Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Energy on Tuesday adopted its report on the draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP2018) containing several recommendations, including the expedition of the finalisation of the plan within the current financial year.
The Department of Energy briefed the committee on the draft IRP in September. The plan serves to guide government’s plan for electricity provision within the energy mix.
This follows Cabinet’s 22 August approval of the draft updated IRP 2018.
The Committee made several recommendations following public hearings conducted in October.
The committee received 41 written submissions, including 38 requests to make oral submissions from various stakeholders in the energy sector.
The recommendations include:
- Expedite the finalisation of the IRP 2018 within the current financial year to restore public confidence and promote policy certainty in the energy sector.
- Review the IRP every two years. In this regard, an immediate study should be conducted to better inform the review of the IRP.
- Seriously consider the concerns raised on demand forecasts, assumptions used, and the robustness of the modelling.
- Given the uncertainty in future demand, technologies and innovation, the committee recommends that any IRP should be flexible enough to respond to these uncertainties, including exploring the feasibility of new and agile approaches to energy provision in this rapidly changing energy environment.
- Direct the department to conduct a thorough socio-economic impact assessment of various energy mix scenarios in preparation for the review of the IRP by 2020.
- Ensure that externalities/environmental impacts of the proposed energy mix are considered in a meaningful way.
- Expedite the finalisation of the Integrated Energy Plan (IEP) and the Gas Utilisation Master Plan (GUMP).
- Include local government in the IRP planning process, including the implementation thereof.
- Ensure that the IRP 2018 and all subsequent IRPs focus more on developing local industries than the reliance on imported technologies.
The committee also recommended that Energy Minister Jeff Radebe convene an energy summit to comprehensively discuss and map out the energy future for South Africa.
The first IRP for South Africa was promulgated in March 2011. It was indicated at the time that the IRP should be a “living plan”, which would be revised by the department frequently. – SAnews.gov.za