22 October 2019
The portfolio committee on mineral resources and energy has welcomed the release of the National Electricity Infrastructure Development Plan.
The Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2019 was released at the end of last week.
According to the chairperson of the committee, Sahlulele Luzipo, the “plan could not have come at a better time, now that the country is on the path to economic recovery”.
The chairperson holds the view that IRP 2019’s success will “depend largely on a well-functioning Eskom, which should be putting in place high technology maintenance systems in line with the fourth industrial revolution”.
The committee plans to invite the mineral resources and energy minister, Gwede Mantashe, to brief the committee on IRP 2019 and the implementation plan.
Mr Luzipo also expressed confidence that the Special Appropriation Bill, designed to make available additional funding for Eskom, will be passed by both houses of parliament.
It is currently before the national assembly.
The corrected version of IRP 2019, published in Government Gazette 42784, specified that the envisaged nuclear build programme to the extent of 2 500MW will be implemented at a pace and scale that the country can afford and not immediately as the previous version had indicated.
Key decisions taken in IRP 2019 include initiating a power purchase programme to assist with creating reserve capacity needed to supplement Eskom’s declining plant performance and to reduce the utilisation of diesel generators; extend Koeberg power plant design life by 20 years by undertaking required technical and regulatory work; support Eskom to comply with MES over time; consolidate into a single team the various initiatives being undertaken on just transition; retain the current annual build limits on renewables (wind and PV) pending the report on a just transition; to not sterilise the development of coal resources for power generation; convert all diesel-fired power plants (Peakers) to gas to develop gas infrastructure; start the nuclear build programme to the extent of 2 500MW at a pace and scale that the country can afford as it is a no-regret option in the long term and support strategic power projects in neighbouring countries that enable the development of cross-border transmission infrastructure needed for regional energy trading.
IRP 2019 calls for additional capacity to the energy mix for the period up to 2030 of 1 500 MW of generation from Coal, 2 500 MW from Hydro, 6 000 MW from Photovoltaic, 14 400 MW from Wind, 2 088 MW from Storage and 3 000 MW from Gas.