Tag Archives: IEP

Be alert to the risks of legitimising a hollow process for a new electricity IRP

Daily Maverick, Richard Worthington, 13 November, 2017

Imagine that, consistent with recent statements by the new Minister of Energy, an Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for electricity is released in the next week or two, with a new generation build plan that mandates nuclear procurement. What would our response be?

For argument’s sake, let’s say the plan is scaled back to no more than half the total previously deemed necessary to achieve the benefits of “fleet procurement” (the 9.6 GW contemplated for a Rosatom contract), as a concession to widespread opposition.

Since there is a requirement for consultation, the minister would need to convene some kind of public engagement. There have been calls from various stakeholders for some kind of summit on energy (or the economy more generally), so even a very hastily convened event might be presented as being responsive to stakeholder concerns, as well as fulfilling requirements for the new IRP to be tabled in Parliament subsequently. What would we do?

Unlike the Integrated Energy Plan (IEP) that covers the entire energy system, the requirements for which are explicitly set out in the Energy Act of 2008, the process for seeking common ground on a policy-adjusted plan for the electricity system, before it is tabled for parliamentary approval, is not defined. Determinations by the minister that generation capacity will be procured must, as recently determined by the High Court (Western Cape), be subject to public hearings and Nersa consideration, but the new build plan of the IRP is nevertheless treated as binding…

… However, legitimising a hollow process on an IRP that will set parameters on electricity infrastructure investment for the coming decades carries enormous risk. Like in 2010, we might be assured that it will be regularly updated, but getting this one right – or at the very least ensuring it doesn’t mandate irresponsible procurement and greatly deepen our debt – is imperative for any prospect of reducing poverty and inequality…

he public narrative that we need nuclear power to meet our commitments to climate change mitigation is false, as is clear from work already released in the IRP documentation published for comment a year ago. Robust modelling by several agencies, including the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, shows that an electricity system without nuclear can meet and exceed our emissions reduction commitment at lower cost and with higher employment than when new nuclear is included. The Energy Research Centre modelled scenarios with a range of cost assumptions and even the most optimistic pricing fails to find nuclear power offering net benefits over renewable energy options…

… With a positive objective in mind – an electricity system contributing to the well-being of all South Africans, with a net value that is positive for society as a whole and over time, when full costs and life cycles are assessed – we must be prepared to reject what might be put forward. To do this, stakeholders not accustomed to parading their interests and positioning in public need to consider how to avoid being complicit in legitimising a plan designed to serve the elite, and to start talking about taking a collective stand on electricity and economic prudence.

 

Here is the full article

 

 

Sham public consultation

BDLive, 28 September, 2016.

The government’s newest plan to build nuclear plants is so far, another case of sham public consultation. It insists that the public has already been consulted. That is because back in 2010, when it drew up the now outdated integrated resource plan, public hearings were held.

Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson has refused to provide Business Day with any of the studies done to inform the procurement and has also refused the DA access to the proposal for the rollout of the nuclear build and other documents. All parties in Parliament’s energy committee have resolved to use the committee’s constitutional powers to compel the minister to produce the documents.

But predictably, the government faces another court challenge, with two civil society organisations arguing that the process is faulty. Among the grounds they are asking the court to use to set aside the procurement is the absence of public consultation.

The parties have finally, after a year of attempting to extract responses and documents out of the department, been given a court date.

For much of 2016, the government has not taken the legal challenge seriously. Last December, the Cabinet said it had decided to issue a request for proposals despite not having an updated integrated resource plan in place.

Two weeks ago, Joemat-Pettersson said the first round of tender documents would be issued on September 30.

On Tuesday, for the first time, there were rumblings from within the Cabinet that perhaps not all the procedural ducks for the nuclear build are in a row.

Naledi Pandor, the minister of science and technology, said she believed an integrated resource plan had to be done before the proposal was issued.

She is right and part of that should include genuine public consultation about nuclear energy. Without it, the government will surely have another protracted legal fight on its hands.

Here is the full article

Eskom not taking part in nuclear acquisition

BD Live, 15 September, 2014.

ESKOM, formerly designated the “owner and operator” of SA’s nuclear programme, will not be involved in the up coming nuclear procurement, say Department of Energy officials, except as the purchaser of power from a new — possibly foreign — nuclear entity.

The Cabinet subcommittee on energy security is deep into the technical work needed to procure a massive nuclear fleet. Key to the procurement going ahead will be the financing arrangements, as the construction of nuclear plants has enormous capital costs…

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Integrated Energy Plan to be published by March 2015

Engineering News, 18 June, 2014.

Following the July 2013 launch of a public consultation phase for the formulation of South Africa’s envisaged Integrated Energy Plan (IEP), The Department of Energy (DoE) has advised that the final plan will be published by March next year.

“The final IEP will be [published] by March 2015, at the latest, which is our financial year-end,” DoE demand modelling specialist Dr Rebecca Maserumule said at a Sustainable Energyseminar, which forms part of the Sustainability Week conference, on Wednesday.

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DoE aiming to release draft gas master plan this month

Engineering News, 2 June, 2014.

The South African government’s draft Gas Utilisation Master Plan (Gump) could be released for public comment in June, should the document receive sign-off during one of the early meetings of the new Cabinet, which was named by President Jacob Zuma on May 25.

(EGI-SA Ed. Nice name! Ambitious scope.)

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