Category Archives: Cabinet

Renewable energy to form a vital part of SA’s energy mix – David Mahlobo

Minister of Energy at the Africa Energy Indaba, Sandton, 20 February, 2018

Renewables mentioned 16 times in the speech, no mention of nuclear or coal!

Here is an extract:

“23. For instance, in South Africa, we have launched a Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPPP) which has been highly successful. This programme has been supported by other governments who assisted us to develop renewable energy roadmaps which provided investors with information on the renewable energy opportunities in the country. Government provided a clear policy framework which guided the procurement process and communicated to the public the opportunities available. The private investors showed willingness and took the risk to invest. The procurement process was well documented and removed all the risks and perceived uncertainties. 24. Since the renewable energy programme inception, a total of 6 422 MW of electricity have been procured from 112 RE Independent Power Producers (IPPs) in seven bid rounds (as at June 2017). Out of these projects, 3 162 MW of electricity generation capacity from 57 IPP projects are already connected to the national grid. Investment to the value of R201.8 billion, of which R48.8 billion (24%) is foreign investment has been spent on the projects. A total of 32 532 jobs have been created for South African citizens. Socio-economic development contributions of R403.7 million to date have been made to develop rural communities in particular”

So perhaps now the outstanding Power Producer Agreements (PPAs) will be finally signed by Eskom and we can look forward to further bid windows and Kusile 5 and 6 being cancelled!

Here is the full speechSpeech-by-Energy-Minister-at-Africa-Energy-Indaba-2018

South Africa: Integrated Resource Plan clear for Q3

ESI Africa, 15 February, 2017.

On Tuesday, an official from the department of energy said that the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) should be confirmed in Q3 2017.

Engineering News reported that the IRP finalisation is dependent on Cabinet’s reception of the energy blueprint.

According to the DoE’s director general, Ompi Aphane: “It will not be before June this year, but it might be by July, August. But then if Cabinet says go back and consult more, then that is in the hands of Cabinet.”

Integrated Resource Plan under review

Addressing parliament’s portfolio committee on energy, Aphane said the department had received 63 presentations in nine public meetings — one in each province — since the draft plan was tabled, along with the draft Integrated Energy Plan, Engineering News reported.

The department of energy’s Jacob Mbele said: “Based on the outputs from these committees they were able to include externalities that were not there in the first drafts.”

Media reported that energy experts, including a ministerial advisory committee, have maintained the cheapest energy mix would not include building more nuclear reactors.

“Once we have taken all inputs from the public participation process into account the base case scenario will look different,” Aphane said.

Outlining the IRP

In November 2016, South African energy minister, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, delivered a speech outlining the Integrated Energy Plan (IEP) and Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) processes, including a reflection on the key aspects of the processes.

Joemat-Pettersson explained: “Since the promulgation of the IRP 2010-30 there has been a number of developments in the energy sector, the country and the region, which necessitate that we review and update the plan.

“Some of the developments or changes includes, additional capacity that has come online, demand lower than envisaged in IRP 2010-30, draught in neighbouring countries experiencing resulting electricity shortage, reduced Eskom plant performance and changes in technology costs.”

She added: “The IRP update process is different from the IRP 2010-30 development processes in a sense that the update process is not zero based but use the from the promulgated policy adjusted IRP 2010-30 as a reference point.

(Ed. note: This is ominous! So if the IRP2010 was flawed, which it patently was – energy demand much too high, unbalanced cost assumptions – then our minister aims to continue with the flawed basis. )

“The IRP development and update process as in the case of the IEP aims to balance similar objectives which are; security of supply, cost of electricity, job creation and localisation, minimal negative environmental impact, minimal water usage, to diversity of supply sources (energy mix) and promotion of energy access.

“Against these objectives the Department set four key milestones in regard to the development of the IRP, which are (1) settling the key assumptions, (2) developing a Base-Case, (3) modeling and analysing the Scenarios and sensitivities, and finally (4) developing the final plan taking into account the various scenarios and policy positions.”

(Ed. note: Also dangerous. If the base case has 9 600 MW of nuclear forced in, and scenarios and sensitivities don’t include a completely unconstrained case – allowing unlimited nuclear and renewable energy – we might never see the true savings to be made by going the renewable energy route rather than the forced nuclear route.)

The IRP 2016 update was welcomed by industry with comments from the South African Independent Power Producer Association (SAIPPA), the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) and the South African Renewable Energy Council (SAREC).


Here’s the link to the article

Public-private partnership bridge energy gap – Ramaphosa

ESI Africa, 19 January, 2017.

South Africa’s Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, advises countries to consider a partnership between government and the private sector in order to bridge the energy gap.

Ramaphosa was speaking during a panel discussion about bridging the energy gap in Africa by 2030 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Tuesday, Fin24 reported.

According to the media, the deputy president is leading the South African delegation in Davos, themed “Responsive and Responsible Leadership”.

Among other ministers attending the seminar is finance minister Pravin Gordhan, minister of trade and industry Rob Davies and minister of economic development Ebrahim Patel.

Energy gap in Africa

Media reported that Ramaphosa recommended that in order for Africa to improve energy access, governments should look at getting the private sector to partner with them and eventually reach a point where the private sector generates power independently.

