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Cape Town, South Africa, 2011/03/18 - Frost & Sullivan expects the modified IRP 2010 to be published on 31 March 2010, however it is unsure to what extent the plan is an improvement on the original plan release.
"Based on the information available, it is clear that the renewable energy (RE) contribution will be higher," comments Frost & Sullivan's Energy and Power Business Unit Leader, Cornelis van der Waal. "This is likely due to the inclusion of the Uppington Solar Park as well as some additional small scale biomass and larger wind projects."
Frost & Sullivan believes that the contribution from nuclear will most likely remain unchanged, remaining close to the 9 600MW published in the IRP 2010. This is a clear indication that South Africa is saying "yes" to nuclear. A number of local opportunities will become available if managed correctly, resulting in further nuclear investment post 2030. "It seems the highly emotional debate, post the Japan disaster will not derail the South African nuclear plans," says van der Waal.
However, the question remains whether this means less of another technology if more RE is going to be developed or just more overall MW's? Van der Waal is of the opinion that there has most likely been a decrease in the use of open cycle gas turbine (OCGT) technology and potentially a reduction in the imported electricity in future. "Since regional development is a key priority, it is more likely that the OCGT technology is reduced to be replaced by RE technologies. The alternative could well be that clean coal technologies are completely removed from the plan and substituted by RE." comments van der Waal.
The published IRP 2010 will certainly provide further insight into the extent to which government is trying to align the energy plan with the economic and social development needs in South Africa. Frost & Sullivan hopes for positive improvements in the IRP 2010 which provide more opportunities in the country without further electricity price hikes.
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