There has been a downward revision of electricity capacity required in South Africa by 2030 as stated by the integrated resource plan update released by the country’s department of energy. It has projected a downward revision in demand from 454 TWh in 2030 used in the original Integrated Resource Plan (IRP2010) to a range of 345 TWh to 416 TWh. This translates into 6,600 MW less capacity required, based on the upper range of this prediction. This assumes the achievement of South Africa’s aspirational economic growth rate of 5.4% a year based on its National Development Plan.

The focus of the update is on flexibility, with decision trees listed, as the original IRP was criticised for too much rigidity that does not reflect changing circumstances. The update reduces the slice of the pie for different energy options due to the projected decrease in demand. A decision tree considers the implications of life extension of existing Eskom power stations which would then avoid the need for the construction of the planned Coal 3 as a Medupi/Kusile scale facility. It also highlights the uncertainty and volatility that remains around the nuclear component of the original integrated resource plan (IRP2010), while taking into account the delays that have occurred in the progression of that programme, and focusing on the influence of pricing on this technology. The increased focus on gas potential from different sources is also taken into account.

The full update can be found HERE.