Following a public wide consultation, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Energy has adopted the draft IRP 2018. In this process the committee received around 41 written submissions, including 38 requests to make oral submissions. The South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) notes that some of the key submissions made by the association before the committee in October, have now been adopted as final recommendations in adaptation of the draft IRP 2018. The association in its original submission raised the following that are now adopted recommendations;
- Including local government in the IRP planning process and the implementation thereof, which the association saw as particularly important given the role of local government in driving procurement and growth of the small-scale embedded generation sector.
- Increasing the allocation to small scale embedded generation from the current 200 MW in the draft IRP to at least 500 MW. The allocation can ramped-up gradually over a 5-year period as the embedded generation sector has shown potential to create jobs and stimulate economic growth.
- Holding a public dialogue on the just energy transition, for communities that will be directly impacted by the transition from the use of fossil fuels as the association firmly believes that this is crucial in the transformation of the energy sector.
The early adoption of the IRP by the committee signals government’s intention to restore public confidence in the redress of South Africa’s energy challenges. This also provides a degree of policy certainty in the local energy sector, to boost the sector’s ability to address the skills gap and unemployment challenges facing ordinary South Africans.
SAPVIA will wait for further announcements by the Department of Energy on when the Minister of Energy will convene an energy summit to discuss and map out the energy future of South Africa, as one of the adopted recommendations by Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Energy.