Category Archives: NPC

NPC commissioner calls for energy-planning overhaul

Engineering News, Jarrad Wright, 14 June, 2017.

member of the National Planning Commission (NPC) has pointed to serious shortcomings in South Africa’s current energy planning processes and has called for future plans, including the highly contested Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for electricity, to be compiled by a new independent technical entity with no interests in the future power generation mix.

Speaking at Wits Business School this week, Jarrad Wright reported that an NPC reference group had been established to consult on the future of energy planning in South Africa. Meetings would be held with various stakeholders in the coming months with the intention of arriving at a “more defined position” on the approach the country should adopt.

… Wright also appealed for “complete transparency” so that any deviation from the combined principles of “least-cost and least-risk” were not only quantified, but also subjected to public scrutiny and debate….

… The IRP Base Case has been widely criticised for including constraints on the amount of renewable energy that could be included in any one year. This limitation has been described as artificial, while the authors of the draft Base Case provided no technical or economic justification for the decision to impose such restrictions…

… Critics of the Base Case have even suggested that the restrictions were imposed purely to ensure that nuclearremained in the plan, despite its costs disadvantages. In the event, the Base Case includes more than 20 000 MW of nuclear capacity for inclusion in the generation mix by 2050, but delays the introduction of the first reactor to 2037…

To improve confidence in future IRPs, Wright suggested that the development and collation of all input assumptions, as well as all technical modelling, should be outsourced to a “purely technical entity that has no financial interest in the future power generation mix”. At present, Eskom performs the technical work on behalf of the DoE.

“Even though it is likely that the modelling is produced in an independent manner [within Eskom], the perception of independence is even more important than whether or not it is independent,” Wright asserted. …

Here is the full article