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Ntshavheni confirms draft IRP 2023 contains ‘significant’ revisions, but offers no clarity on consultation process


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Ntshavheni confirms draft IRP 2023 contains ‘significant’ revisions, but offers no clarity on consultation process

Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni
Photo by GCIS
Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni

11th December 2023

By: Terence Creamer
Creamer Media Editor


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Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni has confirmed that the draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) approved by Cabinet for public comment includes two time horizons as well as significant changes to the underlying assumptions that inform the plan when compared with the prevailing edition.

However, she was unable to offer a timeframe for when the document would be Gazetted by Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe, nor could she provide specifics on the comment period that would be allocated and whether public hearings would be held.


The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy confirmed separately with Engineering News that the document would be Gazetted this week, but did not comment on the comment period or on whether hearings would be held.

Details, she said at a post-Cabinet briefing, would be released by Mantashe in due course and would be aligned with the legal requirements for public consultation.


“The draft IRP 2023 reviews the approved IRP 2019 and covers two-time horizons, namely the 2030 and 2050 time horizons.

“Several key assumptions used in the IRP 2019 have significantly changed, including the electricity demand projection, Eskom’s energy availability factor, Eskom’s coal-fired power plants shutdown plan, as well as the cost of new power generation technologies.”

The Cabinet statement indicates that ‘Horizon One’ to 2030 focuses on addressing prevailing generation capacity constraints and comprises five scenarios, including a reference case and one that models a possible improvement in coal plant performance in line with Eskom’s generation recovery plan.

In a prior briefing, Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa said the document included an explanation of the decision to extend the life of certain coal stations, which was itself based on modelling conducted using the Plexos energy modelling tool.

 ‘Horizon Two’, which covers the period from 2031 to 2050, considers six energy pathways and assesses the impact of the different energy technologies in ensuring the country’s power system security of supply at the least cost to the economy.

“The reference pathway establishes a benchmark against other pathways and it is based on least cost,” Ntshavheni said.

“The five other pathways are based on certain guiding policy principles and they are designed to be exploratory in nature.

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


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