By: Herman Aucamp - 10 September 2018

The long-awaited draft Integrated Resources Plan (IRP) for 2018 was recently released by Energy Minister Jeff Radebe in August 2018 for public comment.

The IRP is a "living plan" that is intended to be revised every two years by the Department of Energy (DoE) to consider the latest available generation cost data to determine South Africa's foreseeable energy mix.

The plan maps out how the South African government intends to manage and fulfil the national electricity demand up until 2030. The IRP provides the necessary certainty to industry players as well as consumers in so far as security of electricity supply - in the medium to long term - is concerned.

Given the changing landscape of the energy industry the IRP must balance several objectives, namely to ensure security of supply, to minimize cost of electricity, to minimize negative environmental impact (emissions), to minimize water usage and consider the socio-economics of curtailing South Africa’s heavy reliance on coal as a source of energy generation.

Key assumptions that have changed since the previous IRP 2010 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, as well as technology costs that have declined significantly.

In 2030 the government envisages the energy mix will consist of:

• 34,000MW of coal, representing 46% of installed capacity

• 11,930MW of gas, or 16% of installed capacity

• 11,442MW of wind, or 15% of installed capacity

• 7,958MW of photovoltaic (PV, or solar), or 11% of installed capacity

• 4,696MW of hydropower, or 6% of installed capacity

The balance will consist of pump storage, concentrated solar power (CSP) and nuclear power.

Follow this link to Business Day's article on the new Draft IRP

To view the draft Integrated Resources Plan for 2018, click here

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