Sustainable Electricity Generation Technologies in South Africa: Initiatives, Challenges and Policy Implications

Josephine K. Musango, Bamikole Amigun, Alan C. Brent


Energy in the form of electricity is of key importance for economic development. South Africa has historically relied primarily on coal for electricity generation, making the electricity sector one of the dominant greenhouse gas emitters. Renewable energy and technologies have the potential to provide solutions such as greenhouse gas emission reduction, diversification of the energy mix, and job creation through manufacturing and industry development. Although South Africa has one of the best resources for wind, solar and biomass, the current renewable energy utilization for electricity generation is less than 2 % of the total electricity generated. The last decade has subsequently been devoted to create renewable energy policies, incentives and plans in order to provide an enabling environment for renewable energy development. However, the deployment of renewable energy projects has (still) been slow. This study therefore provides an overview of the current status of policy and incentives that impact renewable electricity generation, the current renewable electricity generation initiatives, and challenges related to its development in South Africa. The policy implications and recommendations to support future development of renewable electricity generation include: establishing a single coordinating agency or authority; creating public awareness; providing financial support guarantees; and capacity building and skills development.

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Energy and Environment Research   ISSN 1927-0569 (Print)   ISSN 1927-0577 (Online)
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