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Wind industry responds to IRP update

SAWEA congratulates the Department of Energy for ensuring that the draft IRP 2018 places emphasis on “least-cost” options to 2030 with the significant new wind, solar PV, and gas allocations.

South African minister of energy Jeff Radebe on Monday published the long-awaited Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) update calling for public comment; expiring in 60-days from publication date.

“By 2030, Wind should make up just over 15% of the country’s power mix, assuming that all 8,100MW of new procurement is achieved by then, bringing onshore wind to 11,442MW in total,” said Brenda Martin, CEO of SAWEA.

Martin added: “Energy investment choices made in the IRP 2018 update will have long-term effects for the economy as a whole, and the successful, timeous achievement of the energy transition.

“It is therefore critical that public inputs call for the finalised Integrated Resource Plan to be based on choices that allow for transition-related investment certainty and job-creating local manufacturing growth in particular.”

The Association has asked for clarity on the planned sequence of wind investments, which currently suggest a 3-year gap in procurement between 2022 and 2024.

The wind association said in a statement that the industry cannot deliver the many socio-economic benefits and the scale of investment associated with wind power supply, with a stop-start approach. Read more: SA wind industry: standardised metric to assess energy sector employment

SAWEA notes with interest the Department of Energy’s proposed further areas of analysis, particularly those relating to gas supply options, linked to a renewable energy (RE) and gas dominated supply mix post-2030; the appropriate level of renewable energy penetration, which includes further work on RE integration effects on the grid; as well as a socio-economic impact analysis of decommissioning of coal-fired power plants that would have reached their end of life.

Finally, the Association supports the Minister’s desire that Cabinet adopts the IRP 2018, which will serve as South Africa’s electricity generation roadmap for the next 12 years, as soon as the comment period is concluded.

Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.