South Africa’s energy department today released a draft updated Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) that envisages 5,670 MW of new additional photovoltaic (PV) capacity and 8,100 MW of new wind capacity in the country by 2030.

Under the plan, South Africa would have 11,442 MW of wind in 2030, accounting for 15% of its installed capacity mix, while PV will account for 10% with 7,958 MW of capacity. The mix will also include 1%, or 600 MW, concentrated solar power (CSP) and 4%, or 2,912 MW pump storage. Hydro is expected to add 2,500 MW by 2030 and account for 6% of the capacity mix with 4,696 MW. Coal will have the largest share of 46% in the capacity mix and will still contribute more than 65% of the energy volumes, according to a statement by the department. The plan envisions the addition of 1,000 MW of coal generation capacity and 8,100 MW of gas capacity by 2030.

The IRP is intended to provide an electricity infrastructure plan that aims to ensure security of supply, while minimising cost of supply, water usage and environmental impacts, according to the statement. It also says that «a closer monitoring of the IRP update assumptions by the Department through the Medium Term System Adequacy Outlook filed with NERSA [the National Energy Regulator of South Africa] annually by the Eskom’s System Operator will ensure we are alive to the prevailing supply and demand balance and we can accelerate or decelerate implementation if necessary or even revise the plan timeously.»

South Africa’s first IRP was promulgated in March 2011 and the department started a process to review and update the plan in 2015. The updated IRP will now be subject to a 60-day comment period.