Although the South African Renewable Energy Council (SAREC) has recently stated that it welcomes the 2016 update of the Integrated Energy Plan (IEP) and Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), the organisation has also expressed its disappointment about the rushed process.
SAREC stated its disappointed about how “the Department of Energy and NERSA have seemingly rushed through a Section 34 determination for the procurement of 9,600MW of nuclear energy on the basis of the very outdated Integrated Resource Plan published in 2010.”
Chair of the South African Renewable Energy Council, Brenda Martin, said: “We are further disheartened by Eskom’s Acting CEO’s simultaneous announcement that the utility will release a nuclear Request for Proposals as soon as the determination is gazette.”
Martin continued: “This is compounded by Eskom’s ongoing refusal to sign power purchase agreements with 37 renewable independent power producers, some of whom had had preferred bidder status for as long as 20 months.”
SAREC welcomes updated IRP
Last month, following the announcement of updated IRP, SAREC encouraged that the public participation process should address a number of concerns that the industry has raised.
The renewable energy Council believes that this irrational behaviour “fans the flames of suspicion” as to the real motives behind the nuclear campaign. Facts, logic and basic financial prudence simply do not support this determination, the Council said in a statement.
“Sadly, it appears that Eskom and an increasingly compliant Department of Energy are playing to a different set of rules,” Martin added.
In conclusion, the association stated that South Africa’s long-term energy choices must be based on rational and transparent planning. Furthermore, the country’s energy policy makers must “walk this talk”.
SAREC is an umbrella body representing the interests of the solar and wind industries’ associations.