Integrated Resource Plan vital for clarity in the energy sector



The Department of Energy’s long-awaited Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which is due for release soon, will help Eskom and other stakeholders in the power industry clarity and direction.

Jabu Mabuza

Opening this year’s Power-Gen & DistribuTech Africa 2018 power sector event at the Sandton Convention Centre, Eskom’s chairman, Jabu Mabuza, said that South Africa is making strides in integrating renewables and increasing capacity to meet the power needs of all its people.

We need to continuously remember to balance our journey to the new with the old structures, and the consequences of that journey. The whole issue of transition is one which must be continuously grappled with, he said.

Although there is a 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, he added.

As the country continues to increase its generation capacity, more and more of its citizens are being provided with access to electricity, according to Mabuza. Currently only 10% of the population – those living in remote rural areas – have no access to electricity. To meet the needs of people in these areas, microgrids with local renewable energy systems will most probably be developed.

There is a positive shift in the energy sector, he said, as a result of improved governance and social development.

Mabuza said that the IRP – which he dubbed the country’s strategic energy blueprint – which is expected to be finalised by mid-August this year, will give direction to Eskom and the entire energy sector as it seeks to fulfil its mandate of universal access to affordable, reliable and sustainable electricity. Mabuza added that all African countries need to collaborate on power generation and distribution in their quest to fulfil the same objective.

 

 

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