He said: “In South Africa we have seen the effectiveness of involving the private sector to set up independent power projects.”

The partnership is said to have resulted in nearly ZAR194 billion ($14 billion) worth of investments and 2,500MW of power generation, which presented the private sector an opportunity to generate power independently.

IPP programme

According to Fin24, Ramaphosa told the delegates that the South African IPP programme was established when government realised it could not bridge the electricity gap alone.

“We needed to bring in new technology and those with better reach for technology were in the private sector,” the deputy president stated.

He explained that the private sector is capable of raising funding and use their networks to acquire technologies, media reported.

As a result, a special unit was set up within the Department of Energy, which developed a policy to evaluate the IPP proposals. He applauded the robustness of the regulations in place.

“We had a huge number of proposals that came in because the private sector realised the government was serious about increasing energy supply in the country and that we wanted to move towards renewable energy and smart energy,” Ramaphosa said.

He added: “The private sector had a key role in sharpening government’s capability in this regard. We came out strong on renewable energy.”

Here is the article.

Energy minister still taking secret actions on Nuclear Energy

SAFCEI and EarthLife Africa, 10 January, 2017

In a surprise move late last year, the Minister of Energy’s legal team, revealed the decision to give the procurement of the nuclear new build to Eskom.  They chose to reveal this only at the nuclear energy court hearing on December 13th 2016, preventing the court from reviewing the case.

Today, two NGOs who are taking the government to court over their unlawful nuclear energy decisions, Earthlife Africa, Johannesburg (ELA Jhb), and the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (SAFCEI), submitted supplementary affidavits, part of the court case preparation for the nuclear energy court hearing, which has been postponed to February 22nd 2017.

The court papers have revealed that the Minister of Energy took an unlawful decision in secret and without any regard to required input from the public.

Makoma Lekalakala, from ELA Jhb, says that “once again the energy minister is acting in bad faith, taking decisions without any public input, while at the same time, engaging in public hearings about the electricity choices for the country.  What value is given to public input if the decision has already been made before the public process is complete?”

As the SAFCEI and ELA Jhb affidavit states: the manner in which this decision to shift the responsibility for the nuclear build to Eskom has followed the same secretive, unlawful process as the previous nuclear related decision making. According to the NGOs affidavit: “the Minister’s decision was taken because irrelevant considerations were taken into account or relevant considerations were not considered.”

For example the energy minister has based her decision on outdated government plans: her new nuclear section 34 determination was based on an Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) from 2010.  A new IRP is currently going through a process of public participation and both this proposed replacement IRP as well as the submitted public reservations, input, questions, and objections have been completely ignored.

The Minister also ignored the advice of her own advisers which found that a least cost IRP model, free of any artificial constraints and before any policy adjustments does not include any new nuclear power generators. The optimal least cost mix is one of solar PV, wind and flexible power generators (with relatively low utilisation).”  The Ministers’ advisors report (MACE report) was made public at the IRP public hearings which were held in December 2016, at the same time as the court case was heard.

“The secretive manner in which the minister is making nuclear decisions further undermines open government.  South Africa is a democracy until it comes to nuclear energy, and then it becomes an autocracy. It seems the people have no say, and legal requirements are ignored or bent to ensure nuclear gets the go ahead. We are now reliant on expensive complex court processes to force government to consult the people that will be most affected, – especially the poor and vulnerable who will not be able to afford increasing electricity prices” says Liz Mcdaid, spokesperson for SAFCEI.

The new court hearing date for the case has been set down for 22nd to 24th February 2017, in the Western Cape high court.


For further information, please contact

Ms Liziwe McDaid (SAFCEI)                     Cell: 082 731 5643

Ms Dominique Doyle (ELA-Jhb) :           Cell: 079 331 2028          


As DoE prepares to release IRP, all eyes will be on nuclear

Engineering News, 17 November, 2016.

The Department of Energy (DoE) will on Tuesday November 22 release the long-waited draft of the updated Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for electricity, as well as the draft Integrated Energy Plan (IEP).

The release, which will take place in Pretoria, follows the Cabinet decision of November 2, to direct the department to release the two documents for public consultation.

Much attention is likely to be given to the contents of the updated IRP, especially the allocation for any new nuclearcapacity in the future electricity mix.

The current iteration of the plan, known as IRP 2010, proposes the development of 9 600 MW of new nuclearcapacity by 2030. This would represent a major scale up from the 1 800 MW of nuclear generation currently available at Koeberg, Africa’s only nuclear power station.

However, a draft update of the plan – published in 2013, but never approved by Cabinet – included a lower demand assumption than was the case in 2010. It also indicated that new nuclear should either be delayed, scaled back or even abandoned should the technology fail to meet a cost threshold of $6 500/kW.

Since 2013, demand has fallen even further from the assumptions contained in the IRP 2010, while prices associated with onshore wind and solar photovoltaic technologies have fallen materially.

As a result some commentators are calling for South Africa to consider transitioning to an energy mix that is led by renewables and supported by flexible generation technologies, such as gas. Under such a scenario, the role of nuclear would either reduce significantly when compared with the 2010 guideline, or fall away entirely.

Here is the full article