4 August 2010 – The Department of Energy was unable to produce a completed integrated energy plan for South Africa yesterday.
Ompi Aphane, the acting deputy director-general for electricity and renewable energy, told MPs serving on the energy portfolio committee yesterday that the department had carried out a public consultation phase and that the national plan now boiled down to a national electricity plan.
Noting that the costs of clean technologies were high, he said South Africa faced "tough choices". The ultimate decision on the energy mix would have to be a political one, he proposed.
The Energy Department envisaged garnering at least 500 megawatts of energy from wind by 2013 and increasing this by 1 000MW each year from 2014. It also proposed that solar power would produce 500MW a year from 2019. Other energy sources would include liquid fuel and gas supplies, according to the department.
Aphane said an overwhelming majority of those consulted sought "a low carbon economy".
Many respondents are strongly opposed to nuclear and coal as energy solutions in the future," he said.
ANC MP Gerhard Koornhof expressed doubt as to whether an integrated plan would be ready for promulgation in four months’ time as pledged and whether a delay in the process might not defer foreign and domestic investment decisions in projects.