Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa has confirmed that Cabinet has approved the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for 2023 and it proposes that there must be a delay in the decommissioning of coal-fired power stations until there was stability in the supply of electricity in the country.
Ramokgopa said Minerals and Energy Minister, Gwede Mantashe would release the IRP for public comment.
He said the IRP projects the future demand of electricity and then proposes solutions on the provision and supply of energy.
In the first horizon, said Ramokgopa, the IRP projects the supply of electricity until 2030. It looks at how best to address the current challenges of power cuts.
Ramokgopa said in the second horizon the IRP looks at energy supply between 2030 to 2050.
However, in this area it looks at how best the country can use renewable energy as part of the energy mix.
Ramokgopa said said the public will have to comment on the IRP once it has been released by Mantashe.
But the IRP wants the country to delay its plans to decommission coal-fired power stations until the energy crisis was resolved.
Both Ramokgopa and Mantashe have raised this issue several times in the past.
Ramokgopa said Cabinet at its special meeting approved the IRP.
“It provides for two horizons. In one of those horizons it does anticipate that for us to be able to meet the crisis that is confronting us there is a need for us to rethink the schedule for the decommissioning of these power stations. It articulates how it has arrived at that,” said Ramokgopa.
Komati is one of the power stations that has been repurposed from coal to renewable after it was decommissioned last year.