The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) have released a draft – the NIP 2050 – to highlight all the major developments we could expect over the next three decades. That includes plans for eliminating load shedding.
According to the draft National Infrastructure Plan for 2050, the implementation of the road map will take place in 2022, and a key focus is the country’s energy supply.
NIP 2050: What you need to know
The department wishes to focus on South Africa’s long-term economic and social goals, with the aim to “promote dynamism in infrastructure delivery”.
It will also address institutional weaknesses which may hinder long-term success and “will guide the way to building stronger institutions that can deliver on infrastructure-related aspirations,” the DPWI says.
“The NIP 2050 offers a strategic vision and plan that links top NDP objectives to actionable steps and intermediate outcomes.”
The NIP 2050 draft has now been gazetted for public comment and South Africans have until 17 September to participate.
How to get rid of load shedding
The draft focuses on critical sectors, such as energy, freight transport, digital communications, and water. However, some of the immediate changes proposed will address the biggest thorn in SA’s side: load shedding.
In order to eventually eliminate load shedding, the draft proposes restructuring Eskom into three legally separated entities for generation, transmission and distribution by 2022.
In addition, an energy planning Centre of Excellence will be established and moved to The Independent Transmission System and Market Operator (ITSMO) by 2023.
A ‘bolder’ energy mix
The department says by 2050, the “energy mix must be bolder on sustainability and in achieving least cost”, which will require reduced reliance on coal and increased reliance on renewable energy.
This includes solar and wind energy, which is “the least-cost technology, and where South Africa has the significant comparative advantage”.
“By 2050, energy demand is projected to increase by 30%”, the DPWI says.
NIP 2050 recommendations
To achieve this vision, the NIP 2050 recommends the following:
- the approach to defining the energy mix become technically strong and responsive. This means institutional planning and delivery mechanisms should become more adaptive, responsive, and dynamic, and guided by evidence.
- market structure must facilitate more responsive and sustainable supply, which will require stabilisation and separation of Eskom, as well as the introduction of greater private participation.
- capacity in the state and its entities must be strengthened to effectively regulate, plan and oversee energy delivery.
- electricity is delivered in a financially sustainable way.
- the transition away from fossil fuels progresses in a convincing and just manner.
- industrial diversification should be promoted through energy infrastructure delivery.
- a centralised database will be maintained, with the requisite confidentiality protection, for reporting of expected generation capacity investments by market players to enable transmission and distribution planning.
Submissions should be addressed to the Chief Director and delivered to DPWI, 256 Madiba Street, Pretoria Central, Pretoria or emailed to NIP2050Inputs@dpw.gov.za