Repositioning Electricity Planning at the Core: An Evaluation of South Africa's Integrated Resource Plan
71 Pages Posted: 15 Mar 2016
Date Written: November 25, 2014
Energy, and electricity issues in particular, have been high on the South African agenda since the 2008 crisis, which saw the country’s national power utility Eskom implement rolling load shedding and cut supplies to a number of large customers, such as mines and minerals beneficiation plants. As South Africa experienced in 2014 the most stringent power cuts since 2008, reviewing the current electricity planning process is both a timely and necessary exercise. This review, based on an internationally-recognised framework, unpacks the key pillars of the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) and reviews South Africa’s performance, with the objective of shedding light on the role and the implications of planning on the country’s electricity supply and pricing. It is the first attempt at applying this international framework to the South African context.
The 10 elements covered are: 1) planning process; 2) plan objectives; 3) review of previous plans; 4) demand forecast methodology; 5) resource options assessment; 6) policy instruments to achieve objectives; 7) regulatory and institutional frameworks; 8) investment financing; 9) social and environmental considerations; and 10) promotion of innovation and anticipation of emerging challenges.
Keywords: energy planning, South Africa, integrated resource plan
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