JOHANNESBURG – Renewable energy, which has continued to rapidly surge in both availability and affordability, is giving South Africa a unique opportunity to cut its carbon emissions drastically, and could potentially drive the country’s coal industry in a new direction.
The draft of the Integrated Resource Plan 2018 (IRP Update) which recently concluded its 60-day window period for public comment, has laid out a clear path for reducing coal generation in South Africa from approximately 70 percent, to around 44.6 percent of the total energy mix within the span of only 12 short years, thereby helping the country to diversify its energy mix considerably.
According to this plan, renewable energy will be given an opportunity to play a much bigger role, accounting for about 25 percent of electricity generated in the country by 2030.
The IRP update also reveals that electricity consumption in South Africa is about 30 percent less than what was projected in 2010.
We believe that this massive reduction in energy demand is in no small part due to the private sector’s increasing access to renewable energy and private generation capabilities.