/ 17 March 2011

Cabinet approves integrated resource energy plan

Cabinet has approved the policy-adjusted integrated resource plan for electricity 2010 (IRP2010) for promulgation by the energy department.

Briefing the media on Thursday, following Cabinet’s regular Wednesday meeting, Minister in the Presidency: Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation Collins Chabane said it would form the basis of South Africa’s power generation plan for the next 20 years.

“Cabinet was informed by the need to diversify the energy mix, with specific emphasis on broadening energy carriers to include gas, imports, nuclear, biomass, renewable [wind, solar and hydro], as well as the efficient use of the existing resources, such as coal, while ensuring that we continue to invest in clean coal technology,” he said.

The IRP2010 would also place significant emphasis on intensifying the energy efficiency strategy.

The IRP2010 was aligned to the objectives set in the long-term mitigation scenarios and the commitments made to climate change imperatives, especially the Copenhagen Accord, Chabane said.

‘Financial burden’
Cabinet also gave the nod to table the Independent System and Market Operator (ISMO) Bill in Parliament.

Stakeholders in the power generation sector were encouraged to engage on the bill as part of the parliamentary process, he said.

Establishing the ISMO was a key imperative to a more disciplined, open and transparent electricity sector that would help facilitate participation by independent power producers (IPP) in electricity generation.

“IPPs will minimise the financial burden on the state in relation to the building of new generation capacity and they will spread the burden and risk relating to providing power capacity necessary to grow the economy and create jobs,” Chabane said. — Sapa