Integrated Energy Plan to be released for public comment

Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson has announced the release of the much anticipated energy master plan that reveals government’s medium to long term plans for electricity provision within the approved energy mix leading up to the year 2050.

Briefing journalists at the Imbizo Centre in Parliament on Tuesday, the Minister announced that the Integrated Energy Plan (IEP) and the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) would be gazetted for public comment and engagement on Friday, 25 November 2016.

The Minister said the two plans are aimed at servicing a similar purpose in projecting the future of the country’s energy mix.

The purpose of the IEP is to provide a roadmap of the future energy landscape for South Africa which guides the future energy infrastructure investments and policy development.

The development of the IEP is a continuous process and takes into account the changes in the macroeconomic environment, developments in new technologies and changes in the national priorities and imperatives, amongst other factors, she said.

The Minister said eight objectives were identified as part of the IEP. These include:

Ensuring the security of energy supply;

Minimising the cost of energy;

Promoting the creation of jobs and localisation;

Minimising negative environmental impacts from the energy sector;

Promoting the conservation of water;

Diversifying supply sources and primary sources of energy;

Promoting energy efficiency in the economy; and

Increasing access to modern energy.

Minister Joemat-Pettersson said the IEP analyses current energy consumption trends within different sectors of the economy – from agriculture, commerce, industry to residential and transport – and uses this to project future energy requirements, based on different scenarios.

She said the scenarios are informed by different assumptions on economic development and the structure of the economy and also take into account the impact of key policies such as environmental policies, energy efficiency policies, transport policies and industrial policies, amongst others.

The IEP then determines the optimal mix of energy sources and technologies to meet those energy needs in the most cost-effective manner for each of the scenarios.

The associated environmental impacts, socio-economic benefits and macroeconomic impacts are also analysed.

The IEP is therefore focused on determining the long-term energy pathway for South Africa, taking into account a multitude of factors which are embedded in the eight objectives, she said.

Balancing electricity demands against economic, environmental obligations

The Minister said the department will also publish the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) on Friday, 25 November 2016, which is an updated version of an earlier IRP 2013-30 plan.

She said the plan was reviewed to make it relevant to recent developments, including the additional capacity that has come on-line and the lower envisaged electricity demand, among others.

The IRP development and update process as in the case of the IEP aims to balance similar objectives which are security of supply, cost of electricity, job creation and localization, minimal negative environmental impact, minimal water usage, to diversity of supply sources (energy mix) and promotion of energy access, she said.

She said roadshows to roll-out public consultations for the two plans will take place in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth between seven and 15 December 2015, followed by additional roadshows in January.

Consultations will go on until the end of February 2017. �

Source: South African Government News Agency