Parliament welcomes inputs into draft IRP2018

Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Portfolio Committee on Energy has welcomed inputs into the draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP 2018).

The committee began public hearings into the draft plan, which serves to guide government’s plan for electricity provision within the energy mix, on Tuesday.

At the conclusions of the first batch of hearings on Wednesday, the committee had received over 35 submissions from industry players in the energy sector, including environmental and research bodies.

“Various organisations had different views on the Draft IRP. Some organisations called for an energy mix which includes nuclear energy, while some submissions said the IRP needs to focus on clean energy,” said the committee.

During the public participation process, environmental organisations said the draft IRP released for public comment has been improved upon as compared to the 2010 and 2016 iterations.

Cabinet approved the draft updated IRP 2018 on 22 August.

However, others attending the hearings expressed unhappiness about the proposed two Independent Power Producers’ (IPPs) coal-fired power stations, among other things.

The Black Energy Professionals Association (BEPA) said the Draft IRP looks more like a new plan than an update of the IRP 2010. BEPA was of the view that the Draft IRP 2018 removes key technologies that gave high job creation, industrialisation, localisation and economic development potential.

Another view expressed by General Electric (GE) was that South Africa should not discard coal environmental challenges in its current state, but rather harness it for job creation and infrastructure development.

While welcoming the various inputs, Committee Chairperson Fikile Majola said further discussion is needed around the issue of coal as there are various viewpoints on the issue.

The hearings into the draft energy plan for the period up to 2030, was released for public comment by Energy Minister Jeff Radebe on 27 August.

The Parliamentary hearings are expected to continue next week, from 23-27 October, with further inputs from various stakeholders.  

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 of Energy frequently. –