The Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry has welcomed the new 2018 IRP as the first credible plan for the country’s energy future in decades.
We have not yet been able to study the details but we recognise a new realism and an understanding that new technology will bring fundamental changes to the electricity industry.
The Chamber has argued at public hearings before the obsolete 2010 IRP was produced that assumptions on the increased demand for electricity were exaggerated, the cost of nuclear power understated while the cost of renewable energy had been overstated. The new IRP has vindicated the Chamber’s view.
The old IRP lead to bad planning and when you add the cost of corruption the result has been crippling increases in electricity tariffs that has seriously undermined economic growth and made alternatives like gas and solar water heating viable alternatives to electricity. We are now using 30% less electricity that the 2010 plan said we would be.
The new projections for 2030 look balanced with coal providing 46% of the electricity, wind and gas 15% each and PV solar about 10%. When hydro power is added to the mix roughly half our electricity will come from renewable resources. Nuclear power would provide only 2.5%.
The energy mixture did not include private roof-top solar but when this was factored in, the picture was even better for the environment and the cost of electricity in the long term.
The Chamber is confident that further reductions in the cost of renewable energy and the development of battery storage will change the way we use electricity and these changes will be central to future planning.
President of the Cape Chamber