Renewable Energy in South-Africa: Potentials, Barriers and Options for Support
Energy Policy, Vol. 38, No. 9, pp. 4945-4954, 2010
Posted: 25 Mar 2012
Date Written: 2010
The challenge of transforming entire economies is enormous; even more so if a country is as fossil fuel based and emission intensive as South Africa. However, in an increasingly carbon constrained world and already now facing climate change impacts South Africa has to reduce greenhouse gas emissions intensity soon and decidedly. The South African electricity sector is a vital part of the economy and at the same time contributes most to the emissions problem. First steps have been taken by the South African government to enhance energy efficiency and promote renewableenergy, however, they fail to show large-scale effects. This paper seeks to identify the relevant barriers to renewableenergy investments and, based on experience from other countries, provide policy recommendations.
The major barrier identified in the paper is based on the economics of renewableenergy technologies, i.e. their cost and risk structures, two main factors in investment planning. As a solution, the South African government introduced several renewableenergysupport measures, such as a feed-in tariff. The paper discusses the potential and possible shortcomings of this and other existing support schemes and identifies complementing measures on a national scale.
Keywords: renewable energies, low carbon development, South Africa
JEL Classification: O14, O38, Q28, Q42, Q48
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation