The Portfolio Committee on Energy adopted its report on the draft Integrated Resource Plan (2018).
The Department of Energy briefed the committee on the draft IRP in September. The Portfolio Committee on Energy resolved during the meeting to make the following recommendations, following its public hearings which were 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 are as follows:
- 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 thes 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.
- Hold a national dialogue on the Just Energy Transition during the current financial year. This should particularly focus on communities that are going to be affected by the transition from the use of fossil fuels.
- 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.
- Consider alternatives to replace the 2500MW in the event that the Grand Inga project does not come on line in time.
- Increase the allocation of embedded generation from the current 200MW in the draft IRP to at least 500MW.
- The IRP should make it explicit that both coal and nuclear will remain important elements of South Africa’s energy mix. In the case of coal, new clean coal technologies should be pursued.
- The Minister of Energy should convene an energy summit to comprehensively discuss and map out the energy future for South Africa.