South Africa has a new plan to tackle load shedding

South Africa’s cabinet approved an updated Integrated Resource Plan – a blueprint for the development of electricity provision over the next two-and-a-half decades.

The plan underpins how the government will address the nation’s energy crisis, Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa said in an online briefing Sunday.

He said it will be released at an unspecified date by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy for public comment.

The so-called IRP has two time horizons – one through 2030 and the other from 2030 to 2050, Ramokgopa said.

The first timeframe will help the government ensure that “we are able to ameliorate the degree of the energy deficit that we are experiencing now,” and anticipates that the South African authorities will need to “rethink the schedule” for decommissioning power plants, he said.

South Africa’s governing African National Congress in April approved plans by Ramokgopa to extend the use of Eskom’s coal-fired plants earmarked for decommissioning in a bid to alleviate record electricity outages that have hobbled growth in Africa’s most industrialised economy.

The IRP’s second time horizon focuses on renewable energy and “their linkages to the availability of transmission infrastructure,” the minister said.

The nation’s Presidential Climate Commission said in May that a review of the 2010-30 IRP should include 50 gigawatts to 60 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030.