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


Integrated Resource Plan 2019

2. The IRP in Context

2.2 Environmental Considerations


The energy sector alone, contributes close to 80% towards total emissions of which 50% are from electricity generation and liquid fuel production alone. The timing of the transition to a low carbon economy must be in a manner that is socially just and sensitive to the potential impacts on jobs and local economies. It is in this context that engagements at global forums such as the G20 refer to “Energy Transitions” and not “Energy Transition” as a recognition that countries are different and their energy transition paths will also be different due to varying local conditions.


Carbon capture and storage, underground coal gasification, and other clean coal technologies are critical considerations that will enable us to continue using our coal resources in an environmentally responsible way into the future.


Air quality regulations under the National Environmental Management Act: Air Quality (Act No. 39 of 2004) provide that coal power plants under Eskom’s fleet, amongst others, have to meet the minimum emission standard (MES) by a certain time, or they would be non-compliant and cannot be legally operated.


In addressing the potential non-compliance with the law, a balance will have to be found between energy security, the adverse health impacts of poor air quality and the economic cost associated with these plants shutting down.