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Electricity Regulation Act, 2006 (Act No. 4 of 2006)


Integrated Resource Plan 2019

2. The IRP in Context

2.10 Research and Development


Research and development should focus on innovative solutions, in particular on technologies that have the greatest potential to address electricity challenges for energy consumers in a shortest timeframe.


It is inevitable that more and more, the traditional energy delivery system will not be insulated from technological disruptions. The fear about job losses emanating from artificial intelligence, should be regarded as an opportunity to prepare for the job of the future.


Solar energy has the potential to address the need for energy access in remote areas, create jobs and increase localisation.


More funding should be targeted at long-term research into clean coal technologies such as CCUS and UCG as these will be essential in ensuring that South Africa continues to exploit its vast, indigenous minerals responsibly and sustainably.


Exploration to determine the extent of recoverable shale gas should be pursued and this needs to be supported by an enabling legal and regulatory framework.


South Africa’s specific focus on the hydrogen economy and the progress achieved by the hydrogen initiative (or Hy-Sa) based at the University of the Western Cape, should be supported with more research and the chance for practical application within the power system.


Over and above these issues, the research agenda for South Africa’s power system needs to be expanded on the basis of the clear evidence of a changing energy paradigm.