SAWEA calls for finalization of the IRP

The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) has called for the finalization of the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) in order to create the certainty required to attract investment.

The draft IRP, which maps out the country’s energy strategy until 2030, was first released in August last year for public comment and has since missed several conclusion deadlines, following the March update.

The IRP outlines coal-fired energy supplying 46 percent of South Africa’s energy, with further decommissioning of coal generation up until 2050. The supply of power met by solar, hydropower and wind sources are set to increase as a proportion of the country’s total energy generation capacity.

In a statement released today, SAWEA said that the policy uncertainty the sector is currently facing directly results in international investors looking to other markets to invest.

“Pressure for the release of the IRP is mounting across all energy technologies. This is perfectly understandable as this Plan provides a clear technology investment roadmap, which is essential to investor certainty, over a multi-decade time horizon,” said Ben Brimble, Head of SAWEA’s policy and markets working group. Adding that if the country is unable to provide clear policy, it will continue to lose out on investment opportunities.

“The country’s economy is not at a stage where it can continue to wait for this critical investment roadmap,” the Association said.

In addition to attracting investment into the sector, the finalization of the IRP will also present opportunities for job creation and allow the IPP office to proceed with Bid Window 5 which has been delayed as a result of the IRP not being finalized.

In May, former Minister of Energy, Jeff Radebe said the IRP would be concluded imminently, acknowledging that it would define a plan for the country’s energy security, however, no set date has since been announced for the conclusion of the document.

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