Lower carbon plan excluded

The hearings into the Integrated Resource Plan come at a time when there is growing concern, including from within government, about the country’s energy future.

The Mail & Guardian has previously reported that a lower carbon scenario has been excluded from the draft IRP2010.

The scenario, the “Additional Carbon Measures Scenario”, was requested by the department of environmental affairs.

It noted that the revised balanced scenario—the scenario that is ultimately recommended as the best option for South Africa in the draft IRP—will have implications for South Africa’s ability to meet emissions targets under the Copenhagen Accord.

“The revised balance scenario allows for an annual emissions peak of 305-million tonnes [of CO2] before declining to a plateau of emissions between 260 and 275-million tonnes a year thereafter,” said the report.

“The DEA is concerned that this peak and plateau exceeds the policy requirement, especially the Copenhagen aspirations.”

Under the Copenhagen Accord, signed last year, South Africa has agreed to reduce emissions by 34% by 2020 and by 42% by 2025.

The report recommended additional renewable options in the form of biogas and solar thermal power.
It also provided for more demand-side measures and a roll-out of an additional three million solar water heaters.

Even with the additional renewables included, the cost was only marginally higher, reaching R884-billion instead of the revised balanced scenario of R856-billion.

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