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Ramokgopa working with DMRE to have updated IRP released for consultation soon

Electricity Minister Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa

Electricity Minister Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa

2nd September 2023

By: Terence Creamer

Creamer Media Editor

     

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Although persisting with his position that he has the powers to determine the sources of new generation, Electricity Minister Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa says because the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy’s (DMRE’s) updating process is well advanced, he is supporting the department in preparing to release the new Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for public consultation soon.

Responding to questions on the IRP during his weekly briefing on the implementation of the Energy Action Plan, Ramokgopa said he would be part of the “Ministerial team” that is currently finalising the document ahead of its approval for release.

“When I came into this space and was subsequently given powers in relation to the section [in the Act], you can see that the [Electricity] Minister has been given the power to determine the sources of generation capacity, which essentially talks to the IRP.

“But what we have decided to do is that, because DMRE has been running this process and has been seized with this matter for a period of time, we have allowed that to unfold to the point that it gets out into the public domain for public comments – we don’t want to stop/start the process be because suddenly there are powers that are granted to you.”

He said he would work “in tandem” with the DMRE and Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe to ensure the update is released and reported he had been working at a technical level on the update, which was “far advanced”.

No details were provided on who had been responsible for the technical modelling, nor on whether Eskom had played any role in the update.

Earlier, Mantashe revealed that he had decided not to travel to Australia for a mining conference in the coming week to be able to personally present the document, which he dubbed ‘IRP 2023’, to a Cabinet committee, which would consider whether it was ready to be presented at the next meeting of the full executive.

Given that Cabinet typically meets on every second Wednesday, it is possible that the IRP update will be considered at the next meeting on September 13.

No details have been provided yet about the nature and timing of the public consultations, nor the content of the document.

However, Mantashe is a vocal supporter of nuclear, gas and what he calls clean-coal technology and there is, thus, an expectation that these will receive allocations, alongside solar, wind and storage.

Mantashe has also indicated that he wants the document, which will include pre- and post-2030 phases, approved this year.

Meanwhile, Ramokgopa reiterated government’s target for releasing the next renewables bid window for 5 000 MW and a gas-to-power procurement for 3 000 MW during the second quarter of the fiscal year, which runs to the end of September.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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