INTEGRATED RESOURCE PLAN
Forward-looking energy plan must tackle jobs issue in order to shine
While electricity needs will be met and coal dependency abolished, the human element must be factored in, writes Johan van den Berg
The Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2018, the multi-decade electricity plan for SA that had been delayed since 2012, finally appeared for comment on Monday. Along the way it was highly contested, long-repressed and extensively reverse-engineered. It has been released in more than one sense of the word: not only is it out and South Africans now have a chance to comment, but the plan has been released from the obligation to render an outcome that serves narrow, vested interests. With some exceptions, it tells us what path science and rigorous, honest modelling indicates is the best future for SA. The outcome is modern, aligned with international trends, allows dreams of a return to abundant and affordable electricity and (while silent now) allows later alignment with global trends, showing an increased coupling of transport, heating/cooling and the electricity sector. Most compellingly, it documents the cheapest way to secure sufficient electricity and, as appears from the Council for ...