The Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry warned the government on Thursday that using the "unrealistic and defective" draft 2016 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for future energy planning would be ill-advised and could damage the economy. The Department of Energy released the draft plan late last year for public comment. In its formal letter of objection to the department, the chamber’s president, Janine Myburgh, highlighted the over-estimate of future demand for electricity as a particular concern, as well as some of the assumptions on the costs of generating electricity. The chamber said the 2010 IRP had over-estimated future electricity demand by 32%. Among the main reasons for this was the lack of economic growth caused, in part, by Eskom’s high tariffs which had forced companies and domestic consumers to find ways to use less electricity. The increase in the embedded generation of roof-top solar also contributed to the over-estimation. In its submission the chamber also said re...

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