Following the approval by Cabinet on 2 November 2016, the Minister of Energy released draft documentation relating to a new Integrated Energy Plan (IEP) and Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) on 22 November 2016. The IEP addresses the future energy landscape in general, whereas the IRP focuses specifically on electricity. Both are long-term planning documents. More attention so far has been devoted to the IRP, particularly because of the emphasis placed by Government (and Eskom) on the importance of a substantial expansion of nuclear power within the overall electricity provision forecasts to 2050.
The draft updated IRP’s base case envisages a new build programme of power generating capacity over the period 2021 to 2050, with the following components:
The Minister announced that the next step was for public consultation to be held during December 2016 and January 2017, culminating in Government adjustments in March 2017 and the promulgation of a final IRP, once it is approved by Cabinet.