South Africa’s IRP set to be gazetted for public comment by energy minister

  • South Africa’s much awaited Integrated Resources Plan (IRP) is set to be gazetted for public comment by the country’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe, this week after approval by cabinet last Friday.
  • With the 2019 IRP considered ‘outdated’ at the time of its release, the country is in desperate need of a new IRP as it faces up to 10 hours of blackouts daily because power generation, mostly from coal power plants, cannot meet demand. Read more 
  • Coal, gas and nuclear technology is expected to play a continued role in the country’s generation technology mix.

The IRP outlines the new energy generation mix of technologies and associated capacities to be rolled out typically on a 10-year horizon. Mantashe reveals that the new IRP document would be broken into two phases. The first phase will specify generation technology and capacity allocation leading up to 2030 and the second phase covering the period beyond 2030.

Under the leadership of Mantashe, coal, gas and nuclear technology is expected to play a continued role in the country’s generation technology mix. The life of ageing coal power plants are expected to be extended.

Now passed by cabinet the draft IRP is set to be gazetted this week for a public consultation process. Mantashe has previoulsy states that the IRP ‘should’ be finalised this year but judging from the controversial delays and hot contestation expected in passing the Electricity Regulation Act Amendment Bill, which like the IRP is central to the joint efforts of business and government to solve the electricity crisis, the IRP may not be adopted before next year’s election set for between May and August.

If the IRP is not passed before the national elections, the process will then have to start from scratch.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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