At long last, the cabinet has approved and published the national Integrated Resource Plan for Electricity, IRP 2010. Now this just has to be passed by parliament and published in the Government Gazette. Let’s hope there will not be further delays, and that a measure of certainty will prevail so that the electricity sector can get down to work. But what is IRP 2010? Why is it important? And what exactly does it say?… (for Chris Yelland’s article read more)

IRP 2010 forecasts South Africa’s electricity demand for the next 20 years up to 2030, and determines how this demand is to be met. It sets out the generation technologies to be used and the planned mix of primary energy options over this period, such as the mix between hydrocarbon (coal, gas, diesel), renewable (hydro, wind, solar), nuclear, pumped storage and other power generation technologies.
IRP 2010 thus enables the necessary short, medium and long term investment, funding and business plans to be developed to give effect to IRP 2010, and this then sets the electricity price trajectory for years to come.
As Eskom and the power generation sector is the biggest emitter of CO2 in South Africa, the selection of appropriate technology and primary energy options made through IRP 2010 gives effect to government policy commitments for the reduction of CO2 emissions to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Whilst it is not cast in stone, but is subject to periodic review and adjustment, IRP 2010 is clearly an important country plan critical to security of electricity supply and economic growth in South Africa. It sets long-term investment directions and decisions valued in excess of R1700-billion over the next two decades.


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