(LegalBrief, 9 July, 2019)
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Energy Centre has begun a project to model the socio-economic risks and opportunities associated with SA’s transition from a coal-dominant electricity industry to one that is increasingly based on renewable energy. A Polity report notes that the project, which is being pursued under the theme of a ‘just energy transition’ for SA, will be completed during the first quarter of 2020. The initial results indicate that the transition can deliver significant employment, social and environmental benefits. However, detailed planning and coordination is also required in order to limit potential social dislocation in coal regions. CSIR research group leader for the energy industry Ntombifuthi Ntuli said: ‘The good news is that the new technologies to be introduced under the updated IRP are not only cheaper than coal, but also more job-intensive overall.’ ‘We have yet to finalise that analysis, but we have already concluded that the just transition needs to be coordinated at national level, in line with the National Planning Commision’s ongoing pathways development for just transition,’ she concluded.