The current draft version of South Africa's Integrated Resource Plan (IRP 2016 Draft) plans for a renewable energy share in domestic electricity production of 18% by 2030, 26% by 2040 and keeps that share constant at 26% until 2050. The plan limits the amount of renewables that can be built in any given year and therefore arrives at these relatively modest renewables shares until 2050. The CSIR conducted a study that lifts the renewables new-build constraints and re-optimises the power mix until 2050 from a pure least-cost perspective. The preliminary results of this unconstrained model outcome will be presented. The least cost scenario exhibits a large amount of solar PV and wind in the power system by 2050. With a much larger share of these two variable renewables (VRE) in the power system, the immediate next question is how to bring in the concept of sector coupling (electricity, transport and heat) in order to reduce total energy system cost even further (through the portfolio effect) and in order to de-carbonise and de-risk the transport sector (through reduced liquid fuel consumption and imports). The principal outline of such a fully integrated energy sector based on electricity as the new primary energy source will be outlined. About our speaker:

Dr Tobias Bischof-Niemz is the Centre Manager: Energy at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria, where he leads the establishment of an integrated energy research centre and a growing team of scientists and engineers. Before joining the CSIR, he was with South Africa's electric utility Eskom in the Energy Planning Unit, where he was part of the team that developed the long-term power-capacity expansion plan (Integrated Resource Plan - IRP) for South Africa. Dr. Bischof-Niemz is member of the Ministerial Advisory Council on Energy (MACE) that advises Minister Joemat-Pettersson on long-term, strategic energy topics.

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