On the 17th October 2018, SAPVIA made a successful and well-received appearance before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Energy (PPCE) to present preliminary comments on the 2018 Draft Integrated Resource Plan. SAPVIA made very specific and generic submissions in terms of the IRP. Broadly speaking however, SAPVIA welcomed the idea of a power system that is;

  • Based on the least cost thus allowing the fiscus to be prioritized to Government core service delivery requirements.
  • Facilitates greater energy access at affordable prices – which creates and catalyses a net gain of jobs anticipated by the energy transition.
  • Encourages economic stimulation through localization and manufacturing.

SAPVIA also presented the fact that; the renewable energy sector is well aligned with the Presidential Infrastructure Plan to stimulate the economy, through the provision of low-cost, low-carbon electricity that has a sustainable energy demand.  Furthermore, SAPVIA recognized the DoE on achieving a Draft IRP where;

  • The approach was rational in nature
  • The least cost scenario was well considered
  • The growth forecasts were more appropriate
  • The transparency was far greater than previous versions of the IRP
  • The scenario descriptions are well presented.

The presentation then proceeded to make the following were general comments and proposals to the PPCE;

  • Increasing the 2019 allocation for small-scale embedded generation (SSEG) to 500 MW and ramp up over a 5-year period.
  • Quantifying the backlog at NERSA that is awaiting approval and deal with it separately
  • The DoE must consider detailing aspects not detailed in the modeling of IRP assumptions such as cost and technical parameters for the scenarios and models presented in the IRP, reporting on energy shares and rationalizing the assumed costs for the grid connection of renewables in comparison to coal and nuclear.

To conclude on the presentation and submission to the PPCE, SAPVIA made specific comments around the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme where chief amongst the concerns was; the 2-3 year delays in that has devasted the industry as a collective and a subsequent and apparent gap in the IRP from 2023-2024 in terms of rollout of both Solar PV and Wind which provides little confidence to investors and local players entering the renewable energy industry.   Against this ’’ backdrop’’, some key recommendations were made which had to do with clarity around the 1,800 MW determined by the Minister of Energy for round 4,5  turned to round 5, clarity on the awarded SPP projects which are not committed and an even distribution of Solar PV allocations over the next 12 years until 2030 which will eliminate the identified gap between 2023-2024.
The Small-Scale Embedded Generation (SSEG) 1 to 10 MW was also mentioned specifically by SAPVIA as a submission before the PPCE, wherein SAPVIA noted the significance of the SSEG market in creating jobs and stimulating the economy, assisting in the realization of cost savings for commercial and residential consumers and the creation of an opportunity for greater local participation beyond the current supply industry model.  SAPVIA then recommended that the allocation to this market being viewed as a ‘’tracking placeholder’’ rather than a ‘’CAP’’, so that the market is not constraint and the 500 MW allocation be escalated over a five-year period, coupled with a separate allocation across technologies for Municipalities that wish to generate power which could be linked to NDP and IDP target expectations.
Closing specific comments made by SAPVIA had to do with the Job creation debate where SAPVIA made a clear illustration of the fact that the combination of Solar and Wind creates 31% more jobs than coal, which further justifies the business case for renewables.