling its commitment to the Paris Agreement.
However, the resultant installed capacity mix in 2030 outlines that almost half of South Africa’s energy generation will come from coal power. While coal as a conventional energy source is considered by many as reliable in terms of providing energy access to all, its environmental and social impact – and that of the other included energy generation sources – on our water resources, health, air quality, land, and of course, the climate, need to be taken into consideration when forming public submissions.
Be a part of the decisions that affect the future of our society and our environment, and submit your public comments on the draft IRP.
While we strongly encourage all citizens and civil society organisations to form their own opinion on the draft IRP 2018, we understand that such documents are not necessarily easy to read. Moreover, the question of how we plan to generate energy in the future relates to a multitude of social, economic and environmental issues, making it at times difficult to see all the ramifications.
If you are at a loss for words, or would like some indications as to the main issues to be considered in this IRP 2018, have a look at some of the comments the African Climate Reality Project has put together: