The IRP2 Process for Dummies

Project 90 by 2030 recently took part in the first stage of a public consultation on the Government’s Integrated Resource Planning process – also known as the IRP2. 

Three public consultation workshops were held, in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban and our Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency consultant, Robert Fischer, went along. 

Project 90, along with others, had some concerns over the process, as the invitation to participate was not publicly accessible country-wide and the process deadlines did not allow the minimum numbers of 30 days for public consultation. However, the deadline was subsequently extended. 

We also felt that the government’s IRP2 document had a bias towards coal and nuclear power. 

 What is the IRP2?

IRP stands for Integrated Resource Plan. The IRP is the process by which the requirement for investment in electricity generation capacity for South Africa is determined. A series of scenarios are modelled to determine what the best energy mix would be for South Africa. 

The IRP2 is one of the most important policy processes underway in our country. It will determine whether South Africa has adequate electricity to meet real demand, can extend access to affordable electricity to 100% of the population, and can reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions to meet targets required by science. 

The decisions made in the IRP2 process will affect whether our country continues its energy and carbon intensive economic path, or charts a new path that is socially just, low-carbon, environmentally and economically sustainable. 

We submitted a joint submission along with, SAFCEI and Idasa (with very valuable technical support by ERC/UCT) calling for the future energy mix in South Africa to be dominated by maximizing renewable energy and utilizing the full potential of demand-side interventions (i.e. energy efficiency). We believe that South Africa can be a leading nation in this. 

What happens next?

The government will look at all the submissions. They will test different energy scenarios through a modelling tool. Then a draft IRP will be sent to all the stakeholders. A stakeholder workshop will be held to discuss the draft IRP and Government plans to publish the final IRP on the 17th September. 

Check the official IRP2 website for updates:

Read here for an extract from our submission about our position on nuclear power.

3 August 2010

We’ve received an updated time line for the IRP2 process – the promulgation date has been extended following requests for time extensions and time needed to process the volume of inputs received from consultation on developing the IRP2010. 

The estimated timeline for the project is currently as follows:

  1. July 2010 – Commence Modelling
  2. Middle August 2010 – Base Case with Scenarios ready
  3. End August 2010 – Complete first draft IRP 2010
  4. September 2010 – Draft IRP 2010 published for public comment
  5. September 2010 – Public hearings on draft IRP 2010
  6. October 2010 – Revised second draft IRP 2010
  7. November 2010 – Promulgate IRP 2010  

8 September 2010

We received the following media statement from the Department of Energy:



The Department of Energy today (Tuesday, 07 September) announced that the IRP 2010 Public Participation Process that was due to commence on 01 September has been delayed for a few weeks. 

Energy Minister, Ms Dipuo Peters said: “We made a presentation with regard to the IRP 2010 to the Inter Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Energy on 31 August. In this regard the IMC requested the department to do some further work on the IRP before the IMC finalises it. This, therefore, means that the department will not be able to go ahead with the public participation process that was scheduled to commence on 01 September.” 

“The Department is committed to stakeholder engagement and public participation with regard to the IRP2010. This is a seminal electricity plan that is expected to outline the country’s electricity landscape for the next two decades. Public participation is crucial if we were to develop a plan that will stand up to scrutiny. It also has to be understood that we have to thoroughly engage with this plan so that whatever emerges from it will represent the widest spread of views across both government and civil society,” Minister Peters concluded. 


Issued by the Department of Energy

07 September 2010

Enquiries: Bheki Khumalo on 082 773 2388 or 012 444 4256


4 responses to “The IRP2 Process for Dummies

  1. This is what Democracy looks like! Let’s hope that a strong policy favouring Renewables (the only logical choice in these times I feel) emerges….

  2. Pingback: Your chance to input into SA’s energy future |

  3. Pingback: SA’s energy plan approved by cabinet |

  4. Pingback: IRP2 update – energy plan released to public |

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