Legalbrief Environmental – IRP2019 does not really contribute towards a just energy transition

The IRP2019 does not really contribute towards a just energy transition, argue four researchers from the University of Cape Town's energy systems research group, in an analysis on the BusinessLIVE site. ‘The IRP should be a plan that is focused on the role of the electricity sector in the context of meeting economic, social and environmental policy goals. It should be kick-starting the economy and creating jobs, minimising inequality and building an inclusive development trajectory. And it should contain relevant indicators to demonstrate how it is accomplishing this. Unfortunately, it does not,’ they state. ‘It is concerning that its medium-term focus seems to lie more with the interests of coal capital and labour than with these larger national policy imperatives. In particular, by apparently choosing a more expensive “policy-adjusted” option that commits the country to building additional coal plants, this IRP puts a handbrake on economic growth, and thus job creation – in our modelling we estimate to the extent of several hundred thousand job opportunities by 2030. The authors of this IRP are not yet ready to let go of coal and to use SA’s extraordinarily abundant solar and wind resources,’ they argue. ‘Investing in more lower-cost renewables instead of more expensive diesel and coal would free up resources to fund the just transition, addressing the legitimate concerns of workers and communities. This is the core pillar of a just transition plan: new renewable energy infrastructure alongside the development of new economic activities to build our economic competitiveness,’ they conclude.

Full BusinessLIVE analysis


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