Global climate remains to be one of the biggest problems in the world and South Africa is one of the largest contributors of greenhouse gases and according to country data, this is due to its energy intensive economy. Despite electricity being generated through coal based generation technology, the country has sought to include renewable energy as a solution. Renewable energy could contribute to sustainable industrial and socio-economic development objectives of the country.
The integrated energy plan
South Africa is currently in the works of developing the Integrated Energy Plan (IEP), a framework to identify the most appropriate way to effectively and efficiently satisfy current and future energy service needs while achieving social benefits and reducing environmental impacts.
Primary energy/resources involved
- Fossil Fuels
- Natural Gas
- Nuclear Fuels
- Resources Extraction and Sourcing
3 Key priorities of the IEP
- Social Development
- Refocused efforts on new alternatives for investments in the energy sector will provide more opportunities for social development in terms of production and employment.
- Environmental Sustainability
- A new alternative to how energy is invested will provide a maximized and long-term source of energy that will prove to be very efficient and effective.
- Economic Development
- Lack and shortage of energy will be reduced and in turn, will affect the economy and gross domestic growth.
8 Key objectives of the IEP
With the initiative of the IEP, South Africa will attract foreign companies in setting up potential business opportunities within the country. The IEP will be established on 8 key objectives that will prove to be very beneficial and appealing for foreign investors:
- Ensure the security of supply.
- Minimize the cost of energy.
- Increase access to energy.
- Diversify supply sources and primary sources of energy.
- Minimize emissions from the energy sector.
- Promote energy efficiency in the economy.
- Promote localization and technology transfer and creation of jobs.
- Promote conservation of water.
The integrated resource plan (IRP) for electricity
The IRP focuses on the demand and supply of electricity. The first IRP was developed in 2010 and is still currently being updated. The updated IRP mentions that the demand for electricity will grow by 2030. The IRP also covers a range of test cases and scenarios which include the impact of electricity generation technology options and associated costs, expected electricity demand profiles, and the performance of the current Eskom electricity generation fleet.
Renewable energy demand side initiatives
An effective management of electricity demand is necessary to reduce energy intensity and supply as the economy in South Africa grows. To address this concern, the South African government along with other departments and agencies have made several initiatives to encourage clean energy and energy efficiency. One of these is the Energy Efficiency Strategy of South Africa which promotes enhanced energy efficiency nationally and calls for a voluntary national energy use reduction which, in turn, will reflect reduction in final energy demand in 2015.
South Africa has some of the highest levels of solar radiation in the world. Some parts of the country is home to some of the large PV solar installations.
Primary applications for PV technology relate to:
- Grid connected power generation
- Supporting rural electrification programmes
- The public and private sector deployment within municipalities and commercial and industrial applications respectively to reduce grid demand and electricity expense.
Since 2010, there has been an increase in the number of large private sector commercial and industrial PV projects arising from increased climate change awareness and escalating electricity costs.
Yes, South Africa has a plan to rid themselves of the problem they have made. Country data shows that they’re only gonna aim at more better ways to improve the economy and it is through renewable energy that they will soon acquire victory over climate change. With the key initiative of the Integrated Energy Plan and its objectives and priorities, foreign companies will surely come flocking to invest in companies due to its efficient and effective energy resources. This is one market everyone’s sure to invest in.