A new working paper from the SA-TIED programme has made headlines in South Africa.
A research team under SA-TIED's work stream on climate change and energy transition as drivers of change used similar modelling techniques to those used by the South African government for its draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which outlines the country's energy needs and how best to meet them. The research team, working out of the Energy Research Centre at the University of Cape Town, used slightly different assumptions than those used by the team working on the IRP.
By doing so, they were able to show that South Africa's energy future could potentially include a greater role for renewable energy sources and a phase out of coal-fired power plants by the year 2040, with little to no additional trade-offs. They found that transitioning to a greater role for variable renewable energy systems would be both cheaper than an electricity sector dominated by coal-fired power and enable South Africa to meet its emission reduction targets under the Paris Accord.
The paper's executive summary first made the news when it was published by EE publishers on 25 March 2019. Following its publication, co-author Bryce McCall represented the SA-TIED programme and spoke about the research on the SABC evening news. To view that coverage please follow the links below:
University of Cape Town News: A way forward for SAs energy supply
The media coverage presented here is based on SA-TIED Working Paper #29: Least-cost integrated resource planning with cost-optimal climate change mitigation by Bryce McCall, Jesse Burton, Andrew Marquard, Faaiqa Hartley, Fadiel Ahjum, Gregory Ireland, and Bruno Merven,