- South Africa’s Mineral Resources and Energy Minister, Gwede Mantashe, says the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for electricity is only likely to serve before Cabinet in September.
- The Minister made this announcement during the Energy Budget Vote in Parliament yesterday in Cape Town.
According to Mantashe, the draft IRP was still being considered by the social partners at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac).
“The Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) is in the process of being finalised at Nedlac,” he said . “In September 2019, it will be tabled before Cabinet for approval. The IRP considers a diversified energy mix that includes all forms of energy technologies such as cleaner coal, nuclear, gas, hydro, renewables and battery storage”.
The Minister added that as a country, we must avoid the currently polarised debate on energy, pitted as coal versus renewables. “The debate should be about the effective use of all the energy sources at our disposal, to achieve security of supply”.
Future of the Independent Power Producers (IPP) Office
“We are working closely with the Development Bank of Southern Africa to transition the current IPP Office into a legal entity that will continue to execute the mandate of the Department in bringing about security of energy supply”.
Mantashe added that a large portion of Eskom’s coal fleet would be decommissioned between 2020 and 2040 and said that the IRP would offer visibility of the generation technologies that would replace that fleet. This will include gas to energy technology.
“The department is exploring greater use of natural gas. The current supply of natural gas in South Africa is mainly from imports via the Republic of Mozambique Pipeline Investment Company’ (ROMPCO) pipeline. We, therefore, need to explore more economical options to bring natural gas into the South African market, including accelerating our own natural gas exploration activities such as the Karoo Shale Gas and the deep-sea discoveries”.
According to Mantashe, South Africa should seek to sustain a role for nuclear beyond 2045, when Koeberg would be decommissioned, following a project to extend its lifespan beyond its current scheduled decommissioning date of 2024.
Link to full speech here.
Author: Bryan Groenendaal