South Africa Approves Integrated Resource Plan 2023

Country’s Energy Roadmap For 2030 & 2050 To Be Soon Out For Public Consultation

South Africa Approves Integrated Resource Plan 2023

Pictured is a solar power plant of Norway’s Scatec that’s one of the winners of South Africa’s REIPPPP round 5. (Photo Credit: Scatec)

  • The cabinet has approved the draft of South Africa’s IRP 2023, which will be an improvement over its predecessor IRP 2019 
  • It covers 2 time horizons to ensure energy security for the country, till 2030 and from 2031 to 2050 
  • Its target is to decarbonize the electricity system with the least-cost technology pathway while phasing out coal-fired power plants by 2035 
  • South Africa will explore clean coal technologies including carbon capture, according to the cabinet decision 

The South African Cabinet has approved the publication of the country’s draft Integrated Resource Plan 2023 (IRP 2023) as a blueprint of its energy supply through 2050. The draft will soon be published for public comments and consultation. 

The latest version covers 2 time horizons of 2030 and 2050, and is an improvement over IRP 2019 under which South Africa aims to install 26.03 GW solar PV and wind energy capacity via the independent power producer (IPP) model. 

Horizon 1, covering the period till 2030, focuses on addressing prevailing generation capacity constraints with 5 scenarios assessed based on the readiness of projects in the pipeline, including through the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP), and Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).  

Horizon 2, encompassing the roadmap between 2031 and 2050, considered 6 energy pathways to assess the impact of different energy technologies to ensure security of power supply at the least cost. Of these, the reference pathway establishes a benchmark against other pathways and it is based on least cost, while the remaining five pathways are based on certain guiding policy principles and designed to be exploratory in nature. 

These policy principles were formulated with a focus on decarbonizing the power system, shutting down of existing coal-fired power stations post 2035, and exploring clean coal technologies including carbon capture,” stated the Cabinet.  

With state-owned Eskom the only electricity utility in the country struggling with mounting losses and aging power infrastructure run primarily on coal, South Africans have been bearing the brunt of major and continued power outages. Renewable energy through the IPP model is then seen as the most cost-effective option to transition to a low-carbon economy and ensure security of energy supply. 

Earlier this year in January 2023, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced plans to procure around 15 GW of new wind, solar and battery storage capacity under a new ministerial determination, through competitive solicitation process (see South Africa To Launch Tenders For Around 15 GW RE Capacity). 

At the end of 2022, South Africa’s total installed renewable energy capacity was over 10.44 GW, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), including around 5.82 GW from solar PV. 

About The Author

Anu Bhambhani

Senior News Editor: Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews. --Email : [email protected] --

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