South Africa’s updated IRP moving but may not be passed before next years national elections

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  • South Africa’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe,  has communicated that he will be presenting the draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) at a Cabinet meeting next month.
  • He was speaking on the sidelines at the Critical Minerals Summit held in Sandton this week.
  • With the 2019 IRP considered ‘outdated’ at the time of its release, the country is in desperate need of a new IRP as it faces up to 10 hours of blackouts daily because power generation cannot meet demand.

Once passed Cabinet the draft IRP it will then go to the executive for approval. Thereafter it will go through a public consultation process. Mantashe said 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. If the IRP is not passed before the national elections, the process will then have to start from scratch.

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.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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