The South African energy minister, Jeff Radebe, has declared Friday as the day for the public to give their input in the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).
Speaking to Business Day on the sidelines of a meeting of parliament’s portfolio committee on energy, Rabebe said the IRP “would definitely be gazetted for public comment this week, as there has been a complaint that there has not been sufficient public consultation”. Without specifying the time period, he said the comment period would be short.
The IRP, a 20-year planning tool that models energy demand and supply costs, is anticipated to end years of uncertainty for independent renewable energy producers as well as for Eskom.
Furthermore, the structure is expected to provide clarity on the future of nuclear energy in the country, which has been surrounded by controversy and litigation.
IRP to provide direction for Eskom
Speaking about the readiness of the IRP last month, Eskom’s chairman, Jabu Mabuza, emphasised on the importance of balancing the new journey with the old structures. Read more: Integrated Resource Plan nears completion, says Jabu Mabuza
“We need to continuously remember to balance our journey to the new with the old structures, and the consequences of that journey. So the whole issue of transition is one that we continuously grapple with,” Mabuza noted.
He added: “It must be noted that while there is commitment to shift towards renewable energy, to meet South Africa’s energy demands, coal remains a part of the energy mix, at least for the foreseeable future.
“I’m pleased that we will finalise South Africa’s strategic energy blueprint, our integrated resource plan, by mid-August this year. The IRP will provide the necessary direction for Eskom, and others in the market in terms of the energy mix.”