Climate Commission’s recommendations to the President

The Commission concluded its yearlong stakeholder consultative process on the options of the future of electricity planning and the evolving energy mix and has submitted recommendations to President Cyril Ramaphosa on the critical steps needed for justice and boldness into electricity planning for South Africa.


Transmission and distribution system and spatial planning

  • The PCC expects a policy adjusted IRP to promote approximately 50 to 60 GW of variable renewable energy by 2030, supported by co-located storage, and between 3 GW and 5 GW of gas (running at low utilisations to support balancing and peaking).
  • There should be no new coal, and gas should be kept to the role of peaking support.
  • The transmission grid should be moved to the centre of electricity planning, both in the short and the long term.
  • The IRP would be enhanced by focussing on transparent spatial planning centred on grid access points, which, among others, will provide additional necessary detail and guide procurement.
  • Distribution is also an important part of the grid, and working with local government to address distribution weaknesses and municipal capacity is essential.


Pricing reform and local government business models

  • There is a need for pricing reform throughout the electricity value chain.
  • The restructuring of tariffs is critical to ensure that the fixed costs of supply (transmission and distribution) can be fully and transparently recovered through the tariffs.
  • A Presidency-sponsored independent study on electricity pricing reform in South Africa is recommended.
  • Providing technical and financial support to municipalities to implement electricity reforms is crucial.
  • Poor households and small businesses must be supported and protected from risks.


Ensuring a just energy transition

  • Current emergency and long-term electricity planning must be aligned with the Just Transition Framework.
  • A review of the amount of free basic education allocated to each household (50 kWh a month) is required.
  • Competitive industries to locally extract, produce and manufacture inputs (green copper, nickel, steel, cement, etc) and support services (design, engineering, and maintenance) for green technologies,
    including renewable energy technologies, battery cells, electric vehicles, and green hydrogen must be developed.
  • Social protection measures must be provided and enhanced, including social protection measures like grants, unemployment insurance, etc for workers who, for whatever reason, cannot transition to alternative low carbon livelihoods.
  • Increasing access to electricity to those who do not have physical access, through either grid extension, mini-grids or solar home systems is equally important.

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